My Week in Film (4/20 - 4/26)

The Cameraman (1928)
(Directed by Edward Sedgwick)

This was so great! Keaton runs around trying to impose order on chaos as he becomes a cameraman for the newsreels. Of course, there's a girl involved and that part where they go the pool is pretty cool cuz of nipples and stuff and whatever. Also dug the pre-Vertov shit that Keaton turns in as signs of amateurishness. That shit was hilarious as is everything in this. Specially, the suggestion that a monkey can direct a movie just as well as anyone.


Chicago (2002)
(Directed by Ron Marshall)

The thing is... I want to see these people dance and sing and the joy and beauty and flowing movement that the best musicals can bring about is nowhere to be seen here. Just a bunch of distractions to what should be the main attraction. Plus the main participants, the aesthetics, the choices, thematics, everything about this is annoying. Couldn't even finish it.


Eagle Eye (2008)
(Directed by D.J. Caruso)

Totally ridonkulous PATRIOT ACT GONE AWRY story with some of the weirdest, over-the-top nonsense I've ever seen in a movie. Dawson is wasted as is Monaghan or whatever. Even Stevens is fun, I like him, but he strikes me the same as DiCaprio. He's playing at being grownup, you know? Just grow a beard and that's it! Anyway, I was having a lot of fun with it, a whole lotta of retarded fun, but then the movie pussies out and says "oh no, it was just the computer! not the government!" BORING! Have the balls to place the blame of your totally ridiculous premise on the president or something and please have your characters remain dead when they've been shot like 9 times.


Hancock (2008)
(Directed by Peter Berg)

It's pretty dumb, formulaic stuff at the beginning if amusing... but then it turns all weird as fuck with erratic shifts in tone. The revelations and the shit it tries to dig at are interesting if handled far too clumsily. However, it's consistently interesting even as it missteps (specially with that one dude from Happy-Go-Lucky, that shit is just dumb). What I found most interesting was just that at least it went beyond its dumb premise of "will smith is an asshole superhero" and went to places of sadness, betrayal, weird clunkiness, BOOYAH.

Gettin' Jiggy Wit It is a good song.


Swing Time (1936)
(Directed by George Stevens)

I'm not sure movies get better than this. Well, they probably do. This was ridiculously awesome. I didn't even notice that the first singing/dancing bit happens 25 minutes into it. I really didn't care though cuz the actors/script were so wonderful, I was smiling throughout... and then Ginger appeared... and, yeah. There probably wasn't enough singing and dancing but what there was so amazing that it made up for everything. I also loved just how good the movie worked on a purely narrative level. Hilarious/touching stuff! Anyway, Astaire/Rogers have captured my heart... now let's just hope there's no more blackface in the other ones (even if done as tastefully as that sort of thing can be done in a movie...).


Crank (2006)
(Directed by Mark Neveldine + Bryan Taylor)

Absolute crime against humanity. Just seriously terrible. Pretty much everything that's wrong with action movies. Aesthetically, it's repellent. Everything else-wise, it's the same (although I guess that's the joke). The problem is that it's only moderately funny. Most of the time, it's just nasty and dumb. I don't like that combination.

My Life To Live (1962)*
(Directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

hmmm, yeah.

I'm not entirely sure why this isn't as heartbreaking as it should be... There are moments that definitely are. The obvious part is when Karina watches Passion of Joan of Arc - she's enveloped in darkness but her face shines beautifully, a tear down her cheek. La Mort. I almost wish I had such a reaction to that movie. Seeing Falconetti's face brings back memories that should've been. Weird. Another part is when I guess Godard reads that one Poe thing and you just see these startlingly beautiful shots of Karina in semi-profile and it's like the best thing ever and I wish every single movie ever was like that... and the whole movie's kinda like that for me. Hot and Cold. Some moments are great, others are sorta dull but still fascinating cuz of how they're shot or whatever. I don't know, I feel like this should be the most heartbreaking thing ever and it isn't for me and I feel like a douche. Oh wellz.


Un Chien Andalou (1928)
(Directed Luis Bunuel + Salvador Dali)


Does very little for me, unfortunately. I thought I would get a kick out of some pretty cool images untethered to anything but that didn't happen for me unfortunately. Mostly, I was just bored. SARI EVERYONE OMG


Exiled (2006)
(Directed by Johnnie To)

We call this shit awesome where I'm from.

I really loved the western-style opening however it corny it may be. To directed the fuck out of this shit, seriously. And then switching to a crazy ass gun fight to warm and lovely dinner by candlelight. The switch is rather severe but the fact that it happens is awesome. I also like how To achieves this weird camaraderie between men by basically bending over backwards to put them all into the frame all at once. It's pretty funny and awesome and lovable. The story isn't all that great and the motifs of coin-flipping and stuff are cringe-worthy but who cares when the action/storytelling/etc is so good. Fuck people, basically.


Schindler's List (1993)*
(Directed by Steven Spielberg)

It's pretty good despite itself. I mean, I can't help but like it cuz everything about it technically is pretty much perfect and the narrative is quick and easy, hollywood-style. Of course, the subject matter complicates things: should you even make a quick and easy hollywood-style movie about the holocaust? Well, this shit ain't the reader or something. Most of the time Spielberg treats his subject somberly and with the proper respect it deserves even if that subject is filtered through the story of a Nazi/profiteer/etc who redeems, etc. I have ginormous problems with the scene where they take those women to get gassed and then they don't and Amon Goth is such a ridiculous compendium of all the crazy, evil, nazi cliches that I don't know what to do with him. That one scene where he goes around sparing people is so retarded since it's only done so you can feel bad when he gets fed up and randomly kills someone. Anyway, I can't deny the power of some of this shit - that entire Krakow guetto sequence is astounding and the power of its images, the collective message, etc, all that good stuff is working for a greater good or something. It doesn't matter if you shouldn't really make this movie, i'm glad that you can and I'm glad that it exists. Well, I haven't seen Shoah so what the fuck do I know...


Jhon's Movie of the Week is...
Swing Time

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