RSS feed for Jake
  • Birdman 2014

    ★½ Watched 21 Oct, 2014

    Birdman replaces AGI’s erstwhile fixation on intricately linked narrative structures with an obsession on formal ones. Its facsimile of one giant take forces everything to be connected as the camera ambles after characters, charges ahead into new areas, gets distracted by the intrusion of new people and constantly slips from reality to the fantasy of the stage, blurring the lines between the petty insecurities that roil behind the scenes and the tortured, vulnerable, often overcompensating art that it produces. This…

  • Himizu 2011

    ★★★★½ Watched 11 Oct, 2014

  • Iguana 1989

    ★★★★½ Watched 04 Oct, 2014

  • Infernal Affairs 2002

    ★★★½ Watched 03 Oct, 2014

    Finally got around to this and found it to be great fun, more so than THE DEPARTED, which has a curiously over-serious element to it. (Maybe HK films benefit by a certain distancing cheesiness even/especially when they get earnest.)

  • Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 02 Oct, 2014

    People can bitch about all the "thinkpieces" this film has inspired* but I don't think an American movie this year has led to as much consistently interesting writing, pro or con. I've said my piece elsewhere but suffice to say, both Fincher's direction and Flynn's re-edit of her own material produce something vastly superior to its source novel, which had more ideas, maybe, but failed to develop them beyond mere sketches, splitting too much time to do service to anything.…

  • Men, Women & Children 2014

    ½ Watched 01 Oct, 2014

    A vile, condescending piece of shit, so sure that it's telling us all something we need to hear but are just too damn stupid to know that it hilariously fails to realize what a blinkered, solipsistic thing it is. Meant to be an indictment of our overstimulated, underemoting way of life, it instead comes off as a lament for a time before the average man knew how mediocre he was in bed.

  • Good Men, Good Women 1995

    ★★★★½ Watched 28 Sep, 2014

    An elegant bridge between Hou's historical works and his even more complex (and still historical) attempts to reckon with the present. I've seen a lot of old reviews take the film to be contrast between an activist youth of the past and a self-absorbed, oversexed contemporary youth, but I also think Hou makes it abundantly clear that the woman in the past is yoked to her husband's political zeal, and it can hardly be called a generational defeat when grandchildren need not fear meaningless execution or slow death at the hands of either enemies or nominal comrades.

  • The Neon Bible 1995

    ★★★½ Added

    In theory, I should feel closer to this than Davies' hyper-autobiographical works, since it was made in my home state. But THE NEON BIBLE seems to take place on another planet entirely, heightening Davies' musical and magic-realist tendencies to the limit while still telling a story not too far removed from his own. I'm glad it's on Prime, because I'm not sure how to feel about this one yet but I suspect it will have an even bigger pull on me a second time.

  • Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom 1975

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Sep, 2014

    An effective allegory not only for fascist control but political submission in general. Just don't ask me to ever watch it again.

  • Panic Room 2002

    ★★½ Watched 08 Oct, 2014

    Stylistically, this retains the worst gimmicks of FIGHT CLUB and fuses them with a dumber story that doesn't ave FC's mildly mitigating "It's *supposed* to be dumb" energy. Fincher's weakest.