watching n reading
King Kelly

An admirable aesthetic experiment. Pretty committed performances. Got to be a little much near the end.

The Raid 2: Berandal

The plot is absurd and waaay too fatty but those action sequences are so bonkers-insane that they’re borderline psychedelic.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I really dug it. A friend and I were talking about how Thor and Captain America’s first films were perfectly fine but mainly necessary hassles to get to their much stronger sequels. They set up the worlds and it’s a little boring but not everybody (in fact, MOST people) know the origins of these characters so they’re totally necessary. And perfectly fine movies, I’ll add.
But this entry is clearly superior to the first. Even though I love the idea of the period Cap movie.

SPOILER ALERT, MAYBE
Redford as a villain seems pretty telegraphed and obvious but maybe that’s the point.

PAT HEALY!!!!!!

Miami Connection

Watch this movie with as many people as possible. Don’t watch it alone, pointless.
Get a group of your dumb friends, have some drinks and let it loose. Good times.

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

I had never read any Vonnegut in my life. It’s one of the weird blind spots that, for someone who meets me, seems almost unthinkable.
Anyway, you probably know this already but this book is great. The writing is so clean and clear and simple.
It’s very sad and extremely funny.
I don’t think that I’ll start burning through all of his works. I think I will read more but I will attempt to curate the ones I read a little carefully.
Oh man, if I read this book when I was 16? I would have been even MORE insufferable than I already was.

Renoir

Pretty standard biopic. Meh.

The Royal Tenenbaums/The Life Aquatic

First time I’ve seen either since 09.
RT is great. Not a lot of people arguing with that, right? I think Hackman’s performance is so funny and the lines come out sometimes sounding just a little off. But it works.
Aquatic is one that I think gets the most raw deal. People tend to like this one least. I am a huge defender of it. It has Anderson’s least likable protagonist, I think. By a long shot. But, to me, Zissou is one of the more relatable of any of his characters. He’s petty, vindictive, blustery, not the smartest person in his group of pals and childish. Murray’s line reading about hating fathers and never wanting to be one has serious stank on it.
The only thing I still don’t care for is the submarine scene where everybody puts their hands on Zissou. That is so dumb.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

That it took this long to put Ralph Fiennes in a Wes Anderson movie is pretty ridiculous. I loved it. I think it was Alex Ross Perry who said something along the lines of thinking that it’s the perfect synthesis of what Anderson has been working on. That it’s the culmination of everything he’s been working towards. But then you think about how that same comment could be applied to pretty much every movie he’s made. I think I agree with this.
Anyway, the movie is zippy and funny and delightful and I loved it.

A Field In England

Whoa. A great movie to watch in theatre because of how immersing an experience the film can be. If I was watching it at home, I worry that my mind would wander occasionally. I’m a big Wheatley fan despite not caring for Sightseers. And it’s this type of movie that makes him such an exciting filmmaker to follow.

Anna Karenina (Joe Wright)

Very handsome production but the story never felt especially vital or interesting to me.