What I watched in February

  • Sisters (1973)
  • The Thin Red Line (rewatched)
  • Gone Girl (rewatched, commentary)
  • The Social Network (rewatched, commentary)
  • The New World (extended cut, rewatched)
  • Interstellar (rewatched) [1]
  • Paths of Glory
  • The Better Angels [2]
  • Death Proof 
  • Minority Report (rewatched) [3]
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (1/2) [4]

[1] – Wanted to catch it one last time in 15/70.

[2] – One of the more convincing Malick imitations I’ve seen. Of course, if you watch more than 10 minutes of it, you can pretty easily figure out that it’s not the genuine artifact: A.J. Edwards doesn’t quite have Malick’s grasp of visual poetry and storytelling. Even so, I don’t think Malick could have made The Better Angels a good movie. The film seeks to create a portrait of Lincoln through the accumulation of tiny, mundane details while Malick’s aesthetic involves abstracting away the mundane. Combine these two opposing impulses, and you get an inert film that is more The Tree of Life fan fiction than Malick does Young Mr. Lincoln. On the other hand, Edwards and his cinematographer do some seriously gorgeous black and white photography that comes impressively close to feeling like something Malick would make. Props to them for that. Shame about the absolutely dreadful voiceover, though.

[3] – Some of it (Janusz Kaminski’s photography, general set design, Tom Cruise’s performance) has aged well. The much vaunted user interfaces, however, look cumbersome and tacky by modern standards. The holographic, gesture control stuff was mind blowing back in 2002, but not so much in 2015. Thanks Kinect.

[4] – Bailed after about 50 minutes. Still, what I saw was much, much better than the page or so I’ve read from the book.