Movie Diary

a) Elysium
I wasn't a big fan of District 9, and this seemed to have a lot of the same shortcomings without having at least the feel of being distinctive or original. Had its moments but never really found it compelling.

b) The Way Way Back
I like Jim Rash and Nat Faxon a lot for their acting work, and thought the success they got for their The Descendants screenplay was well deserved. Their directorial debut was hit and miss for me, though. I just feel like I've seen this kind of movie too many times already, often with some of the same actors (Steve Carrell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell). Again, all people I like, but it feels like it's been done. I'm also starting to get annoyed with these kinds of bittersweet reminisces about adolescence that take place in the present day but feel vaguely out of time, like it's still on some level nostalgic of the era the filmmakers grew up in (see also: Super Bad). Also the main kid in the cast just wasn't very compelling, took a while to really identify with him even though it shouldn't have been hard at all for me to identify with that character. By the end I started to get into it, though, it had its moments.

c) Pacific Rim
I was hoping this would at least be a fun spectacle but I tried watching it a couple times and got bored and started ignoring it both times. Seeing Charlie Hunnam and Charlie Day together did remind me of the brief period when I kept confusing the two guys named Charlie who star in shows on FX, though.

d) The Heat
It's kinda crazy how Bridesmaids singlehandedly altered the trajectory of pretty much everyone in it, but noone more than Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig, who would almost definitely not have otherwise ended up making a buddy cop movie with Sandra Bullock. Anyway this was pretty funny, McCarthy used to much better effect than in Identity Thief.

e) Man of Steel
It's possible that I have never derived any real significant enjoyment or entertainment from any Superman movie, or any type of Superman product whatsoever, in my entire life. So you can take this with a grain of salt, but oh my god what a piece of shit this was. It didn't even remotely resemble a Superman movie for like, half the time, it just looked like an awful sci-fi movie. Superman even had a beard, that shit is not right.

f) Spring Breakers
This movie is somewhat opinion-proof, in that really any deficiency you can accuse it of having is easily spun by its fans as part of what makes it special or unique. But I dunno, I just felt like I was watching Harmony Korine bat around some kind of Tarantino-style reclamation of various B-movie tropes and pop culture figures with a fraction of the thought or talent. Even James Franco's kuh-razy performance was kind of flat, like he can't be bothered to really sell it. And it's really just garbage on a number of levels that I can't get into without feeling like I've been successfully trolled.

g) Hello I Must Be Going
I've always felt kind of bad for Melanie Lynskey, who started her career with Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures, but hasn't done a whole lot of note since then besides a recurring role on "2 And A Half Men." This is a really good starring vehicle for her, very simply told story of a woman trying to pick up her life after divorce and falling into an affair with a much younger guy (played by the dude who recently left "Girls"). It kinda goes through the plot points you'd expect and sometimes feels a little tedious, but by the end it felt pretty emotionally resonant and well rendered to me.

I didn't realize this was gonna be in subtitles. Was kinda dryly funny but not as entertaining as I'd hoped.

i) His Girl Friday
The only other adaptation of The Front Page that I've seen is the Billy Wilder one, so it trips me out to think about how this is the same basic story, except in this one Jack Lemmon is a woman and at the end Walter Matthau proposes to him. Really good movie, though, glad I finally got around to seeing it, I just love that whole screwball comedy era and the mannered dialogue.

k) Goodbye, Mr. Chips
It always kinda irritated me that the pitch for "Breaking Bad" that Vince Gilligan repeated over and over and over, in hundreds of interviews was "from Mr. Chips to Scarface," because everyone knows Scarface but I had no idea what this movie even is, it came out before my parents were born. So I kinda watched this just to gain some familiarity with the reference. It was okay, I guess.

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