Weekly Download Vol. IV No. 11

Time to Run by Lord Huron

Ups to DCE on the recco.  Fascinating song, and the video above may even be better.  Great find by you, horrible miss by WD.

WD weekend movie review (N.B. Wife and I did a double-dip on Friday after DBT (N.B. which was just as fucking bad-ass and you assume I was going to tell it was) the night before.  Parents, do this.  Ship the rat(s) off for a day and hit an 11 o’clock and a 3 o’clock.  A Mexican feast between is also recommended, but not required.  You’re home by 7:00 and you still feel like a good parent.)

A note on the rankings.
BeastsBeasts of the Southern Wild – (WBPSS) – In plenty of reviews about BotSW, first time director Behn Zeitlin is praised for mastering three elements that everyone in the film industry says first time directors should stay away from: Child Actors, Water, and Animals.  He handles them all aptly allowing them tell the story he wanted to tell quite spectacularly.  And in the end, he could have made a captivating, maybe even monumental, movie.  He just didn’t.  As the credits rolled, Wife and I looked at each other with the exact same thought.  What was the point?  It seemed a tremendous waste to have mastered those three rogue elements, only to have not really said anything.  Yeah, it was sort of about the Louisiana lowlands post Katrina, and it was sort of about threats of climate change (N.B. with a mystical element that if he was going to use at all, he should have leaned on more.), and it was sort of about families sticking together through adversity (N.B. And the movie-in-a-movie scene of Hushpuppy on a quest to find her mother may have been the best part of the film).  But really, in the end, it was about a lot beautiful shots and one impossible not to like little girl.  And it didn’t seem like much else.

djangoDjango Unchained – (WYT) – Absurdly Awesome.  If you are not a QT fan, watching DU won’t make you one. It’s super-violent with anachronistic twitches that will unnerve you.  But you will be entertained.  I promise that.  But if you are a Quentin Tarantino fan, and you’re curious about his evolution as a filmmaker, you’re getting exactly what you think you’re think you’re getting.  No more, no less.  In fact this might be a criticism of DU.  I (a huge QT fan) really enjoyed it, but at times it felt like it was directed by someone who’d graduated from the Quentin Tarantino film-school.  In my opinion, DU is the third phase of QTs film (writing and directing) career (1) His brilliant and nostalgic post-modern crime masterpieces (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Jackie Brown)(2) His Homage to every movie he’s ever loved phase (The Kill Bills and Grindhouse)(3) and now the re-imagined historical vengeance porn  phase (Inglorious Basterds and DU).  Maybe I’m hoping for a fourth phase (N.B. or else his next movie will be about Native Americans rebelling against European colonists, which frankly, will be a weird sell in my multi-cultural home…).  I can’t even begin to predict what a fourth phase might be, but DU isn’t it.  Having said that, it’s a masterful ride.  No one in the world is making films like this.  Maybe no one else could.

SLPSilver Linings Playbook – (HAL/RDW) – This is the best movie I’ve seen in a while, maybe even back to No Country for Old Men.  I loved this movie, everything about it. It won’t win Best Picture (and I haven’t seen them all) but it should.  It’s very easily David O. Russell’s (Three Kings, I (heart) Huckabees, The Fighter) masterwork.  It’s the first movie in thirty years to have actors nominated in all four acting categories, and deservedly so.  Bradley Cooper (who now you must alternate between liking and thinking he’s a douchebag) is nuanced and fragile and crazy.  You can’t help rooting for him despite everything he does that makes you want to kick him in the nuts.  De Niro…just De Niro (N.B. Text to Killamike “They say he’s America’s greatest actor.  I’m not sure, but I see him like that, and I’m “yeah, I get it.”)  And I hope Jennifer Lawrence chooses her roles wisely, because if not already, she’s about to offered everything.  She’s that good.

After thinking about it, I realized that plot-wise it was really nothing more than a structured romantic comedy.  As much as hearing that make plenty of you not want to see it, I can’t argue on its behalf enough. You’ll laugh.  You’ll heart will be wrenched.  You’ll understand what Tolstoy meant when he wrote: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”  But in the end, and perhaps most importantly to us now on limited movie budgets, is that you’ll be satisfied.  Completely satisfied.  And I haven’t felt that way about a movie in a long time.  Go see it.

Enjoy.

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2 Responses to Weekly Download Vol. IV No. 11

  1. Itinerant Play-by-play Man says:

    I had never heard that Tolstoy quote before. A radiant shine on my day as I will repost that to Instagram ,Facebook, Twitter and those other social media places you avoid like The Dead Marshes of Middle Earth.

  2. TMatt says:

    I could let you think I have read Anna Karenina, which I have not. But I have read Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, which introduced me to that quote/sentiment.

    Social media away!

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