recent films and so on

As you know, I’ve been watching a film a day, which puts me, now, at twenty one for the year. It’s really not as difficult as it seems. It just means wasting less time on the internet and doing something sort of productive with that time. I might not be able to remember all the films I’ve watched since I last updated, but I’ll try.

August, Osage County is a very strong film and also an incredibly awkward and uncomfortable one. I guess this is what it’s like to live in a family full of people who hate one another, but try to love each other. Great acting by great actors in it, but it’s about substance abuse and addiction, incest, molestation, suicide, loss, divorce, and other such unhappy topics. So, while it’s very good, I doubt I’ll ever even consider watching it again.

Prince Avalanche is pretty delightful, in its own way. I found it pretty funny and Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch are entertaining together. It says some things about life and what it means to live the life you want, and there’s surprisingly good cinematography. But mostly it’s a buddy comedy turned inside out and looked at through a peculiar lens.

Wolf of Wall Street is bloated, unimaginative, but pretty entertaining. It has some Fear and Loathing sort of comedy going on, but probably half the scenes drag on too long, and the complete and utter hollowness of the film leaves you needing a lot more. It’s very polished, well acted, but the direction is a mess. It manages to occupy three hours without saying anything, about its protagonist or about its viewers. Again, it feels sort of like a Goodfellas remake but one that drags its feet and doesn’t know where it’s going or even what it wants to do. It’s frat boy cinema, and many people will love it for all the wrong reasons that so many people love Mad Men, which runs into a lot of the same problems. They’re about the hyper-affluent living luxuriously and horrifyingly. They’re everything that’s wrong with the world. Racist, homophobic, misogynist characters full of avarice and malice, using people, destroying lives, and singing and dancing the entire time. And we’re invited to sing and dance with them, but the camera never turns to us and makes us even want to examine corporatism or capitalism or consumerism. Instead it’s just an epic comedy about the hilarious and reckless lives these idiots lived. And then they get away with it. In fact, it even turns an eye on those who caught him, either telling us there’s no reward for doing the right thing or to humiliate them for not jumping on the bandwagon. I don’t know. I’ve never liked Scorsese so it’s easy for me to just call this stupid, but I actually think it’s gross and manipulative.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a decent film. I really like Ben Stiller, though I know most don’t. I think he makes pretty good films, and this one mostly suffers because it’s overly ambitious and not willing to reach where it aims. It’s fine enough. Too long by about half an hour, considering what it is.

Total Recall, the remake, or re-imagining, with Colin Farre;l, Jessica Biel, and Kate Beckinsale is exciting and all that. It’s enjoyable enough. I don’t remember the original well enough to compare, but I think I much prefer the original. This one’s full of all sorts of cool technology, and a lot of really stupid ones, and Kate Beckinsale spends the whole movie jumping off ledges and grimacing, teeth bared, at the camera. Jessica Biel sort of doesn’t do very much except be attractive and a love interest. One thing I really like about it, though, is that it never answers whether or not it’s real or just in his Recall dream. It’s very clear that Farrell’s character believes it’s real, but there’s never actually anything in the movie that gives you an answer there. I actually imagine this is just a directorial and script oversight, but that failing makes the movie much more interesting than it actually is.

Dallas Buyers Club is just great. It’s not as good as some of the other great films this year, but it’s a very solid addition to the year. I just don’t think anything’s as good as Upstream Color, but Dallas Buyers Club is still really solid. McConaughey does an amazing job, as does Jared Leto. It’s interesting and emotional and surprisingly funny, considering it’s about dying of AIDS. Definitely worth seeing.

I think there’s one more film I watched to be accounted for but I don’t remember so it couldn’t have been that great, yeah?

Lots of work to do this week. Chelsea may be buying a car today, too, which is exciting.

Back to 13 Angels Screaming at the Mountain.

Once more, I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to my indiegogo. It’s officially over and I love you all, so very much.

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