Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Saw Three Movies This Past Friday... In A Row... Like A Teenager- Or Me, Ten Years Ago.

While Mrs. J and Future were at her brother's (known only as Buckaroo Banzai) house for post-Thanksgiving fun, I had to drive back and work. After work I indulged in a lil'Mr. J "me-time*" and went to see as many movies as possible. First off "The Darjeeling Limited", a film which actually answers the "Sure Wes Anderson can make quirky, pretty films... but what about the substance?". Howsabout "Ugly American"-style tourism in India, with the prerequisite fetishizing (my blog, my words yo) of Indian culture and women, the "search for spiritual enlightenment" which comes when they're not looking at all, and a general melancholy that runs through to the final reel. I recommend heartily.
Then it was twenty minutes of reading some hipster music magazine I buy for the free mix-cd followed by "Before The Devil Knows You're Dead", one of the most emotionally brutal film noirs I've ever seen. Sidney Lumet, after wasting his time on **Vin Diesel mob comedies, returns to form with a noir that subtracts the existential and injects a very specific Greek tragedy and makes nauseous with grief at the end. And who knew how good Ethan Hawke could be? Besides Ethan Hawke, of course. After being completely drained by the Lumet film, I dragged myself over to the "I'm Not There" screen to try and forget how brutal dysfunctional families can be. And proceeded to blown away by the biggest cinematic ambition I've seen since Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia". Definite Oscar noms should go to Cate Blanchet and Marcus Carl Franklin, especially Blanchet who tops her own best work in a performance that can only be described (by me) as channeling Dylan. Some of it doesn't work (Gere and Peckinpah should never be used in the same cinematic sentence), but what does is so great, it's hard remember the bad. Except, seriously the Richard Gere/Sam Peckinpah section. What was Sam Elliot or L.Q. Jones not available?

Future and I share a bonding moment, which we do more and more these days as he discovers the joys of me and his mother and our "funny" character voices we do. Or maybe the picture is from our first late sixties folk album. I'm not sure which.
*"But when isn't it "me-time" for Mr. J?", Mrs. J might ask... smirking.
**To be fair, as Diesel was once a "name", his participation was probably the only way to get the thing made. Sigh.


Anonymous said...

Mr. J. I read columns in the print media written by people (an assumption) that are paid (an assumption of which I am more sure) money and their reveiws of movies and TV shows are not as readable and entertaining as yours? Have you thought about or attempted to sell your thoughts?

your fiend, mr. jones said...

Hey clever anonymous person! I agree with your thesis and wish I had a way of getting this to a paying proposition...

Oh well.