Time for me to update my "Best Films of 2012" list. I was trying to wait until after I watched Amour, but it is taking waaaaaay too long to be released to DVD. Honestly, it doesn't really seem like my kind of film anyway. So, here it is:
1. Seven Psychopaths
3. Zero Dark Thirty
4. Rust and Bone
5. The Dark Knight Rises
6. Take This Waltz
7. The Cabin in the Woods
9. The Grey
10. Django Unchained
I had a really hard time making this list, this year. There are a lot of great movies that are left off - Headhunters and Silver Linings Playbook both got bumped off the original list, plus there are several movies that I debated adding; Robot & Frank, The Intouchables, Holy Motors, The Master, God Bless America, and Jeff, Who Lives at home are all worthy contenders. I hope I have the same problem for 2013.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
1. It's so pretty - There have been many (not so) valid complaints and critiques of this movie, but I think everyone can agree on one thing: it's fucking beautiful. Every single shot; every single scene. Yes, even the violence is beautiful. This is the same exact feeling that I have about Drive. When someone first mentioned the violence in Drive to me, I actually had to stop and think "oh yah...I guess it is pretty violent", but when the scenes are so visually stunning, the violence is hardly noticeable, for me. When someone can take all of the ugly things in this world and turn it into something like this, I call it "art". Nicolas Winding Refn has my full attention (and no...I haven't seen Valhalla Rising yet. I know. I KNOW! Stop yelling at me).
2. Ryan Gosling....is so pretty - This is what my dreams are made of: Ryan Gosling. Scruffy. White T-shirt. Not talking. When I told my friend I wanted to see this movie, she commented on the fact that she was "so over" his whole "silent brooding thing". First, who cares?! Do you not have eyes? Are you really going to complain about looking at Ryan Gosling for 90 minutes? To be honest, I never even considered him as "hot" until Drive. I thought he was a fantastic actor and yes, he was attractive, but I don't think he maintained "hot" status until recently. He's definitely getting more attractive as he gets older, as most men do (and I would argue that most women do too. For example, Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock. Oh and speaking of Sandra Bullock, remember like 10 years ago when she dated Ryan? The gossip mags called him her "boy toy". This woman is my hero.). I know how awful my objectification of him might sound, but it's really not just based on his looks. There's just something about him (and yes...I totally just sung "there's something inside you...it's hard to explain..." as I typed that). Second, as far as the whole "silent brooding thing", I'm not "so over" it. He does it well, and every actors best asset is to play to their strengths. I LOVED him in this movie, mostly because he had this smirk on his face through the whole thing. It was the kind of smirk that I have on my face when I'm pretending to listen to someone, but instead I'm thinking in my head "I hate every fucking thing about you". I think the smirk was appropriate for his character in relation to the other characters, but it also had this slightly personalized feeling. It's as if Ryan is in on the joke; he knew that his performance would be widely criticized and this smirk is a big "fuck you" to everyone. It makes me love him even more. Also, The Huffington Post had an article about how Ryan "wrote" the dialogue in the dinner scene with his mother and...um..."girlfriend", which is awesome if true. That's my favorite scene of the whole movie!! It should also be said that Kristin Scott Thomas is unbelievable in this role.
3. Everyone is crazy - It's fine if you don't like the movie. Everyone has a valid opinion and obviously that is what makes the world so much fun to live in. Blah, blah, blah...whatever. However, I've heard some downright baffling comments about it. Words like "empty", "soulless", "unwatchable" and my favorite, "one-dimensional". Personally, I think if that is how you describe this movie, you belong in a loony bin!!! It's classic Greek tragedy stuff and everything in the history of story-telling can be linked back to Ancient Greece. If you don't like it, then you don't like movies!! I realize that not everyone is as obsessed with Greek literature as I am (in high school I translated the Iliad from the original Latin. For fun. And no, I wasn't a geek; I was actually quite popular), but I think everyone can appreciate the layers of drama that unfold within these tragedies. This is not a simple movie. It will take time, energy and several re-watches to absorb all of it. I loved Drive when I first saw it, but after several viewings I found so much more depth than I initially thought. I would now describe Drive as a "perfect movie". I don't see myself ever loving Only God Forgives in the same way, but one never knows.
Friday, July 26, 2013
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
1. The cast - I was really skeptical of the premise of getting all of these actors, most of whom are irritating, and having them play themselves. It sounded incredibly obnoxious. Luckily, it works really well, for the most part. The plot of the movie (aside from the whole "end of the world" thing) is that Jay Baruchel (mildy irritating) is visiting his best friend, Seth Rogen (super irritating, although not entirely his fault; instead it is mostly due to the fact that my neighbor sounds exactly like him and somehow thinks it's OK to call me "babe", so I hear "Hey, babe" in Seth Rogen's voice pretty much every day of my life. It's my own version of Hell.). Jay isn't exactly a fan of the L.A "scene", and his friendship with Rogen has been strained due to Rogen's burgeoning career. Rogen convinces him to go to a big bash at James Franco's house where we meet the rest of the group. Franco (on-and-off irritating) is a particular highlight with his somewhat creepy obsession with his former Freaks and Geeks co-star (Rogen), while Jonah Hill (the least irritating of the bunch) is hilarious as the nicest guy in the world. Craig Robinson (not memorable enough to be irritating) and Danny McBride (the absolute height of irritating) round out the main cast. I've never liked McBride in anything and this is no different. He's just not my idea of funny at all. I would have preferred to see more of Michael Cera (love him!!); although, I didn't really think his whole "coke-head" thing was very funny and neither was his bit with Rihanna. Speaking of Rihanna, let's talk about all those cameos!
2. The cameos - I was really looking forward to some amazing cameos. I heard they were there and I heard it's better if you don't know who they are. This is a lie. The trailer shows the main sequence in which 90% of the cameos happen. My entire knowledge of this movie was based on the trailer and one clip that played while Jonah Hill was on Jimmy Fallon to promote the movie. Yet, there is only one surprise cameo (two if you count the cameo at the very end; but that was foreshadowed like crazy. I would have been surprised if that didn't happen.). How disappointing is that? I'm very confused as to who everyone was raving about. Sure, Emma Watson was pretty funny - but it was IN THE TRAILER! People were quoting "Hermione just stole all of our shit" way before the movie was even released.
3. The apocalypse - It's weird that I am more impressed with the story than with the comedy. There are plenty of laughs, but none of them are very memorable. In fact, I saw this movie almost 2 weeks ago and I can't remember a single thing that made me laugh. This is similar to how I've experienced previous Seth Rogen movies, except, of course, Superbad (which is one of the funniest movies ever. I don't care what you say.). What I will remember is that the movie goes for it; apocalypse and all. It's not about them trying to save the world from "the end"; instead it's about the actual apocalypse - you know, the one that's in the Bible. It's actually really funny to think about it actually happening; like if the "good" people were "saved" by being sucked up into Heaven. I'm surprised it hasn't been done before, mostly because it's the most ridiculous thing ever. It works perfectly for a comedy, especially one that's based on actors (most of whom think they are somehow "better" than the rest of humanity). Overall, I enjoyed watching This Is the End; it's definitely the best comedy of the year, so far, but it's far from the "masterpiece" that some claimed.
Sunday, July 14, 2013
1. The intensity - Holy crap! From beginning to end, this movie is freakin' intense. I was on the edge of my seat for the entire running time. It's non-stop thrills. It baffles my mind that some criticize it as boring and slow, when I found it the complete opposite. I was actually hoping for some slow moments, so that I could take some proper breaths. There are some scenes that I would even describe as having Jurassic Park-type thrills (and that is meant as a huge fucking compliment). Sure, it gets to the point where it's unbelievable that our protagonist would find himself in so many "oh my God" scenarios, but it's meant to be gasp-worthy so I can look past the unbelievable parts and just have fun with it. If you can't, I feel bad for you.
2. The trailer - My biggest complaint is that I saw too much already with the trailer. Several of the key scenes are shown in the trailer (and/or during other promo clips). It's weird that the marketing department was so oddly against using the word "zombie" or even showing them, yet they thought it was ok to ruin some of the best scenes in the movie.
3. The ending - The movie is absolutely nothing like the book (I already expected this). If it was titled something else and the book was never mentioned, I wouldn't even see a correlation between the two. The reason that I liked the book so much is that it focuses on humanity, as opposed to the individual. The movie, however, does the opposite. I'm tired of the "hero" being a "hero" only because he is concerned with his family, as if he wouldn't want to save the human race if he wasn't married with children. It's almost offensive to think about. The ending of the movie, although not a complete ending, was so dissatisfying because it was focused on this one family having a happy conclusion. I found out tonight that the ending we received was not the original ending. I knew they did a lot of re-shoots, but I never read about what they were about. Apparently, the original ending is less of a happy one and would have been much more satisfying. I also learned that Matthew Fox is in the movie! Who knew??! Apparently, everyone else but me!