2013 log (1)

(1 Jan) Flight (2012, Robert Zemeckis) 61
[ When we meet Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington), he’s waking up next to some naked girl he hooked up with, clearly hungover… Before long we see him take a hit from a joint and even snort a line of coke. The punchline of sorts? The guy’s an airline pilot and he’s got a flight to get to that morning. Fate has it that it’s a doomed flight, which the Captain will somehow land without killing everyone on board. A few lives are tragically lost, but many more are saved by his actions. Now, you might say he’s a hero, but what of the fact that the man had been partying the night before and into that very morning? Heck, we’ve even seen him fix himself a drink while on the plane… Most of the film deals with Whitaker’s addictions, as he quickly goes back to heavy drinking once he’s out of the hospital and dealing with the aftermath of the crash. He also somehow ends up living with a drug addict (Kelly Reilly) he met by chance, and it’s not necessarily clear where the movie is going with all this. I guess it’s a character study of a very flawed, not particularly likable individual, which is unusual enough in a Hollywood movie… though as Dave Poland wrote in his review, there’s a sense that it doesn’t go quite far enough. As such, save for Denzel Washington giving an impeccable performance, this ends up being a good but not that exceptional picture. ]

(5 Jan) De père en flic (2009, Émile Gaudreault) [ review ] 75

(7 Jan)  God Bless America (2012, Bobcat Goldthwait) 48
[ Here’s a movie about how easy it is to be filled with misanthropy, contempt and rage when you take a look around you, when you see what American culture basically adds up to nowadays. The crazy thing is that writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait doesn’t even have to exaggerate things, reality is already pretty much a satire of itself.  As such, it’s not so much funny as it is deeply depressing, which might be the point. In addition to feeling disconnect from the world around him, Joel Murray’s character is hit by bad news on top of bad news during the first act, until suicide seems like the best option… Or is it? We’ve seen him have violent fantasies before and at that point, he decides to start killing people for real.  Of course, no one actually “deserves to die”, no matter how obnoxious they can be, but we sorta get where’s he’s coming from – as does a teenage girl played by Tara Lynne Barr, who becomes his sidekick. What follows is a rather aimless, not very eventful road movie that stretches its premise too thin. It never quite gets beyond capturing how crappy American culture can be and having Murray and Barr kill a few folks for it. It could have made for a badass short film, but as a feature, it doesn’t cut it. ]

(8 Jan) ParaNorman (2012, Sam Fell & Chris Butler) 51
[ Norman loves horror movies. He also happens to see dead people. And according to his uncle, he’s the one who must deal with an ancient witch’s curse that is plaguing their hometown. But that doesn’t exactly make Norman a hero. To his peers, he’s a freak, and he gets bullied quite a bit. Kids can be so mean… Still, he ends up confronting a bunch of zombies, which are pretty scary/gross for a kids movie, and… Well, even though the stop-motion animation is great and it’s all rather dynamic, I found that the plot got to be repetitive and not very involving. I liked the introduction of Norman and his world, but the whole running away from zombies thing is a bit one-dimensional. Again, it’s really well crafted so there’s always that to enjoy, but I wish the story had been developed better. I actually liked how they wrapped things up, but it’s that whole middle part I wasn’t that much into. Maybe if you’re as big a horror movie fan as Norman this will be more enjoyable to you. ]

(12 Jan)   Piranha 3DD  (2012, John Gulager) 36
[ This sequel to the 2010 movie is nowhere near as funny, thrilling and over the top. Oh, it’s got killer fish, gore, titties and whatnot, but it lacks the wit and intensity of the original. It says a lot that the most memorable thing about it is David Hasselhoff showing up as himself. ]

(19 Jan) Coming to America (1988, John Landis)  [  review ] 94

December / February