Thanks, Brandon, for responding to my 2012 rant. I'll briefly respond back at ya below.
I agree with your assessment of The Comedy. I think that it's strength is also it's big flaw, like many of the other works that I listed; it is unwilling to fully commit to denouncing the empty lifestyle it depicts. Like so many gangster movies that inspire devotion from gangsters, I can see this becoming the rich hipster's manifesto movie instead of the eye-opening life-changing call to change that it could have been. I don't think it's necessarily Alverson's purpose to condemn. The Comedy is a character study and Alverson presents his deeply flawed character with love (without ever excusing vice), which is all that I can ask of a director. If this life isn't presented as negatively as I would have liked, well, the film also doesn't present it as anything more positive than it is.
You've seen Sightseers now. Based on our text conversation, I'd say that we're agreed on Wheatley's talent and his fruitful collaboration with his editor and DP. I think that the Sightseers script is much better than you give it credit for and I also think that almost all of the gags land. That could be chalked up to differences in our senses of humor or it could just be a result of the differing moods we were in when we watched it. I went in blind and was very gracious toward the film as it continued to surprise me. I think that you knew more about it going in and felt that the premise grew old quickly. I'm sure that we'll both be continuing to follow Wheatley's career.
We're agreed on Killing Them Softly. I need to get around to seeing Assassination.
Mostly agreed on Django.
I knew you were going to call me out on the Friedkin comment. I almost put a little disclaimer in there. Oh well. I've only seen The Exorcist and Killer Joe. I've been meaning to see The French Connection and Sorcerer for a long time. It hasn't happened yet. I have no interest in the rest of his filmography. Anyhow, I won't deny Friedkin's directing chops. But, from what I've seen and from what I've read about his other films and him, I'm not all that big of a fan of Friedkin. And even without all of that getting in the way, Killer Joe stands on its own as a "vile and disgusting" film. You're worried about The Comedy? I can only imagine how many KGB listeners have had Killer Joe parties.
I don't know about Seven Psychopaths. I want to see it the way you're seeing it. But, I don't.
Cosmopolis might be even better than I gave it credit for. I'm not sure that it amounts to all that much, though, and I know that I have little interest in watching it again.
Yeah, Lawless is a big ol' mess of a disappointment. I included it on this list over a couple of other movies because of the common thread of all of these films having directors worth watching even though I have problems with either the content or the delivery in all of their work. Hillcoat is more frustrating than all of the other directors above. I don't share your love for The Proposition. I haven't seen The Road. My impression of Hillcoat is that he can't quite deliver. He's worked up a certain style and atmosphere, but hasn't quite found the right balance in execution. The Proposition gets a feeling right, but is sloppy in the way its story develops and ties up at the end. Lawless is sloppy in both the feeling and story departments, meandering back and forth between a hard seriousness and a slapstick cheerfulness.
I do think that you were too kind to Dark Shadows in your initial response. I still respect Burton, but I haven't really cared strongly about any of his films since Big Fish (though I did like Alice more than any of you).
I can only interpret your silence on Here Comes the Boom as disgust that I've brought up this film once again for CR5FC's consideration. You're welcome. :)
Thanks again for the interaction. I'm still hoping that there are 2012 films out there waiting to convince me of how wrong I've been about the year.