Misogyny as Arachnophobia
"Shall I rewrite or revise / My October symphony? / Or as an indication / Change the dedication / From revolution to revelation?" -- "My October Symphony," Pet Shop Boys
Journey to the West
A Whole Lott More
Prediction: There won't be a better American movie this year than Noam Murro/Zack Snyder's visionary operaticism in 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE--the sword-thrust of politics powered by muscle forged in tragedy. It's the most delirious and intense sequel narrative since INFERNAL AFFAIRS III and the deepest sequel enrichment since THE GODFATHER PART II and III.
R.I.P. Alain Resnais
Auteur: Paul W.S. Anderson's volcanic POMPEII imagery--such as the gladiator coliseum heaving to the Earth's groans--expresses a nihilistic culture: like the zombie hordes in RESIDENT EVIL, the Frankenstein mask in DEATH RACE, the flying grim reaper battle ship in THREE MUSKETEERS. Now, his most radical vision of hope defeats death with 3D (sculptural) rendering of love.
It's over. Film culture is rotten. Film criticism is dead. It's laughable that these folks don't recognize Besson/Costner/McG's extraordinary investigation--and clarification!--of THE SEARCHERS masculine myth amidst multi-culti contemporary France--Kevin Costner and the Eiffel Tower! 3 DAYS TO KILL is the first great film of 2014. John Wayne and John Ford would be proud--but nothing will be MORE breathtaking in movies this year than the climax of the final shoot-out.
Date and Switch
Bernardo Bertolucci doesn't need 3D gimmicks to achieve tactile emotions in ME AND YOU, as riveting brother-and-sister work through family baggage in a basement hideaway to become compassionate, loving social beings--a spatial odyssey for two oddities that unlocks the longing for connection in Mogol's heartbreaking translation of David Bowie's Ragazzo Solo, Ragazza Sola. No wonder the father looks like Morrissey.
The ludicrous STRANGER BY THE LAKE by Alain Guiraudie removes context for gay sub-cult isolation and sex compulsion to espouse an ESSENTIAL thanatos drive.
12 YEARS A SLAVE elicits no imaginative empathy, failing to make cinematic the distinct individuality/personality/imagination of its lead character--only to then expose director Steve McQueen's insidious Oscar-bait racism: that enduring disenfranchisement of Blacks is a consequence of BLACK GUILT for slavery!--an insane Obama-era fallacy then expunged with sentimentality and nihilism. The slavery of death remains.
Girl Most Likely
Renny Harlin's 3D pec-tacular LEGEND OF HERCULES makes palpable moral abstractions in the form of a goofily ripe man-god: through strong dramaturgy, efficient action, and fun 3D effects. Consider the trials of HERCULES thus: fear, jealousy, potential, mind-body dichotomy, freedom, justice, faith, power, and sacrifice.
R.I.P. - Paul Walker: The century's greatest--and most beautiful--American actor. Is he the last movie star? From The Community of Desire by John Demetry:
Kramer casts Walker--gifted with bountiful feeling--as Joey. He conveys character sensitivity in delicate details in his three distinct cop characterizations: In The Fast and the Furious, the feeling vibrating through his body blows his cover. In Noel, he reveals the fear at the core of his character's self-destructive insecurities (rising to hetero-male compassion). In Running Scared, he tenderly explains why his son can't go into a strip bar for fear of exposing him to nude women: 'It's always a big deal.' [...] However, Walker is also a genuine star. He has IT. Walker is beautiful--and he uses that beauty expressively. His character's pain is made palpable as spectator desire: a pain that, since it is physically evoked, can be healed.Always vibrating with feeling and evidencing striking moral vision in his choice of projects, consider this undeniable roll call: Pawn Shop Chronicles; Fast & Furious 6; Vehicle 19; Takers; Eight Below; Running Scared; Noel; The Fast and the Furious. Plus, upcoming: Hours (which economic historian Gaston Diaz praised) and Brick Mansions (written by and produced by Luc Besson!!)
Grown Ups 2