This movie is supposed to be a modern holy grail of chick flicks, so I watched it because I love me a good romance. I’m sorry to say that it left me cold – I didn’t hate it but nothing about it tugged on my heart-strings. Nope, not even the Alzheimer’s storyline.
I went to the Martin Scorsese exhibition at ACMI last weekend, which inspired me to catch up on his filmography, starting with the movie often cited as his finest. I probably resisted watching it previously because of the perceived subject matter; boxing might be one of the most popular sports in the movies, for a good reason too (the world will probably hang on forever for a gripping drama about synchronised swimming), but it just really isn’t my cuppa. What became clear very soon though that this isn’t a “boxing” movie as such and it’s certainly no feelgood Rocky-style sports fairytale, which I guess I wouldn’t have expected from Scorsese anyway. It’s really a character study of a deeply unloveable, self-destructive, brutish man who can only truly express himself best when he’s beating the shit out of his opponents inside the boxing ring. It’s not an easy watch, but it’s visceral, kinetic, powerful, incredibly well-made and punches you right in the face, pardon the pun.
I first watched David Lynch’s Dune almost 20 years ago, and could remember very little of it except the image of Sting with ridiculous punk orange hair wearing nothing but a loincloth, which is not the sort of memory you’d cherish. Since then I actually got around to reading Frank Herbert’s epic sci-fi novel and its sequels, and decided to revisit this much-maligned movie adaptation. Its bad reputation is deserved in many respects, but as much of a mess it is, it’s also way too bizarre and singular to be dismissed outright.
I thought that the DVD rental places have all gone the way of dodos and unicorns, but apparently there are still a few that survived the onslaught of the internet and Netflix, including one not too far away from my Mum’s house. I don’t download so I thought it would be a good opportunity to support a local business and catch up on some movies I missed out on for various reasons. It sure did bring on a sense of nostalgia to walk along the stacked shelves.
I watched this movie on the weekend as a part of the Melbourne International Film Festival, and I’m still not sure how I felt about it. I don’t know if I liked it but I’m glad I saw it; I don’t know if I’d call it a good film but it sure was memorable.
“I am awfully greedy; I want everything from life. I want to be a woman and to be a man, to have many friends and to have loneliness, to work much and write good books, to travel and enjoy myself, to be selfish and to be unselfish… You see, it is difficult to get all which I want. And then when I do not succeed I get mad with anger.”
– Simone de Beauvoir
The newly rebooted Star Trek franchise has been a bumpy ride. I absolutely adored the bright and fresh J.J. Abrams-directed 2009 Star Trek, which had a somewhat weak plot and an underwhelming villain, but more than made up for it with the origin story of its dual protagonists, Kirk and Spock. I didn’t think that Star Trek Into Darkness was an abomination from the bowels of hell like many fans did, but it sure was a sloppy convoluted mess of a movie that was a pointless retread of the original series’ most-loved film and brought absolutely nothing new to the table character-wise. When I heard that the third film would be headed by The Fast and the Furious director, I cringed, and when I saw the first loud, dumb trailer I cringed even harder. After seeing the movie, I’m happy to say that it’s far, far from the disaster I was anticipating, and in many ways an improvement on Into Darkness. Which is not to say it’s perfect as it comes with a set of problems of its own.