Monday, January 27, 2014

Real is good.

Interesting is better.

Friday, January 24, 2014

One of the nice things about writing or any art

is that if the thing’s real, it just kind of lives. All the success over it or the rejection, none of that really matters because in the end, the thing will survive or not survive on its merits. Immortality via art is no big deal. François Truffaut died. His films live on, but that’s not much help to François Truffaut. As I’ve said many times, rather than live on in the hearts and minds of my fellow man, I would rather live on in my apartment.

Titles are shadows, crowns are empty things,

The good of subjects is the end of kings.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I gotta model myself after someone.

Manhattan - 3.5/5
It's the vicious sandpaper circle jerk of people who don't want to BE in love, they want to FALL in love. And so they keep chasing something that isn't what they already have. It's the conqueror's version of love. It's all the better because they can't have it. It's somewhat infuriating and somewhat unfulfilling, but it touches a nerve.

I agree she should die, but in the right way.

Hunger Games: Catching Fire - 4.5/5
I am a populist motherfucker. This was great. It really was. It's most basic improvement is the introduction of character complexity (followed then by quality camera work). Peeta has a personality! He's the humanitarian to Gale's violent man. The movie succeeds in defining what his actual role is in this series: if Katniss inspires everyone, he's the one that inspires Katniss. THE STAR WHO SHINES ITS LIGHT ON THE STAR WHO SHINES ITS LIGHT ON US. You see. I think she is actually more of a manipulated-into-being hero that she's given discredit for. Resourceful, yes, but mostly just an instrument played by other people. Lucked into the role of a waving flag. But that's just, again, the introduction of complexity. Everyone around her can be shady because she has to be the symbol, pure. It feels bigger because you really don't know who to trust (which is appropriate for a movie where the goal is the death of everyone but you). To that end, it simplifies appropriately – everyone's given a badass moment or a signature 'thing.' As Katniss had her flaming dress. It's the easiest way to make us care about the various characters who may or may not die – make them do or be something cool. Whereas Pacific Rim took that same note and made it boring, 'Catching Fire' makes it better simply by doing it better. That's it. It's just a movie that is made well. 

Oh, how clumsy of me – I meant to accuse you.

Sound of Music - 2.5/5
My god, it's so loooooooong. Maria is great, she's got speed in her, she zips along like the flibbertigibbet they say she is and the colonel or the general or whatever the stiff man is is defiantly "something to be fixed." And she fixes it by being pretty and flighty! Love makes him soft and it makes this whole movie just draaaag. There isn't even a fucking plot until the last 20 minutes. The Nazis are an undercurrent during the movie but it's just a backdrop to them falling in boring, painful love. The kind of love that makes you lose everything that makes you interesting because you lose yourself in the other person's eyes. And it comes so easy! It's unearned. I mean, it's easy to see why someone might love her – but him? And for him to change so quickly? Fuck that. That's lazy. I feel bad for the baroness. She wasn't even a bad guy until the movie realized they needed a bad guy. And then, so easily discarded. So easy. So unearned. But the songs are good, guys. Guys who are listening: the songs are good.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


across galaxies.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Deep inside.

Lovelace - 1/5
It tries for some lowscale Rashomon choose-your-own-adventure type shit, but it does not have the ability. Lady's got a fascinating life, and they made the worst offense of it: they made boring porn.

There's no nobility in poverty.

Wolf of Wall Street - 3/5
I enjoyed watching this. I think Leonardo Dicaprio disappears into the role (maybe because it's the closest to who he actually is??). I think Martin Scorsese remains an incredibly imaginative director. And I think this is a dangerous movie to have made. What Martin Scorsese does best is make great advertisements for being bad people and here lies a celebration of selfishness in pursuit of doing-whatever-the-fuck-we-want. That's what we want! We want to do whatever the fuck we want. And we want to get away with it. And if you follow these few simple steps… I felt like I was supposed to think these people are evil and instead I think "I wouldn't mind that. That'd be nice." Yes, the end of the movie turns its gaze at the moviegoer, the patsy, to say we're stupid for wanting this lifestyle. There aren't victims (we never see them), there're just rubes. It's our fault for wanting to be victimized. Nah, it's not my fault – it's yours; you made it look good. The movie troubles me. I'm not saying it shouldn't have been made. It's entertaining as shit, and that is the only law. I just think its lasting legacy will be inspiring the bad in people.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The cold never bothered me anyway.

Frozen - 6.5/10
The movie simultaneously upends and upholds the stereotypical Disney behavior. She falls in love quickly, and she gets made fun of (for it being so quick). And then she falls in love again, with just an extra day or two tacked on (but that's fine). And then the final love isn't with either of them but with her sister. Some fine points and adjustments to the Disney mythos there. But weird, too, right? The humor in the movie is great, but it starts to feel like it's got too many interesting characters. I suppose there's a reason that Eric from 'The Little Mermaid' doesn't have a personality – there's not room for it. And in this movie's case, the least interesting personality responsibility happens to fall on its second lead – the Ice Queen. She's been locked up, and that has made her boring! And she can only show her true self… in song! It's the closest an animated Disney film has felt like a Broadway production. Big numbers, but not in that Disney way – ones designed to fill a playhouse. They feel… different. And the whole movie, it feels different. A last-minute (and, frankly, out of nowhere) villain turn only shows that the movie lacked an opponent. It's too abstract, almost. It's not about overcoming evil, it's about accepting differences. And, of course, I love that. But it makes the movie too complex and it can't handle the weight.

You've got to learn to let go.

Gravity - 7.5/10
It's one of those Disney rides, with the film playing in front as you fly forward through Endor and the seat you're on lifts and shakes and pushes you to the side. It's the closest a flat pane has come to a full-on physically moving experience. It is supremely well-made and engrossing, until you see the celebrity. Sandra and George did a fine job (not the least of which is helping this movie reach a greater audience, and that's makes anything that comes after this sentence null and void) but, if the goal of a movie is to make you disappear inside of it, they keep reminding you that you're experiencing a thing, outside of it. George's Charm Ooze and Sandra's ever-so-slight plastic surger-ed face. But I will try my best to not let that stand in the way of wanting to puke in a theater. 

Socially acceptable insanity.

Her - 7/10
I'm glad this movie isn't about how technology is bad and we should connect with people and nature and the sky and frogs and other such honeysuckle bullshit. If nothing else, I'm glad this movie makes a case for love being real, no matter who – or what – it's with. I'm also surprised at just exactly how 'sci-fi' this movie is; it creates a backdrop from which an incredibly humanist movie can operate. I just wish he wasn't such a sad fucking sack. There's a degree of relatability, but he is quiet, and he is boring. He's no one to fall in love with outside of what he says in the things he creates. And that's why she falls in love. And he falls in love with her because it's easier to talk to a stranger on a computer than it is to talk to someone you love. Hurt feelings, adverse desires get in the way. Available when you want, not the other way around. I think that's true, to a certain group of people who grew up on hardcore/metal messageboards anyway. And so when things get more serious, words don't come as easy. I think the movie is true to how love behaves. Unfortunately, it's a movie where they laugh at each other, but you don't really laugh with them. It's a vision of boring love. But still: it's fascinating. Also, Amy Adams? She's great. I like her a lot. 

But I feel what's to happen, all happened before.

Saving Mr. Banks - 6/10
P.L. Travers is a terrible person, and so they made a movie about her. Her interference in the making of the movie is great – when it's about the creative process and the compromises (for good and ill) that go into letting go of your vision (and the manipulation that goes into letting certain things pass through), the movie hits a certain stride. But looking at it from her perspective doesn't do it justice – she reaches no epiphany of herself, in present day or flashback. Someone (Walt) has to look from the outside to outright speak things. It should've been told from his (or the other writers) perspectives all along, because that's the only time we get any real introspection (or any likable characters). How To Understand Someone You Cannot Possibly Know. She was a thing to be solved (and then they just ignored her anyway). It would have also served to make her more sympathetic, because let's be honest: she gets fucked over. There was a more interesting story to tell here, outside of the Disneyfication of things. SIDENOTE: For the first few flashbacks, I thought the movie was about what happened after Mary Poppins ended – a banker leaves his job to chase whimsy, only to become a hopeless drunk. Which was fun, to think that. 

A lie's a lie. Dressin' it in white don't help it.

Meet Me In St. Louis - 3/10
This movie is better in the Today Show Christmas highlight reel it occupies (even though this shit shouldn't even count as a Christmas movie – it's a year-long movie, with drama changing with the seasons). And what little drama it is. The only thing moving this movie forward is the simple fact that the earth goes around the sun. Yes, those songs are pretty great; but my god, what a white, classist movie enabling white, classist people to be boring bad people. And what an awful advertisement for an awful, awful town. To be fair, it's possible that I'm simply against the very idea of the movie – that a place makes you happy, more than the people you're with. It's a sentiment that belongs in the year the movie was set. An appropriate bit of irony comes right at the end, when the little kid looks out and says, "They'll never tear it down, will they?" – that building gets demolished. 

There comes a time when good man must wear mask.

Lone Ranger - 7/10
I watched this because I'm home for Christmas and this is a week of willingly watching movies better suited to being forced on you in airplanes. And since this movie was universally reviled, I wanted to witness the cultural curiosity of it all. And it wasn't bad at all. I mean, it touches it. There's a piss-poor framing device that has no reason to exist other than to gloss over plot holes, it's long as shit, and the CGI was both unnecessary and atrocious... But there is drama! And humor! The people know what kind of movie they're making -- a pretty broad family-friendly comedy. And it deserves credit for creating a hero who is already heroic by his adherence to justice and refusing to kill outright, and giving him a reason to wear a mask. I most feel bad for Arnie Hammer, who shows himself as a burgeoning physical comedian who will likely never take a similar role. Johnny Depp isn't as good in the comedy department, but the movie gives him a pretty decent superheroic (or supervillain-esque) origin. I feel like people were most likely reacting to the 'summer bloat' of it all. It was expensive and feels the need to show off the money spent, and that creates situations of tediousness and tonal shifts which should have been edited right the fuck out. But, and I will fall on my increasingly dull sword for this -- it has interesting parts. And that makes the whole thing worthwhile.

If you gonna cry, come on, cry with me.

Dallas Buyer's Club - 8/10
Matthew McConaughey doin' what he do, bros. In terms of his renaissance, it's his best yet and to be sure, fucking around with the natural proportions of his body probably helped push him over. It's not even that he's skinny – he's damn near bow-legged. His Ron Woodroff is a right scoundrel to boot. His story follows a pretty typical path of caring-only-for-the-self to unintentionally caring-for-all-the-others, but there's nothing wrong with a formula if it's administered right. Unlike '12 Years A Slave,' the movie doesn't try to make you, the viewer, feel with the main character; it makes the main character feel for another person. And he does, and he does. Jared Leto gets points for completing that pass. However: the movie's got an odd little footnote, which makes me reconsider the whole movie – Ron fights for the duration against a certain type of drug, only for the end card to tell us that that drug went on to help millions. So, though Ron was fighting for the right to treat himself, it was perhaps a fight for the right to be stubborn moreso than the right to be right. Anyway. Odd little footnote to just tack on at the end. 

A man does how he pleases with his property.

12 Years A Slave - 7/10
I like Steve McQueen, or at least I say I do. He clearly knows how to point a camera, he clearly knows how to attain a performance, but damn if I can't find the same thing I found missing in 'Hunger' – an emotional connection. And as he does in 'Hunger,' he doesn't judge – he just points a camera and says 'look at it.' It may be that movies have trained me to expect a punctuation point at the end – a line or two, a look, a something that says 'hey, if you missed it, this is what the movie was about.' And in this movie, it's in the title. He spends 12 years as a slave. It's a passage of time as a man is degraded and eventually degrades himself willingly to forgo the being degraded. Small but increasing decreases of your opinion of your moral self. And so he walks out of his ordeal apologetic, because he's been so totally trained to be wrong. And that's great, and I like the idea of it, but for some reason, I don't feel it. I don't know. I walked out of the theater thinking that slavery is bad. Not to be a dick or anything, but I already knew that. I don't know – writing this makes me think I might like it more on a second go. 

I got tired of being right.

Mike Birbiglia: My Girlfriend's Boyfriend - 8/10
Mike Birbiglia, as he does in 'Sleepwalk With Me,' crafts a beautiful ending by making you forget he's telling a linear story. Certain paragraphs get dropped in mid-sentence to go off on a tangent, but the unifying thread is never too far off from where he's guiding you. He zig zags through stories, but always comes back to the through-line. It's masterfully told, and when he arrives at the final point, it isn't dwelled upon because the long set-up did its job. This movie also does a pretty decent job of explaining why I decided to marry my wife. 

Rob from the rich so we can be rich, too.

Bling Ring - 7/10
It may be that I'm just fascinated by the real-life events – kids breaking into celebrities' homes to lift little trinkets that wouldn't be missed. What do you take from the person who has everything? The characters can be flat and one-dimensional, but they're also compelling with that I-know-they're-real-but-they-don't-live-next-to-me quality. Their distinct other-ness. I enjoyed looking at these people more than I enjoyed trying to understand them. And in that way, they're the offspring of the reality culture they're ripping off. None of those shows existed to make a point – they existed to have something to look at. And so these kids, they looked at them and they took their way of speaking and they took their style, and then they took their actual clothes. It's the logical extension. I feel like this movie will be remembered years from now inside the childhood superstructure that picks which things most accurately represented growing up in a certain time period, even if it only really applied to five people in Los Angeles. This is 'Clueless,' updated.

My evil is big.

End of Watch - 8/10
I prefer to think of it as a spiritual sequel to 'Jarhead.' Where that Jake Gyllenhaal guy comes home and becomes this Jake Gyllenhaal guy along with the realization that the boredom he endured during the Iraq war was also where the real fun was. Jake and Michael Peña have great chemistry and seem to have formed a genuine bond that comes with being together forever. At the end, during the dramatic moment, the movie threatens to not come to an emotional crescendo but, right after, it does, it does. Sometimes the best way to show you miss someone is to say it outright. 

An eye for new and refreshing dick.

Behind The Candelabra - 6.5/10
Rob Lowe's eyes justify the movie's existence. It reminds me a bit of 'White,' where someone just wants the other person to acknowledge that, yes, indeed, it was love.

You are my son.

Man of Steel - 2/10.
The thing about 'getting it right' is that everything's already there. It's not necessarily about fulfilling one person's interpretation so much as – Batman, Spider-Man, James Bond, Superman – all the elements of making a great story are right fucking there. Drama, fantasticism. Almost 100 years of character-building and story elements up for the grab.  Of course I understand the divide between what's on the page and the construction of a multi-million dollar blockbuster that's been poked and prodded by dozens of people behind the scenes actually becoming a good movie in the end, but I also understand that, like the small number of scenes in Zach Snyder's 'Watchmen' prove, that if you just use what's there, then you can't really fuck it up. Of course, Zach Snyder proved through three-quarters of 'Watchmen' and the entirety of 'Man of Steel' that yes, yes you really can. Honestly: the trailer for this movie is the best Superhero movie I've seen. It's beautiful, it's well-constructed, it's 'Tree Of Life' by way of capes, and it almost perfectly encapsulates the core idea of any hero's journey: deciding what kind of person you want to be. And this version of Clark Kent almost never decides for himself. His father decides for him. His other father decides for him. Lois Lane decides for him. The US government decides for him. And, in the end, the villain decides how the play ends. In the course of deciding what kind of person Clark Kent want to be, this movie, simply put, is not the story of someone deciding to be a hero. 

Oh, it compels me? Is that what it does?

This Is The End - 8/10

Bad girls do it well.

The Heat - 5/10
I like Sandra Bullock and I like Melissa McCarthy and, on paper, they have great chemistry together. Alas. There's a balance between their personalities, but the balance is on the extreme. Sandra is staid, uninteresting person, McCarthy is obnoxious and out there. A little more of one and a little less of the other would have suited me fine.

Is there nothing more?

Star Trek: The Motion Picture - 3/10
I accidentally watched the director's cut which has 12 more minutes of footage, which I am assuming were an extra 12 minutes of glory footage of the Enterprise as Captain Kirk is ferried to it. Oh my god, the waiting and the plodding and the taxi-ing and the wistful stares and the waiting in this movie. It's a movie made for the people who liked the show, which is so odd, because this is a fairly large movie for what amounted (at the time) to a relatively small minority of people. It assumes a familiarity with all the characters, barely introducing them, hardly setting up their roles – meanwhile focusing on two people who no one cared about previously (and no one cares about during). There is a poppiness to everything which I enjoyed. The visual aesthetics are a hummable tune – Uhura's hair, Ilia's lack of, Shatner's way of speaking – but my god. As much as the new Star Treks are derided by old Star Trek fans (and none of them are really defending this movie, mind), they did a great job of defining who everybody was and having forward momentum.

So this is love.

Cinderella - 8/10
Little late, listeners, but this movie is fantastic. It's a short little ditty with a great villain who is not celebrated nearly enough, great songs, and the best best best thing is that neither Cinderella or Prince Charming are too defined of characters. Contrast that with, say, the fantastic 'The Little Mermaid' where a character full of joy and life falls in love with a cypher. Point being, here, they're both non-entities, and we mostly see them fall in love from afar and it's just beautifully put together. Their romance is like a ballet. Two beautiful people in love. A painting. 

Don't get cocky, kid.

Pacific Rim - 7/10
It's really not the giant robot movie I was looking for. Guillermo del Toro is fantastic with visuals, I'll never deny, but he's just not very good at making people interesting. Sad Girl and Emotional Boy are not characters, no matter how much dye one puts in their hair. And that's the key to all of the characters in this movie – they're cartoons. They have a look – a goatee, a hair style, a way of walking, a costume – that they own and makes for great action figures, but they're not people. But I can ignore that, because giant robots fight giant creatures. Some of the time. The other problem is that the movie splits its time trying to figure out the 'science of things,' and that involves regular folk (like you or me!) who are not giant robots fighting each other. So, in all of these ways, the movie is both simplistic and overly complex. BUT STILL: giant robots, etc.

Tour's over.

White House Down - 8/10
OH MY GOD, THIS WAS SO GOOD. It knows exactly what it is and Channing Tatum understands the persona of his we like best. It's the best movie of 1994. It feels like James Cameron and John McTiernan from way-back-when could have made this, because it is VERY WELL PUT TOGETHER. 'Die Hard in the White House' is a shorthand and simplistic view of the plot but imagine that same phrase with the great characterization of a leading man and enemies with personality that it should imply. It is absolutely 'Die Hard'; the best parts included.

I'm good, I'm good, I'm gonna be good.

Fruitvale Station - 6/10
You know, I was expecting to feel some amount of outrage and pursed lips and furrowed brow, but what I'm left with is this feeling that it was all just an unfortunate accident. Maybe that's the movie's point, I don't know, but with its incessant foreshadowing of a conclusion we know from when they show us the grainy cellphone footage at the beginning of a movie, I feel like it wants me to feel something. If anything, it feels manipulative, and to that end, I don't even feel manipulated into doing anything about anything. 

The sound of trumpets.

The Act Of Killing - 7.5/10
The mechanics of the movie make it worth watching. The story of a war criminal tricked (?) into making a Hollywood movie about his crimes only to be confronted with the images he's helped create through the filter of a television screen is… very interesting, to say the least. The amount of delusion needed to get to that point – a whole country's delusion – is even more so. It takes Anwars Congo actually playing a victim in his movie to understand what it felt like to be a victim. Not the replaying of barbaric acts but in becoming an act-or, to actually pretend to feel their pain, is what it takes to finally feel their pain. It's a 'walk a mile in my shoes' that's delivered in a very roundabout way, but the filmmakers eventually lead them there. All that said, the film is missing something, and I could not define to you what it is.

Why the fuck not?

You're Next - 6/10
'Home Alone with real criminals' sounds like a great movie. I hope to see that someday. The ten minutes or so of setting up the house to knock down the fools was fun, but it's a short ten minutes or so. It's a little middle-of-the-road, really. 

Die when you die when you die you're gonna die.

Hated: G.G. Allin & The Murder Junkies - 7.5/10
I think I respect the movie more than I necessarily like it. It really is unafraid to get up close to a guy who shits himself on stage. I don't know if GG has any real depth to him other than a guy who enjoys suffering and making other suffer, but the movie sticks with him and doesn't seem to judge him. It just lets him be and I think maybe even enables him to go further, and I can't figure out whether that's good or bad. Good for art, I guess. Things like showing the open casket at the end – even that shit, it feels like a lack of judgment. That's just that world. I think, then, that it's a movie that befits its star. The final concert in the special features is worth watching for the pure visceral thrill of it all. Plus a random stranger sticks a finger up his butt, as if to calm him!

Radioactive tampon.

Moon - 7.5/10
I was worried that knowing The Secret would ruin the movie, but it's really treated less as a secret and more as The First Plot Development. And so what is not a tense nailbiter is instead two guys being weirded out by each other and their situation. Which I think makes it a much more interesting movie. Sci-fi just becomes backdrop to weirdo human drama, and Sam Rockwell plays the hell out of it. Something about it, though, maybe Sam Rockwell even, keeps the final denouement, haha I'm fancy, keeps the final denouement from being the emotional crescendo I want it to be. 

We even have almost conversations sometimes. 

Warm Bodies - 7/10
I don't know how to say it without it appearing to be a pun, but fuck you, dear reader – it's a very warm-hearted movie. It's strange to me because I'd like to be able to pinpoint that divide between sweetness and sentimentality and how it manages to stay on the former's side of the line. It's not an overly funny movie or even a particularly great one, but it floats in those same honeyed clouds shared with movies like 'Back To The Future' that make you just kind of want to like it. 

Aren't you the great man we've been waiting for?

The Great And Powerful Oz - 5.5/10
Oz is never really redeemed as a character. Neither is he well-performed. I typically like James Franco, but his usual half-hearted-ness is, uh, forgive me if this is stupid to say but – his performance is more modern than what seems to fit the movie? He's from the aughts, bros. And so that performance doesn't really work to make his Oz someone who can half-destroy a woman's life and come out the other side clean. He's a bad hero, and that's the point, but he needs to have lingering feelings of guilt or something, chola. Meanwhile, there are fun bits of Raimi-ness, but this half seems an attempt to do what modern Tim Burton is doing to mysteriously effective effect, and it lacks the same emotion that those movies fail to capture.


Coffee and Cigarettes - 6/10
I liked it more in theory. Some of it was fun. Some of it, I've forgotten. It will live on as YouTube clips of Bill motherfucking Murray and Wu-Tang. 

Like if you spill a bucket of water.

American Hardcore - 4/10
It's a quick rundown of every hardcore band of a specific period of time. It tells stories, but it by no means gives insight. It feels like one of those PBS 'Sounds of the 50's' infomercials that just gives you a bunch of names and snippets of songs you want to look up later.

I was born with a disfigurement where my head is made of the same material as the sun.

Upstream Color - 7/10
I think to some degree the director's name and reclusiveness works against him, as in: I walked into this movie knowing I was solving a puzzle. And so it felt more like I was watching it a second time moreso than a first time. Intellectualizing it over internalizing it. And while I certainly couldn't put all the pieces together for you, it does make you feel something – an emotional logic that makes you care about people, even if you're not entirely sure what they're going through.

A cursed earth.

Dredd - 5.5/10
Based on the cultish uprising that seemed to be building around this movie since its release, I expected this to be good! And it really is just a generic action movie. If the short Judge Dredd comic documentary contained on the DVD is any indication, it seems like the serious-as-sin Dredd needs lively personalities to react off of and the movie doesn't give anything. He's a brick wall standing next to and fighting other walls of varied constructive material. And that's unfortunate because there are interesting things to play off of. The same level-by-level set-up as 'The Raid' is a concept that can be ripped off a thousand times and I'll not tire of it. The slow-mo drug is a fucking ingenious idea to take full advantage of ultra-violence, but it underuses both of its good ideas. And so you get serious on serious on serious, and I ain't care about nobody and violence ain't got meaning if I ain't got no one to care about. Motherfuckers, y'all got to make me care.

I got shorts, every fuckin' color.

Spring Breakers - 8.5/10
I wholeheartedly hold this up to a place of pop art. And it's only pop because of the colors, my man. There's a genuinely interesting story and what I feel to be a genuinely interesting point to be made (though it isn't even necessarily the point of the movie to make it) – that Spring Break is an excuse to disappear and become a new person, finding your limits and stopping only after you've crossed them. And then you get to go back to the same life you had before. But can you really, bros? Can you really? (Yes.)

An empty life or a meaningful death.

Iron Man 3 - 8.5/10
I just feel like Shane Black is toying with us with how good he is at writing movies. To wit: this is a movie where a 12-year old associate with a sentimental past is possibly the best thing about it. He wrote the hell out of this shit and it doesn't stop with the dialogue – he's a fantastic action director as well. The 30-second Superbowl teaser where he's catching people out of a falling airplane was fucking *tense* and it was just a straight lift from the movie. No need for editing and musical cues to make it exciting. And it's just as tense in full, and it's only a mid-level action sequence! Every bit of action – small, medium, and large – is well-thought out (to the eventual point of it being ballet) and more importantly, everything has that tension to it. The whole movie is approached in the same way as writing jokes – it's not just punch punch punch, it's set-up and punchline. And so it becomes impressive to watch along with being really fucking fun.

Ace! Love has no borders, nationalities, or genders!

Wild Zero - 5/10
Occasional worthwhile pop nonsense, particularly some very interesting visuals and acting decisions. Something happens every five minutes to make you keep wanting to watch it.

Telephone for an axe.

The Great Gatsby - 6/10
I wanted spectacle, and there was indeed a certain amount of pizzazz, but it wasn't pizzazz-y enough. That's an expectation that Baz Luhrman (perhaps unfortunately) is saddled with, but it's what I look forward to in his movies. Here, there was only a little of the bombast, and so there was nothing sensational to look at in a storyline that I've never particularly enjoyed. As a sidenote, I thought his use of rap (more than Luhrman just being himself) was to the point of hip-hop excess being comparable to the lavishness of then. I thought that was something interesting.


Hercules - 6/10
James Wood is fantastic, spinning the movie around his little finger and it's a damn shame, a crying damn shame that the movie doesn't rise up to meet his villainy. Meg comes closest as a Disney princess who is Least Like The Others, but she'd have more interesting babies with Hades then the chump who rarely shows actual heroics. 

I didn't know I was supposed to be afraid.

The Iceman - 6/10
I go in understanding that there's a solemn hidden-ness to Richard Kuklinski, but it doesn't help. There's a scene halfway in with James Franco as he's given a certain amount of time to pray to god for help. If god shows his hand, he'll be saved. That's a great scene. Or rather, it should have been. The whole movie could have been built around that, but instead it just shows us what happened and what happened and what happened. It tries for depth, but it's only in everything around Kuklinski. Here is a man who's done a lot but has nothing interesting to say.

Quit slow-blinking at me.

This Is 40 - 4/10
It feels long and it makes me think that people can only be interesting and in love up until they say 'I love you.' It turns any banter or funnies into kissies and hard stops on conversations. But that's fine, that's real life and shit, bros. Movie sucks because everyone's a dumbass and it only made me laugh sometimes, a-huh-a-huh. I also hate when Paul Rudd laughs in movies. 

He'd let you die.

Star Trek Into Darkness - 7/10
It's got high-energy and that feeling that you've seen it before! It's fun, but its repetitions are unnecessary. Benedict Cumberbatch didn't need to be Khan. He was perfectly fine being generic caucasian name. The reveal of his being Khan adds nothing but the desire to compare. Anyway. High-energy, like I say. Chris Pine is apt casting for Captain Kirk because he's growing up to have the same Shatner-esque bloat-face.