What I’ve Been Watching: Dec 9 – Dec 15

It’s been a week of waiting for me. I’m just waiting until I’m back in Jamaica again and it’s Christmas and the ham is on the table and scotch is in my tummy (I know that’s a lot of ‘ands’ but who cares).

Movie-wise it’s been a very productive week. A lot of 2012 films seen and a lot more to get seen in the upcoming week. Here’s what I saw:

A CHILD IS WAITING (1963)

A Child is Waiting (1)

A lot of stiff upper lips and looks from Judy Garland to make me think “how could you?” and so and so. A pretty mediocre movie over all. Read my full review here.

FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL… (2012)

For a Good Time Call

When a movie centers around two women who hate each other having to live together to end up working together on a phone sex business and becoming best friends you know it isn’t going to be cinematic gold as much as it is bronze and silver. But the nuggets that you do get here and relatively enjoyable loving sex fun jokes that work so well it’s sad this isn’t a better overall movie.

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (2012)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Here is what I think is the first and only movie of 2012 that I love so much but feel might be the one movie of 2012 that I probably won’t recommend easily to others. We’re given the perspective of a loner, with a bit more than regular baggage, as he begins high school and he eventually befriends a set of social misfits/hipsters and the adventures and thoughts that follow are those of traditional high school movies, but due to the perspective and the voices being heard I find it hard for a wide audience to not feel left out from the kind of people who love Rocky Horror Picture Show and David Bowie and all things ‘alternative’. Regardless I loved this movie and look forward to watching it as much as possible.

OSLO, AUGUST 31st (2012)

Oslo August 31

Can we say depressing? We follow Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie) as he leaves his drug rehabilitation facility for the day in order to go and do a job interview with a magazine. Anders, as a recovering addict, is a man who wants to die — as we see from the opening scene — and the film never leaves that note as his conversations with the people he meets along the day walking around Oslo reflect that, especially when we see him with his friend Thomas (Hans Olav Brenner). This is one of the most beautifully shot films of 2012 and I highly recommend it.

WRECK-IT RALPH (2012)

Wreck it Ralph

With a year that has Brave and ParaNorman it’s sad to be reminded that animated films have a base line which Wreck-It Ralph goes for. It uses video games, which I doubt most children who are being taken to this movie know — what six year old knows Pac ManStreet FighterQ-Bert or even Metal Gear Solid. By the time the story of Ralph (John C. Reilly) wanting to be a hero and ends up in Sugar Rush, where we meet Venelope (Sarah Silverman) the film stops being about video game love and more about finding joy in your place in the world, which can be interpreted as a positive or negative message. However, I feel as the film is geared towards children — who have yet to find any place in this world — that can be a very dangerous message to be sending to that audience.

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook (2)

When you have a main character who’s bipolar, just out of the mental hospital and trying to function what is it that you think will work in the romantic department more than another crazy character who’s seeking friendship. The story of Pat (Bradley Cooper) and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) is kind of funly manic and that’s great. There are a lot of other things going on at the same time though, including Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and his gambling. I shall elaborate further with a full review tomorrow.

REWATCHED

Brave (5)

With 2012 rapidly coming to a close I decided to give a few choice films a revisit as I want to start nailing down that top ten. Rust and Bone, a film I saw first at TIFF, still holds up, but fails to hit the high bar that’s been set this year. Could be an honourable mention, but I highly doubt it’ll make #10 on the list.

I also decided to revisit The Bourne Legacy and BraveBoth of these movies were movies that I did not appreciate as much as I do now. The Bourne Legacy, while having a messy end half, works I guess as an overall action joy ride in the way only Bourne does. Brave on the other hand is a movie that I feel definitely didn’t get enough love. Being unfairly compared to what some consider the best of Pixar’s work it failed to hit a mark, but the movie tells a story that Pixar has yet to really delve into and I feel it found a sweet spot so minute that it deserves to be praised. I want to put Brave right up beside the likes of Up, WALL-E and Toy Story as equals.

Taking a break away from 2012 viewings I saw that Equilibrium, one of my favourite action movies from my high school days, was available on Neflix Instant and I couldn’t resist revisiting it. The action is still kind of awesome but wow is that story completely out of left field. Why does everyone feel so hard when they’re on the drugs? I think I’ll temper my recommendations of this movie in future.

My count has been updated to 235 First time watches (138 from 2012); 132 Rewatches; 357 Total Films

What have you been watching?