Movie Diary

a) Wild
I think 127 Hours has set my expectations for a movie like this way too high. By which I mean, I was disappointed that the biggest body part Reese Witherspoon lost was a toenail. Also, I get OCD about movies where actors have an age difference that makes the relationship between their characters implausible, and even with flashbacks it's just weird that Reese's mother is played by Laura Dern, who's only 9 years her senior in real life. Mostly, though, this was just an adaptation of a memoir that didn't really manage to make a personal anecdote seem very cinematic and compelling.

b) St. Vincent
I haven't really cared much for most of the dramedies Bill Murray has done since Rushmore, and it didn't help that this one was like a much more boilerplate version of the 'Bill Murray hilariously bonds with a boy who is not his son' element of Rushmore. It was okay, surprisingly it was Melissa McCarthy that really gave the story some dramatic gravity but it was all kinda predictable and not as charming as it thought it was.

c) Like Sunday, Like Rain
I had to watch this as soon as I saw that Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day co-stars in it. The whole thing is a flimsy little indie flick, but I was not disappointed by how bad an actor Billie Joe is, someone could make an amusing YouTube compilation of his scenes in this movie.

d) They Came Together
This doesn't quite satirize romantic comedies as perfectly as Walk Hard satirized musical biopics, but it definitely reminded me of it in its approach. In a way, rom-coms have been too self-aware for their own good for a while now, so it was hard to for They Came Together to make jokes that haven't been made already, but they did a good job of taking some of those jokes to amusing new extremes.

e) A Promise
This was a nice, sweet, romantic movie, although it made me think about how sometimes movies seem to kind of rely on the viewer's disdain for marriages that aren't age-appropriate to make age-appropriate extramarital affairs seem nice and sweet and romantic. And maybe I only sympathized with the older guy a little more than usual because he was Alan Rickman? I dunno.

f) 300: Rise Of An Empire
Say what you will about Zack Snyder's big, ridiculous CGI operas, but if you hand off one of his better movies to another director for a sequel, it's gonna lack the over-the-top swagger of the original. Eva Green kicking ass throughout history remains a pretty entertaining genre of film and television, though.

g) RoboCop
RoboCop last year was a shock.

h) Sideways
For some reason I never saw this movie at the time and it was interesting to finally sit down with it, a decade later. For a movie that got nominated for Oscars and was a surprise box office success that made elevated its stars careers and even had an economic impact on the wine industry it's, I dunno, surprisingly slight. Even next to Alexander Payne's other movies, which I'm mostly a fan of, it just kinda came and went.

i) Cube
My wife put this on recently and I found myself getting pretty interested in it. It's a sci-fi movie from the late '90s that was produced in Canada and has no recognizable stars. The whole thing is just a handful of strangers trapped in a mysterious cube, and the whole thing never really makes much sense, but the low-budget visuals are really unique and cool-looking, and the tension between the characters really drives the whole thing forward effectively. I'm surprised this hasn't built up enough of a cult for me to have heard of it before.
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