Saturday, January 5, 2013

Off The Chain

I missed my movie-watching goal last year by about a million.  I kept the Movies page updated with every movie I saw, but it was way less than what I originally planned.  Honestly, I spent more time watching great tv shows: Downton Abbey and Homeland and Girls and Newsroom and Breaking Bad and Big Bang Theory.  And those were great and worth watching, so it's all cool, I guess.  I think I was inspired by several movie geek friends who watch 300-400 movies a year, but it's just not that high a priority for me.

Out of all the movies (few as they were) I saw last year, two really stood out.  The first was Midnight Son, an independent movie about a vampire.  I just happened to be walking through the room when my husband started watching it to review for his site and I got drawn in. It's spare and poetic, dark and beautifully shot, and it's not a typical vampire movie; it's realistic.  It's creepy without being terribly gory, and it's just... sad.  I enjoyed it tremendously.  Though it was pretty low budget, it's not hard to find, it's been on premium cable channels and it's available to buy or stream on Amazon.

The other was Finding Hogwarts.  I read about it and saw a trailer last summer on and pre-ordered it (which means my name is in the credits!).  It hasn't been distributed so it's only available on their site, and it's clearly very low-budget, even having a few obvious technical problems.  Having said that, I loved it.  It's a documentary about the Harry Potter fandom in general and a few friends in particular who go to Scotland in search of Hogwarts.  The interviews with people who have been inspired by the Harry Potter books were touching and I really found myself liking them, and obviously as a Harry Potter fan I can relate to the intensity of the emotions. This movie is probably only for Harry Potter fans, but I'm really glad I bought it and I know I'll watch it again. 

Today Greg and I got up relatively early (for a Saturday) and went to see a 9:30am showing of Django Unchained.

I absolutely love Quentin Tarantino.  I love his over the top dialogue, his pop culture and movie references, his strong female characters, his originality and his badassery in general.  I've loved him ever since I saw True Romance - twice - in the dollar theater in 1993.  Our little cat is named after the hero of True Romance: Alabama Whitman Worley.

Patricia Arquette as Alabama: "You call for a date?"

From Joe Morganstern's review in the Wall Street Journal:  Django Unchained is "wildly extravagant, ferociously violent, ludicrously lurid and outrageously entertaining, yet also, remarkably, very much about the pernicious lunacy of racism and, yes, slavery's singular horrors."  Ferociously violent is right, there were two scenes that were horrifically bloody and tremendously disturbing and I'm sure I wasn't the only one in the theater who looked away. For a long time. But there are also some very touching moments, and one truly hilarious scene that still makes me laugh when I think about it.

Overall it's a revenge movie, and despite the disturbing parts, it's fun, because it's over the top, intense, and truly BAD ASS.

So I am discontinuing my movie watching goal, however it does occur to me that it's been a long time since I've seen some of Quentin's movies.  Greg and I watched Jackie Brown not too long ago, but I haven't seen Reservoir Dogs or Natural Born Killers in years, and I never did get around to watching Kill Bill parts 1 and 2 together.  Maybe I should have a new Quentin Tarantino goal...