Hey folks. So this one is a little late. My focus on Japanese cinema ran overtime, I have been madly prepping for a bit of a Halloween countdown and also attended a film festival. In any case, here is Worth Watching for September. A mixed month, with a couple of cracking docos counterbalanced by probably my biggest disappointment of the year so far, in a rare month where my not worth watchings outnumber my recommendations (possibly only the second month this has happened in the past three years I have been doing this). Read on and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.
- The Woman Who Wasn’t There (2012), Angelo Guglielmo – This brings an aspect of 9/11 to the screen that I have rarely seen examined, namely the survivors of the attacks, their guilt and experiences. It is an incredible tale. A woman purports to be a survivor of the attacks even though she was not even in the country. Mind boggling stuff. Really stylishly done, with cool art work of what supposedly happened utilised. Well worth a watch.
- Russian Ark (2002), Alexander Sokurov – This is a good film, but for me not the all out classic that it is for some people. At over 90 minutes long and only one take, it is possibly the ultimate example of style over substance. As a sheer technical marvel, it does need to be seen to be believed, and it is utterly beautiful. I have to say though, it is pretty dry, getting by a little bit on the idea rather than the execution. See it, but once will be enough.
- The Tillman Story (2010), Amir Bar-Lev – The second really interesting doco of the month is an incredible story focusing on Pat Tillman who gave up an NFL career to go to war. His eventual death and the story surrounding it is all about the cult of military heroism. The way his passing was adopted by the public and taken away from his family is reprehensible. But awesomely his family pushed back at that and at least in part exposed a horrific cover up. Another example if you needed one of both the evil of war and the current state of militarism.
Not Worth Watching:
- Kick Ass 2 (2013), Jeff Wadlow – Wow what a shattering disappointment. This sequel to my favourite film of 2012 is not just a let-down in comparison, but simply a terrible film. The lessened involvement of Matthew Vaughn hurts, because no one is in control of this material. The repeated and shockingly bad projectile vomit joke is simply not what these films are about. In addition the realism that was so important in grounding the action of the first film is completely abandoned. Not to mention that the film looks terrible, with a befuddling reliance on CGI, made all the worse by the fact most of it is early 90s standard.
- We’re the Millers (2013), Rawson Marshall Thurber – A bloody terrible film. I cannot recall a more utterly predictable and lacking in edge film experience this year. Aside from the stunt casting of Jennifer Aniston as a stripper, the cast manage to be decent, in particular Emma Roberts and Will Poulter. But the material is so bland and weak that they cannot elevate this whatsoever.
- This is 40 (2012), Judd Apatow – Why the fuck does this film need to be 2 hours and 10 minutes? Peter Jackson must have been a producer or something. I have real issues with the character played by Leslie Mann. A whiny, typically clichéd whinging woman with no depth to her. Indeed all the characters are utterly unlikeable. Not to mention this whole Apatow conceit of letting people sort of adlib lines has become so obvious and stale. Terribly, terribly written. Women are different to men. Lolz. I literally feel I lost IQ points watching this film.
- You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (2010), Woody Allen – Immediately feels like a Woody Allen film and like all his contemporary work has a great cast. Their performances vary wildly though. Naomi Watts is really good, Frida Pinto is quite clunky whilst Josh Brolin gives a flatter performance than I have ever seen him deliver. It is basically just a bunch of interlinked stories of adultery. Is that meant to be romantic? Far from Woody’s best script as well.
If you only have time to watch one The Woman Who Wasn’t There
Avoid at all costs Kick Ass 2