Friday, July 16, 2010

Conversations 2010 #17

Conversations 2010 #17

Brandon, you forgot to write about one moment in Punisher: War Zone. You know the one. It occurs right after your beloved bazooka blast. Frank throws a hoppin' meth-head off the roof. As the hopper falls, he is impaled on a spikey fence. Frank jumps off the roof, connecting foot to hopper face on the way down. Snap. The purest illustration of how perfectly punished I felt watching Punisher: War Zone.

I did go alone to a 10:30pm showing after a long day/evening at work. Not the best circumstances. With some distance, I can see how the ridiculous violence could be enjoyable instead of just punishing. But I still might need that quart of rum to make it through a second viewing.

Briefly, what I've seen lately...

Caught in a Cabaret and In the Park are two lame Chaplin shorts. The girls and I gave up on Chaplin and gave Bob Hope a try. The Paleface. A big success. We'll be watching Son of Paleface soon.

The Killer is Loose is the best of the early Boeticher I've seen so far and an interesting early example of the sort of cop vs. killer suspense films that seem commonplace today.

My Favorite Wife is fun and that's enough. Randolph Scott is great in it.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo reminded me of The Ghost Writer in that both are smart films with solid story structures, confidently and competently crafted. Both were thoroughly engaging and decent diversions, but I don't really want to ever see either one of them again. Meh. So what? Disposable art. There is some content that I wouldn't mind discussing, but it's pointless if you haven't seen it.

I wrote something about John Cassavetes last October, but never finished it. I was reviewing what little I wrote in anticipation of seeing A Woman Under the Influence on Wednesday night. Wednesday morning, I watched Charles Kiselyak's documentary A Constant Forge: The Life and Art of John Cassavetes. I appreciated some of the talking heads, but mostly find these docs a waste of time. The Ford one was no good. The Boetticher one is no good. This Cassavetes one is no good. I think it has more to do with the specific structure of these sorts of documentaries that doesn't allow for anything other than surface analysis of their subjects.

Anyhow, we didn't make it to see A Woman Under the Influence. We'll get a babysitter some other night. Probably go see some crappy superhero movie. Oh well.

Instead, I played some games with Joel J. I don't write about games here, but it should be noted that I probably care about gaming more than I care about moviegoing. For my money, Twilight Struggle and Magic: The Gathering (two of the games we played the other night) provide a far superior aesthetic and narrative experience than any of the films that have come out so far in 2010. I'd put the best of games up against the best of films any year. Not in competition. That's silly. Apples and oranges and all that. But, in terms of art and experience, I don't see one as superior to the other. 2005 gave us The New World, Grizzly Man, and Broken Flowers. 2005 also gave us Twilight Struggle, Byzantium, and Descent: Journeys in the Dark. So, I was more than happy to play games.


I saw Inception this morning. I went in mostly blind. I'd seen the trailer months ago, but have read no reviews and knew nothing about the film besides the director, the cast, and that the story involved dreams. That's it. Did I like it? Stay tuned. Same blog time, same blog channel. Meaning I might post it tonight or it might be a couple of weeks. Take that rotating saw to the gonads and eat it!

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