Thursday, August 24, 2017

Watched: 21 Jump Street

Silly. So silly. Yet it's a testament to this movie's deft wit that I still laugh (after a couple of viewings) at the extended drug-sequence that has our heroes tripping throughout the school day. There are some other great details sprinkled throughout the film, and in general the whole role-reversal plot still plays really well. There's something about putting Channing Tatum in situations where he must play as inherently wrong-footed and insecure that's just like, weirdly satisfying. Maybe because he's so handsome. Also all the cameos are great, especially as people with small roles have since blown up (like 50 Shades of Grey actress Dakota Johnson or Room star Brie Larson).

Hey, New Girl guy!

Chris Parnell!

Kimmie Schmidt! Those bangs are a travesty. But I still love you.

This cameo is still way OTT and my enjoyment of Depp has been kind of tainted from the scandalous stuff from his personal life in the last couple years, unfortunately. The movie's still gold though.

Watched: The Royal Tenenbaums

At this point this is just like iconic Wes Anderson, no? I think this is still one of my favorites because it was my introduction to Anderson's style and the peak of his and Owen Wilson's writing partnership (for me). Also, fun fact I did not realize until I looked this up: the narrator is Alec Baldwin! What? Sixteen years later and I'm still learning new facts and noticing new details about this gem. I mean, everything: the acting, the peerless Mark Mothersbaugh soundtrack plus the mix of retro-cool pop/rock/folk hits, the novel-esque plot structure, the perfectly realized world of the story told through setting and cinematography, it's just such a lovely film to watch. And the perfect introduction to the quotable, stylish Anderson world. And the part where Ben Stiller's Chaz confesses to his ne'er-do-well absentee father that "it's been a difficult year", after the death of his wife, seriously makes me cry every time. The thing that always amazes me about Anderson is that despite how excessively stylized his movies can be, he still manages to create real pathos. Despite the voiceover narration, despite all the montages used to present all the peccadilloes of our titular family, despite the often purposefully intrusive soundtrack, despite the often deadpan delivery many of the actors are using (Owen Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bill Murray) you still find yourself caring about these people by the end of the film.

Every time I watch this I am completely distracted by these paintings. I'm not sure if that's the point but I could not for the life of me tell you what these characters discuss in this scene.


Ugh. This part gets me too.

Modern classic.

Watched: Macbeth (2015)

Ugh, okay, seriously no more Macbeth movies for me. The story is such a bummer and although it has some of my favorite turns of phrase/monologues from any Shakespeare play it is just such an everlasting bummer to watch. This iteration stars my true blue favorite Michael Fassbender as the titular thane and Marion Cotillard (another actor I've loved ever since A Very Long Engagement). This version is beautifully filmed and swings wildly between the deep blues, greens, and blacks of the Scottish landscape, church and court and the sickly greens and yellows of war and chaos. It's gorgeous. But holy hell it is unsettling, the score is power drill applied directly, unrelentingly to your nerves and both of the leads performances just leave no doubt as to how damaged they are. This version really lays it on with the mental instability, digging into their childlessness as the root of their ruthlessness in a visual way that I don't think I've seen in an adaptation before. I loved it and I will never watch it again.

Clearly shoehorned in so we could get some Fassbod. Not complaining.

Ugh I love her makeup costuming so, so much. I have no idea if this historically accurate but it is seriously gorgeous and the transition from the dark, thick, practical wardrobe she has while simply Lady Macbeth to this light, ethereal attempt to invoke saintliness she dons when she becomes queen is such an arresting choice. 

Her final look, absent all decoration, barefoot in just a simply white dress that almost looks like underclothes. I seriously think the costuming choices for Lady Macbeth might have been my favorite part of this film.