It seemed like for the several weeks leading up to the holidays, all of the film commercials and trailers were ending with “December 25”, “Christmas Day”, or “Just in time for Christmas!”. It gave me the impression that there was a baker’s dozen of movies all being released on the same day. I guess that wasn’t really the case, but there were definitely a lot of movies released over the last week or so, and I saw a handful of them. Surprisingly, none of the films I watched were bad. Yet I wouldn’t really call them good either. They all hovered around the same mediocre score for me, ending the year on a remarkably unimpressive note. They can’t all be Birdman.
Uncomfortable. Creepy. Awkward. Distressing. These are all words we used to just use to describe a trip to the post office, or when you order Jersey Mike’s and you’re the only person there and the sandwich artist is feeling exceptionally chatty that day (no, I won’t tell you what I’m doing later tonight, Dave, just make my #13 please…). But now they can describe our movies. Or at least for this holiday season’s fun romp through a sociopathic rich guy’s horse-stable-turned-gym in Bennet Miller’s new film Foxcatcher.
Premise: Without giving too much away, the movie starts out as homeless guy Dwight (Macon Blair) is set on getting revenge on a guy being released from prison who did something bad to his family years ago. The rest of the movie is about Dwight defending himself and evening scores while being kind of a hilariously semi-inept amateur assassin who doesn’t *quite* know what he’s doing.
Near the end of the movie, as Ian McKellan and Martin Freeman’s perspective-aiding body doubles rode back to the Shire on their ponies in wide shots, I’m not going to lie, I got slightly sad that this was going to be the last time I ever see a Middle-Earth movie in theaters. Made me feel probably more genuine emotion anything else in this movie did. Because let’s be clear, this was definitely my least favorite Lord of the Rings movie P-Jax has ever made.
I’m actually proud of myself this weekend for the movie I ended up seeing. I’m patting myself on the back right now. Oh, but not because of the actual movie I saw; I’m proud of myself for the fact that I took a hard pass on Exodus: Gods and Kings. In the weeks leading up to Exodus‘ release, I kept thinking to myself “Do I really want to see this?”, “This looks kind of long and boring”, and “There’s no way that will live up to any sort of expectation, right?”. Then I remembered from my experiences with Robin Hood, The Counselor, and (to an extent) Prometheus, that I kind of totally dislike Ridley Scott. Or at least anything he’s put out in the last five years.
Premise: It’s a Japanese action/comedy that has kind of a mouthful of a plot. It starts 10 years in the past, as a group of young guerrilla filmmakers (who hilariously/randomly call themselves “The F*** Bombers”) aspire to make one truly great film in their lifetime. Elsewhere, the daughter of a Yakuza boss who stars in commercials walks in on the bloody aftermath of her mom killing four dudes from a rival Yakuza clan, which causes the mom goes to jail for the next 10 years for murder. Now, in present day, the bratty daughter is all grown up and gets tangled with a wimpy, clueless nerd who gets the ultimatum to either film a future (real life) raid of a rival Yakuza clan in a movie with his daughter as the star (as a get-out-of-jail present for the mom), or die. Then fate has the F*** Bombers (now an even more pathetic group of losers) get re-intertwined and can finally make their grand movie; and the whole spectacle of it all is pretty hilarious and nutty.
Without question, this is hands down 2014’s best movie title. It’s just fun to say. Babadook. Babadook. Babadooooook. BABADOOK. Baaaaaaaabaaaaaaaaadoooooooook. I was watching it in the same room with my fiance as she was doing some schoolwork, and I was narrating the movie to her out loud (probably distracting her greatly), just saying “Babadook” as much as I could, *because* I could. Oh yes, I’m that annoying in real life, you guys.