Adult male bear
#PublicNudity #CasualNudity #outdoor
46 ** Monsters University – I wasn’t much of a fan of Monsters, Inc, and this sequel fell into the same category. Despite my affection for Pixar’s work – these “monsters’ movies seem far more targeted to little kids and lack the humanity and great storylines of the majority of Pixar flicks. Even the animation is flatter and less complex (though that’s clearly a choice). It’s cute, and candy-colored, with hundreds of adorable monsters that look like refugees from Candy Crush Saga – but the make-believe world of monster want-to-be’s who aspire to become ‘scarers’ is neither scary nor touching. It’s just a space for a lot of visual fireworks, and very little of it gets a laugh or a response out of me. A shame – given that Billy Crystal can be very funny in other contexts.
47 ** 12 In a Word – The film festival and critical hype surrounding Lake Bell’s writing / directorial / starring debut in her own film, along with (ironically) the film’s trailer, had me anticipating this Indy look at the world of voice-over acting — but what a disappointment! Only marginally funny, and devoid of a thematic center, the film had an amateurish quality about it through and through. Other than Lake Bell, many of the actors were very weak, characters were unlikeable and unappealing, and the movie just lacked focus. I was really interested in the idea of exploring this neglected corner of the movie marketing world – and instead got a thin, diluted, what? Family drama? A wasted opportunity.
48 ** The Hangover – Part III — Hangover 3, Audience zero. A totally unnecessary money grab of a film that fooled no one – not even the fans of the original. Unlike the first film where ordinary guys wound up in extraordinarily crazy situations, the ‘wolf pack’ now lives in a world that has no resemblance to anything real at all. The plot puts them immediately in situations with mobsters, the crazy, evil Chow, and nothing funny happens throughout the film. It’s so cartoonish it totally wastes whatever affection anyone had for the original characters. Hopefully this was enough to kill this needless franchise.
49 ** The Evil Dead – It’s a shame to have the cult bonafides of the original evil dead pictures sullied by this unnecessary remake. I’m not sure there’s any way to effectively remake a movie that was as original, unexpected, and plain old culty as the original. While the director tries to pay some loving tribute to the original (mimicking the awesome low-cam through the woods, and bringing the chain saw back into play), this remake is just too grim and sincere to capture the out of control low-budget craziness of the original. I guess its our fate to have every movie that ever gathered an audience remade – and rarely to good effect. This is not a bad horror film, and has a few gross and crazy moments — but the cast isn’t very appealing and let’s face it — without Bruce Campbell – what’s the point? ??
2012 Movies seen during 2013 (24)
Some of these films would have made my top 10 last year if I’d been able to see them before year’s end. The first three here are all terrific films worth seeing.
**** Zero Dark Thirty – This film is tense, taut and tight! A remarkable achievement no matter what you may think about its historical accuracy or political slant. It shows how much work and time and politics and difficult ethical decisions go into complex issues like this. Jessica Chastain is very compelling as someone absolutely driven to see this through. Her character literally dedicates over a decade at trying to find Osama Bin Laden. The hopelessness and risk in the war against terrorism hangs over the entire film.
The real-life politics surrounding the response to the film and its depiction of torture as a possible means to an end may influence your feelings about the film — but I feel the screenwriter and director have done a good job of laying it out there without preaching or taking a stance on it. They just show it as it possibly was. The politics probably cost Kathryn Bigelow an oscar nomination as best director – but there’s no question here the direction is superb and unflinching! This is not an easy film to watch, and the density of the inside-talk can confuse at times, but this was a film that I simply couldn’t take my eyes off and had me on the edge of my seat throughout.
**** Amour – Director Michael Haneke bring a sharp, detached eye to this sparse, unsentimental, pas de deux between spouses Georges and Anne, comfortably married and companionable retired musicians and teachers as one day Anne’s health takes an inevitable turn. The film is unsparing in depicting the slow steady decline of both Anne’s health and the relationship between the two. The film, in French with subtitles, uses long, distant master shots that creates almost a fly on the wall vantage point to George’s shift from the less dominant partner to full-time caretender for Anne. We feel great compassion for both of these characters and the predicament they are in — as its something inevitably everyone must face in life. The film is both sparse and meticulous, with nearly no music to underscore the emotional subtext (a blessed relief, actually), and little to remove the bluntness of the reality. The film sometimes suddenly jumps in a way where one is not sure about the elapsed time, or whether what is seen is real or dreamed, which keeps it from becoming completly clinical. Its a delicate balancing act, and courageous in the extreme to be this straightforward about the realities of dying. This film is definitely emotionally taxing to watch but absolutely haunting in its bleak reality and depiction of deeply intertwined lives.