What Social Life? – Movies 2014: August

The beat goes on:

  • Croc (2007) – Dir. Stewart Raffill
  • Thale (2012) – Dir. Aleksander Nordaas
  • Snowpiercer (2014) – Dir. Bong Joon Ho
  • Godzilla Raids Again (1955) – Dir. Motoyoshi Oda
  • Lucy (2014) – Dir. Luc Besson
  • The Hunt for Red October (1990) – Dir. John McTiernan
  • Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) – Dir. John Carpenter
  • Shock (1946) – Dir. Alfred L. Werker
  • The Raid (2012) – Dir. Gareth Evans
  • The Raid 2 (2014) – Dir. Gareth Evans
  • Escape From L.A. (1996) – Dir. John Carpenter: Killer ending, rest of the movie’s pretty bad, though.
  • Fantomas II: Juve vs. Fantomas (1913) – Dir. Louis Feuillade
  • Batman Begins (2005) – Dir. Christopher Nolan
  • Mars Attacks (1996) – Dir. Tim Burton
  • The Conversation (1974) – Dir. Francis Ford Coppola: Favorite for the month.
  • Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013) – Dir. Lars Von Trier: Ugh, this movie.
  • Lisa & the Devil (1974) – Dir. Mario Bava
  • Dracula 3000 (2004) – Dir. Darrell Roodt
  • The Dark Knight (2008) – Dir. Christopher Nolan
  • Jug Face (2013) – Dir. Chad Crawford Kinkle
  • You’re Next (2013) – Dir. Adam Wingard
  • World’s Greatest Dad (2009) – Dir. Bob Goldthwait
  • The People Under the Stairs (1991) – Dir. Wes Craven
  • Men In Black (1996) – Dir. Barry Sonnenfeld
  • Bellflower (2011) – Dir. Evan Glodell
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – Dir. Christopher Nolan

Total: 26 (YTD: 130)

No unifying theme this month. Re-watching The Dark Knight trilogy was primarily intellectual exercise. Since Rises, I’ve come away from other people discussing those movies feeling like certain criticisms (“too dark,” “humorless,” and especially the parts about that interrogation scene being “pro-torture” or whatever) just rang false. Wanted to see if my original takeaways held up in hindsight (yes and no).

Movies from this year: caught Snowpiercer close to its final week (if not the actual final week), at the Alamo Drafthouse in Kalamazoo. If I were to get down to it, the venue was better than the film itself (and it should’ve been at the prices they charged), but I appreciated how much Bong Joon Ho drew upon Terry Gilliam in making it. The kids singing about freezing to death, Chris Evans slipping on a fish, the way nothing about the train adheres to any spatial logic, just these patently absurd visual moments. There’s a sense that, even to its super-serious lead, hardly anything about this situation registers as real. This also proves its undoing, since the ending is just total arm-flailing nonsense.

Kind of like Lucy, the other theatrical release I caught in August. Besson fucking about with stupid premises has been a pretty big money-making enterprise for him, and here he uses psuedoscience (the “humans only use 10% of their brain” fallacy) to remake the bits from Akira where Tetsuo murders people and horribly mutates. Lucy even threatens cosmic implications as Scarlett Johansson sands off her attempts to pass for a party girl in favor of a Terminator-esque scan-and-act mode, which in turn gives way to a cold, alien goddess handing down edicts for mankind to follow. The rest of it, though? The Asian drug cartel has moments–the leader washing blood off his hands with bottled water–but is only a plot mechanic (and a racist one at that), as is Morgan Freeman explaining things, and the French cop? No real need for him at all. And, while everything which Johansson does is loony, her performance is too restrained to really carry the film. She needs other personalities to bounce off her, and Besson doesn’t commit to that, so the film just peters out.

A lot like this post.

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