Here are some two sentence reviews of the movies I watched in December.
- Movies watched – 8
- Movies that were new to me – 4
- Movies about “youths” – 4
- Monthly Masterpieces – Dazed and Confused,
- Dazed and Confused (1993) – I had a bit too much to drink when I rewatched this one for the umpteenth time, and yet it’s still amazing how many of the classic scenes stand out the next day. Total masterpiece, that scene of Wooderson entering the Emporium alone will stick out through any alcohol haze.
- Decline of Western Civilization (1981) – Fascinating look at a seemingly indefensible counterculture scene. And yet, through all the wasted youth, drug abuse, filth, lack of talent, and general degradation, there is a real charm to the scene that makes it easy to see why it took off.
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – On second viewing, this does not hold up nearly as well as the first. The problem lies mostly with the paint by numbers script that is lacking anything even resembling a soul.
- Footloose (1984) – This should not work as well as it does, but in the end is really quite a lot of fun. I think the key is that everyone in the production, for some reason, decided to take the entire thing very seriously–and playing it straight is exactly what a movie this silly needs.
- Monterey Pop (1968) – Fantastic music film that captures more immortal performances than just about any other movie of this type has ever done. I might have liked to have seen a few more interviews with the hippies (ala Woodstock), but I have a feeling that focusing on the music is the right choice for this one.
- Rosewater (2014) – This does a fine job of attempting to understand all sides of the Iranian kidnapping of a Western journalist while at the same time being a perfectly watchable film. Unfortunately it also happens to be two things I hate: a film based on a true story, and a film about politics, so, in the end I have to say: Pppppbbbbbtththhthhth.
- Gone Girl (2014) – Pretty entertaining and very slick: about what you’d expect from Fincher these days. Overall enjoyable, but I think some of the finer points of the story kind of come apart under closer examination.
- The Strawberry Statement (1970) – This is a film about privileged college kids getting swept up in the joy of taking a stand for something–and as such, I appreciate the honesty of the message. The movie is just ok: a little disjointed, and a little too happy to show an extended violent riot sequence at the end.