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What with football season starting, I managed to see only 7 new movies in September. (I also watched several movies I had already seen, such as both terrific volumes of Kill Bill — Vol 1 used to get all my love, but I appreciate Vol 2 more as time goes by. However, we're not tracking movies I've watched 2 or more times here.)
159. (1388.) The Lobster (2015)
I enjoyed this movie about a normal man threatened with being put out to pasture (literally) if he can't make his life meaningful (read: get married and have children). I love this sort of absurdity so long as the "reality" presented is internally logical, especially when it's being satirical. (See: Brazil or The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen or most films by Terry Gilliam.) Your mileage may vary. Wildly.
160. (1389.) Django Unchained (2012)
Like I mentioned above, I rewatched the Kill Bills to remind me why I used to love Tarantino movies. Since Inglorious Basterds, I've soured on his style of niche payback films. Kill Bill sparkles, but while Django has its moments — the proto-KKK meeting is a highlight — it feels predictable and plodding. I liked Django fine, but I'd much rather watch Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs again instead.
161. (1390.) Equals (2015)
Speaking of plodding, I'd describe this film as Equilibrium without the cool action... or hope for the future. I kept hoping the story would go somewhere. It doesn't. I should have rewatched Equilibrium instead.
162. (1391.) Violet & Daisy (2011)
Speaking of Tarantino, this movie wants to be Pulp Fiction so badly, it might as well be called Derivative Film. The biggest problem isn't the written-on-its-face inspiration but the lack of character depth. Oddly, characters refusing to talk about themselves is not a problem Tarantino movies usually have.
More to come.
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I'm not sure what to write about today, so I'll do what I do most days when I don't know what to write about. I'll write about movies.
These are the first six films I watched in May.
59. (1118.) Gabriel Over the White House (1933)
What if the archangel Gabriel was elected President of the United States? Despite that premise, this isn't a theological exploration of Christian mores in politics but a fascist political fantasy about how great it would be if the federal government caved in to the irrational desires of the Chief Executive. It's hard to believe that any American would have thought this would be a great idea. Oh, wait a second . . . .
60. (1119.) Lady Snowblood (1973)
This is the clear inspiration for Tarantino's Kill Bill. If you liked that, you'll like this Chinese tale of ultra-violence, assuming you can handle subtitles.
61. (1120.) X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
I remember that there was some key plot point that bothered me about this movie while I was watching it that I don't seem to remember now. Oh, well. If you're choosing to watch this, the seventh movie in the "X-Men" franchise, you already know what you're getting into. So far as ridiculous period piece superhero action movies go, it's not bad.
62. (1121.) Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance (1974)
This sequel isn't as good as the original (mainly because there is less Lady Snowblood in it), but it still manages a satisfying finale.
63. (1122.) King's Row (1942)
I elected to watch this film because Ronald Reagan starred in it. Though I typically think he's stiff on film, he's very good here as the reformed ne'er-do-well struck by a series of terrible fortunes. There's a lot of pitch-black subtext in this critique of small town America that was too dark for 1942, and this movie is probably one of the very few that really needs to be remade.
64. (1123.) The Three Faces of Eve (1957)
I didn't quite know what to expect here, and I was quite surprised at how enjoyable this fictionalized melodrama is. It's about a woman who has three distinct personalities at odds with one another. Well done.
More to come.