Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Short Controlled Bursts

Because you can never have enough Online Procrastination Tools, I can now be found over on Letterboxd. In their words, Letterboxd is “a social network for sharing your taste in film” and I find myself on there on a regular basis making lists, updating my viewing diary and, sometimes, throwing together little capsule reviews largely cobbled together from tweets I’ve hurled out into the void upon exiting a cinema. If you feel like disappearing down the rabbit hole of my viewing habits, my Letterboxd page is here and if you fancy trying it yourself, just holler - I’ve still got a couple of invites going spare if anyone wants one.

As a dedicated proponent of recycling, I’ve grabbed a handful of recent Letterboxd mini-reviews, buffed them up a bit, and I’m chucking them up here. Go on, have a read. They’re only short.

Berberian Sound Studio
If it weren’t for the family-that-slays-together-stays-together-but-not-for-long grime of Killer Joe, then Berberian Sound Studio just might have been my Film of the Year. Grungy, queasy, elliptical and really very beautiful. An aphrodisiac for obsolete tech fetishists. Those spools, those knobs...But won't someone think of the vegetables? Those poor, poor vegetables...

Ted
If you like the idea of Seth MacFarlane jerking off to Flash Gordon for 106 minutes, then Ted is the self-loathing Summer movie for you! Also, don't do an Airplane! homage in your piece-of-shit talking bear movie if you can't come up with at least one joke as good as that movie had, MacFarlane. Mean-spirited in a brazenly artificial, button-pushing way, and yet it doesn't even have the courage of its posturing convictions and pussies out for a happy Hollywood ending. Apparently, an earlier draft of the script contained a narrated framing sequence with Peter Falk, referencing The Princess Bride. This is the only (in)conceivable instance where it is acceptable to feel happy that Peter Falk is dead.

Due Date
The sheer fucking unwarranted hubris of Todd Phillips that he thought he could better (let alone equal) Planes, Trains & Automobiles. I laughed a total of two times - both times because Robert Downey Jr. pulled a facial expression that managed to rise above the pitiful slop of the script. (I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to sit down to watch this. Since my vitriolic screed about The Hangover everybody knows how much I despise the oeuvre of Todd Phillips by now, right?)

TRON: Legacy
I really didn't expect to enjoy TRON: Legacy at all. I’m not one of those people who gets a warm fuzzy nostalgic glow when I think about the original TRON - it hasn’t aged well at all. I’m not entirely convinced that it looked all that good to begin with. And there seems to be a little bit of revisionist history at play too - people seem to have forgotten that the double-whammy box-office failures of both TRON and The Black Hole scared Disney off live-action feature film production for a decade. It’s surprising that TRON: Legacy exists at all. But the irresistible soundtrack by Daft Punk (I can’t stop listening to the damn thing), the insanely camp performance by Michael Sheen, and Jeff Bridges going Full Hippie is a helluva lot of fun. I’ve watched it a few times now and I’m still enjoying the hell out of it. This would also make a fine double-bill of Neon Racing movies coupled with John Singleton’s anime-inflected 2 Fast 2 Furious. I’m not kidding. "Biodigital jazz, man."

Priest
The worst crime that the thuddingly dull Priest commits is having M├Ądchen Amick on screen for mere minutes before killing her off-screen. (I can’t be the only Twin Peaks aficionado who feels that way). Which is a damn shame, as I really enjoyed the previous Paul Bettany-Scott Charles Stewart collaboration, the diner-at-the-end-of-the-world angels-with-uzis Grand Guignol Legion.