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Old 10-15-2012, 12:11 AM   #11513
Thorpesaurous
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Default Re: Rate the last movie you watched.

I'm coming off a very busy weekend, that included a heavy dose of movie watching. It started off with an impromptu trip to Yankee Stadium for game 5 Friday night, the type of thing my buddy and I used to do when we were young, but not in a long time. A quick text, a little stubhubbing, 4 hours later I'm skipping out of work early and hopping a train with 12 ponies and we're on our way to a do or die playoff game. Then I was up again at 4am to get to work at 5. Did a 5-1, went to deliver parts, got outta there at two, and hit the movies and lunch. It was a lot of fun, but I was exhausted as the weekend went on, and it may have effected my opinions.

I'm going to go into these backwards, because that's how I liked them from worst to first.

I'll start with Kill The Irishman, which I watched today in a cross between a hangover and an exhausted stupor while laying in bed. It was a movie I had a lot of interest in when it was coming out, but it never played near me. As many of you know, I'm a bit of a true crime buff, more of the serial killer variety, but occasionally mafia material, and I'd read a bit about this story prior to this. I found it quite entertaining. It's almost comically blunt though, and it lacks in detail in it's story telling. There's a distinct lack of depth. His relationship with his wife, then later his girlfriend are sketches at best. It's certainly worth seeing, but laying in bed on a Sunday morn may be the ideal setting for it. It probably could've been a lot better. I'd give it a low 70s.

The second thing I saw was a Saturday night showing of Argo. I had wanted to check it out that afternoon, but stumbled into something else. I was gonna pass, but was so tired I couldn't sleep, and wound up heading back out to check this out. It was probably a mistake for me, as I was a bit late for a Saturday Night showing of a huge movie, and the theatre was packed. Not really my type of setting, but whatever.
Oddly my feelings are a little similar to The Irishman. It was a bit lacking in detail. It's got a few really top notch elements. For one, there are moments that are genuinely funny. It actually reminded me a little of a Coen Bros type of comedy in spots where the humor stems for the shear absurdity of the situation, sort of a Burn After Reading sensibility (although the Washington setting may have contributed to that). The production of the period is spot on. And thirdly, it's extremely taughtly edited, making it really suspensefull, which is silly considering it's based on a true story and you aughta know that they make it out, but still, the way it was cut made it an excellent watch.
My gripe is one that I've had before, and probably is an indication of the quality of the thing, but I wanted more. However in this case, it felt less because of the rich setting, and more because the whole thing felt skimmed. Perhaps that was a side effect of getting the pacing the way they wanted it. I don't know. But a lot of stuff felt hinted at and not payed off. Affleck's character may have had a drinking problem, we're never really sure what happened with him and his wife. They could've gone in a different direction and made the first act setting up the fake movie a lot more slapstick. Or they could've fattened up the plan in Washington, which feels like it happens over the course of a morning meeting. Or they could've followed the hostages closer. And with all these could've's, the thing still felt like it ran a 20 minutes too long.
It was really really good. I'd give it a mid 80s, and totally recommend it. The laughs are worth it, and the production value of putting together the era (nice job with the soundtrack by the way), and it's a heart pumper, and it's a fantastical story worth hearing, there's just some weird spottiness in my opinion.

And finally, the first thing I saw this weekend, after a long Friday night trip to baseball, and an early and long day at work. I was looking for Argo times when I noticed that the little arthouse theatre near me was showing a documentary I had heard about months and months ago, Searching for Sugarman.
It's hard to get into the quality of a documentary without discussing the story in detail. It does have some really well done elements to it. For one, the way the story is assembled, it's a genuine surprise, which is really odd for a documentary. Usually the guy being interviewed for the incredible tale is the one who survived the thing, so there's not a lot of suspense about say, how he got out of the cave, or whatever the case may be, but this was approached as a documentary about a guy doing an investigative article, so you get to go along for the ride.
Without ruining it, it's an incredible story about a no name artist named Sixto Rodrigues, who recorded a few albums in the late 60s and early 70s, achieved no success whatsoever, but under the sheild of government censorship in South Africa, became essentially bigger than Elvis in that country without anyone knowing. The story actually follows a music reporter trying to track down some history on Rodriguez 25 years after his all too early death, and why he never took off in his home country. It's well shot, and has some really cool graphic work, which is all pretty handy for the limitations of the genre, and one of the reasons it works, is that the music is genuinely excellent. It would be an understatement to say the guy was heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, but that doesn't mean the writing isn't excellent, and that the guy wasn't a really good singer songwriter. So the music really works and helps the movie work as a result, because you can get the content. It makes you think a lot about how much talent can slip through the cracks, not just creatively, but in all walks of life. It's weird. And it's touching. And I'm really glad I got the chance to see it. The thing with docs is that it's so much about the story. It's not like fiction where you're making up the story, and can use all these tools to make it work, here you have the story already, and unless it's good, there's only so much the filmmakers can do. That said, this may be my favorite movie I've seen this year. I'd give it a mid 90s, and for me it'd get an Oscar nod, and not just for best doc, but maybe best pic, and certainly whatever musical category you wanna throw at it.
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