Yes, sadly it is catch-up time again.
Some of the movies I have to mention I don’t remember anything about. Which is lame, as that was the whole point to this blog anyway. Oh well, life is busy… Family, work, commute, Runescape… So little time left.
So in no order at all, here are some of the movies of the last year or so that I can both recall, and have not the inclination to write up anything on…
Shaun of the Dead. Yes, well, focusing on the genuinely humorous aspects of the walking dead, this movie reminds us that zombie movies aren’t always dumb and boring. Pegg and Frost’s antics as they try to deal with their personal lives, the zombies and trying to spend some quality time at the Winchester make for many good scenes. Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite movies of the last decade or so and very re-watchable with great action, a terribly clever and funny script and also just a great zombie flick. Though the record throwing scene in the backyard is my favorite, this movie is filled with great scenes! Also, everyone in this plays delightfully as it features some great actors… Simon Pegg (of course), the always impressive Bill Nighy in a really great role as Pegg’s step-father and, even our faves, Lucy Davis and Martin Freeman from The Office show up.
Sadly, I don’t remember The Diving Bell and the Butterfly well at all. I remember thinking that it was quite good, fascinating and engaging. But I don’t remember much else… The true story of an Elle editor who is suddenly stricken with an ailment that leaves him mentally sound but physically unable to move beyond blinking. He writes a book via his therapist through a laborious method of spelling words out by blinking and her transcribing what he has spelled. The movie covers the experience of writing that book, the experiences of his mind in this state, and also remembrances of his earlier, more mobile, life. The wherewithal that he showed in continuing on with what he wanted to do in the light of his condition is impressive… And his imaginations and flashbacks offer a fascinating look at his life and thoughts.
Layer Cake. I really enjoyed this… Yet another great British crime film! Daniel Craig is quite successful in the cocaine business. So successful, in fact, that he in planning to retire. Of course, success in this business generally means that you are providing your bosses with some success also, something that they make not smile upon losing. His boss gives his some final tasks. Final tasks that look to possibly become his truly final tasks. Craig’s situation starts to go downhill as he gets tangled in this mess of intrigue, with many layers of deceit going on here involving all sorts of trouble: ecstasy, cocaine, Serbian drug dealers, hired thugs and plenty of back-stabbing.
9/11. This was fascinating. A September 11th documentary that did not set out to be any such thing. When (in real life!) a couple of French documentary filmmakers happened to be cover an FDNY station when the planes hit. The movie, which I was seeing for the first time, was an unparalleled depiction of the reality of being on the ground in Manhattan during the incident, and what is what like to the Fire Department. The footage is like nothing I have ever seen before. And the exposure to people suffering through it, while they were actually doing it and trying to figure out what was going on is very tragic and moving. Fascinating, horrifying, essential viewing for anyone with any interest at all in the 9/11 attacks.
Grey Gardens. Well, I’ve seen this too many times to really comment on it. A documentary about two narcissistic women, a mother and daughter, who were once young and well-to-do (related to Jackie Onassis), but by the time this was made, were living off pet food in a dilapidated mansion. Featuring, primarily, the women, the filmmakers and the young neighbor who does odd jobs for them. The film is an unsettling precursor to real life psychological dramas such as Hoarders or Intervention, but the issues being guilt, bitterness, hostility, paranoia and egos so unabashedly huge that their troubling relationship with each other and the world has no need of stacking up junk or substance abuse to be apparent.
The War of the Worlds wasn’t as great as I remember it from youth, Still a great movie visually with the neat-o alien ships and there mass destruction of everything. But it was boring in parts and carried a distinct christian overtone that I don’t really recall.
Supposedly, we Watched The Godfather 1 and 2. I have no recollection of doing this recently, in the last couples of years. But it is quite possible. And I can safely say that they remain two of the best films ever made. Though they are both unquestionably great, I do prefer part 2, mainly for the 1950′s in Tahoe stuff.
Punch-Drunk Love This was pretty funny. While a comedic role with outbursts of anger seems a bit short in its potential, it works well here and Punch-Drunk Love becomes both a funny and a thoughtful film.
Once. Again, I hardly remember this. I recall that is was pleasant enough and I enjoyed the Dublin backdrop.
Bright Star. A movie about Keats. I don’t remember anything at all about it.
The Straight Story. I don’t really recall this. I don’t think I was that moved by it though.