Movies I've watched recently:
The trailer for this film doesn't spoil anything: it tells almost everything about this film, which (surprise) doesn't pass the Bechdel test. Read my entire review here: http://niklasblog.com/?p=191110.3
This film is actually worse than the first one, leaving no care behind; actually, if "no care left behind" would be the title, I'd given it higher grade out from courtesy. There's just nothing in here, not even anything little that aids or progresses action, for the sake of action. Even tipping a jar of paint onto the street would be more actionable and less questionable, than anything that goes on in this film.0.3
What a heap of troubles. Sweden often combats crime; one may say it's "our" forté. Trouble is, the same actors adapt the same dour, sour stance when affronting the crimes perpetrated by other film-makers and actors, all from Sweden. It's a downward trajectory. Here, the biggest crime is courtesy of Jacob Eklund, who would not be able to act his way out of a paper bag; he's far too lackadaisical and apathetic to be a lead guy, and his character's simply not believable. This story is somewhat interesting as one specific criminal quickly proves to be an informant for the police. That's about it, really. The action is questionable as I kept looking at my wall behind the TV at times, for more exciting stuff; I'm not exaggerating when writing it. Fingers crossed for more excitement.0.3
I'm a sucker for Fey/Poehler, and this time they've managed to be as brash and simultaneously fun as they should always have been; I mean, they've obviously honed their craft. They play sisters who walk down memory lane, and what keeps this from being a regular haw-haw SNL showboat is how they keep their eyes on the prize, story-wise. It's a complete film, lavish with jokes that not only prey upon the remember-when-we-were-young? thing, but show-cases humor in its simplest forms. There are not that many gimmicks, really, but mostly humor. Things work because of the words, not the context, e.g. in comparison with films like almost everything Adam Sandler has made. All in all, fun and funny, they make it work.0.3
This is a pure action-and-vengeance film, from start to finish. There's really no logic to some things, e.g. why the main character does not visit his estranged and brutally hurt (physically and mentally speaking) daughter in hospital, but is on a mission. Apart from that, though, this film is a study in cinematography, vengeance, neat tricks and sheer love for the kind of drama that I think all vengeance-based films should carry. There's a lot of fun too. What Hallyday keeps back because of his limited performance - just imagine if Alain Delon would have played the main character, which is what the director originally wanted - the sidekicks and the beauty of the film gives back. It's a bit like "Blade Runner" meets "Memento" and some ancient John Ford/Akira Kurosawa thing going on. A must-see for all action/vengeance flick buffs.0.3
June 16th, 2016
As we bow our heads to laud The Smiths’ “The Queen Is Dead” turning 30 years old, let’s not forget Derek Jarman’s beautiful foot-in-the-face 13-minute epic that goes hand in hand with it all:
I still long for the day when I’ll read lyrics such as these:
I shan’t go into this more. I cannot. It’s like gazing into an abyss of splendour and beauty and anger and more beauty.
June 16th, 2016
I’ve seen this film a few times. It’s actually quite lovely, very reminiscent of “Basquiat“, which is in the same vein, not only because of Andy Warhol being depicted in them. In this film, he’s depicted by the laudable Guy Richie, in the other, by David Bowie. Both do it greatly, in their own ways.
There are a lot of great quotes in the film; nearly all from conversations, making me recall great films where dialogue matters beyond Tarantino-esque ham-fisted scenes:
I had to cry for all of them.
Oh no, you have to watch your spending.
I just got myself into a little pickle.
It may be a painting but it’s an idea.
Tim Hardin’s “Red Balloon” playing in the film.
I gather Sedgwick‘s life was troubled. Still, she seems to have been an individual.
June 13th, 2016
A recent study in the International Journal of Business Administration looked at MBA students at the University of Florida to determine how reading habits shape writing ability. Scientists analyzed writing samples from student cover letters, which were believed to be the most telling form of a student’s best writing — no one wants to make a bad impression on a cover letter — to determine complexity and style.
The study found students who consume primarily digital content (such as Reddit and Buzzfeed) had the lowest writing complexity scores, while those who often read literature and academic journals had the highest levels of writing complexity.
The idea that the Internet is transforming people unwittingly in ways that may be less than desirable is best developed in The Shallows by Nicholas Carr. While acknowledging all the benefits of the Internet, and his own addiction to it, Carr argues that the advantages “come at a price,” specifically by reshaping the way our brains work. Carr draws from the recent surge in brain science research demonstrating that brains are “massively plastic” and can be changed dramatically by their environment and how they are used and not used. Carr argues that research demonstrates that with the rise of the Web and the decline in traditional reading, humans are losing their “linear thought process.” The Internet’s “cacophony of stimuli short-circuits both conscious and unconscious thought, preventing our minds from thinking either deeply or creatively.” People substitute skimming for reading, and “offload” their memory to computers. The consequences are disastrous. Carr invokes William James, who declared that “the art of remembering is the art of thinking.”
Also, don’t forget the benefits of handwriting vs typing:
- I need to add “Yellowless” to my name.[back]