The Accountant- If you don’t hate Ben Affleck for some intangible reason (or tangible I suppose) you will probably enjoy this movie. The backstory is so odd it catches you by surprise. I will admit his body size is weird. He’s tall but chubby but strong looking too maybe? Vince Vaughn has a similar frame. I generally like Affleck in everything but my view of him is now tainted after a friend of mine said “I miss crooked tooth Good Will Hunting Affleck.” Amen.
Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict- Yeah, good history. Time killer. I didn’t know any of this so definitely worth it in that regard. I don’t know how broad of an appeal this will have art-wise for people but her thinking in regards to sex and relationships was progressive for the era.
Man with a Movie Camera- Frenetic and inventive day in the life of a Russian city. The camerawork here is incredible when you consider that it’s 90 years old. Drags on some but it’s worth it to see the innovation in camera angles and methods of shooting. This is a very specific type of movie and you really only need to see it if you’re working on your Russian checklist but there is also a strong historical component. It’s rare to see the full workings of a city with this much detail in the early twentieth century.
Magnificent 7-Remake of a remake. Vincent D’ Onofrio made the whole movie with his small part. Other than him, and possibly Peter Sarsgaard’s consistently sweaty villain, just go watch the first remake with Yul Brenner or, god forbid, the original and classic Kurosawa version. It’s like every American version of other movies is just to apply our sensibilities, humor and happy endings. I’m fine with remakes it happens all the time but I was sour during this one.
One Good Thing: D’Onofrio is a demigod of the acting world. A new Brando but more subtle. Go watch Daredevil and tell me I’m wrong. Don’t bother, I’m not.
Watch Instead: Seven Samurai
The White Helmets- My life is fine. Sorry I ever complained. This is raw, harrowing, uplifting and heartbreaking all at the same time. There is daring film making to go along with the bravery and sacrifice in front of the camera, emboldened most likely by said bravery. Sadly, the horrors of Syria (thanks largely in part to Saudi,U.S. and Russian support) continue and have only gotten worse.
Oasis: Supersonic- A talking heads documentary where you don’t actually see those talking. This plays well into the ending which, for me, was an unknown but it’s also very effective. We are entering an age of film and documentaries where there’s going to be a lot more footage available so you will have to rely less on seeing the interviews of people who were present or involved. Even photographs can be made to look three dimensional. This one is good even if you don’t love their music as the narration is first-person and comical in tone. It sounds like you’re talking to people in a pub.
Gimme Danger– Did you know The Stooges formed in the 1960s? No, you didn’t, so watch this movie and hear the wisdom and fury (and prog rock?) of Iggy and the gang.
Chimes at Midnight- Orson Welles at his most balloon-like and boisterous. This is beautifully shot in black and white, especially the castle scenes, and is intermittently comedy and tragedy. A rare film outing for Shakespeare that leans in multiple directions. This is primarily due to Falstaff being a character who has appeared in multiple Shakespeare plays and Chimes is a weaving together of those parts.
MOVIE OF THE WEEK:
One More Time with Feeling- Nick Cave and Andrew Dominic’s version of Beyonce’s Lemonade, only it’s about death rather than infidelity. I dare anybody to write a better description of this. I want Nick Cave to compose my funeral dirge because he will presumably outlive all of us. This is a beautiful project which makes the album more enjoyable than I found it when listening alone. Dominic marries the visuals and sound so well that each suffers just a little when apart.
The Discovery- A doctor discovers the afterlife is real so people start offing themselves in record numbers. This is visually and thematically noteworthy but the tone feels much like the world the characters inhabit. Just dead and gray. Plus, it takes place on a northern seaboard which always seemed like a mockery of beaches to me, like a Duralog is to fires. The ending pays off slightly, but the journey there does not. That Charlie McDowell also directed the beautifully original The One I Love makes this lusterless outing sting all the more.