Monday, January 31, 2011

Some Punch Drunk Lovin'

Punch Drunk Love
Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

Yet another character piece from Paul Thomas, only this I liked.  I had some major issues with There Will be Blood and Boogie Nights just didn't do it for me either (no pun intended).  But this movie was...  well... sweet.  Maybe I didn't like the others because I had issues connecting to the characters individually that he was building?  Who knows.  But, Barry was so lovable, it was hard not to connect with him and want to see what was next for him.

So, there were a couple things in this movie that really worked for me.  One being the suit.  The beautifully unique, blue suit.  I feel like the suit was Barry in a nutshell.  He wished to present himself to the world in  this professional way, but the world just couldn't take him seriously.  I loved the way the suit fit the part and the way it stuck out just enough among the black suits in the airport and even just against his co-worker's button down t-shirts.  It was one of those choices that just fit.

Adam Sandler.  Wow.  So, I had seen Sandler do serious before and always wished he'd just stick with what he knew.  ie. Spanglish.  But this character was perfect for him.  I don't feel like it was too much of a stretch for him, and I feel like he nailed it with even just his littlest actions.  The way he grits his teeth, the way he hides in the corner from his sister, I think this had to have been somewhat tough on a casting director, but I'm not sure it would have worked with anyone else.  This is probably my favorite Sandler movie now.

And a small thing that really moved me was the relationship that was growing like a weed in cracked pavement.  Anderson did some amazing things capturing this, but I particularly liked the shot where they are hugging in Hawaii and everyone is buzzing around them.  Like in the midst of chaos, love will find a way.

But there were moments where I could have easily seen the relationship taking a turn, and if it hadn't been for her want to be with him, things never would have worked.  He's a constant mood killer.  After their first kiss, he assures her that he's not crazy, even if his sister says so, and even right after cuddling in the motel room, he tells her about having taken out some rage in the bathroom at the restaurant they were kicked out of.  At any one of these points, had it been a classic hollywood movie, the bouncing blond would have turn and ran away, but all of the characters in this film were just so very human.

The honesty of the film keeps it going.  Well, that and the comedic breaks with the sex phone operator and her mob.

Not sure why, but it kind of made me think of Tony Scott's True Romance, only less violent.
148 minutes +95=243 viewing minutes so far

Startin' with 2001

1/300 movies.  362 days remain.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick

I watched this one in two parts.  Basically with the intermission from one day to the next because I was so afraid of falling asleep and missing something the first night.  But, I'm glad that I did.  This film is a very interesting look at what Kubrick did for motion pictures, and a lot to think about.

The movie seems to flow from uncivilized monkeys finding a means to make tools, to taking a huge leap to his very classically-A-symmetrical shots of earthy toned and ultra-civilized travelers discussing the scare of an epidemic outbreak, which is of course (and again, a very Kubrick-movie-esc) a government coverup.

I'm finding that most of the movies I've seen of his, don't tend to follow any kind of clear beginning-middle-end narrative.  There are many times within Clockwork Orange, for instance, I feel that the movie could have ended and it would have though.  It's more of a chain of vignettes that just build up to an end that kind of just leaves you in wonderment.

I've also found that his movies tend to take a little while to fully digest.  Really not anything that you can sit up straight from watching and feel like it's truly finished.  This is something I really like.  I love spending those moments the next day at work or wherever just thinking back and letting things play out, especially when the filmmaker has something to say with their work.

One thing that made the movie a little hard to watch though from my vantage point was the music.  Since it's time in the late 60's the epic music has been parodied so much that anytime I heard it and saw the block, I just had to laugh a little.  It took me out of the movie for sure.

A recommendation I have for anyone that liked the look and the timing of this movie, but may have rather had a more clear-cut story line needs to watch Moon by Duncan Jones.  I feel like that movie took the astronaut from the space craft and said what if this guy is alone and on the moon and...  then just kind of ran with it.  The feel of the middle of the movie was very much the same.  The trippy end, not so much.

0 viewing minutes + 148 min = 148 minutes of new films viewed

Friday, January 28, 2011

300 movies by 25.

I'd like to take a moment to explain myself and my little project.

I'm a 24 year old student of film.  By this, I mean I've already graduated with a BS in Radio-TV-Film, but when it comes to movies, as it goes with other mediums as well, I'm sure, no one ever stops learning or being schooled by the craft.

So, I've decided that in order to better myself as not only a filmmaker, but as a human being in general, I am challenging myself to consume 300 films that I have not yet seen and blog about each encounter before I turn 25.  I will be taking requests (here at my blog, and at my facebook account).  The point of this exercise is for my readers and friends to find those movies that they don't feel like anyone could live without seeing and help me flush out the "I cannot believe you have never seen this before!"'s and the "how have you made it this long without seeing this?!" and to replace them with open and honest dialog about these experiences.

This is not meant to alienate anyone.  This is key.  I may want to talk about how a character's arc works or doesn't work for me or how some choices in a movie didn't seem like good ones to make, or heck, I may just not like a movie in it's entirety.  It totally happens.  Everyone has movies they don't like.  And I wouldn't take it personally, if you disagree.  The reason to watch these and discuss in this open format is to debate and try to figure out how things work for some and not for others, or how people's tastes differ.  So, don't be afraid to throw out a movie for my viewing that you may think I don't like or would judge you personally for.  I may even take polls on these things to see who agrees with me or others on certain topics.  Movies have target audiences.  It's a fact.  There isn't one movie that everyone can agree on...  ever.

I also don't want to alienate people by talking over their heads.  I can and will come off as a pretentious know-it-all at times, I'm sure.  But, I really want the non-movie-studying people alike to pipe in as to if they liked the films or didn't.  It's all of you that really make or break this industry as a whole.  On the other hand though, be ready to back yourself.  Don't just say you liked it, or didn't.  Just think a little...  why did you?  what part of that movie did you just sit there and say...  wow.  That was an amazing movie.  Or, what turned you off?  Cause I'll probably ask.

So, with the help of Netflix, my employee discount, and AMC/The Alamo Drafthouse, I'm making this thing happen.  I encourage you to come on this cinematic journey with me.

I would like to close with a quote...

 "When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, no, I went to films."
-Quentin Tarantino