When does a blog die?

by Mr. Nobel

Does it require a conscious act on the part of its writer? Does it result from the accumulated neglect of its writers? Or is a blog dead simply if its writer stops writing?

Long story short, I don’t consider this blog to be dead. I’ve just not had a lot to write about these past couple of months. Most of my output has been directed either towards The Diamondback or personal creative endeavors. This Great Evil has always been more of an unfiltered outlet than a curated project, at least in my mind. So, in the past couple of months where I felt I’ve said what I want to say elsewhere, this space has been barren.

Now? Now, when I’m no longer responsible for two stories a week and in the middle of a summer lull…now I’m back on board.

But enough of this contemplative crap. So, movies.

I haven’t watched as many movies this year as I have in previous years. I could blame it on a number of factors – a hesitancy to go through my annual re-calibration, a desire to see more Diamondback writers contribute movie reviews, a generally lackluster year, a new found appreciation for video games – but really it’s all because of one reason. As I find myself in a transitional period of my life, I’ve lost the urge to seek out everything new. While I’m still the cinema-going equivalent of an omnivore, I am far less inclined to pick out a new, probably awful movie while my film and video game backlog is so large.

Thus, I can’t claim to have a particularly accurate barometer for this year thus in cinema. But I have watched a good number of new movies this year, enough to compile some form of a list at the very least.

The following don’t necessarily represent the best or the worst of this year half-gone. They’re the standouts, for better or for worse, the movies that have still lingered long after the credits rolled.

The Lego Movie: Like a shotgun filled with childish joy shot point blank at the audience, The Lego Movie is a film whose surface-level charms are nigh-impossible to resist. And, at the same time, it’s one of the most unsettlingly effective pieces of propaganda ever released as a mass market film. Even more so than Toy Story, The Lego Movie’s form and themes all point back to the eponymous toy brick. At what point does a movie become an advertisement?

Under the Skin: Sometimes a movie doesn’t necessarily have to say anything or be about anything to be great. Sometimes a movie just has to completely and utterly unnerve you, provide some kind of a terrifying, out-of-body experience to be great. I don’t know with any certainty what Jonathan Glazer was trying to do with Under the Skin, I just know I can’t fucking scrub it out of my brain.

X-Men: Days of Future Past: Fuck comic books, fuck CG, fuck Bryan Singer and fuck this movie. Not sure why this mostly rote exercise pissed me off to such an extent, but I loathed the shit out of X-Men: Days of Future Past. I wasn’t a big fan of X-Men: First Class, but this anonymous, contrived, bloated and obnoxiously impressed with itself dross makes even First Class look like the work of an auteur. I will admit to liking the Quick Silver sequence.

Noah: I’m not so sure Darren Aronofsky is well suited to these big spectacle projects. Aronofsky is a bombastic as fuck filmmaker, which suits all of his hallucinogenic mind-fucks well, but his stylistic excess robs Noah of credibility. As a result, it’s hard to suspend disbelief for much of the Biblical shit happening on screen. While I liked his reinterpretation of this Biblical tale and several imaginative sequences, the film as a whole wasn’t good.

Boyhood: What else is there to say about Boyhood? Serious question. I have a review due Tuesday, and I’m out of fucking ideas. You should probably see it if you haven’t already.

Locke: Something about Locke just works. I expected some kind of dry exercise used to show off Steven Knight’s technique, but Locke proved to be much, much more compelling than that. Yes, it sometimes becomes too theatrical for its own good, and yes it often does feel like a film school thesis project, but the sum of Locke’s part is so incredibly rich. This is a movie and a main character that will stick with me for years to come.