I'd like to post something longer to what you said, John, and respond to Brandon's Drive stuff too (great review dude), but alas, it would take me too long and I'm in no mood after a being in school all day. Hopefully soon. For now, I will say that I see now that I was definitely misreading or at the least blowing up what you were saying into something more substantive, John. I caught a whiff of an arguable point and just went off on it. I also think I was speaking a little beyond you with some if it. Oh well. What can you do when you are arguing with something who is older and more intelligent than you? Just make lots of shit up.
Anyway, I would just like to say a few other things briefly.
One, I know I called DRIVE a masterpiece and I'm afraid I'm going to have to renege on that. It's just too strong a word and I rarely use the word to describe anything. I still love the film, BUT I can't call it a masterpiece and here's the reason why: my family got Chris THE TREE OF LIFE on blu-ray for his birthday, and I just popped it in and re-watched a few scenes. I like seeing films in theaters, but I really fall in love with them when I'm alone and it's just me and the film on a television. I loved TOL when we saw it, but just seeing images from it again only solidified in me that it is a serious, fucking MASTERPIECE. The one and only masterpiece of the year. There is room for no other even remotely close to it. I was getting chills watching it again.
There's a few snippets of scenes in the film before the first child is born where it appears that a woman in white is gathering children together to leave the gates of Heaven. Then the soul of a child floats up through an underwater house (a beautiful symbol for childbirth). I don't know how I didn't notice this the first time (Maybe I did, I just couldn't connect the images clearly enough or wasn't paying enough attention). Anyway, a great example of the film's unabashed religious evocation. There is something Divine at work throughout The Tree of Life even if it's silent.
Two, hope we can meet Jason somewhere and see a film together. I still need to meet you and Ben! It'd be great to make that happen while seeing something potentially awesome like TAKE SHELTER. But, anything would still be exciting and fun too.
Three, I've been watching some of the Val Lewton RKO horror films from the 40s. They are as incredible as I've always heard they were. Don't know why it took me so long to see most of them. I'd like to do a post on some of these soon as well. All I'll say now is that THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE has to be one of the oddest sequels ever made; it also has to be one of the best. What a supremely chillingly film it is; you have no idea whether there is something sinister at work or whether there is something genuinely beautiful and touching unfolding. It's really fascinating.
Four, Lisa, I liked your lukewarm response to MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. It's just kind of refreshing after all the fisticuffs on it over the summer. If only all his films could be MANHATTAN! Oh well. I'll probably be seeing CRAZY STUPID LOVE just to satisfy my Gosling man-crush. Glad he doesn't disappoint.
Five, Jason, What did the younger folks in your family think of BACK TO THE FUTURE PART III? I remember thinking it was neat as a kid, but haven't seen it since (though I hear it's the weakest). I have some friends who are 13 and 11 and they both hate the 2nd Back to the Future but don't mind the 3rd really, which is interesting. I still like the first one a lot and think the second one is fun, I was just wondering how other younger kids see the sequels.