March 2018’s Feature Filmery


Inside Out (2015):

It's hard to express how important this movie is to me. And when a kid wants to watch it, I say yes. Because I think watching this film can make you a better person.

This time through I was thinking about representation, so let's admit this is white, heteronormative, and cis. At least on the surface. When I started thinking about it, I realized the various looks inside people's heads are a bit more complicated. But honestly, I'll save these questions for other movies. Inside Out is doing too much important work in other parts of my psyche. I really believe that regular viewings of this film will keep us healthy and in communication with one another. Plus, it lets me cry in front of my children. So there's that.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016):

This seems to be a film that will always be enjoyable, every time viewed---not just funny and entertaining, but warm and heartfelt.

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993):

First, what a cast. The new cover Amazon's providing shows this better than the original, which though Joe Montegna was the biggest deal, but deigned to mention Ben Kingsley and Lawrence Fishburne. It also includes, in smaller roles, William H. Macy, Laura Linney, and Tony Shalhoub. That's not it but, I mean, Macy's credited as Tunafish Father. Heh.

The movie holds up,* and the scenes I remembered are still the highlights. But it also has a certain poignancy it didn't have before. The main kid we now know would drop out of college. The antagonist kid was abused as a child. Bobby Fischer came in and out of hiding and was basically insane all the way through death of renal failure. Not a lot of happy endings after the credits rolled.

* Unfortunately, our viewing experience was far from ideal so I don't know how trustworthy my thoughts are. The HDMI cord kept losing video and some weird glitch with the dvd made audio disappear; then I would have to reset the movie to just after that moment of loss so we wouldn't lose sound again but also miss out on as little as possible. The movie ended up taking us two nights to watch. Absurd.

Also, what is Ben Kingsley's accent here? And what's his real accent?

Whatever. It was good. That's enough.

Fences (2016)x2:

This movie gets better each time I see it. Choices I disagreed with on early viewings or didn't understand (including camera work which I originally thought drew too much attention and now find invisible in its support of the story) I have come around on.

Although! If I ever have the chance to ask Denzel Washington one question, I'm going to ask what's the deal with those windows Troy keeps looking at.

Two scenes are guaranteed to make me weep. The first is Viola Davis's Oscar clip and the second is Cory breaking down as he and Raynell sing together. But there are plenty of other highlights. Troy's inability to keep a proud face after Rose takes the baby. The montages, notably the shot of Gabe's bed. Gabe's pain when the horn won't blow and his matter-of-fact pleasure when it does. Terrific writing supported by terrific acting and solid direction.

Colossal (2016):

Here's an interesting thing:

Given the cast and the trailer, I expected a comedy. And, sure, it is a comedy. At least Aristotle would likely say so. But it's not a comedy as you and I instinctively define comedy.

This is a pretty serious movie. Depression, alcoholism, abuse. The fact that a silly monster-movie conceit does not collapse under this weight is impressive, frankly. But it does not.

I have a couple nitpicks: the paper suddenly coming loose at the right moment, the length of a certain airplane flight, the suspension-of-disbelief-damaging stupidity of Koreans. That's really it. Only the third one got in the way of the experience, and when dumb people are the least believable part of a monster movie, you're definitely in a proper monster movie.

I didn't know I wanted a cozy kaiju movie. This is why it's best to make the movie you want and not guess what the world wants.

Then again, it lost money. At least considering box office only. But most of my favorite movies land that way. And I'm not saying this is my favorite movie, but it will be for a lot of people. It will find its audience. Wait and see.

What We Do in the Shadows (2014):

This is the third time I've seen this movie and it's gone from less than I hoped to more than I remembered to a comfortable favorite. Would happily watch again! Invite me over!

Chinatown (2006):

This documentary doesn't exactly give one optimism for our abilities to cross cultural boundaries. Here we have people---all of whom have good intentions and assume the best intentions in others---who are constantly and utterly flummoxed by differences in expectations and understandings that they simply could not imagine and cannot understand.

What's most frustrating, maybe, is that it's what has attracted the Swedes to the Chinese that causes the Swedes problems, and it's what attracted the Chinese to the Swedes that causes theirs.

The world is complicated place, largely, thank you, to the people it carries.

Frankenstein (1931)

The more I see it, the better it gets.

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Same with this one. Although, those homunculi never get less weird....

Previous films watched

jan feb mar apr may jun jul aug sep oct nov dec






1 comment:

  1. .

    [EDIT: Forgot to add the Franks, so I went back and did that. I'm not sure they are in EXACTLY the correct spot, but it's very close if wrong.]