Over the course of a week I watch a lot movies and neglect my responsibilities and personal hygiene, all for your benefit. Here is the list of movies I have seen this past week. Try to keep up:
Inglorious Basterds – This was a rewatch from my summer viewing. The fact that it is a rewatch should tell you I like it. If it doesn’t, I will tell you: I like it. A lot. Tarantino uses his trademark dialogue in a meaningful way (a nice rebound from Death Proof which, though I think the idea behind all that dialogue was sound, was a lot less hip than maybe he thought it was) and sets you on a fun rewrite of history. The acting was well done, top to bottom, with the top being Christoph Waltz who puts on a delicious performance. And say what you want about Tarantino, the guy knows how to make a film. See the movie that is quickly becoming my favorite of his.
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – The long title is a pretty good way to foreshadow the pacing of this movie. It was slow, methodical and brilliant. I had seen this in the theater twice (not something I normally do for a movie with this little nudity), and remembered liking it a lot. So last week I was out and saw it on sale at the local movie shop and decided, to forego using the money for my dinner, and bought the movie. Money and hunger well spent. One of the best of the decade. Fact. The train robbery scene alone is worth the price of admission. Just thinking about this scene gives me chills. I have said before and I will continue to travel these here United States saying it again until everyone listens: the western is one of the best contributions to cinema that America has made. TAoJJbtCRF is a fantastic film that continues to illustrate that this genre is still a well with plenty left to give.
Public Enemies – You know when you meet someone and they are all, “hey, my name is Margaret,” and you are all like, “cool about the name thing,” but then you walk away and instantly forget their name? That is Public Enemies. Overall pretty forgettable, which surprised me because I like Bale, Depp and shootouts. The whole movie felt weird, like walking in pudding shoes. And you might think to yourself, “hey, I like pudding, and I like shoes,” but trust me do not mix the two. The direction was a bit lost, and the camera work seemed a bit too modern for this type of movie. It was shot on video, and worse it looked like it was shot on video. This was a giant distraction for me that I was never quite able to get over. I wouldn’t go as far as saying avoid this, but I wouldn’t say seek it out either.
Baraka – If a person comes away from a movie and just mentions cinematography, it is probably, overall, a failed movie. You typically do not sit down and watch a movie just for a good visual/pretty pictures. You want a little substance, a story, characters (even in some abstract existence), and by not providing these, you have, in my awesome opinion, a failed movie (*cough* Avatar *cough*). Now take what I said and unapply it to Baraka. Visually stunning, beautifully shot, the cinematography was one of the main points. So even if you came away from this movie just talking about the look, the film still worked. Luckily, though, it provided much more: it gave a narrative that was wide open to interpretation. None of the images lingered longer than they should have. I highly recommend it, but know what you are getting into before you pop this in on a date.