Wednesday, January 14, 2015

my year in cinema

I've been meaning to watch Tucker & Dale vs Evil and Cabin in the Woods. I'm thinking it might be fun to try them back to back.

I don't remember which movies I had planned to see this year. Whichever they were, I'm sure they mostly weren't the ones I actually saw:
  • Edge of Tomorrow (2014): SO MUCH FUN. (I didn't notice that the farmhouse was the one from Looper, but I did notice a curious lack of ballistic missiles.)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): Watched this and this months before seeing the movie. From how it impressed my friends, I expected it to be more than it was. Still very fun. Animators obviously very proud of all those close-ups showing off Rocket's fur. The low aerial view of planet Xandar reminds me of a similar low aerial view (and similar ground view) used for Caprica in nuBSG, and the low aerial view of planet Morak reminds of a similar low aerial view of Crematoria, from Chronicles of Riddick. Speaking of which, Vin Diesel is once again cast as a man of few words and wooden expressions. Hey! I knew I recognized Nebula's actress! Didn't realize it was Amy Pond, though. Didn't realize the green Orion girl was Uhura, either.
  • Snowpiercer (2013): Mediocre sci-fi in which everybody makes bad decisions forever and dies because of them. Might be an allegory for global warming. The token psychic girl is adorable; but it turns out clairvoyance isn't that useful, and might just be above-average hearing.
  • Mulholland Falls (1996): I enjoyed it. It's a nice Ouroboros of law enforcement overreaching. Probably wouldn't get made these days.(Also: this is not Mulholland Drive, which is what I probably meant to get.)
  • Outland (1981): I like it. Nice panoramas with Jupiter in the opening credits. Sci-fi enough for my taste, though a little bit slow - its trailer fits the whole plot into just three minutes. 
  • Sell Me This Pen: A Tale of Mostly Naked People Making Cold Calls (2013): It handled its overarching themes okay, and its superficial themes brilliantly, but it's still a weird, rambling movie. I'm a bit surprised that they showed so much of the "generic rich house" that every TV show uses - kind of seems like they're screwing location scouts over.
  • The Third Man (1949): A bit slow, and therefore hard to watch. Completely enjoyable nonetheless (I watched it at normal speed), and I don't mind that it's utterly predictable. The sewer set looks like it's the archetype for all underground sets since.
  • Thor 2 (2013): watched it while working on my computer. Not outstanding, but good enough for what it is. I'm sure I'm not the first to say that the floating truck scene is reminiscent of a similar scene from the Animatrix.
  • Winter Soldier (2014): Enjoyed it, probably not enough to watch it again. 
  • Hobbit 3 (2014): Kind of regret seeing this. The whole trilogy could (should) be recut into a single movie. Best scene, I think, was the negotiations at the gate; although visually, the Dragon's Curse swimming beneath the gold plated floor was good, as was Thorin following the submerged orc along the frozen river.
  • Godzilla (2014): Mixed feelings. It did a good job of covering the usual Godzilla themes, and it was nice that the monsters had a plausible reason for swimming to North America. Still prefer Godzilla: Final Wars though.
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): I was prepared for a moody period piece (because I'd done zero research before watching this), but it turned out to be a fast-paced madcap adventure. Fun! Would watch again. Apparently it has a ton of cameos but I didn't notice them.
  • 310 to Yuma (2007): Fun enough western. It condenses a bunch of classic western tropes into a single movie; reminds me of Cowboys and Aliens in that regard. Unlike Cowboys and Aliens, wouldn't watch more than once.
  • Eternal Sunsine of the Spotless Mind (2004): The slow build up at the beginning is way too slow. I finally just skipped forward to the good part, and I think I watched most of the rest of it at 1.5x speed. 
  • Wing Commander (1999): Good enough for what it is, probably not good enough for what it's fans wanted it to be. I like the notions of space sextants and extra-sensory (or supremely intuitive) navigation.
The other night I dreamed a whole sci-fi movie. Like, foreshadowing and everything. It started with giant robots battling over food scarcity in the skywalks of an artificial habitat. It ended with the protagonist falling to the deepest, longest abandoned level of the habitat, and discovering it exited through a storage closet onto Present Day Earth.


  1. Hobbit is the only one of these I saw. I still haven't seen Cap 2 or Thor 2. I do get the impression that "while doing something else" is the right way to watch Thor 2. Not a knock; it just doesn't seem exceptional, y'know?

    1. Yup. I expect Ant-Man will be the same.

      And I doubt either Cap 2 or Thor 2 will contribute much to Avengers 2.