Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
Snowpiercer - 4/5
I miss comedic Chris Evans. That dude is the bomb. Even in Captain America, he’s still there beneath the stoicism; a beautiful naivete played for the occasional buffoonery. Here, he is just the super surrious parts and it’s a bit off-putting because, well, it’s not the strongest acting job, and it would threaten to weigh the movie down, except except except: that everything around him is so fucking weird. Tilda Swinton has the most possible fun of things and, from her appearance onwards, it’s this bizarro world placed next to this dude who does not smile and it works. It only works because he takes himself seriously, and so the division between the lower and upper carts is that much more night and DayGlo. It’s starting a war with a people who have no idea war was even an eventuality. You don’t believe you’re the bad guy because you don’t see the bad that you do. You can’t see what’s coming. That entire middle part is ‘The Raid’ by way of a circus train, but with a point!. And as much as a living metaphor the movie is, I don’t think it drives it hard enough. There are valuable points to be pushed – a need for a lower class, the unknowing blindness of the higher tiers, rising from below to above in order to help the below but enjoying the above way too much, the relative badness of the people at the bottom and the relative goodness of the people at top – and it just doesn’t press against them hard enough. It had the tone nailed enough to handle those questions in an interesting way, and so “start over” doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. That’s an easy answer to a very complex engine of history and human emotions. On the other hand: maybe I shouldn’t be looking for answers in a movie where a train never stops moving. I don’t know. It flew too close to the sun, so it makes me envious of what could be found there. IT FLEW TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN, BUT IT DID NOT MELT MY HEART. GUYS. GUYS. IS ANYONE HEARING THIS?
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Now You See Me - 2/5
National Treasure: Castle of Illusion! Magic doesn’t really work in movies so much. The whole idea of magic is ‘how da fuq?’ and, in movies, the answer is “movies.” It’s dumb and such an odd thing to have been made so seriously on such a large scale with such brand name people. How da fuq?
22 Jump Street - 4/5
It’s an almost completely unique movie. It walks along this thin line between outright parody and simply being a funny movie. It makes fun of the sequel/buddycomedy tropes and embraces them entirely and that doesn’t sound unusual in the least bit, but it is here because it creates this world where everyone is both stupid and smart, and you get to feel both stupid and smart. Stupidsmart™. It’s this very linear abstract thing and I love it to def.
A Million Ways To Die In The West - 2/5
I don’t hate Seth McFarlane. He has a heavily make-upped charm. A pleasant sheen. I don’t hate him. I just hate his humor. His delivery. Why tell a joke when you can say you’re going to tell a joke, tell it, then show it, then repeat it later? It’s blunt force comedy, designed for passive viewing – look up from your phone for a few seconds to catch one of the many iterations of the joke before returning to your Candy Crush. It’s surprising, actually, that the movie isn’t packed to the gills with jokey-jokes. It goes for character-building. Poor character building, but! There’s an attempt! I don’t hate Seth McFarlane. Just his total lack of… vulnerability? Humility? His complete surety in his person? I don’t know why I need my heroes to show a little crack, but I do; and I need him to. And he gets closer here than he did in any other thing. There is a learning here. This is better than ‘Ted,’ but it’s doing worse than ‘Ted,’ so I hope he keeps moving towards his neuroses, but I’m not sure that’s even a good lesson for him to learn if he wants to stay successful.