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Old 06-24-2009, 11:40 PM   #706
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The only caveat is, while Bay is certainly aware of his reputation, I suspect he still thinks everything he does in these movies is genuinely entertaining. It's still a far cry from the meta self-aware bullshit we've seen the last few years.

However, don't get me wrong. I'm still going to try my hardest to not see this movie. But I have a suspicion there still won't be anything else to see this coming week, as Public enemies doesn't come out till the 1st, and my weekly days off end the day before. We'll see.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:44 PM   #707
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This is definitely not something uttered by Special Lady Friend.


Sorry, didn't catch this at first.
I'm the Bob Cousy to your Bill Russell.

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The only caveat is, while Bay is certainly aware of his reputation, I suspect he still thinks everything he does in these movies is genuinely entertaining. It's still a far cry from the meta self-aware bullshit we've seen the last few years.

However, don't get me wrong. I'm still going to try my hardest to not see this movie. But I have a suspicion there still won't be anything else to see this coming week, as Public enemies doesn't come out till the 1st, and my weekly days off end the day before. We'll see.
That's how I got sucked into it. The worst part is I had one guy I went with, who I'm not friends with anyway, trying to convince me that it was a good movie and explaining things to me that "I didn't understand" or telling me that I was "expecting too much." Fuck that, I went in with the lowest possible expectations I possibly could for any movie.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:50 PM   #708
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That's how I got sucked into it. The worst part is I had one guy I went with, who I'm not friends with anyway, trying to convince me that it was a good movie and explaining things to me that "I didn't understand" or telling me that I was "expecting too much." .
I kind of love when those sorts of things happen.
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Old 06-24-2009, 11:53 PM   #709
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I kind of love when those sorts of things happen.
It was priceless trying to hear him explain why there was an old British robot when guys like Optimus or The Fallen are older than that guy anyway.

"He's not as powerful as those guys, that's why!"
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:33 AM   #710
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I might was well try to get out a brief rundown of the shit I watched yesterday before I don't feel like it any more.

The Limits of Control - 10
*sigh* I kind of need to write something over-long and self-indulgent to really explore what I love about this so much (which I might do later on), but I'll spare you the agony of that. This film is essentially the ultimate exploration and distillation of all Jarmuch's formal preoccupations and fascinations to date. It's a painstakingly meticulous construct in the mode of a musical "themes and variations" form, much like his previous Night on Earth, Coffee and Cigarettes, or Broken Flowers. Only this time the formal experimentation takes center stage to a degree I can't recall seeing from any American filmmaker in decades, at least from a fairly well established if still technically independent director like Jarmusch. People actually thought he was entering more accessible territory after his last film, but now I understand the wholly dismissive reaction critics had to Limits. It's easily his most difficult and deceptively dense work to date.

That said, it's probably also best along with Dead Man, which itself was a fairly formal construction. However where that film had a compelling spiritual center, Limits firmly roots itself in meta-narritive minimalist ponderings of the relationship between art and reality, between artists and the audience. I won't dig into the intricacies of what Jarmusch puts on the screen here, since I tried to keep this short and I doubt anyone else here even got to see this, but explicitly the film deals with the zen-like procedures of a silent hit man and even ends with a less-than-gentle condemnation of American foreign policy. And while most critics seem to have interpreted the title in relation to these two elements, I feel it's more convincingly referring to the limits of artistic control. How does a film, a painting, a piece of music address reality and endeavor conversation with its audience? To what degree can an artist with a singular piece of work control his expression? That's what the film examines by way of its wild formal experiments. It must also be said much of this owes thanks to Christopher Doyle's absolute finest camera work to date, sitting right along side In the Mood for Love as the pinnacle of his talents. Any lesser cinematography (95% of those in the business) likely couldn't have achieved what this film required of him, and Doyle astoundingly contributes to so much of the rich layering and purely cinematic artistry at work here.

So yeah, despite having an unfortunately displeasurable viewing experience of this (I hadn't slept in 24 hours and my body was absolutely screaming, along with screening in a small uncomfortable theater, not to mention how utterly difficult the film itself it) I haven't been able to get it out of my head since I walked out, and its depths only continue to reveal themselves. It's the best thing I've seen this year and there's probably a fair chance it will remain as such unless Malick manages to distribute in this calendar year. That said I really need to rewatch this somehow to put all my observations back to the test. So much for brevity.

The Warlords - 5.0
Peter Chan is one of the most mainstream and successful directors in Hong Kong, and this is sort of like his Braveheart. Which means its bombastic, melodramatic, extremely violent and sort of not very good. Oh well, I'm still glad I got to see something as part of the NYAFF.

Moon - 7.0
Intelligent sci-fi is so rewarding. Even the not-so-great pieces of work are still more enjoyable than equally crafts films in other genres. Moon is one of those. It's meticulously designed, and Sam Rockwell gives the year's best performance to far. This is sort of like the ultimate sandbox for him to play around, and he really proves he's one of the best actors around here. That said, to discuss what makes the film sort of disappointing would mean spoiling what's also so good about it. I'll spare you. But even if the story ultimately fails because of a number of really stupid practical logic follies, it's still a very fun ride watching this mystery unravel. Also, you'd think coming from the son of David fucking Bowie, the movie's music wouldn't completely suck. But then you'd be wrong.

Tetro - 9.0
The second best movie of the year. Not any sort of overreaction to suggest Coppola is really back to the level of cinematic mastery he showcased in the 70s. I never thought going into this it would be able to surpass my love for Rumble Fish, but this is really his best work since Apocalypse Now. Stunning camera work and music. It's surprisingly funny, driven by some of his best performances since the aforementioned films. It also revels in much of the theatrical surrealist imagery Coppola has explored in the past, through some of his lesser films, only here it's not brought down by disappointing storytelling. The film does spin out into wildly bizarre territory in its final act, but it all works... beautifully. Everyone should try to see this.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:39 AM   #711
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Good to hear about Tetro. That you liked this more than YWY is a good sign to me.

I'm not a big Jarmusch fan (though I love Dead Man and Ghost Dog), and the reviews on this one have been VERY divisive. Doyle is really why I'm going to bother to see this.
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Old 06-25-2009, 12:49 AM   #712
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Good to hear about Tetro. That you liked this more than YWY is a good sign to me.

I'm not a big Jarmusch fan (though I love Dead Man and Ghost Dog), and the reviews on this one have been VERY divisive. Doyle is really why I'm going to bother to see this.
I still adore YWY's completely dive into the surreal, and it probably made more expressive use of its camera work and music. But on the whole Tetro is really a much stronger piece of work.

As for Jarmusch, if you're less a fan of his more formal stuff I can't say you're likely to like this one much at all. Though it's still impossible not to admire Doyle's work.
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Old 06-27-2009, 11:03 AM   #713
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Oh hi, Interference. I haven't done a review here in a while, probably since Watchmen or The Dark Knight, but the last movie I saw warrants this kind of attention. The film being, of course, Michael Bay's latest explosion-porn opus, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

There will be spoilers below, so don't read any further if you care to see it.

Going into it, I wasn't expecting much of anything. I had a free ticket from my purchase of the Ghostbusters game, and some passes for some good free pizza, so I was walking in with no-strings attached, nothing to lose. And holy shit, I was wrong. The first film wasn't anything great, but it had two things I love a great deal: giant fighting robots and hot girls (or at least one). If Bay and his crack writing staff of Kurtzman/Orci/other guy can deliver something like that again, then I wouldn't have to waste 2 and a half hours of my time.

Didn't happen.

Instead, I, and everyone else in the theater, was treated to the most overblown, offensive, and self-indulgent display of anything a "modern" action film can bring. Apparently a shard of the giant power rock from the first movie was still in LaBeouf's jacket, and when he shook it out 2 years later, shit started to go down. After deciding to leave his smoking hot mechanic girlfriend and giant fighting robot car at home, he goes off to college to meet Obnoxious Roommate who just knows robots are out there, too. His mother and father are fraught with emotion that their son is leaving, and in their sadness, the mom accidentally eats a pot brownie. Another hot girl who just isn't quite what she seems (maybe because she enjoys hitting on The LaBeouf) shows up, and so does Dwight Schrute. LaBeouf touched the rock thing, which means he knows everything about this super-secret OTHER power source that the Decepticons are looking for, and in his displays of super-knowledge, makes a face like Jorma when he jizzes his pants:



Obviously shit blows up, and two major characters die and come back during the course of the movie (LaBeouf visits Robot Heaven, I shit you not). Unfortunately, it's not any of the three new characters. The new Autobot twins, who are arguably the most offensive racist caricatures I've ever seen on film, complete with bug-eyes, gold teeth, and a penchant for spewing out ebonics, repeatedly do stupid shit and actually claim at one point that they "don't like to read." Incredible. Then, there's an old British robot who walks with a fucking cane who exists only to take LaBeouf, The Fox, Obnoxious Roommate, and Barton Fink to Egypt for some good 'ol-fashioned exposition.

This is turning into a blow-by-blow description instead of a legit review, and for that, I apologize. In short, it's fucking terrible. The visual effects are incredible, and hell, I really dug the score and sound design throughout. Props to ILM and any of the technical crew, but everyone else drops the ball. Halfway through the film, it literally abandons its main plot and starts making up a new one as it goes along, not only confusing the audience, but the characters in the movie, too. And the way Bay stages the action sequences, kind of resembling a shaky-cam-style done by a guy with palsy, leaves everything muddled and incomprehensible.

The humor isn't humorous, the action isn't action-y, and everything else in terms of character, tension, and plot is thrown out the window. I don't expect every movie to be intelligent dissections into the human condition, but I do expect it to follow the rules in the own world that it creates, if that makes sense.

If you want to spend $10 for this lobotomy passed as entertainment, be my guest, and have fun seeing the robot testicles.
but:



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Old 06-27-2009, 01:27 PM   #714
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No.
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:31 PM   #715
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but:



I'll buy an issue of Maxim and it'll spare me.

Oh, and I saw Spirited Away. Fucking incredible. When I get back in town, I'll probably write a bigger write-up or something, but hell yeah, just need to share.
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:32 PM   #716
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Finally got to see Quantum Of Solace.
What a dissapointment.
3/10
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:41 PM   #717
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Oh, and I saw Spirited Away. Fucking incredible. When I get back in town, I'll probably write a bigger write-up or something, but hell yeah, just need to share.
Well done.
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:45 PM   #718
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Well done.
I've got Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance to continue my Oughties Fest, but next step for Miyazaki? Howl's Moving Castle?
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:55 PM   #719
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You haven't seen ANYTHING else?

I'd do the earlier stuff first. May as well go right to Nausicaä.
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:03 PM   #720
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You haven't seen ANYTHING else?

I'd do the earlier stuff first. May as well go right to Nausicaä.
Good time to start then.
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