June 17, 2012
Film Journal: 6.10.12 - 6.16.12

I used to keep a journal of every film I watched with a little blurb of my thoughts. I figured I should do it again. Hopefully it will also encourage me to watch some more films. Ratings are out of 10, and I will be doing my darndest to start normalizing ratings and have 5 be the average, because I’ve noticed I do skew toward 7’s and 8’s even though I shouldn’t. But maybe it’s because most of the movies I see are ones that interest me and I want to see? I dunno.

Previously watched films are in brackets.

GENERAL ORDERS NO. 9 (2009, Robert Persons): 2.3

Prosaic nonsense masquerading as deep truths about human civilization ruining an idyllic commune between nature and man that never really existed. Its thesis is juvenile and seriously undermines some impressive camerawork and an all-too-epic soundtrack. This is KOYAANISQATSI by way of high school art project and devoid of any room for interpretation. I was excited because the movie was focused on my home state, Georgia, but now I’m sad that it was used as a lens for such a shallow, poorly formed train of thought.

RANGO (2011, Gore Verbinski): 6.2

Wacky kids slapstick by way of meta-mashup of better films that came before. A lot of CHINATOWN, a little of everything else. It’s funny, it’s paced quickly (if a bit too manically for my taste, which is the case for most American animated films), it’s gorgeously animated (seriously impressive), but most of the surprise comes from, “Wait, this is a kid’s movie?” Its real success was making me want to watch a Western (or CHINATOWN) afterwards, and not making me want to watch a Western (or CHINATOWN) instead.

THE RULES OF ATTRACTION (2002, Roger Avary): 4.3

Visual panache and game performances from a cast of not the most talented cast of young actors can’t save an uneven script that wants to have its cake and eat it too. It wants to revel in the debauchery and nihilism of sex, drugs, and alcohol chasing college students but also sympathize with their forlorn misery. It doesn’t really work. Still, there are great sequences and scenes sprinkled here and there, but mostly it’s just too wildly unfocused to succeed.

[CERTIFIED COPY] (2010, Abbas Kiarostami): 9.7

As beguiling and inviting as Juliette Binoche in the lead role as She, CERTIFIED COPY is an astounding synthesis of visual mastery, sublime writing, and incredible acting. It works on the surface level as an extended length conversation between two separated (or are they?) lovers (or are they?) about life, romance, disappointment, children and so much more. It works on a deeper level as a commentary on film, fiction, and art. Most of all, it just works. This is the product of a master, who not only has the vision for such material, but also the experience and wisdom to make it true to life. 

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