Friday, November 25, 2016

1015. Inception

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Before we begin talking about Inception (stalling?  I am not stalling!  I totally understand everything that happened in this movie!) I want to give a brief shout out to Alex, a new reader of the blog!  Alex has her own blog chronicling her journey through the 1001 movies.  Click here to check it out.  She has a funny writing style and can do what I cannot: criticize Grease.

Dom Cobb is a thief who is able to enter people's dreams and steal ideas and secrets from their subconscious.  Cobb is approached by Saito, a Japanese businessman, to do a seemingly impossible job: implant an idea into a competitor's heir's subconscious that will convince him to dissolve his father's company.  In return, Saito will use his influence to clear Cobb of murder charges.  And that is everything I can say for sure.

Well I suppose it is fairly obvious to say, but the special effects were incredible, considering the fact that Nolan used very little CGI.  I was annoyed at the beginning by how unreliable the storytelling was.  In the end, it really doesn't matter if what we are seeing is a dream or not.  This can be enjoyed strictly as a visual spectacle.

Of course, it can also be fun to examine it as a metaphor of filmmaking, but I will stop myself there before I get into too many spoilers.  Also, Leonardo DiCaprio wears a suit, so enough said.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

One of the top 50 highest grossing films of all time.

Working title was Oliver's Arrow.

Monday, November 14, 2016

1014. Bowling for Columbine

Bowling for Columbine
Directed by Michael Moore

The sky has fallen, so perhaps I should have saved last week's post for today.  I apologize that it has taken me so long to post.  I was at work yesterday and a coworker asked how I was doing (after telling me my bra strap was showing; I've been kind of a mess) and I said "grieving."  "Still?" he asked.

Yes, still.  I tend to take a long time (maybe even a week!) to get over such trivial things as the fate of our country.  I am simultaneously miserable and enraged about the election results.  This has resulted in some extreme outbursts, so it has been an emotionally exhausting week.  My friends have been experiencing a heightened level of harassment.  Both my parents sent me texts telling me to never doubt my own self worth, despite how our new pres-I can't even say it yet.

In any case, I know that allowing myself a mourning period is a luxury that a lot of people don't have.  I know a lot of people are scared right now.  I know I am just a stranger from the internet with a Joss Whedon obsession, but if anyone needs to talk, vent, or discuss how Buffy would have handled this situation, you can email me at

Anyway, I guess I didn't leave myself much room to discuss Bowling for Columbine, a documentary that explores gun rights and violence in the United States (see how I slipped the summary in there?  I am already saving time!).  I suppose people might argue with the "documentary" label, as Moore is extremely biased and takes more things out of context than the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Still, the horrific amount of gun violence in America needs to be addressed.  I think Moore is incredibly frustrated and if he comes across as exploitative at times, it is because Americans are so indifferent that he feels they need to be jolted awake.  Maybe standing in Chuck Heston's driveway with a picture of a murdered girl is the way to do that.  I myself am almost out of ideas.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Moore on the Trump election.  From YouTube:

Saturday, November 5, 2016

1013. Skyfall

Directed by Sam Mendes

I have seen every Bond movie and read every Bond book.  It's an obsession that is a bit hard to justify sometimes, like my fascination with Real Housewives or slasher films.  Anyway, as much as I like watching a shirtless Daniel Craig, I feel that the best of the franchise is behind us.

James Bond and Eve Moneypenny (finally, this woman has a role beyond lusting after Bond) are tracking down a mercenary who has stolen a hard drive containing information on all of MI6's undercover agents.  The mission goes horribly wrong, mostly because of Moneypenny (you should have stayed in the kitchen, you skirt!).  Anyway, explosions, beautiful women, and casinos.  That about sums it up.

Let's start with the good.  The song is fantastic, obviously, as Adele is a goddess.  The performances were all extremely effective, particular Craig's, as he brings a quiet kind of sadness to the role that no actor has before.  Still, this franchise is getting more and more generic.  We have a few obligatory scenes that remind us we are watching a Bond movie.  But most of the time, I felt like I was watching a run of the mill action film.  I half expected to see Tom Cruise sprinting in the background.

I am not sure I can this is the franchise's fault.  After all, directors have been ripping off Bond films for decades, so the lines were destined to blur between the original and the copies eventually.  I suppose audiences are getting smarter as well; we are no longer content watching villains try to enact grand schemes in ridiculously convoluted ways.  Unfortunately, that was half the fun for me.

Anyway, if you like action movies, you'll probably enjoy this.  But I tend to find the genre a bit dull, so I will go with three stars.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Second longest Bond film of all time (after Casino Royale).

First Bond film to list the actresses as "Bond Women" rather than "Bond Girls."  Well, that took an appropriate amount of time.