Over the last few weeks I watched a bunch of movies.
This is not in order of preference, or in order of when I watched them. This is an unordered list.
Stir Crazy - Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in jail. I wanted to love this movie a lot, but I only liked it a bit. I bet it was insane when it came out, because it’s very silly to an almost Marx Brothers like level. But I found myself wanting more of them in jail and less of them dealing with lawyers and competing in the jail rodeo. Oh, there is a jail rodeo.
TrollHunter - I am sick of found footage movies. It feels like they use that concept to keep the story slight. They spend more time with teasing the reveals then developing the characters. And I can’t get past moments where they are driving and the camera is on the road in front of them. You’d either drop that camera, or face it towards the back at the GIANT TROLL facing you. Hell in Jurassic Park, everyone was facing the T Rex other then then guy driving. So why is the camera man facing forward?
That being said, I loved the effects of the Trolls. They felt almost claymation-y. Very old school Harryhausen. I just would have enjoyed a more straight forward delivery of these people discovering a troll hunter.
Hausu - batshit crazy. I tweeted about this a lot while watching it and when it was over because I had to talk about it. This is a movie to watch with friends so you can all talk about it while it’s happening. It’s about some girls who go to a haunted house and get killed. But every scene has weird stylistic choices, the characters are unapologetically just arch types (with names like Prof, Kung Fu, and Gorgeous), and the moments don’t generally make much sense.
Here is one of those moments. Kung Fu (who is great at Kung Fu) is fighting off all the inanimate objects that are being tossed at the girls. They realize a picture of a cat needs to be destroyed to stop the madness, but before Kung Fu can do that a ceiling lamp lands on her and eats the top part of her body. So her legs leap around until they kick the picture of the cat, unleashing a torrent of acidic blood.
This movie is not gross despite that description. The effects are bad. Also hilarious.
2012 - I didn’t mean to watch this, but I got caught up in it. I wanted to see how John Cusack and his family would survive the world blowing up around them. And then I got enraptured by the design of the destruction. Buildings collapsing, fire balls of earth, cars flying around. And in one moment, while the family is piloting their plane through this madness a train hurtles over them, and the characters stop being scared for a moment and watch it and say “whoa.” - as if they don’t believe it anymore either.
Taken - This movie is a blast. The scene where Liam’s daughter gets abducted is amazing. My only quibble is the 30 minutes leading up to it felt unimportant. Whatever information we learned in that time could have been delivered in 5-10 minutes. The sooner you get to the awesome abduction scene the better. “…what I do have are a very particular set of skills…”
Last Man on Earth - based on the same book as Will Smith’s ‘I am Legend’ and Charlton Heston’s “The Omega Man”, this one stars Vincent Price. Who is very good in this. The movie drags when it flashs back to before the virus had taken out everyone on the planet. The ending of this movie is cool. A nice reveal, and a nice final moment. It’s not great. It makes me wish the Will Smith version was better.
Soylent Green - Really cheezy set designs and some horrible green screening in this movie. And the reveal was already spoiled to me by tons of different things (most notably a Phil Hartman sketch from SNL that I can’t find a link to) but I still liked this movie a lot. I enjoyed the dystopian over-populated New York. 40 Million! That is more then 4 times what we have now. People covering stairwells and streets. Church’s over run by people with no place to go. And Charlton Heston unabashedly robbing the murdered victim’s apartment to get some rare real food, and using it’s shower.
Rocky - good. Rocky realizing he can’t win, but that he could go the distance is a great moment. Also great, the moment when Rocky floors Apollo in the first round. “He doesn’t know it’s a damn show! He thinks it’s a damn fight!”