Too many movies and not enough say about any of them; if I wait to post this until I can be bothered to say more than one word about most of them, I’m going to fall even further behind on posts, so here goes:
Yeah, sure. Teenage girl/middle-aged man pairings are always going to be super gross, but at least this ends up subverting some of the tropes that come with that–the way it plays out isn’t super cliched. In particular, the scene with the man basically telling his daughter that she’s boring and should aspire to be more like her friend (the teenage girl he’s sleeping with)–brutal. The two main teenage girl characters feel like types that we haven’t seen a million times before–or at least, more interesting/realized takes on the Bad Girl/Good Girl archetypes–and it’s an opportunity to see Jessica Brown Findlay and Felicity Jones (well, if we ignore her child acting career) before their major success. That said, I didn’t feel strongly about it and will probably mostly forget it in a few months–something about it maybe just didn’t feel fully developed enough to have sticking power.
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016)
I was curious about this despite not having watched the series and…it does not really make me want to watch the series. Too much gross-out humor/cringe comedy for my tastes. (And some pretty dated-feeling jokes–to some extent, that can be excused by the characters being horrible people living in the past, but it didn’t always feel intentional?)
I’m Still Here (2010)
Ugh, no. I realize that’s the conclusion everyone else arrived at 7 years ago, but I thought there might sill be something interesting or funny in there? Especially having just watched Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice. But no, rather than feeling like subversive performance art or commentary on celebrity culture or whatever, it’s just feels like a dumb frat-boy prank executed by super famous people with money to burn.
Almost Famous (2000)
Sure. I’m pretty over the whole “music is the Most Important Thing” sentiment, and that particular sort of non-musician music aficionado who takes great pride in their encyclopedic knowledge of records and concerts and having the Right Opinions about every band; I’m also pretty over the whole teenage boy obsessed with an older girl/woman and feeling entitled to her affection because he’s such a nice guy, unlike her current asshole boyfriend (who is, without a doubt, more physically attractive than the teenage boy. But only shallow bitches would care about that, right?) Both of these are kind of key elements to Almost Famous, though not as obnoxiously implemented as they could be, so that’s something.
Hello, Dolly! (1969)
Yes, great. Most of the tunes aren’t that memorable, but it’s basically everything that you want a mid-20th century musical film to be. And the costumes are amazing.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Force Majeure (2014)
Expected more, given how hyped this was a few years ago (in certain critical circles, anyway).
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)
Miss Sloane (2016)
20th Century Women (2016)
Sure, I guess?
Free Fire (2017)
I guess I said something similar about High-Rise (also directed by Ben Wheatley), but man, the set design/styling/cinematography was so good at conveying this sense of griminess. Especially the shot of a dude stepping on a used hypodermic needle—which provokes such a visceral oof. I sort of spent the movie waiting for there to be more of a plot, since I hadn’t looked up any details or read any reviews going in; but yeah, fine, that’s not what it’s trying to do. Instead, we spend almost the whole movie–which is a refreshingly brief 90 minutes–in the midst of a shoot-out in an abandoned warehouse. A gritty (but funny) shoot-out, where not everyone is a super competent shot and you actually see the characters reacting to/being affected by the injuries they pick up over the course of the movie (some of them even worry about infection, and based on the aforementioned griminess: yeah, they definitely should). It’s a purposeful subversion of the sexy explosions, unlimited artillery, and inhuman stamina we’re used to seeing in action movies; it’s kind of hilarious as it drags on and everyone is riddled with wounds and reduced to slithering on the dirty warehouse floor, and, again, similar to High-Rise, the audience starts wondering “Why don’t they just leave?” (The answer: money and, I guess, human nature.)
Also yesss Cillian Murphy in a movie I actually wanted to see. The past few year have been great for his television career (Peaky Blinders) but less so for his filmography (Transcendence, In the Heart of the Sea. Maybe Anthropoid would be okay, but war movies are so not my genre.)
Sing Street (2016)
Solid. I mean, really really charming; sort of unexpected given how lame Begin Again was and how unappealing Once sounds (all three written & directed by John Carney), but perhaps not so surprising given how much I love Duran Duran. If it had taken place in any other decade, it probably wouldn’t have been nearly as appealing. It’s delightful to see a seemingly non-judgmental take on these teenage boys (although I think it would be more noteworthy if they were teenage girls) falling in love with the aesthetics of various different 80s groups and trying on different identities based on them, since it seems like a lot of music movies take the stance that focusing on a band’s aesthetic is shallow (and having an aesthetic at all is a gimmicky, crowd-pleasing move) and True Fans only care about the Objective Quality of the music.
The Forbidden Room (2015)
What the fuck. WHAT THE FUCK.
Get Out (2017)
Adult Beginners (2014)