I decided to cut the last post about movies off, due to not wanting to prattle on for too long, amount of space taken up and wasted, wanting an easy topic for another post, and the fact that three of my favorite directors (or teams, in one case) to profile had new movies out that I wanted to take in before talking about them. This one sucks even more than that; more just a list with a short thought than anything actually substantial. Without further ado, some film favorites from David Fincher, Darren Aronofsky, and the Coen Brothers.
“Fight Club” – Cool film, cool twist, cool look at consumer burn-out society and having it break down. Just remember the first rule of Fight Club.
“Se7en” – Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman team up to take on Kevin Spacey’s “John Doe” killer. Another nice surprise ending, and some cool ideas. It actually looks a bit staid nowadays, with a slew of similar movies out, but it was made about 15 years ago, when the story was still fresh.
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – This one was a bit long, and it was sprawling, but in a good way. While it totally is the same as “Forrest Gump”, that didn’t stop me from enjoying this adaptation of a short story by one of my favorite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Definitely some touching moments in the movie.
“The Social Network” – Best for last, I knew that I would go see it just because of the director (even though I found it a bit odd of a change after his previous films). This was definitely my favorite film of 2010. Maybe I’m biased, being a bit of a computer nerd and web developer myself, but I highly enjoyed and appreciated this look at a bit of the backend of developing a hit web service, as well as the story of the founding, interspersed with footage of two concurrent lawsuits filed against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The acting and direction was superb, and the team behind this film deserves every accolade that they receive.
Also, let me state here and now that I have a nerd-crush on Mark Zuckerberg himself. Yep, that’s out there, on to the next director.
“Pi” – This headtrip pretty much set the stage for his future projects: wonked out and a bit trippy. In it, a mathematician discovers an equation that gets him doggedly pursued by a group of Wall-Street Bankers that want it to control stocks, and a Jewish Sect that believe that it contains the true name of god. Now it’s become a weird action movie, with the main character, Max, on the run from two groups who want what is in his head.
“Requiem for a Dream” – This movie popularized the quick-shot close-up cuts of a complex action being performed, like the drug scenes. Ellen Burstyn is amazing and heartbreaking as Mrs. Goldfarb.
“The Fountain” – One of the most beautifully shot movies that I have ever seen. The story may be a bit contrived, but the cinematography more than makes up for it. The score, by Arronofsky’s go-to guy, Clint Mansell, sets up the perfect mood. Seeing Hugh Jackman live through three separate lifetimes on a quest for immortality is a reminder of how much some people lust after life and fear death, and the unhappiness that it can cause.
“Black Swan” – Another new addition, this Natalie Portman film reminds me why I like her so much as an actress. She is determined and hard-working, and it really shows in her roles. Nina’s internal transformation from the meek white swan to the dark and outgoing black swan is superb, keeping the viewer unsure of what is really happening and what is just occurring in her mind. I was a bit over hyped before going into this one, but it was good nonetheless.
The Coen Brothers
“Burn After Reading” – Everyone is so dysfunctional here, and pretty much all of their lives are driven by sex, and who they are and aren’t having it with. The main characters are pretty much all idiots, and they all have serious deficiencies as human beings. Hilarious.
“No Country for Old Men” – Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh has to be one of the most cold-hearted killers ever put onto the screen. His unflinching murder of over a dozen throughout the movie without raising his heart beat. Josh Brolin makes a good modern cowboy, and Tommy Lee Jones’ sheriff is a tired man on the verge of retirement and unsure of what to do. When he tells his dream at the end before it cuts away, that is pitch perfect when compared to the book.
“True Grit” – Last of the new ones, this remake is bound to bring a resurgence in the Western. The main character definitely pulls her weight, and deserves the best supporting actress nomination, maybe a win as well. Jeff Bridges is an excellent cantankerous old Rooster Cogburn (and I would assume better than the aged John Wayne). Another that I was overly hyped up for, but it was a decent film.
That’s it. Don’t know if I’ll do any other lists any time soon, since it’s kind of just me trying to force my interests out there onto others. If anyone likes any of these though, or gives them a shot, let me know.