My Week in Film (1/25 - 1/31)

The Lady in the Water (2006)
(Directed by M. Night Shyamalan)

This movie is fucking infuriating.

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944)
(Directed by Preston Sturges)

I don't have words other than "funny," "cute" and "stuff" because. . .


35 Shots of Rum (2008)*
(Directed by Claire Denis)

Because this movie was still playing around in my head. It's basically moment to moment perfect and about things I care about and done in a way that I find endlessly watchable. That entire commodores sequence is pretty much a masterclass and emotional in all the ways that count, and the necklace shot is probably my shot of the year and i was kinda tearing up just at the beginning credits with that incredible score and the neverending rails.


Whip It (2009)
(Directed by Drew Barrymore)

It's formulaic-to-the-max, but essentially harmless and forgettable and it goes down easily enough. The people are all good (really liked the friendship between Maeby and Juno) and all that was cool and I even dug the wardrobe and the glasses and all that stuff that reminded me of people that I used to hate but probably liked (even though they were all terrible and self-absorbed and deserved nothing). It's kind of girl power obvious and I suppose that's okay and I smiled at the Jens Lekman songs and the underwater kiss was kind of stupid in a way, but also pretty sweet and cute, and I was charmed (even though I don't like tattoos) and we was robbed and the whole thing stunk of desperation and calculation, but Barrymore managed to evoke a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Or maybe I was in a good mood. Nah, definitely not. That makes no sense.


To Be or Not to Be (1942)
(Directed by Ernst Lubitsch)

Kindred spirits with The Great Dictator and Inglourious Basterds in a way (with the former's ridiculing of the Nazi image) and the latter's theater climax shenanigans. While Inglourious Basterds sought to end the Third Reich with cinema, Lubitsch's film is probably smaller in its ambitions. Its characters use acting as a weapon and also as a method of survival. Parts of this film actually come off as genuinely suspenseful and show that Lubitsch was comfortable working in different registers and doing these quasi-espionage set pieces. It was cool. Lest I make it all sound all serious and stuff, there's lots of hilarity to be found here. Really loved all the performances (particularly Lombard, and whoever played the guy who constantly went "Schultz!") and just found the whole thing REAL FUN. I didn't know I had it in me.


Project A 2 (1987)
(Directed by Jackie Chan)

Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao’s presence is sorely missed. But, Jackie doesn’t miss a beat. You got your former pirates looking for revenge, corrupt police deparment (and plenty of chances for Jackie to show what an outstanding guy he is) and, of course, your awesome blooper reel at the end (with Jackie singing the theme song!). Plus, if there were ever any doubt of the Keaton/Chan connection, look no further than Chan’s homage to Steamboat Bill Jr. late in the film. You see a tall building, you go up it, you jump off it and hit things on the way down. You see a chair, you throw it at a someone. Use your environment, roujin. The world demands it.


Police Story 2 (1988)
(Directed by Jackie Chan)

Again, not as good as the original. The bad guys from the first film are released from prison and they start messing around with Jackie and his girlfriend, Maggie Cheung. He’s demoted because of all the crazy shit he pulled in the first movie. And now there are some crazy blackmailers/terrorists out on the loose. The film loses a lot of “Jackie Chan Goes Rogue” feeling (and a general sense of “yeah, we’re pulling off some crazy shit”) and replaces it with Jackie actually trying to do police work. This involves bugging and tailing suspects and following orders, which is probably not as interesting (to me). Still, fun movie. What does this mean though? What does it mean to utilize all of the universe to ensure your survival? Whereas in Woo, bullets destroy the environment, in Chan, the human body is the destroyer. the roujin is near. can you feel him?


Jhon's Movie of the Week is... Project A 2 (shocker!!!)

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