Deadpool (2016) – I had grown tired of superhero movies. They’re getting old and repetitive. I felt the same way about the zombie genre, but then I gladly make exceptions for things like Shaun of the Dead and World War Z (the book–we do not acknowledge the movie). Deadpool is the superhero equivalent of Shaun of the Dead in that I not only wasn’t bored out of my mind by it, but actually quite enjoyed it.
I want to also give Deadpool’s creators credit for going for an R rating. The problems with the MPAA’s ratings system (and their politics) aside, it’s nice to see a major studio sacrifice those precious pre-teen dollars to make a movie that is as indulgently profane, violent, and sexual as the source material demands. They’re still going to make a fortune on this, of course, but they took a risk for a good reason, and I like that.
The Last Starfighter (1984) – The Last Starfighter deserves a lot of credit for its extensive use of CGI, but not much else. They seem to have spent all their time and money on generating some Windows ’95 screen savers, so anyone looking for a story or characters worth caring about is shit out of luck. But still, for creating Windows ’95 screen savers in 1984, that’s very impressive. Let’s not forget that achievement; it’s all they’ve got.
The History of Future Folk (2012) – I’m going to be honest with you. I picked this for its running time and little else. I wanted to get another movie in before bed, so I picked the first thing I saw that was under 90 minutes long on Netflix.
And here we are.
I have now watched a movie about the origin story of a… an “alien bluegrass band” in New York. This is a real band, with a fictionalized origin story. Great.
I wish I could say this was the stupidest thing I’d watched for Lent, but I once watched a movie made by and for actual, literal Nazis, so no, this isn’t the worst by any means, but maybe I should have just gone to bed and fallen behind, you know? This is not what I wanted for so early in Lent, but it could sure be worse.
I want to be kind to this movie, but in case I forget one of the details beyond the premise, I want to remind my future self, reading through these archives, of the scene where one of the male leads incapacitated a woman and forced her to listen to his music before he kissed her. Throughout the movie, the same character goes on to commit multiple violent crimes in order to meet pretty ladies. But no, these are the protagonists.
The Man Who Laughs (1928) – Ten years ago, I was bored. I’m still fairly bored with a lot of things, but that’s beside the point. Ten years ago, I heard it was Ash Wednesday, and knew of certain people who gave things up for Lent as some sort of temporary virtue. I decided to do something temporary myself, to prove I could, just as any filthy Catholic. But rather than give something up, I took on watching movies. Now, as I begin my eleventh year of this nonsense, I see that I can never stop, and this will continue into my final years. I hope this brings someone pleasure besides just myself.
Back in the day, I forget when, exactly, I watched The Picture of Dorian Gray, and I criticized George Sanders for holding a completely immobile face in some odd, vain attempt to convey the unchanging aspect of the title character at the expense of any emotional meaning behind his actions or words being communicated to the audience. In The Man Who Laughs, Conrad Veidt makes George Sanders look like an absolute amateur. Although he maintains a grotesque smile for the entire duration of his screen time, he manages to show us a character with a full range of emotions. Go to hell, George Sanders.
Gaslight (1944) – What a charming name for a very specific type of horribly abusive relationship. I do so love a movie about descent into madness, and this was so well done.
And so begins my tenth year of deliberately misinterpreting the meaning of sacrifice.
The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964) – Another Easter, another Gospel movie. And that’s it for Lent 2014.
Noah (2014) – Much, much better than I expected, but my expectations were very low. Warning: despite what we all learned from Les Misérables, Russell Crowe has been allowed to sing again. It is only for a brief, quiet moment, but that is more than he should ever be allowed.
The Goonies (1985) – I did not grow up on The Goonies, and therefore, I will never love it on the level that so many people of my age do. It was okay.
The World’s End (2013) – You’d really think that this trilogy would have a bad entry. Nope. I kept waiting for this to turn out to be a giant disappointment, but nope. The whole set is perfect, without any flaws. Thank you, Wright, Pegg, Frost, et al. Now get to work making me another trilogy.
Returner (リターナー, 2002) – I won’t say it’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen, far from it. Sure, the script was absolute garbage and the special effects were unforgivably bad, but the actors at least knew what movie they were in, with the possible exception of the Americans in the cast. The leads, though, they knew exactly how seriously to take this. I’d never watch it again, but I’m not angry I saw Returner.