I’ve been taking the movie cure lately — the only affordable answer to stress. Here are my capsule thoughts:
(500) Days of Summer: Call off the Stuff White People Like movie deal because here it is, finished and done. Almost scientifically twee, happy-sad picture about a doomed relationship. I thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt — all grows up — did a nice job of channeling that guy from your office who has no idea how sexy he is. (Like the one I live with.) Zooey Deschanel, on the other hand, encourages snacks to leave hand and hurtle toward movie screen. I admired the assembly of the movie — the herking and jerking of chronology. Hated, as usual, the easily avoidable lapses in set direction: Two people in their 20s, born in the 1980s, both have Super-8 home movie clips of their childhood? Bullshit. It’s just that the filmmaker knows Super-8 looks cooler. And that’s this movie’s problem: hipitude over verisimilitude. Watch in astonishment how Brooklyn-y downtown LA and Silverlake have become. (Again, prove it.)
And hey, millennials: what’s with all the tweeting birds, the branches, the pen-and-ink scribblings, the cute girl-women with baskets on their bicycles, the eco-chirpy spring pastels and sing-songy tra-la-la? You buy all this shit at Urban Outfitters? Why do you want to be hippies and technogeeks and the 1950s all in one? You want to be ’70s (Atari, old stereo components) until you want to text or play Wii? Everything’s your thing, I guess. It’s weak.
On that note, also saw Away We Go: See above, just change some names.
Moon: Michael just about fidgeted out of his skin during this one, and said it was too long, and he was right. Flawed but lovely (and depressing) anti-corporate rumination about a guy who works alone on a moon mining rig. Sam Rockwell’s pretty good in it, but paltry Sunday night audience was a-sigh. Marketed inappropriately for July 20 anniversary hubub. Let me just ask this: What does Hollywood have against space exploration? Does it _ever_ go well for the Earthlings? Forty-one years after 2001 and thirty years after Alien we are still getting movies where working in space is just a fuck-all. The computer (HAL, Mother, and I forget what Moon’s computer is named, but it’s voiced by Kevin Spacey) can’t be trusted, there’s no way back around to the airlock from here, people start seeing ghosts or succumb to some other cuckoo-causing virus, the whole thing’s gonna blow and we have no way to fix it before the oxygen is out, and nobody will shaddup and just DO WHAT RIPLEY SAYS, etc. I command Hollywood to make a space movie where things are fine, all systems go, etc.
The Hurt Locker: Blew my shit away, if I may use the vernacular. Now THIS is a movie about Gen Y, even if the lead character is Gen X. This is a movie about the 2000s. And it’s the best Iraq movie AND best action movie I’ve seen in a long time. Almost perfect, but be warned — if you’re like me, you will be sick with worry through the whole thing. But hang on. I totally ate up Jeremy Renner’s portrayal of Sgt. James. One tiny misstep by director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal near the end, two scenes I would easily snip out, and then it would have been even more perfect, but it’s pretty perfect the way it is.