What Social Life? – Movies 2014: June

edge-of_tomorrow

More movies I watched in between being out in that supposed real world.

  • From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) – Dir. Robert Rodriguez
  • Invasion of the Astro Monster/Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (1965) – Dir. Ishirō Honda
  • Splintered (2010) – Dir. Simeon Halligan
  • My Bloody Valentine (1981) – Dir. George Mihalka
  • Escape From Tomorrow (2013) – Dir. Randy Moore
  • Edge of Tomorrow (2014) – Dir. Doug Liman
  • American Century episode 2  (2014) – Dir. Abhay Khosla: “Run. Run for your life.”
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) – Dir. Bryan Singer
  • Black Sunday (1960) – Dir. Mario Bava: English dub titled The Mask of Satan
  • World War Z – Unrated version (2013) – Dir. Marc Forster: This was hilarious.
  • King of New York (1990) – Dir. Abel Ferrera
  • Appetite (1998) – Dir. George Milton
  • Fantomas I: In the Shadow of the Guillotine (1913) – Dir. Louis Feuillade
  • Haunt (2013) – Dir. Mac Carter: Another incoherent IFC horror film. The company’s becoming the Sci-Fi channel for film festival assholes.
  • Malevolence (2003)/Bereavement (2011) – Dir. Stevan Mena: These should be a bigger deal than they are.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) + Shadow Cast – Dir. Jim Sharman: Showing at the Michigan Theatre in Jackson. I had heard for years about how raucous and obscene Rocky Horror crowds are, and this one was, but the most I got out of it was mild entertainment. I don’t know, it’s not my thing and I was in a foul mood that day, but even barring those circumstances I didn’t get anything out of it I wouldn’t have from watching just the movie. Like, “Oh, hey, you’re being irreverent towards a movie whose entire point is being irreverent? That’s…cool. I guess.” And the irreverence–the shouting commentary at the screen and throwing things, etc.–all came across rehearsed. Which makes sense for the shadow cast troupe, but the audience didn’t do anything particularly surprising. Whatever, it was alright.
  • Enemy (2014) – Dir. Denis Villeneuve: Must see.
  • Evil Dead 2 (1987) – Dir. Sam Raimi: Last minute viewing since Netflix was disappearing this.

Total: 19 (YTD: 82)

Kind of disappointed in myself for not writing up reviews of Edge of Tomorrow and X-Men: Days of Future Past. Then again, I don’t think I had any thoughts on these movies which weren’t expressed elsewhere–Tom Cruise’s Scientology video game version of Groundhog Day is as solid a blockbuster as they come, X-Men is pure momentum, based entirely on the now-convoluted mechanics of the film series, way more interesting than it is good (over at Disaster Year 20xx, Chris Ready’s gone and pointed out how the X-Men films have had more personal, artistic touch than Marvel’s in-house studio flicks, if only slightly). One thing which stood out to me about both, and I don’t think it’s been commented on much, is how they react to the modern direction of blockbusters. You know: CGI carnage eating up scores of anonymous soldiers and bystanders, buildings crashing into buildings, 9/11 disaster porn all over the place. Edge of Tomorrow confronts this with Tom Cruise reliving it over and over, learning not just how to be the action hero he is, but also how to be a human being who cares about the grunts he helped send off to die on some remote shore. Days of Future Past explicitly uses the bad storytelling choices from X-Men 3, and the informed backstory of First Class, to drive a plot entirely about undoing the callous mass murder and casual misogyny the franchise had built up. And there’s nothing anonymous in the way mutants are torn apart in the future scenes, either. Singer makes those uncomfortable to watch, even personal. It is nice to see blockbusters being rejigged to once again resemble something human.

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