Monday, September 7, 2009

Movie Rundown - Catching up, honest!

Okay, ladies and gents. It's been WEEKS since we've done this, because I kind of fell out of my movie watching habits aside from the odd new release, and ... well, to be honest, I didn't feel like writing about one movie at a time. Unfortunately, it's added up, and become a list so lengthy that trying to go through them all would be nigh impossible.

So you're getting three installments. First, we'll catch up to this past weekend. On Wednesday, we'll cover the weekend proper. And on Thursday, we'll talk about the movie marathon that saw me through Labor Day. I was going to make this one big tome of a thing, but a certain Miss Ditty, Esquire decided it would be best if I split it up and she generally knows what she's talking about.

So, here you go. The long road to the present!

Clerks 2 (****)
Clerks 2 was the end of this summer's Kevin Smith project, and has become tied with Chasing Amy as my favorite of his films. Things of note? Musical sequences, a great cap on the universe that's come from all of the other films, and Rosario Dawson being amazing (as she always is). I think that Kevin Smith's best watched in order, but if you've seen Clerks at least and enjoyed it, you owe it to yourself to see this brilliant, brilliant movie.

Nosferatu (***)
The original vampire movie. Like most silent films, it's nearly impossible for me to judge the quality. I thought it was okay, with the plus of atmosphere and an amazingly haunting portrayal of Nosferatu himself coupled with the fault that it ends rather abruptly with what I can only call a cop out. Still, for fans of horror movies or film in general, it's a must see.

(500) Days of Summer (***)
I really loved this movie a lot as I left the theater, and it struck a chord with me. There were parts of it that seemed taken exactly out of my experience. If I had written this then, it would have easily garnered four stars. That said, weeks have passed, and my feelings have cooled significantly. My problem with this movie is that it simply tries too hard to appeal to the hipster 20-something crowd. While watching it, I didn't notice as much, but it's most decidedly built to make everybody of a certain age think it's written about them. That touching personal nature instead started to feel like calculated demographic-targeted writing, from the quirky girl to the guy who talks about philosophy over a table arcade game to the Top 20 offbeat musicians that make up its soundtrack. It's nothing special, but if you're of the right age, I bet you'll walk out feeling like it touched you in some way. I just ... am not sure the intentions were correct.

Ponyo (*****)
Ponyo. Miyazaki. Either you know of the genius of Hayao Miyazaki or you know nothing of film. This isn't his best movie, but it's a brilliant movie, as just about everything he does is. This movie needs to be seen by everyone, as far as I'm concerned. It is, like all of his movies, magical.

District 9 (****)
Great movie, though the first half is FAR better than the second half. That said, it's the second best sci fi movie of the year so far (behind MOON) and is well worth people's time.

Inglourious Basterds (****)
Tarantino going back to the kind of noiry post-modern cinematic mashups that he did prior to Kill Bill. Fantastic movie. I ended up wishing that many of the characters had films about them. That's always a great sign. It's not going to win over anyone who hates Tarantino (those sad, misguided souls) but for everybody else ... I wouldn't be surprised to see this movie on my best of 2009 list.

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