004 - 2014.01.09
I just finished a series called The Story of Film, an extensive (and exhaustive) 15 hour documentary about global cinema. Film historian Mark Cousins has a thesis about each decade in cinema history and he follows the thread of his thesis, often disregarding filmmakers that contradicts it. It’s a pretty inspiring body of work and well worth the time invested in it.
The short epilogue of the series ponders on Inception being the future of cinema, and made me want to see the film again. Coincidentally, while I browsed my dusty collection of Blu-Rays (which lays haphazardly in my basement floor at the moment) and saw the familiar cover, still shrinkwrapped, so I popped it in my player.
It was a strange feeling to reacquaint myself with Inception, everything looked too familiar, and lacked the wonder and punch of the cinema experience, it made me hate the movie a little bit, despite my recognition of Nolan’s skill.
Is a cerebral experience like Inception good because of that first great feeling upon seeing it? Does a movie have to deliver and emotional link every single time it’s seen to be good? to be great even? Looking back at Nolan’s filmography I find that he’s one of those intellectual film makers but his movies tend to be one-trick ponies (except for TDK).
I love the movies of Roland Emmerich, he delivers spectacles in cinematic scale that leaves me satisfied and amazed once the credits roll, and every time I try to revisit his movies I feel a little icky about that first rush. The second time his movies lose their sheen and become instantly dated. But I can’t call him a bad film maker, I just have to know that I can’t see his movies twice. Ever.
I can still watch The Dark Knight every day of my life and be happy. So I’m not ready to shove Nolan in the watch-but-once category. I just hope he has another Dark Knight in him.
003 - 2014.01.06
Mike Judge is perhaps the filmmaker that can best synthesize the tedium and dullness of stupidity. His characters exist in a fog of self-absorption, operating within a very simple story that they can’t fully understand. His humor is based on seeing the characters stumble on the maze that he designs for them.
I am a fan. I consider King of The Hill the best animated series ever made, the pacing is simple, the characters are well defined, and the thesis of the show is that being fundamentally good eventually pays off. Hank Hill is a saintly figure that carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, avoiding the temptations of laziness and corruption. He navigates the complexity of being a good neighbor, father and worker, he dares us to be better citizens.
Jason Bateman plays a character in the middle of that struggle, he fights against temptations and falters, he wavers between doing the right thing and giving in to temptation, and in the moment of conversion things unravel. And yes, the movie is funny. And it’s on Netflix, so there is absolutely no excuse not to see it.
002 - 2014.01.03
Yep, still don’t get it.
I know I’m supposed to read an indictment on the lack of consequence of the elites, buying their way into, and out of hedonistic behaviors and obsessing pettily about minutiae. But all I see is a kaleidoscope of blood on white, moving around in the screen without sense and purpose.
I can audibly laugh on some of their obsession of business card design, and the monotonous musings of the sublime nature of Phil Collins. But I can’t call this movie good.
I can’t understand the fascination with heavily flawed movies that worship horribly portrayed characters, why should we care about Patrick Bateman? because it’s on screen? Because the camera follows him?
This movie seems to share the dorm-room-wall hall of fame with Scarface, and like Scarface. I don’t get it.
For an operatic crime drama, with a charismatic lead. I recommend the brilliant film Bronson. Currently available on Netflix Instant Watch.
001 - 2014.01.01
Wizard People Dear Reader is a re-envisioning of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, narrated by comedian Brad Neely (if you’re unfamiliar with him you should definitely YouTube him).
You can download the Neely’s audio track and play it along your copy of the movie. It has become a yearly tradition for me to watch it with some friends. It is offensive, crude, lyrical, and infinitely more entertaining than the original movie.