Friday, July 15, 2011

Lazy, Lazy Daze

It's been a laid-back vacation so far....

Cars 2 is a lot of fun. It's not going to blow your mind like Wall-E or steal your heart like Up or give you a nostalgia overdose like Toy Story 3. It does deliver the Pixar goods. Even "minor" Pixar is major movie-making.

I didn't watch any Westerns last night, but I did watch a lot of TV: Big Bang Theory (sorry, Ben, it still sucks), The Office (a sweet episode with Amy Ryan), 30 Rock (I'm not as much of a fan of this as you guys, but, sure, it's fine), Louie (with a cameo by Joan Rivers; I didn't like this, but I'd watch it again to be sure), and The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

My brain was a bit mushy after all that TV.

Abby went to a water park with the older girls and my nieces and my sister. That sounded awful to me. I stayed back and watched movies and lazed around.

This morning, I watched Night Passage, a 1957 Western starring James Stewart and Audie Murphy. It's most notable for featuring Stewart singing and playing an accordion throughout the film. It gradually eases into an examination of brotherly love and moral boundaries. There's nothing super deep going on here, but it's all enjoyable. I do love the title. It took me a while to realize that it had nothing to do with any of the action. There is one (and only one) important scene that takes places at night, but the title is referring to the development of a soul, I think, and not to anything else.

This afternoon, I watched My Darling Clementine. I might get shot for saying this, but I think that I may prefer the lean efficiency of Dwan's Frontier Marshall to the positively Baroque flourishes of Ford's Clementine. Don't get me wrong. Clementine is fantastic. Ford is a Master. No doubt. There's just something over-the-top about My Darling Clementine that keeps it from having any sort of gut-level impact. The cinematography is gorgeous, but it almost seems like Ford is directing an abstract Western, with bits and pieces to hang on walls, but nothing to worm its way inside of you. I'm pretty sure that Ford would punch me in the mouth for saying these things. I'd love to get into a fistfight with John Ford. I can't imagine much anything better than that. I might go lay in the sun now and dream of being beaten to a bloody pulp by that cranky son of a bitch John Ford.

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