Chocolate Socialist (braisedbywolves) wrote,
Chocolate Socialist
braisedbywolves

Films I've seen.

[Edge of Tomorrow]Edge of Tomorrow
  • I wasn't entirely sure about this, but the director of Mr and Mrs Smith still has a few benefits of the doubt in his account.
  • It is, in a nutshell, Groundhog Day directed by James Cameron - and as blackly funny at times as that suggests.
  • Tom Cruise continues to be extremely watchable when on the run and bewildered (See also: Minority Report, War of the Worlds)
  • Also there is an inspiring montage of him being shot in the face.
  • I thought Emily Blunt was good at her role (the details of which are one of the plot best twists), though my companion, the excellent oddnumberever, thought she could do with more Sigourney in her spine.
  • Also there is bonus grumpy Brendan Gleeson! What film is not improved by him?

    [Godzilla]Godzilla
    • This is not at all subtle about being a post-Fukushima version of the aul' atomic terror.
    • Except - we're not post-Fukushima: things are still pretty bad down there, and not really getting anywhere near better.
    • I wonder if this actually affected the planning of the film, whether it'd be set back, or scuppered, if things turned worse.
    • Anyway, this is a fine film, more than enough to wash out the memories of the Matthew Broderick version - it takes on the chest the fact that it's the also the first post-Pacific Rim film which bears direct comparison. It's not as good, but there's a lot of distance between 'as good as Pacific Rim' as 'a very entertaining film'.
    • Being a Godzilla film, from Warner Brothers, in 2014, does odd things to its politics: it's anti-military but pro-soldier, scoffs at nuclear solutions but features the world's gentlest megaton explosion.
    • Considering that it's set in Japan and Hawaii (and for that matter San Francisco), the film does seem terrified that we'll lose focus unless it cuts back to a pretty, white character* in peril every few minutes.
    • Which would generally be the lead character and his wife - who bizarrely appeared as Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch in the post-credits sequence in the second Captain America movie.
    • Hopefully that was a one-off, as they're dull as hell.
    • But at the end of the day, this is a film that understands the beautiful music made by giant lizards and cities.
    • * okay, a pretty, white character or Bryan Cranston.

      [The Wind Rises]The Wind Rises
      • This is Hizao Miyazaki's last films - or at least his latest last film, he has thrown this smoke bomb a few times before.
      • It's the story of a young airplane designer in the first half of the last century, from first dreams to making the Mitsubishi Zeroes.
      • In a lot of ways it'd be a shame if it was his last film.
      • Firstly, he remains an amazing film maker - a lot of his signature animism isn't on display here (apart from a set of snarling writhing bombs in an early dream sequence), but just watching him depict wind across a grass field is beautiful.
      • It's also the first sign of a new direction, a historical piece, featuring an adult as a protagonist for the first time - it would be interesting to see where he goes from this. It's also obviously a very political film - partly because WWII remains immensely political now in Japan.
      • And lastly, it would be a shame because although it's an experiment, it's not a very successful one. Interestingly it's not that Miyazaki can't write adult characters, there are a number of them around the place. They stand out too, as rendered in more detail, while a couple of characters who only appear as essentially the protagonist's spirit animals, dispensing cryptic advice when he needs to hear it, always seem on the verge of turning into actual animals.
      • But while he can write adults, it's clear that he's never really on their side - the protagonist has all the focus of a child at serious play, tongue out of the side of their mouth, and the world shifts around them as they barrel through the story. The troubles that beset them are a child's view of what might happen to a grown-up, and their responses, while true to the fable-like nature of his other films (where persevering is the only truth) are disastrously self-centred here. This would be devastating self-critique if it was intentional, but I never got the impression that it was.
      • None of this makes it a bad film, or in any way a waste of time! We look forward with eagerness to further works from this promising young director.
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