Nixon on Nixon- Fascinating display of the arrogance that comes with the oval office. The amazing thing about Nixon is how freely he spoke knowing he was being recorded. The film makes great use of statements made to the press contrasted with conversations in private. It also illustrates President Trump’s current war with the media is not a new thing. Nixon hated journalists and openly said so. He also barred specific news organizations from the White House. This is history we rarely get access to anymore primarily because the Nixon administration showed everyone how not to do things.
MOVIE OF THE WEEK:
Wonder Woman– There is a single battle scene in Wonder Woman that is better than any contemporary Marvel or DC battle scene. That being said, you really can’t fuck up a decent superhero movie these days. Even when you’re way off the mark, it still banks a billion dollars so it’s a no-lose situation. I say “decent” because most DC movies are “less than decent”. As far as movies go, this one is fine but as far as superhero movies it’s only a little above the rest. That being said it’s probably the only DC one worth watching. I have not seen Justice League but I’m pretty confident it is un-good. Like BVS: Dawn of Justice (fuck this title) but X6 right?
UPDATE: I have since watched Justice League and I was correct. It is un-good.
Umberto D- Sad tale of an elderly man struggling to live on his pension and afraid to live in a shelter. His only friend is his dog who is adept at tricks. If you consider old age scary at all I do not recommend this but the elderly are ignored in cinema for the most part so I support it. Nothing bad happens per se but it’s realism is unflinching even by today’s standards of how the childless and elderly are treated.
One Good thing: Maria Casilio and the dog, Flike.
Watch instead: Ikiru
Denial– I don’t understand holocaust denial just like I don’t get flat-earthers. I guess the lame-stream media has just gotten to me. This is also as much about the holocaust as it is concerned with how weird British law is compared to Americans. It’s okay. Worth it for Timothy Spall’s performance as a denier and all around frustrating person. Rachel Weisz occupies such a strange space in cinema. She’s pretty but not drop dead. She’s a strong actress but not a powerhouse. She is in that sweet spot where she can kind of do whatever she likes for as long as she wants. I don’t know who to compare her too. Lili Taylor maybe? Carla Gugino? Why do what I mean as compliments sound awful when I say them out loud?
The Last Waltz-Martin Scorcese’s documentary (he appears from time to time like a bearded Keebler elf) on the “final” performance of The Band. With guest appearances by Dr. John, Muddy Waters, Neil Young and peak-Eric Clapton this is a pretty good watch. I had no idea who The Band were and it’s fun to see this era of rock n’ roll performed in a simple intimate setting. I’m not sure what Scorsese brought to the table as the concert angles were pretty limited but this was early in his career. I’m thinking he was a fan so it was his excuse to hang backstage. Also, concert films are more about music than visuals typically. You’re at a concert but not at a concert. Bummer.
Homo Sapiens- I turned this on with no idea what it was about. For the hardcore only. It’s about 90 minutes of stationary camera footage of places in our world that have been abandoned like Fukushima and Bulgaria. That’s it. It is simple and gorgeous. There is no music (that I can recall) and it rains throughout much of the film. Were they not radioactive and probably terrifying at night I would most live in any of these places.
Koch- I have a fantasy about New York in the 1970/1980s that is way off base but in my head I want to live there. For some reason it seemed like the epicenter of the world back then. Anyway, this movie explains it was a bankrupt shithole that was turned around through force and political wizardry by the unlikely candidate Ed Koch who is both revered and reviled.
Life (The James Dean one)– I was struck by two things here. Dane Dehaan is destined to be one of our greatest actors and Robert Pattinson has finally shed whatever Twilight stigma he may have been suffering from. There is a glamorized telling of famous people’s lives and more watered down realistic version and this feels like the latter. Budget may be an issue but everything I saw put me in the moment I was supposed to be seeing. There is a scene where Pattinson throws up on a little boy. That’s all. It just sticks in my memory.
Maria Bamford: Old Baby- Bamford, already an unconventional comic, has pushed the boundaries even further with her last two specials. In Old Baby, she performs stand-up in parks, restaurants and book stores to onlookers that are both friends and strangers. As enjoyable as it is, it lacks the bite and awkwardness of her last special which was performed for only her parents in their own living room.