Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

DELIVER US FROM EVIL (2014)
The cop movie that walks like an exorcism thriller. It's actually pretty enjoyable, even though its jump scares are a little cheap. Edgar Ramirez as a Jesuit who helps cop Eric Bana unravel a series of killings is quite good, but sometimes it just feels like a little bit more stylish version of many other movies you've seen before. ***

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN, PART 1 (2011) no stars
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN, PART 2 (2012) *
Well, I finally finished this whole thing. I didn't think it could get worse than Eclipse, but it sure the hell did. Thanks to this awful, awful trend of taking the last book in a series and turning it into two tedious films instead of just one, this whole story is just a ton of filler surrounded by the occasional plot point. The first film basically doesn't even need to exist; it's barely a movie, and mostly wedding-and-honeymoon porn for the Twitards who will not rest until every last detail has been dramatized. You could do the whole thing in about 30 minutes of a competently-made movie, but instead it lingers on and on and on, basically serving as a trailer for the second movie, which at least has something of a story, even though it all leads nowhere and a lot of time is spent in central casting, giving us the background of characters who ultimately don't matter to the story in any way. But hey, at least we get a major side order of noble pedophilia in our series of romantic domestic abuse, so that's... that's just awful, I can't even make a joke about this sick shit. Just be glad it's over. Just be glad you aren't a person like me who is perfectly willing to waste five hours on a Sunday because, hey, I'm a genre fan, there's nothing on, and how bad could it really be? Really, really, really bad. Just... icky and uncomfortable.

THE CANDIDATE (1972)
Very interesting satire on American political theater. The tone really threw me at first: it's a serious movie, but it has a tone that's comic in a way that gets more and more cynical. Peter Boyle plays an election specialist who seeks out a Democratic candidate for US Senate. He sets his sights on Robert Redford, playing an idealistic lawyer whose father (Melvyn Douglas) was governor. He's told he can say whatever he wants--he's not going to win, anyway--but as he gains in popularity, he's forced to play the game of electability more and more. As his speeches get more and more vague, he becomes more and more popular with voters. Director Michael Ritchie and screenwriter Jeremy Larner had apparently both worked on political campaigns previously, and brought their experiences to the movie, perhaps exorcising parts of the process that they became cynical about. As such, they focus on the process itself at the expense of the characters, but it's a fascinating watch. I do like that the movie never loses its cynicism about politics, leading up to one of the most fitting and funniest final lines of dialogue I've ever heard in a movie. Side note: always great to see Allen Garfield in a movie. ***1/2

4 comments:

Carl said...

Rifftrax makes it palatable. Not GOOD, but we didn't feel like taking a shower afterward, if that counts for anything.
Now, Rifftrax + The Room = GOLD

Roger Owen Green said...

The Candidate I haven't seen in 40 years. But that description sounds like Donald Trump...

SamuraiFrog said...

Carl: We watched the RiffTrax of the first movie, years ago. I haven't listened to one in a while, actually, though we have been watching an MST3K episode every Sunday morning on YouTube for a while. You know, I still haven't seen The Room.

Roger: Someone on Tumblr said a scary thing last night: "Donald Trump has no chance? When I was in high school, everyone said there was no way people would vote for Ronald Reagan because he seemed like an extremist."

Roger Owen Green said...

I never thought Reagan would turn out to be as bad as he turned out to be. He had to deal with a Democratic Congress who would SURELY reign him in, right?