We're here to play some Mississippi Delta Blues. We're in a horrible depression, and I gotta admit - we're starting to like it.
Cabin In The Woods was fucking funny
I'm actually surprised at how much I enjoyed Flight. It's far from a perfect film, but it contains a terrific airplane set piece and then follows with an engaging and affecting character study that I did not expect at all from the trailer. However, I would have a much higher opinion of it if there weren't such a misstep towards the end. Without giving too much away, I'll just say that the final actions of Denzel's character feel out of line with the compelling portrait of addiction he has built up to that point, serving up a moralistic ending that ultimately feels a bit hollow. This is still one of the richer films one would expect to see out of Hollywood these days though. Oh, and it's pretty much a given that Denzel will be a leading contender for Best Actor with this performance (unless, of course, Daniel Day-Lewis doesn't have plans to the contrary).
Carlos Reygadas' Post Tenebras Lux was remarkable, and has already grown in stature in my mind in the hours since it ended. The mixture of the abstract and nature that I love so much about Apichatpong Weerasethakul's films was very prevalent in this one, even moreso than Silent Light (which is still probably the better of the two). That isn't to say that I was able to even begin fully absorbing it...there's a ton going on, and I definitely need to see it a few more times.
Seeing this on the biggest screen possible is an absolute must...hopefully by some chance it gets picked up so everyone can see it in the way it was intended.
I'm sure it may get some hate on here, but I absolutely loved Silver Linings Playbook. Easily the best I've seen from Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper. The rest of the supporting cast is fantastic as well. Something about it draws a comparison to Crazy Stupid Love for me, mixed with a little Buffalo '66. Huckabees may still be my favorite from O'Russell, but this one showed me again why he is one of my favorite directors working today.
I saw 7 Psychopaths in an awesome theater in Brooklyn run by Austin-transplants and is a complete rip-off of Alamo, so there was a lot of drinking involved. it is much better than the horrible trailers imply, though that is made so very much by the remarkable cast. Ultimately I was left wondering what the point of it was supposed to be, as it seems to just cram every single idea somebody has ever had into one movie, but it's extremely entertaining.
8/7/16 - Sufjan Stevens @ Hollywood Bowl // 8/8/16 - Radiohead @ Shrine // 8/8/16 - Boris @ Regent
9/14/16 - Wilco @ Theatre at Ace Hotel // 9/18/16 - Kraftwerk @ Hollywood Bowl
Was not a fan of Holy Motors. Granted I was tired from not being able to get into the Amour screening yesterday, then having to waiting for Motors to start an hour & a half late. It was a trouble keeping focus on the film. However, I think I saw enough of it to believe I don't really need to give it another chance. Did not live up to the hype.
I saw Man With the Iron Fists last night. I thought it was pretty good. Russel Crowe was actually really good in this, in a comedic relief kinda way. I want his knife gun. That thing was fucking sweet.
This past weekend, one new movie and a bunch of re-watches:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
10 Things I Hate About You
The Godfather Part II
Raiders of the Lost Ark
I need to go to a movie theater lol
Caught most of this on Showtime. Pretty fucked up, predictable but still twisted. The 'trumpets' at the end gave me chills. They should have gone with the 'original ending' (wiki it)
Yeah, I thought the ending was pretty great, got chills as well when the trumpets came in, but ive never read the original ending before. That shit would have been crazy.
During various interactive Q&As for the film, Smith has stated that the original ending actually continued through with the trumpets signaling the Rapture. After Cooper tells Keenan to shoot him, Cooper's chest explodes, followed by the remaining family members' chests exploding one by one, and then the remaining agents' chests exploding one by one. During these deaths, the ground shakes and splits, and Keenan curls up on the ground and closes his eyes. When he opens his eyes he sees the last agent killed with a giant sword coming out of his chest, which is being wielded by an enormous armored angel. The angel looks at Keenan, puts a finger to his lips, and says "shhhhh". The angel then flies off into the sky, and as the angel banks out of the picture, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse descend
This reminded me of a movie called "The Rapture" starring Mimi Rogers. It really struck a chord with me at the time I saw it, but so disturbing. I read a review that stated, "Under no circumstances should a child see this movie". It was really hard to watch. Now I'm really curious about Red State.
Now I really want to see that movie.
If you haven't seen Red State it's basically about a Westboro Baptist type cult on crack, crossed with the Branch Dividian siege in Waco. Some kids looking for sex get drugged and wake up captive in the middle of a church service. Eventually the ATF is brought in and it becomes all out war. Kind of over the top stuff but pretty gripping. And yeah I can't express the feeling I got w/ those trumpets. My mouth was literally gaping for 5 minutes there. I was pretty disappointed with how they handled it (apparently a budgetary issue)
I stopped watching it once they started torturing/killing the sexed up guys.
the busy bee has no time for sorrow.
The story in The Rapture takes some time to develop, but also involves a somewhat cult-like religious movement, and how the main character's involvement, and her family's involvement with it, begins and grows. Starting off it can seem a bit slow, (I think in order to get through all the fine details of the storyline) but I thought Mimi did a great job of showing the change and transformation of her character.
I'll write more in the near future, but I can say without question that Post Tenebras Lux has ruined AFI Fest for me, and I mean that as a compliment. It was the first film I saw and it's such a rapturous, horrifying, transcendent experience that everything I've seen since has felt like less than cinema.
Leviathan came closest to making me forget about it for a moment; that one is a truly staggering feat of image capture, using the real life mechanics of a commercial fishing boat to create an impressionist vision of brutality in nature (ideas that PTL also tackles), but even at 87 minutes it starts to feel a bit redundant at some point. I don't think that's thematically inappropriate (it appears that every day is exactly the same in this world) but it kept it from being an unqualified triumph for me.
Something in the Air was my first Assayas, and I know Chris will disagree, but I thought it was weak sauce. It's about a bunch of left-wing teenagers coming of age in early-70's France (and abroad); I'm under the impression it has echoes of Assayas' own coming-of-age, but it felt completely hollow to me. There's no depth to the political content (which is basically used as a self-actualization device and nothing else) or any of the relationships between the characters. It reminded me a lot of the upcoming Not Fade Away, actually - another portrayal of the young and artsy searching for themselves against a backdrop of mid-20th century turbulence which is passable, but emotionally and dramatically vacant.
The Hunt is not only the best film I caught at AFI this year, but possibly the best film of the year. This one floored me.
Red State is by far the best Kevin Smith movie, from a "fan of movies" perspective. It's really good once it gets going, and nobody who saw the final 75% would guess it was a Kevin Smith film, which is sadly a compliment.
I kept thinking that eventually one of the actors was going to start getting snarky in a Kevin Smith fashion but no one really did and I respected him for that.
Joe, did you see Something in the Air? As a long-time Assayas guy, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
Going to the AFIfest "secret screening" tonight at Graumen's. Whatever that may be.