This is the documentary that the Grammys made this year, which was shown on Fuse recently, with all the gimmicky pairings of musicians for a special MIND-BLOWING MULTI-GENRE EXPERIENCE, like Skrillex with The Doors and shit. I always love just watching the studio process and even a boring doc about musicians I don't have much interest in tends to be watchable for me, though, so it was mildly entertaining. I have a big chip on my shoulder about these kinds of hamhanded gestures at eclecticism.
b) Real Steel
With sci-fi movies I really feel like the little scene-setting touches make all the differences, and in this case it being a fighting robot movie that basically resembles the world we live in plus fighting robots made it really work better than I expected. Also like how Hugh Jackman's character is a total bastard for most of the movie, even for a while after he's reunited with his son. Hated the scene in the beginning where they have the robot beating up a bull and then try to make us feel sorry for the robot when it loses, though, what the fuck was that shit.
c) Our Idiot Brother
This was about as funny as I thought it would be, but more than that I was kind of impressed with it, in that usually a comedy where the stupidity of the protagonist(s) is a defining characteristic, especially one highlighted by the title (Dumb & Dumber
, The 3 Stooges, etc.) things get a bit cartoony. But this felt just rooted in reality enough that it was actually funnier, and didn't feel like everyone around Rudd's character was a total straight man, although to an extent most were. Except for T.J. Miller, who was hilarious (“Just a couple of guys and a dog making candles," "What a cliché”). I'm still a little confused about why Emily Mortimer was was a British woman with three American siblings, though.
d) The Guard
This is apparently the most successful independent Irish film of all time, which makes sense since it's basically a stupid crowd-pleasing Lethal Weapon
type buddy cop movie, mixed with an Irish twist on Guy Ritche's English twist on American black comedy crime movies, like another Brendan Gleeson vehicle, the very overrated In Bruges
I feel like we're in the middle of an era of a lot of movies, especially comedies, trying to integrate social media and smartphones into the storytelling and the jokes, and there's gonna be some failed experiments in that, and this is one of them.
f) Black Swan
I was kind of put off by this movie when it came out, just didn't seem interesting to me, to the point that even my wife wanted to watch it I was like "yeah go ahead and watch it without me." I've just never been too impressed with Aronofsky, and I thought The Wrestler
, which was kind of a 'companion piece' to this, was just crap. But wow, I'm glad I finally watched it, it was much more vibrant and lurid than I expected, almost had kind of a Hitchcock vibe, Portman and Kunis were just perfectly cast and the whole weird thing was pulled off pretty artfully.
g) Chapter 27
My hatred of biopics or movies about recent pop culture history, coupled with my general antipathy toward Jared Leto and post-career Lindsay Lohan, almost demanded that I watch this movie and wallow in how awful it is. But man I was still kind of surprised by just how terrible Leto is in this, and how much voiceover can just stomp out what little virtues this movie does have.
I probably shouldn't feel any guilt about spoiling a direct-to-DVD horror flick nobody has ever heard of, but it does spoil it a bit to say that this movie proves that you need to be a good movie to have a Jacob's Ladder
or Black Swan
-type ending and not totally piss the viewer off or at least leave them shaking their heads that they wasted their time on it.
i) Kill Bill: Vol. 2
I saw the first movie way back when it came out on DVD and enjoyed it, but didn't feel any urgent desire to see the second half. But it is kind of ridiculous that it took me 8 or 9 years to see the ending, which was really unexpectedly satisfying given the fact that the title pretty much tells you how it ends. Also, Daryl Hannah's death scene is so ill.
j) Intolerable Cruelty
Since this came in the middle of kind of a rough patch in the Coens' career and I had no love for the movies directly before and after it, I never really even thought to try and watch it until I heard a few people defend it. And it really is pretty good, fun to see them do kind of a straightforward romantic comedy with beautiful super-famous people that's just dipped in the most acidic satire possible.
k) Lost And Delirious
I have to admit I started watching this because it was about two cute chicks falling in love, but it ended up being kind of a sad, affecting story.
l) The Game
This is kind of the lost David Fincher movie, didn't make as little at the box office as Fight Club
but didn't have the same kind of cult following or accolades. Definitely one of his best movies, though, love how the twists are just absurdly piled on right up to the end.
A really goofy '80s action movie satire that I didn't realize while I was watching it was directed by Sam Raimi, and co-written with the Coens. Kind of an interesting, slight early work for both.
n) Slap Shot
Somehow had never watched this before, fun movie and in a way kind of illustrated for me how little sports flicks have changed over the decades, perhaps less than any other movie genre.