More random thoughts about things I've watched recently. Some films are a little more current while others are the strangest things I could find on demand.
I'm no Kevin Smith fanboy. I know a bunch. I don't associate. They all remind me of Justin Long oddly enough, who I really don't like. However, I was looking forward to this film for quite some time. Smith delivers abject moments of horror while Michael Parkstotally convinces as a sick, old psycho. The real walrus in this movie is Haley Joel Osment. I mean, am I right?! But seriously, he let himself go. Good to see him working nonetheless. Walrus yes.
Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1
I've defended Lars von Trier in the past. Except when he made those comments about understanding the Nazis and all that. Nympho is really bad. If it wasn't so bizarre, it would be pornography. It's self-indulgent and the performances are insipid. Maybe that's the point? I don't know. If it is, it's completely lost on me. Charlotte Gainsbourg's character is unreliable as a narrator but could be how Kirsten Dunst's character in Melancholia turns out if the world hadn't ended. The one plus? The film makes me want to fly fish.
A slow burn, Australian horror film that times pitch perfect scares. First you identify with the existential funk that the single mother finds herself stuck in. Get scared. Then you realize her son is the worst kid on Earth with his violent outbursts, high-pitched shrills and shoddy craftsmanship. Get scared again. Enter the Babadook to make it all better. Then get really scared. After that, you can't help but hate the mother. Like, really hate. All thanks to the Babadook. It's as if Freddy Krueger decided to become a family therapist. Or as the final scenes suggest, maybe the Babadook is more Cujo?
It's amazing that Richard Linklater needed to make a movie that took over a decade to film in order to get the respect and notoriety he deserves. I do see what all the fuss is about, though. Boyhood plays out like the best novel you read in college with quiet, subtle moments of growth and heartache. It's brilliantly cast with Patricia Arquette playing a battle-hardened single mother and Ethan Hawke playing the selfish, absentee father who just can't seem to get out of his own way. Linklater does a fantastic job tracking and noting the passage of time with pop culture references, music and video games. Yes, video games. Which makes it all the more real. Any guy who grew up in the late-90's and early aughts can recall which video game they were playing when puberty hit, or the band that changed their life after their first awkward but awesome makeout session.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson's magnum opus. He's at his quirkiest and most obsessive. Experiencing the Hotel is like being at an adult amusement park. There's so much to observe and process. Every character is highly idiosyncratic. Ralph Fiennes made me a believer, and I challenge you to find a more versatile actor than Edward Norton. He's been my favorite addition to Anderson's gang of usual suspects. Now if only Anderson would take a step back and revisit where he was at while writing Rushmore.
Did anyone have any fun making this movie?