Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mr. Brainwash

I was going to tear Brandon apart for hating on John Huston's lovely off-beat adaptation of Wise Blood, but I'm having a hard time focusing any ill will toward him because... he let me borrow The Court Jester.

Wow, what a fun film!

The girls are huge Curtiz/Flynn Robin Hood fans and were quick to pick up on allusions and jokes. They recognized and especially enjoyed seeing an older Rathbone in a similar Guy of Guisborne type role. Of course, they also just loved the silliness of it all. The snapping in and out. The munchkins. The romance and swordplay. The musical numbers.

The girls and I also watched the newest Wallace and Gromit short. A Matter of Loaf and Death. It remains family-friendly while poking fun at various adult films and film genres (like serial killer crime movies and bad romance movies).

I have also watched Exit Through the Gift Shop and Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. Gift Shop is one of the best reflections on art and commerce since Welles' masterpiece F For Fake. Gift Shop is nowhere near as ambitious or quite as good, but it is very enjoyable. Piece of Work is an almost desperate last ditch attempt at making the world love Joan Rivers. It almost works. The film fails by being too tame and too nice. The emotion I was left with was pity.

I went to see The Fighter after briefly talking with Brandon and hearing his kind words toward Christian Bale, an actor that we had both started making fun of. The performance is great. All of the performances are great. Except for the junkies and the sisters. I didn't really get that whole comic relief aspect. There's so much to like here that I feel bad saying that I was pretty disappointed. You know why? The crappy soundtrack selection. Russell falls into the trap of using pop music as a bridge over montage scenes to speed up the action and make it more poignant. I got pissed off a few times. It's funny, too, because two of the best moments in the film involve Bale singing. In the end, The Fighter follows a pretty standard sports film formula. I mostly liked it. I'm glad to see Russell back directing and hope that he makes another film soon.

True Grit is coming tomorrow. Brandon, I'm not sure if you were planning on making it or not, but I'll give you a call. I might have to cancel due to other crap coming up at work.

The IndieWire poll results are up. Brandon, I know you are familiar with the poll (I think you even introduced it to me in Jan 2008). Jason and Ben, check it out:


Ben, you didn't like The Seventh Seal? Now I know why Bill Murray won't even call me back. You shame us all.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Yeah, I watched it around 9am on Saturday and was already in an odd mood. But I noticed that it was going off NWI the next day. It warrants another viewing because 9 in the morning is a weird time to watch a film and I can't say that I didn't like it; rather, it just didn't live up to what I was hoping. A lot of Bergman's other films interest me. I'll post more later. Also, Wings of Desire is no longer available on NWI. I don't really understand why they do this.

I'm looking forward to hearing about True Grit. I think I'll be seeing that with my family on Christmas day. It's the one movie that we all can agree upon.