Monday, April 28, 2014

God, I hope she doesn’t become famous.

Only Lovers Left Alive - 3/5
In the failure of all other Jim Jarmusch movies to match the joy of ‘Ghost Dog,’ I’ve decided to find my own meaning in his movies. Who knows! Maybe it was the meaning he intended for it??? Anyway, here’s some bullshit. If you love something, it can go a number of ways – specific to my point, two: you either decide to make it a part of you, turning it routine, or you get tired of it. This movie deals with both of those. The routine of a centuries-long love affair where they don’t need to be around each other to know they’re a part of each other’s lives (while at the same time, offering nothing revolutionary) and the general anhedonia of livin’, brah that is broken when you discover something new and wonderful. A whole life and this thing exists?? How did I not know?? Discovering punk rock when you’re 85, on your deathbed, and wanting nothing more than to keep living just to catch up on 40 years of history. It’s that feeling, wrapped in a movie about dour been-there vampires who just aren’t making out like they used to.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The world is deep,

And deeper than even day may dream.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I’m missing something. I’m all messed up.

Blue is the Warmest Color - 2.5/5
The one girl – Adèle – she’s beautiful. I can see how someone looks at her from thirty years on and calls her an icon. She easily inhabits the role of a teenager and an adult and of naiveté and of passion and of being in control and out of. One half of that is her acting. The other half is simply What Nature Made. God had his hands in making a thing we cannot touch. “There’s secrets behind those eyes.” The girl can’t help it. She bites her lip and we’re done for. The love story itself – it’s a story of boring love. Or at least how passion has only a window of time before fiery tempers are then tempered into something that is more steady and is given the outline of a shape but is a lot less interesting for it. And so it’s not that interesting. Passion, but no chemistry. They just don’t have anything to talk about when they’re not fucking. I get it, I think I do – but I didn’t enjoy it. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wouldn't be fun

if there was a choice.

I’m done.

The Raid 2: Berandal - 4/5
At somewhere around the two-hour mark, the movie introduces three new villains. Street Fighter super-villains. And it is fucking exciting, because that one dude has already fought all them other fuckers and now that one dude has to fight all them new fuckers even though he is tired and it is time you need be going to bed. I don’t mean to become a movie-poster movie critic (because I am simply a humble one-visit movie critic), but I would like to use the word “relentless” to describe this movie. Well, let me take a step back. The first movie was relentless. Too much so, I think, because it didn’t have time to develop any sort of feelings about the people he was fighting. A lot of faceless… faces. Faceless feet? This movie shorthands that with the video game baddies and their ‘one thing they do well’ (hammers, baseball bat, round-y knife things), and it’s such a wonderful shortcut. They don’t have names, but You Know Them. Shortcuts and long stretches of tension between each fight serve to slow the movie down, which is important to what makes the movie work. It’s fight fight fight but with those long stretches of plot-stuff in between. Time to decompress, and to think about your life. Breathe, baby, breathe. So yes, relentless, but with little rest area stops. Barreling down the freeway with your Mountain Dew Livewire, but with scheduled pee-breaks. Unlike ‘The Winter Soldier,’ the fights don’t move the plot along – here, everything serves to let you observe the fight in its most pure form. They are not the ‘nice-to-haves’; they are the ‘reason for existing.’ 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I do what he does, just slower.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier - 4/5
So much kicking. You’ll have to forgive me for the delay but I am only just now realizing that action scenes at their best are the equivalent of musical numbers at their best. More than just ‘being good,’ they serve to further the plot – establishing setting, defining character motivation, pushing things forward. And man, ‘The Winter Soldier’ is the hetero-normative male version of ‘Frozen.’ It’s all punch-kick-joke-punch-kick-character motivation-punch-kick-reveal. It’s now become a hallmark of each of the Marvel movies and it’s important in this case 1) because it’s a long-ass movie with four main characters and three new villains and they’ve got a lot of shit to get to and 2) because it doesn’t get tiring. My problems with movies like ‘The Raid’ (and I hate to even say this, but my occasional tiredness at a Jackie Chan movie) are that it has the tendency to be ‘look what we can do with our legs!’ (Important to note: what they can do with their legs is asfbakdj;lsdjfasdlf). But that’s acrobatics; this is ballet. So yeah. There’s a lot of kicking (with purpose!). In terms of the actual, you know, plot: this is the first Marvel movie I can think of that is effectively *about* something (bigger than the oversized heroes, at least). It’s about happiness (or some similar word – peace?) only being possible when you’re completely open. No secrets. Individually, and on a corporate/political/global scale. That’s a great message and that part plays itself out character-wise most notably (and wonderfully) in The Black Widow, but it’s still a story that perfectly suits Steve Rogers. He wears a mask, but he is Known. He is the anti-secret. The world knows him, so he can’t be just anybody; he can only be himself. And that’s the story of Steve Rogers, Captain America. Dude is, at his core, a Good Dude. He only knows how to be that, without hesitation. Ignoring that lack of a secret identity and fact that he doesn’t seem to mind killing people, he is currently a better Superman than Superman. The one flaw: Bucky Barnes wasn’t effectively built up in the first movie, so The Reveal doesn’t seem as monumental. He’s just a surprisingly average-looking dude with oily hair that you may have seen earlier but can’t quite be sure. Considering the title of the film, he was the least successful thing the movie had going for it. 

A scream's

as good a response as any.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

That was then

and that was them.


A Moment of Innocence - 3.5/5
This is a pretty pretty interesting Iranian film from the same cinematic world as ‘After Life’ or ‘The Act Of Killing,’ both of which are as notable for the mechanism in which they told their story as much as what their story is about. That is to say: even if their stories weren’t good, how they told their stories would still make them worth watching. In this case, a former street yewth grows up, becomes a director, and finds the policeman he had stabbed. They then cast their younger selves, train them in the behavior of their own bodies, and, through recreation, try to understand each other in that moment. A part of the fascination is the policeman, who is so eager to be an actor that it’s hard to believe he’s not playing a part. I’m really not sure whether he’s acting the part of himself training his younger self. I have no idea. It being filmed so aesthetically humdrum turns those moments surreal, because you can’t tell what was purposeful. ‘Intentionally amateurish,’ perhaps; amateurish enough to get lost between reality and unreality. It feels like someone, from scratch, from nothing, creating something wholly strange. And strange, brothers? Strange is deserving of its own elemental symbol. It is far too rare to go unremarked.

The non-stop excitement

of being herself.


without the facts to back them up.

The profession

of dying.