Seems like Inside Llewyn Davis went down a storm at Cannes, fuck I’m so excited.
#63 Fast & Furious 6 (2013) Dir. Justin Lin
It’s pretty obvious now that everyone involved in these movies is in on the gag. Yeah they’re big and obnoxious, hugely expensive and mindless action movies but there’s a certain pleasure to be had with them. Everyone seems to be in agreement that Fast Five’s retooling of the series from streetracers-go-robbing to full on, high-octane heist movie was a masterstroke and Fast & Furious 6 is very much a continuation of that movie and it’s entertaining as hell. The huge ensemble they’ve collected over the years are all terrific and there’s barely a dull-note on screen as far as performances and characters go (except maybe Luke Evans’ OTT hammy villain but hey it can slide). By now it’s literally like getting the ol’ gang back together and having a few laughs with your buddies and it’s great company to be in for 2+ hours. The real star of these movies though is director Justin Lin. The action set-pieces in this film are so impressively staged and executed that any niggles I may have had are forgotten about. Lin really does have the art of chaos down to a T and it’s a fine craft to tune. Seeing fast cars furiously go up against each other in an epic dance of vehicular warfare is the reason these films exist and Fast & Furious 6 delivers on that promise 100%. It’s a testament to the series that even on the sixth entry it’s possible it’s best days are still in front of it. Fast 7 director James Wan has a tough act to follow though, but I’m excited to see if he’s up to the challenge.
Martin Scorsese with Leonardo DiCaprio on the set of The Aviator
“I think that we’re always judging and we’re always reserving private judgment of movies.I’ve always just accepted that there’s always great competition for audiences’ attention. There are certain films that compete for a selective kind of audience. That doesn’t really allow me to compare these apples to these oranges. I don’t see films as competition, I see them as ways to brag and boast about other countries’ work. I see this as two weeks of celebrating film, not two weeks of putting films against one another.”
He said Star Trek is too “philosophical”? Screw that noise.
I don’t know when this interview happened but I AM SAD AND ANGRY NOW
The philosophies in Star Trek are kinda part of the actual setting. If you don’t get that, why are you allowed to make Star Trek movies.
Sigh. The whole point of Star Trek is that it’s philosophical. If you don’t want philosophical Science Fiction, there’s plenty of that for you to enjoy, but Star Trek is philosophical. Philosophy is part of Star Trek’s DNA, and if you’re given the captain’s chair, you’d better damn well respect that.
Everyone chill out. He isn’t targeting the philosophy of Star Trek as a criticism he’s just saying as a kid, that element of it alienated him as a viewer and he took that into account when making his Trek movies.
#62 Black Sabbath (1963) Dir. Mario Bava
I’m usually pretty hit and miss on horror anthology films but this one was really great. It’s the third Bava film I’ve watched this year and arguably his most renowned. The atmospherics and aesthetics were terrific and each segment delivered on all fronts. Doesn’t quite beat Black Sunday for me but it’s easy to see why this film is so influential.
#61 The Place Beyond the Pines (2013) Dir. Derek Cianfrance
This movie is a real spellbinder. A triptych of connected tales that looks deep into the souls of it’s characters and the ghosts that haunt them. It’s a brilliant dissection of consequences, fathers and sons and the lasting effect of violence, a story told with grandeur and delicacy. I wasn’t a huge fan of Cianfrance’s previous movie Blue Valentine, though granted I definitely need to give it another chance, but this one really had a profound effect on me. The Place Beyond the Pines is undoubtedly ambitious and certain risks might not work for everyone but I was totally with it from the get go. Wonderfully observed and the sustained atmosphere throughout is pitched perfectly. The best movie I’ve seen in 2013 so far.
#60 Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) Dir. J.J. Abrams
Seeing Abrams’ first Star Trek is one of the most pleasantly surprising movie experiences I’ve ever had. I went into it completely cold without a care in the world for Star Trek but I came out with my pulse racing and a huge grin on my face. Since then I’ve curiously gone back to discover the Original Series and made an effort to give the original movies a chance (an effort I finally acted on last week). Either way I had high hopes for Star Trek Into Darkness and on the whole they were met. The great thing about Abrams’ sequel is how it hits the ground running and never really stops for breath. Every character gets their moment and most sequel pitfalls are avoided with glee. A few things I wasn’t keen on was the way the film still keeps a foot firmly in the shadow of the previous movies. I haven’t seen Wrath of Khan but I know the big beats due to it’s high status in pop culture and from what I can gather, the narrative of Into Darkness owes a lot to that movie. I would have much preferred it if Abrams took us on a brand new adventure. After all, the biggest achievement of the 2009 Star Trek was the way it set up a brand new timeline for us to follow, opening up a world of fresh possibilities while still maintaining the continuity of the original series and films. Still, it’s a minor gripe. As a glossy piece of high-octane space entertainment and as a sequel to a fantastic original, Star Trek Into Darkness delivers the goods, even if the goods aren’t as fresh as we may have hoped.
#59 The Impossible (2012) Dir. J.A. Bayona
I really love Bayona’s previous movie The Orphanage and his development as a filmmaker is even more interesting now considering he’s made something completely different with The Impossible. This is a technically and emotionally superb movie full of visceral punch and delicate intimacy. Naomi Watts’ performance especially is brave and unforgettable and Ewan McGregor hasn’t had the chance to flex this many acting muscles in years. The kids too are terrific. I also thought the score was very unconventional in places which made many sequences that much more interesting. It leans too far on the sentiment here and there but with a true story this powerful, I’ll give it a pass.
For me she’s not exactly a muse, the person who inspires. She doesn’t inspire me for stories but she inspired something very important which is confidence and that is very, very important work. But of course we can call her a muse in the sense that when I finish the first draft and I am thinking of the faces of the characters, I’m always looking for one that fits her or trying to adapt it for her, because I think there is a big chemistry between us. I think that when I work with Penelope now, I’m a better director, thanks to Penelope - and Penelope’s probably a better actress thanks to me. - Pedro Almodovar