Fall/Winter Movie Season in Review

I could just stop with this gif, really.  Picture says 1,000 words and all that.

Seems I’ve entered a phase in my life where I’m going to write more about movies I haven’t seen, or don’t want to see, than those that I have seen.  I’ve pretty much lost interest in every movie coming off of the Hollywood conveyor belt these days.  This should be the time of year when I’m all giddy with excitement for the fall movies and the “Oscar pictures” of the winter.  I mean, even as recently as last year I had Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy to look forward to.  This year? Fuck all.

It’s certainly not a sudden change.  It’s been a long slide that I’ve finally bottomed out on.  So what’s the root cause?  I wish I knew.  Clinical depression?  Years upon years of disappointing movies resulting in bitter-flavored apathy?  A little of both?  I think so, with a good deal more of the latter.  I think I blame Peter Jackson.  And of course, George Lucas.  Those are the biggies, but of course there are others.  One can’t keep on investing the sort of energy that I used to into movies, in the face of so many bad films, without it taking a heavy psychic toll.  The good movies, the ones that recharge a bit of one’s hope, are increasingly fewer and further between.  Which leads to going out to the movies less, which in turn reduces the chance of ever accidentally finding a good movie to restore hope, ünd so veiter.  A self-fulfilling nihilistic film cycle is created.

I wish I could stop it; I miss liking movies.

To wit, here are some movies that I should have seen this fall, but the truth is that I just couldn’t muster the fucks:

Skyfall.  Granted, I do hate, hate, hate Bond movies with a very zealous hate.  Never sat through an entire one in my life.  But I was gonna make an exception for Skyfall.  The trailer almost made it look like a real, grown-up movie.  And Sam Mendes directed!  I love his work; he makes real, grown-up movies.  But.  Two-and-a-half hour run time?!  Twenty-minute opening chase scene?!  Fuck that, I hate James Bond movies.  Can’t somebody get Judi Dench a proper job, for gawd’s sake??  And let’s get this on the record for all time: Daniel Craig is fug.  Pass.

Lincoln.  Oh, Steven Spielberg, you’re gonna drive me to drinkin’.  I had every good, noble intention of seeing this (probably) good, noble film.  I wanted to see what DDL would do with the role.  And JGL has a part, and even TLJ.  Hell, ALL the best three-named actors are in it!!  But even these combined forces couldn’t overcome two immovable objects:
1. My complete and total disinterest in all things Civil War/19th century.  Seriously, if there are top hats involved in anything, count me the fuck out.
2. My disregard for Spielberg.  I’m so over Spielberg.  The old, “It’s so Spielbergian!” joke from Animaniacs isn’t even funny anymore because it’s TOO true.  I can’t take the manipulation and the schmaltz anymore.  Some reviews of Lincoln said that it was the most restrained film, schmaltz-wise, that Spielberg has made in years.  Maybe that’s the case, but I tried to sit through War Horse recently and I’m still carrying around a lot of residual anti-Spielberg sentiment from that experience.  Pass.

Seven Psychopaths.  This is the kind of movie…cynical, self-referential, black-humoured, crime caper starring a bunch of “cool” character actors who engage in a lot of meta-filmic snappy dialog…that I would have loved in the 90′s.  Call them, “The Spawn of Tarantino.”  The problem is, it’s not the 90′s anymore.  Stop making these bloody movies. There have been way too many of these movies made!  I’m sick of these movies! Damn, move on to a new decade.  Pass.

Killing Them Softly.  See entry for Seven Psychopaths.

The Hobbit.  This makes me so sad.  Not that I won’t be seeing The Hobbit (there’s still a slim chance that I might at a $5 matinee, but I have no real plans to), but that ever got made in the state that it did.  I was interested in this project when it first was floated about back in…when was it? 2005 or so? Back when Guillermo Del Toro was going to direct.  But as soon as he dropped out and Peter Jackson was brought back, I knew it was going to be a clusterfuck.  And lo and behold, it is.  Three 3-hour movies to tell a 300-page story and some of Tolkien’s “bonus material” from the LOTR appendices.  The crassness of that commercialism is staggering. And as for the content?  I’ll try to keep this brief.  Peter Jackson managed to totally piss away my good will during the second and third LOTR movies with his ham-fisted need to make everything “extreme” (Shades of George Lucas’ and his famous phrase, “Faster. More intense.”), and his pathetic love of toddler-level humour.  I cannot and will not trust that he didn’t render the delightful story of The Hobbit into a three-hour dwarven fart joke, big fight scene, CGI crap-fest marathon.  It most definitely looks like that from the trailers.  I may see the second one for Smaug, but for now: Pass.


Movies I did see:

Argo.  This one was good.  Surprisingly good.  But not so good that I could be arsed to write a proper review of it.

Looper.  The stand-out.  Looked forward to it, saw it, was not disappointed, wrote a review, and still remember doing all of the above.  Thanks JGL!


Movies I still (for now) want to see this winter:

Zero Dark Thirty.  The power of Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) compels you!!

Les Miserables.  This one’s a grey area.  I don’t really want to see it.  In many ways I dread seeing it.  Yet I absolutely will see it, and I have a feeling I’ll enjoy it more than I would The Hobbit.  It may even get its own post.


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