Thursday, May 24, 2012

Movie Backlog

So I have been a bit remiss in keeping up with what I have been doing, pop culturally speaking. This has been partially out of laziness, and partially because I wanted to keep Pat O'D's amazing review of Fifty Shades of Grey on top as long as can be. But, I have gotten backed up on the things I have been watching. Yes, watching. There will be more books to come, I am reading a couple long ones at the same time right now. I am sure everyone is on the edge of their seat for me to get to them.

Haywire (2012) (28/50 movies)
I thought this was a new little, compact action/revenge movie from Steven Soderbergh. I like Soderbergh working outside of his comfort zone, somewhat. I also really liked Dave Holmes' jazzy score, which happened to work well, even though, at times it seemed incongruous with what was going on. Of course, there was nothing but natural sound when Gina Carano has to beat down an enemy. Gina Carano is the real revelation here, I think, she has a presence and a natural athletic ability, and being an MMA fighter in real life, can really make these moves. She plays a private-security(?) agent who is betrayed by her superiors and goes through everyone involved, looking for who decided to have her killed. I'm not sure about her actually acting ability, but I mean, when you can pull off what she can pull off and make it look good, it probably doesn't matter. In that way, if she keeps getting the right parts she could become the female Jason Statham. In fact, find a way to put them in a  movie together, it would be great.

Juice (1992) (29/50 movies)

I can't believe I hadn't seen this movie before. I am not sure how I had escaped it. But I was glad that I rectified it. I mean in the first three minutes it started with Rakim's classic them "Juice" then when Omar Epps steps into the shower he cranks up Big Daddy Kane's "Nuff Respect". Consider my mind blown. This was interesting because it seemed like it was much more hip hop related then other movies like it at that came out at the time, Omar Epps plays "Q" who is trying to make it big as a DJ. What happens as that he and is friends fall into a world of crime that they aren't ready for, but feel like it is the only way to survive where they are living. Of course it made me think of Tupac, who plays one of Q's friend but also, SPOILER, eventually becomes the villain. And he is so good here, and so magnetic, and if given time he would have only gotten better. He could have been a better double threat than even Will Smith because Tupac wouldn't have been afraid, maybe, to take the harder and more challenging roles. But unfortunately Tupac's life sort of sadly ended up mirroring what goes down in Juice and that's waaaay too many "could'ves" for a young life to have.

Tiny Furniture (2010) (30/50 Movies)
I've started watching Lena Dunham's Girls on HBO and, at first, I really disliked it. But after going back and having a marathon of the episodes that had since come out after the original, I found that my original idea about the show was wrong, and now you can count me as a Lena Dunham fan. I feel like her writing is really good, and in some ways, I feel like she is really brave, especially with what she does with her body onscreen. Luckily, Tiny Furniture happened to be On Demand for free so I thought I would check it out. I enjoyed it for the most part, but I can see this as her first feature, which it was and a precursor to Girls. It covers the similar ground: college graduate comes home and has to deal with life after college, basically. But in Tiny Furniture she comes home to her Mom and her Sister (her real life Mom and Sister in her Mom's real-life apartment) Mom is a NY artist (as she is in real life), while on Girls her character is on her own in Manhattan. I still like her writing, but I found that this movie did not have a lot of narrative momentum. But then I thought that that was perhaps by design. Personally, my year after I graduated college was one of the hardest years of my life, when I often felt like I was treading water and had no real idea what was going on, even though I was in graduate school and living on my own. I feel like that is sort of why there is no real narrative momentum, because it reflects that feeling of all of a sudden realizing you have no real clue what is going on. But I do feel like this has become sharper on Girls but to see where Lena Dunham started, writing-wise is pretty interesting.

Everything Must Go (2010) (31/50 Movies)
Well, definitely the most melancholy performance by Will Ferrell in a story taken from a Raymond Carver short story. Will Ferrell plays an alcoholic whose life pretty much collapses in the span of a day, and then he has about 5 days to try and get it together. Sort of. I never read the short story it was based on so I can't comment about how that ended,  so I am not sure if the movie ending was similar, but I can say that I was glad about how it ended, it went one way and then through me a curveball. And it didn't end in a triumphant way either, but still it suited the rest of the story. And I thought Ferrell acquired himself well in a mostly dramatic role. I also thought Christopher C.J. Wallace did a good job as the boy that he befriends during this week. If that name sounds familiar it is because he is the son of Christopher Wallace AKA Biggie Smalls AKA Notorious B.I.G. and he uncannily looks and sounds like his dad. I thought he was really good and hope that it leads to more for him. That's him below:


1 comment:

  1. Two things:

    1) Have you ever seen Gridlock'd? You're totally right about Tupac taking crazier rolls than Will Smith ever could. Will Smith would never have been in a movie like that. And I'm not saying that to rag on Will, he's a great actor, but he never really stretches himself.

    2) Gina Carano + Jason Statham = GOAT movie.