My wrist was supposed to be healed this past Wednesday, but it looks like it'll need another two weeks to reach said point of full health. Stupid brittle bones.
The good news, though, is that my hand feels fine and I can type again without any problems or pain. I'm hoping to get back into blogging more now. I've really got to force myself out of writing apathy. My brain has basically melted into a fine paste these past five weeks. Time to start molding everything back together. Whatever that all is.
First, congrats to new dad and mom, Brandon and Tara Musa. I can't wait to meet little Dean. I also can't wait for he and Ezekiel Owen to be going at it on the blogs in 20 years.
Second, I'd like to take this time and space to express my love for the Encore Westerns channel I have here at my parent's house. In the last few weeks, I have watched Daves' THE HANGING TREE, De Toth's THE BOUNTY HUNTER, and Tourneur's WICHITA. I have Boetticher's WESTBOUND recorded (and can't wait to watch it - the last Boetticher/Scott film I've yet to see). I just discovered that Daves' JUBAL will be on later this week. Ford's SERGEANT RUTLEDGE will also be on a bunch in the next few weeks, and I plan on recording it soon. God bless you Encore Westerns, you are rivaling TCM as the most valuable commodity on TV this month. Eat your heart out John. :)
Now, just some random movie talk.
I watched KILLER JOE a few weeks ago. I never mentioned it. It is one of those films that you watch and is so inconsequential that the second it's over you immediately move on to something else and don't think about it anymore. I don't mean that to be as harsh as it sounds. It's an OK movie, but it didn't do much of anything for me. I actually loved the bright saturated nighttime color scheme in the beginning of the film. It looked like the technicolor from SUSPIRIA. That's probably the only thing that caught my eye though. I didn't find it to be all that disgusting, and readily identified that it is indeed supposed to be a comedy (a la DJANGO UNCHAINED ;) ). It just wasn't really anything that interested me at all. I'll give it (and Brandon) points; the ending is ballsy and a nice touch of mayhem. But, the KFC scene is so gimmicky. It's clearly trying to be outrageous for the sake of being outrageous. Weirdness for its own sake – I may be getting too old for it.
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS doesn't feel as gimmicky with some of its outrageous moments. I think the Tom Waits flashback sequence where he and his lover kill a bunch of serial killers is one of the best in the movie and downright inspired visually. It's an entertaining film. I admire McDonaugh's panache, exuberance, and gift with words. I read one of his plays a few years ago. He really is a lot of fun as a writer.
I fell asleep through like 20 minutes of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. For a low budget film it looks sharp, and it's emotionally and creatively weighty enough that it doesn't deserve to be easily dismissed like another recent crowd-pleaser I can think of (i.e. THE ARTIST). Still, I wasn't a huge fan of it either, Brandon. Did it feel a little too manipulative to you?
I had no idea libertarians were using the film to hijack their beliefs on to it. That's fairly hilarious. I won't go in depth into my aversion to libertarianism just now, but let's just say that I mostly find it to be a joke. Especially when coupled with objectivism.
Can I just reiterate what I recently wrote on Letterboxd and say that SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is a great, great movie? Like VERTIGO, it gets nothing but praise nowadays, but it fully deserves it. Watching it again yesterday just brightened my day like a big ol' spotlight was shining on me. Wonderful film.
Does anyone give a shit about the Oscars? ARGO is supposed to win best picture. I'd still like to see it, even if I know I won't love it or may not even like it all that much. I have a sneaking suspicion that Haneke is going to win best director, which would be very bizarre. Affleck or Bigelow aren't nominated, Spielberg and Lee have already won, David O. Russell is still too much a douche to get that much love, and Zeitlan's nomination seems more token than genuine. That leaves us with Haneke. Or should I say future Academy Award Winning Director Michael Haneke? I may be crazy, but I also wouldn't be shocked if it were to happen. If he does win, does that also guarantee that his next film will be an English language remake of BENNY'S VIDEO or something equally abrasive to fight back against this newfound mainstream appeal? I'd like to hope so.
Speaking of Haneke – Chris watched CACHÉ the other night for the first time, and I watched the last half hour or so with him. Despite AMOUR, I still think CACHÉ and THE WHITE RIBBON are his crowning achievements. I don't understand John's AMOUR criticism all that much, but I will at least say that I'm kind of surprised by how MUCH attention it has received. It's very good, and masterfully directed, but it's almost too clean and straightforward to be truly GREAT. Don't get me wrong, I really like it, but I still vastly prefer the mysterious and opaque riddles that are CACHÉ and THE WHITE RIBBON. I think Haneke works best when he is extending out into various points and intersections - crafting a sort of elaborate and exacting web of inquiries. When he simply follows a straight line towards one answer he can still be interesting, but not nearly as memorable. CACHÉ, by the way, is a masterpiece. No question about it, in my mind. Watching it again, I was cognizant more of it as a political allegory, which made it even more fascinating. It is a film with many riches, not fully realized upon one or even two viewings.