Thursday, November 29, 2012

Well played, Mayans.

Skyfall: Definitely the best James Bond film since On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Goldeneye: Hailed upon release as a return to form for the franchise, mainly because the 1980s had been such a terrible time for Bond films. Stripped of that context, it's not bad, but it's also rather dated (sometimes ironically so-- the villains didn't need to take down the European banking system, they could just have waited twenty years) and Pierce Brosnan is really rather boring.

The Spy Who Loved Me: Stylish and Seventies, with my favourite Bond car, and Roger Moore looking amazingly good for fifty. Also fun to play spot-the-Canadian-actor-playing-an-American. Let down by some nasty business in which a perfectly innocent Bond Girl gets used as a bullet shield for no good reason.

The Magical Mystery Tour: My general thesis on the Beatles is that they weren't innovators, but were very good at picking up on, and popularizing, coming trends, and this film supports that. It's a Sixties avant-garde movie, but made for people who had yet to discover avant-garde film, introducing the population at large to concepts like the nonlinear narrative, the lack of an ending, improv and surrealism. To watch alongside The Prisoner.

Blade Runner (Final Cut, and yes, again): Everytime I see this movie there's something new to discover. This time, it's architecture.  Watch the film again thinking Mayans and industrial sectors, and see what you think.

Donnie Darko: Another rewatch, but this time with the director's cut. While it clarifies a lot of things, I think it's actually a more beautifully surreal movie without the extra material. Watch both.

Valkyrie: Docudrama about one of the many assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler. It's well made, but how they managed to make it as boring as this is completely beyond me.

The Man Who Never Was: Unintentionally hilarious docudrama about Operation Mincemeat, the WWII British scheme to plant a corpse containing false information for the Nazis to find. As Enigma was still classified information at the time the film was made, they have to concoct a bizarre scenario involving a perfidous Irish spy probing the veracity of the corpse's  identity to show how the British knew the Axis had taken the bait, which just gets more and more preposterous.

Movie count for 2012:75