BP Movie Journal 5/28/15

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2 Responses

  1. Boothe says:

    The River is playing at TIFF, August 1st, if any Toronto area listeners are interested in seeing on the big screen.

    http://tiff.net/summer2015-cinematheque/dreaming-in-technicolor/the-river

  2. Steven says:

    Going Clear: 7/10 – I knew nothing about Scientology so I found everything in this fascinating. While it’s not an attitude I normally like, I appreciated the film’s refusal to even bother trying to remain objective and recognize the other side of the story. Gibney clearly finds Scientology to be dangerous bullshit and doesn’t even feign an interest in their side of things. When Bill Maher did it in Religulous, I hated it but here it didn’t bother me.

    Tales of the Grimm Sleeper: 6/10 – A good documentary that really makes you frustrated and horrified with what went on and continues to go on in these neglected communities. However, I did think that it ran out of new things to say pretty quickly and just repeated itself until the end.

    Marathon Man: 5/10 – I didn’t get anything out of this other than Laurence Olivier’s performance. The ending is just silly, as is the notion that Dustin Hoffman’s character can endure intense torture just because he is a marathon runner. Mostly forgettable.

    The Fisher King: 6/10 – Wanted to like this more as Gilliam is one of my favorites and both Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges give great performances. I had a problem reconciling the film’s attempt at humanizing the homeless with the way Gilliam shoots them. He still shoots them in that off kilter, oddball way that really doesn’t mesh with the film’s message. There are times when it feels like Gilliam is being a bit patronizing.

    Venus in Fur: 7/10 – I was a bit unsure about this one as it went along but it really solidified itself for me in its ending; the quote at the end really put a nice button on everything. Not so much a battle of the sexes as it is a trial of the duplicitous ways male artists attempt to control the women in their work. Both actors were fantastic, especially Emmanuelle Seigner.

    Mad Max: Fury Road: 8/10 – I actually saw this twice during the week I loved it so much. I was skeptical going in as I did not enjoy the Mad Max nor Road Warrior but this one is just nonstop fun. I may have to go back and re-watch the originals to see if I was wrong about them.

    The Snowtown Murders: 6/10 – I found this to be mostly empty despite great performances and director Justin Kurzel’s complete control over mood. He maintains an intense level of dread throughout but without any real connection to the story or characters, it was all just kind of numbing.

    Beyond the Black Rainbow: 2/10 – I really did not like this movie. I always hate when filmmakers try to reverse engineer cult movies. It so clearly wants to be the type of movie that you would be scared of renting when you were younger and you saw it of the local video store. But I don’t think filmmakers made movies for that purpose back then; they were genuine attempts to make something good. There isn’t anything genuine about this movie; it just so self-aware.

    A Touch of Sin: 7/10 – The first Zhangke Jia film I have seen and I really enjoyed it. Each of the film’s four stories explores a different aspect of violence and it’s role in modern China. The film’s ending reminded me of The Wolf of Wall Street. In that film, Scorsese wants us to confront our own culpability in fostering a society where people like Jordan Belfort are created and idolized. Here, Zhangke Jia seems to point the finger at the public for their interest in these violent crimes and their apathy for doing anything about them.

    Bringing Up Baby: 8/10 – This was the hardest I’ve ever laughed at a classic Hollywood comedy. I had only known Cary Grant from Hitchcock movies so seeing his comedic skills was really a revelation for me. Same goes for Katherine Hepburn who more than just holds her own. I see myself revisiting this one often.

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