Movie Log 2012
I was going to write a longer thing about Cabin in the Woods, and then I didn’t, so I didn’t write anything else for like 2 months either. Hey there, it’s Maciej blogging! Here’s what I’ve been watching that I remember from the last 7 weeks (there is no good reason for anyone to read all of this, even moreso than usual):
Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2012)
The monster stuff is cool. The Cabin in the Woods stuff is funny-ish but not thrilling; the forest scenes were so muddy and dark-looking that I still wonder whether it wasn’t something wrong with the projection. Fun, but maybe not as clever as it thinks it is, right? And prolly not nearly as good as Scream. Maybe I’ll rewatch on DVD and make myself write something more thorough.
The Raid: Redemption (Gareth Evans, 2012)
Oodles of fun: maybe I and others have oversold how video-gamey it is now that I think about it, I guess “floors” and “levels” is a lazy switch to make, and yeah, it has boss battles but so does like every martial arts movie ever. Really, though, oodles of fun, and some very creative deaths/injuries.
Win Win (Thomas McCarthy, 2011)
Much like in the Visitor, McCarthy takes a subject for a boring drama (then, a middle-aged man dealing with an immigrant squatter; now, a down-on-his-luck wrestling coach, committing fraud and lucking into a wrestling prodigy) and makes a fine movie out of it with very good performances. I really do love Amy Ryan.
Two Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman, 1971)
As a noted James Taylor hater (his music), I must say he does very well here. This is mostly about driving and how it can or can’t be an end unto itself for different people at the dawn of the 70s.
Play Time (Jacques Tati, 1967)
Friend Pete Mullin told me I would love this for the longest time. He was right of course, and, on first watch, I could see myself growing to love it as much as any movie I’ve ever seen. The restaurant scene (the whole second half of the movie) specifically is so perfectly up my alley I almost cried, as the characters joyfully deconstruct (the setting is broken down and reshaped quite literally) modernity into something suited towards their own fun. Will watch again soon.
Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (Jacques Tati, 1953)
To be honest, I started with Tati out of order by mistake, so I shipped back Play Time and immediately got back this one. It’s very pleasant, watching this oddball not having the foggiest idea as to how to fit in with the people around him.
Thor (Kenneth Branagh, 2011)
The Asgard stuff looked really great; who would’ve thunk Kenneth Branagh would be the one to win for Best Use of Color in a Super Hero Movie. The tone for Thor amongst mortals was as silly and bright as is appropriate, and Tom Hiddleston understands Loki’s motivation well, though I hope in Avengers (I’ll see it soon, chill) or in subsequent sequels the character develops a little of the joy in evil befitting a trickster God. (I think this is the better of the two Chris Hemsworth-starring movies noted here).
Black Girl (Ousmane Sembene, 1966)
Sembene’s first feature is about the disconnect between expectations of the post-colonial period and the reality thereof (and how the disconnect affects the reality) by both the colonized and the colonizer. It’s not a happy one, go figure, but it is very, very good and worth watching. Def someone whose filmography I’ll have to go through.
The Long Goodbye (Robert Altman, 1973)
It made me want to go out to LA and mumble a lot and drink, and that’s a recommendation. Elliott Gould is the coolest.