What I’ve Been Watching: Dec 23 – Dec 31

Last week I updated my What I’ve Been Watching saying how I was writing from Jamaica. It was great. I spent that whole Christmas week in Jamaica with family and friends — which is why the blog was completely neglected. Every time I thought that I should spend an hour sitting down writing I did something else. Not to say I don’t love the blog but it was good to step away for a while. I delayed this week’s post to have the definitive end of year count updated and checking the records this is the highest view count for me ever in a year (and I was employed the whole time… so that’s something).

I would ramble on more about the year as it was, but I’m kind of planning another more focussed post on that to go up later in the day (so come back in a few hours for that if you’re reading this in the morning).

Anyways, here’s what I’ve been watching:

YOUR SISTER’S SISTER (2012)

Your Sisters Sister (1)

I’ve fallen in love with Mark Duplass. When he’s behind the camera for movies like Jeff Who Lives at Home and The Puffy Chair to when he’s just being an actor in films like Safety Not Guaranteed. Regardless of his level of involvement I somehow find something to adore about the movie. Here is no different. While I have yet to see Lynn Shelton and Duplass’ previous collaboration with Humpday I can honestly say that this movie gives me no excuse to keep that movie unseen.

If I was to say anything negative about this movie it’s that while it remains enjoyably entertaining it never becomes the the memorable dramedy that we all hope for. A lot of the drama is far fetched and amazingly ridiculous but a few hours removed you find it hard to remember those small details of the scene which made it that entertaining in the first place.

DJANGO UNCHAINED (2012)

Django Unchained (2)

Quentin Tarantino made a western revenge film set during slavery starring Christoph Waltz , Jaimee Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio and it is glorious. Coming from a QT fanboy it may mean little to the uninitiated and generally sceptical but I’d put this up against the best of his work and show how he’s moved far from his worst such that we can doubt he’ll ever reach those depths again (if you want to call them depths).

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012)

The Hobbit (1)

A decade ago (was it that long ago?) we began Frodo’s journey to throw a ring into a firey pit in the middle of Mordor. Today we begin the story of Bilbo who went on a journey many years prior to that. It’s a fun film – no I haven’t and don’t have the option to see it in 48fps 3D (which I’ve been informed is a good thing) – that’s longer than necessary but overall works as the beginning of a new adventure trilogy.

MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ (1971)

Minnie and Moskowitz (1)

Cassavetes I’m not impressed. Read more here.

ARBITRAGE (2012)

Arbitrage (1)

You know what trumps murder? Rich people. Apparently when you own half of the world and are trying to sell it you can get away with everything under the sun — it also helps to be Richard Gere. It’s not a completely terrible film, but it is a film that remains in the category average enough that I want to hate it more even though it doesn’t quite deserve it.

CAFE DE FLORE (2012)

Cafe De Flore (1)

It’s so good. I was turned onto this one by none other than the audiophile Ryan from The Matinee and was he ever so right. If the narrative wasn’t good enough where I feel this movie really wins me over is how it’s able to use music to convey an emotion so clearly. There are few films where I feel the dialogue is so superfluous, while still lovely in itself, that I could watch the film without knowing what each character is specifically saying and still able to follow along — this is one of those movies and it’s great.

THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES (2012)

The Queen of Versailles

We’ve seen a good amount of films, mostly documentaries, which focuses on the turn of the economy. Some look at the cause others effects. Here we get a new point of view through a thriving family that was able to enjoy a wealthier than most lifestyle only because of the poor use of the financial market and then to see the effects of the shift that took place. It all happens in the shadows of them attempting to make the biggest home in the United States. While I wouldn’t call this one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in 2012 it definitely is interesting to see the family dynamics in this extreme setting. The film is obvious, once you know what you’re going into, but still offers a unique perspective on this market crash.

SLEEPWALK WITH ME (2012)

Sleepwalk With Me

While I lambaste fanboys and fangirls for calling me names when I judge The Hunger Games for not being a good movie — regardless of allegedly being a great adaptation — here in lies a case where I love the originating source material (i.e. Mike Birbiglia‘s stand up) but the way in which it’s been adapted to work as a film just doesn’t carry the same effect that it had on me walking around an airport with my earbuds in having an entire line of flight attendants wondering if I needed medical assistance while falling on the floor from laughter. I’m very curious though what people’s opinion of this movie is for those who haven’t previously heard the stand up special (please comment if that’s you)… regardless go get the special.

REWATCHED

21 Jump Street (5)

This past week was a case of watching films with friends, which is something I haven’t done a lot since I’ve been away from my friends for so long. I made my brother finally watch Magnolia, The Thin Red Line, 21 Jump Street, The Cabin in the Woods, and The FP. I’m not going to say that all of these films were successes for my viewing partner, but I loved each of them even more revisiting. 21 Jump Street especially. That film is probably the best straight up comedy of 2012 for me (not including the black comedies I’ve seen, or maybe).

Also I spent a wonderful evening with a friend who wanted to see The Man From Nowhere  and then I got her to watch The Killing (the first professional film by Stanley Kubrick). I always find it fascinating to watch where auteurs begin their careers to see their progression and Kubrick is no different with The Killing, while great, stand out as a very tonally different movie from anything else he’s done.

I treated myself this holiday season to the blu ray release of The Dark Knight Trilogy box set and there rewatched Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises. I’m happy to see after the internet’s fervent complaints about the blu ray release of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (a film that I can’t explain how I don’t own yet) which was a full theatrical crop of the feature to see Warner Bros releasing The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises with aspect ratio switches intact for IMAX sequences. I know that 16:9 isn’t full IMAX aspect ratio, but it helps a ton to see the switch and get a wider view of the scenery or just see Bane lay the smack down on Mr. Wayne again.

And what week of movie watching wouldn’t be complete with giving a look at Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, a classic. “You heartless wench” may be my favourite line from the film and the scene of Cameron pouring out his heart to  Slaone about how he doesn’t know what he wants to do and how envies Ferris because he’s always in control and free at the same time. It’s such a beautiful moment and probably the scene that best supports people’s ‘Fight Club’ theories of the film — which I deny wholeheartedly.

My final count for the year of 2012 is updated to 247 First time watches (146 from 2012); 149 Rewatches; 386 Total Films

What did you see in 2012?