I tried writing about every movie I saw in 2013 and got as far as February.
Django Unchained (2012) - It’s too long and pretty uncomfortable, but it’s a hell of a ride. Samuel L. Jackson was a highlight with some of the most actual acting he’s done in years.
Sleepwalk With Me (2012) - Mike Birbiglia turned his charming one-act about being a comedian who sleepwalks into a movie with the help of This American Life. Mark Maron called it the only movie that gets the what it’s like to be a touring comedian right and it’s easy to believe him.
Holy Motors (2012) - I think I almost got this on my first watch, but not quite. It’s a metaphor for the evolution of film? A bunch of people walked out of this at the theatre - one guy didn’t even make it ten minutes in, so he missed the crazy alien sex and weird boner scenes.
Life of Pi (2012) - I watched this with only half of the book read, which I think might be better than watching an adaptation with the entire book freshly read. I don’t like how I end up comparing everything back to the novel. That said, the first part of the book is one of my favourite parts so far and it ended up being the most condensed. My favourite scene - when the three religious teachers come to talk to Pi’s parents at the same time and just start yelling at each other - is entirely absent due to the structural changes to the story there. Which is mostly fine, I get why it had to be shortened, I just love that scene. I also like that part of the message is that stories often have optimal ways to be told and that this one translates better as a novel.
Looper (2012) - This is a pretty clever sci fi/time travel movie overall, but I really don’t get why the people from the future decided that the best course of action was to let the assassin’s kill themselves. Why not let other assassin’s do it? Why not just shoot them like they shot Bruce Willis’ wife?
Joseph Gordon Levitt’s face weirded me out - he mostly looked like Bruce Willis, but occasionally looked like George Clooney or Daniel Craig. I guess the man’s got a bright future in time travel gigs.
And what was UP with that stump she kept chopping for no reason?
Take This Waltz (2012) - Sarah Polley’s take on the rom-com is a bit lacking. The only likeable character in it is Seth Rogen, but that’s not saying a lot.
The Truman Show (1998) - I rewatched this because it came up in conversation. It’s a weird movie that’s fun to try to figure out as you’re watching it.
DiG! (2004) - This is a music documentary built from 7 years of footage of the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols that a friend really wanted me to watch. It’s good - Anton Newcomb is a nutty dude. I wish I’d have seen it before seeing the Warhols ar Sled a couple of years ago.
The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) - I got excited about watching James Bond movies for some reason and got mixed up about which one I wanted to watch. I mistakenly downloaded this instead of Goldfinger - whoops!
I knew the Roger Moore Bond entries were generally pretty silly, but I’d forgotten just how silly.
Even this movie, with it’s semi-serious story about the ultra secretive best assassin in the world, gets silly to the point of being nonsense. Some of the things that happen are totally useless - why does Bond karate fight a bunch of ninjas with teenage girls? Why do those teenage girls and their secret agent uncle just leave without him after that fight so he has to steal a pretty slow boat? Why is that racist sheriff from that other movie in Thailand?
That said, the secret agent uncle is probably the single nicest character to ever exist in the James Bond universe. He’s giving his nieces a ride to class at the same time as driving Bond to a crazy assassin supper party, which is so charming and naive at the same time that I can’t help but want to see a whole movie about this guy’s approach to secret agent-ing. “Agent Hip: The Dirtiest Linens. Can special agent Hip stop the drug trafficking ring AND get his wife’s dry cleaning home in time?”
Further character observations: racist sheriff J.W. Pepper is the worst and I can’t believe they thought it was a good idea to bring him back for this movie. He adds cringe instead of laughs.
Christopher Lee is super great as the villain and makes this more watchable than it would be otherwise.
Paperman (2012) - A charming short animation from Disney. It cleverly blends CG and hand drawn animations.
Dr. No (1963) - After that initial screw-up trying to watch Bond movies I decided to start back at the beginning. This is so much better! Basic Bond.
From Russia With Love (1964) - I don’t think I’d seen this one before, somehow. There’s a lot going on in it and the climactic train deception / fight is awesome.
Tiny Furniture (2010) - Lots of my friends are all about Lena Dunham and her HBO show Girls right now, so I thought I’d check her out. It’s okay; mumblecore is a popular genre right now and Dunham does it well. The characters weren’t all that relatable.
Groundhog Day (1993) - I watched this on Groundhog Day because duh. Everyone always forgets about Groundhog Day! (the day, not the movie. This movie is brilliant.)
The monoclonius is the best possible version of both things.