Worth Watching February 2013

Here is the round up of all the films that I did not feature in depth elsewhere on the site for the month of February. Cracking month actually, including a couple of really fun short films that are included. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Worth Watching:

  •  Flight (2012), Robert Zemeckis – Despite his reputation, I actually think Zemeckis is one of the most underrated directors. Here, Denzel shows he is pretty much peerless in his generation of actors. This is a powerful film, an examination of the wretched toll that addiction in all its forms wreaks. Similar to Shame in that way. An incredibly script (had me tearing up on multiple occasions) and a cracking supporting cast ensure this is one of the best of 2013 so far.
  • Kaboom! (2004), PES – This short is pretty incredible in its execution. Wonderfully creative use of kids’ toys. The use of these toys in a war film setting can be read as some sort of anti-war statement. Or just a really fucking cool looking idea. Take a look below.

  • Fresh Guacamole (2012), PES – I know I am prone to hyperbole (I’m a film critic, what do you expect?) but this is one of the best looking films I’ve ever seen. Great animation and I am just massively blown away by how clever it looks. An exceptionally clever film. Check it out below.

  • Safety Not Guaranteed (2012), Colin Trevorrow – This indie has a really dry script, but never feels like it is labouring its ‘indieness’ like so many post-Juno efforts do. A charming film filled with charming performances, especially from Aubrey Plaza. It does threaten to get a little too cute at times, but manages to rein it in. Surprisingly, the second half packs a real emotion punch.  If I haven’t sold you on it yet, how bout the best zitar performance in a film since The Third Man and an incredible ending.
  • Community Season 3 (2012), Dan Harmon – This season really ramps up the absurdist tendencies, being utterly random much of the time. And this is the source of a lot of the hilarity, as opposed to some of the more tightly scripted brilliance of earlier seasons. Continues the show’s tradition of brilliant riffing on pop-culture and genre.
  • The Sweeney (2012), Nick Love – As far as contemporary cops & robbers flicks go, this is a bloody good one. Winstone is excellent as expected as the grizzled ‘don’t fuck with me’ cop, but it is the searing Ben Drew as his protégé who is the most impressive. Rare is the crime film these days which is content to focus on a single crime. But this one is and the narrative is good enough to hold interest.
  • Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Kathryn Bigelow – There is just far too much going on here to even remotely process in a single viewing. It is possibly a great film. But also possibly not. It functions on all levels. From an individual quest to the fate of the world. Much of the film is troubling. Some questionable. But it is a film that needs to be seen a couple of times before opinions are formed.

1134604 - Zero Dark Thirty

  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012), Eric Darnell, Conrad Vernon & Tom McGrath – This film, with these characters, is pretty difficult not to like. The animation is sharp, the script is exceptionally witty and it comes at you are a really fast pace. No need to pay attention to plot, there is not much of one here. This is just eccentric fun, to the point of slipshod surrealism. Borderline nonsensical in parts, with surely no joke rejected for being too silly or peripheral to the peripheral plot.

Not Worth Watching:

  • Lincoln (2012), Steven Spielberg – Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance is phenomenal and will rightly become iconic. It rises above mimicry and he inhabits the role. Aside from that though I find very little to recommend in this staid film. A poor script, full of overlong anecdotes from the President and too many obvious moments. Blandly shot by Spielberg too. Overall, a film with no sharpness or edge.

If you only have time to watch one Flight

Avoid at all costs Lincoln

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7 responses

  1. [...] Not Now I’m Drinking A Beer And Watching A Movie [...]

  2. So this Lincoln film wasn’t as good as the one where he hunted vampires? I have not seen either and likely won’t any time soon. My kids dragged me to see Madagascar 3 last year and I was surprised that it was decent. Way less annoying than the first two films.

    1. Cheers for commenting.

      I’m not a lover of either of those Lincoln films really. I just found Spielberg’s so bland, though plenty disagree with me. Madagascar 3 was insanely silly. But in an enjoyable enough way.

  3. Great recap, man. I liked Lincoln more than you did but I can’t defend it. It’s all very safe and bland. Flight and ZDT were pretty good, especially the latter. I had seen Fresh Guacamole (thought it’s brilliant) but Kaboom is pretty awesome too. Loved that you featured Community, one of my favorite shows.

    1. Glad you are a Community fan too Fernando. I love the absurdity of that show.

      I get that people liked Lincoln. I just didn’t find much there that grabbed me whatsoever.

  4. Hmmm, I liked Lincoln. Even though it reminded me of my high school American history class where I hated doing work (more because of the school than the material), I felt like Lincoln had the kind of historical storytelling I could enjoy. True, the movie is long and it feels like it drags in some parts – and some aspects are just too silly, like the dramatic buildup to whether Michael Stuhlbarg’s character will actually vote – but I liked how restrained it was compared to so many other Spielberg films. I appreciated the script too, which felt more intelligent and articulate than most things that come out of Hollywood. I also had the delightful experience of seeing Tony Kushner talk at a Q&A at the screening I went to.

    I’m curious to know what you thought of Jessica Chastain’s performance in Zero Dark Thirty, especially since it was Oscar-nominated. I still haven’t seen the movie but my brother did; he claims that Chastain does very little to merit actually earning an Oscar or even a nomination, except for one moment when she screams at someone. I hope to see the film because of how much I like Kathryn Bigelow’s aesthetic – Point Break, anyone? – but I have yet to really love Jessica Chastain in any role.

    1. Cheers for commenting. I always really enjoy hearing your perspective.

      Yeah Lincoln was like a high school history class for me too. But too much like it, because I just could not enjoy it at all really. For me it lacked the historical storytelling I was really yearning for. But I do totally understand that a lot of people loved it a lot more than I.

      I think Chastain’s performance is an interesting one. For starters I should say that I don’t really pay any attention to awards season. But it is not the kind of performance that usually garners that kind of attention, because it is not really showy and ‘big’ if you will. But I actually think her performance is an underrated aspect of the film. The film is really about her character’s journey and she is very effective as this steely, determined women. And I think that her ability to convey some really complex emotional shit in quite an understated way is pretty impressive. The last sequence for example where she is just not sure if it has all been worth it. Though maybe it is just because I am a big fan of Chastain’s, so I feel a little different to you (and your bro).

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