Recently Watched Gems (Killer Joe, Robot & Frank, Pontypool) … and other things…

I skipped the oscars, with a sneer. but now i’ve read all these trivial details about it, and wish I could watch it.  it appears it is not available anywhere online? what the &#@^!? in this day and age? rage.

but. I maintain that Cloud Atlas was the only truly remarkable achievement that advanced the art of filmmaking last year. and it wasn’t nominated for anything. so. F the oscars.

next year I would like to lay bets on the show with enthusiastic friends, and post a live stream of me in my underwear screaming and throwing money into the air as the celebrities walk around, and clown around, and sit around – all for my amusement! HA HA HA!
-In the spirit of sharing important movies, and thoughts about movies, here are 3 recent movies I’d like to recommend for very different reasons:

Killer Joe – 2011 (5/5)
– a vile lurid violent disturbing gem. I just went into this knowing that: people were talking about Matthew McConaConaconahey’s great performance as a dangerous assassin, and that it was directed by one of my favorite directors: William Friedkin. the first half hour had me worried. but then it settled in and started strutting it’s stuff. and eventually the last 20 minutes was so intense I was squirming and shouting at the tv. When it ended I burst out laughing. It kind of a served up Shakespearean film-noir via a variety of sleazy white trash stereotypes in Texas. but stunning. … and maybe not so Shakespearean. (but definitely deliciously vile).
it was also kind of like a “tarantino wanna-be” flick you’d expect to see in the lat 90s. but done right. sharply written and paced. … I saw the unrated version and don’t recommend watching anything less. It was unrated for the fucked-up-ed-ness of several scenes (not for any hardcore shit you’d regret watching).

Robot & Frank – 2012 (4.9/5)
– on the completely opposite end of the spectrum, this movie was about a loveable old curmudgeon who is losing his mind, and the family that struggles to help him. yeah, it’s one of those “heartwarming dramas”. But the twist is that it’s set in the near future, and revolves around the brand new robot assistant device his son bought to help him with memory issues and health.
It felt kind of like a no budget first time effort (maybe), but totally did everything right. great cast (from frank langella to james marsden to susan sarandon. plus liv tyler and peter sarsgaard. plus a cameo by one of my favorite actors: Jeremy Sisto.) (well, james marsden is also a favorite. tell no one). The filmmakers sought to make a realistic robot story where the ‘bot isn’t evil, but also isn’t revealed to have a soul or be human in any way. it felt like watching the first movie staring Honda’s Asimo robot. The fact that the old man is a retired cat burglar was also rad. and there was a great gut punch in the third act that I totally didn’t see coming.
I wish they made more scifi like this.

Pontypool – 2008 (4.9/5)
– is in yet another arena entirely. This is a horror/suspense movie that consistently surprised me. again, probably best to stop reading and just watch it. Part of the fun was having no idea what kind of movie it was going to be. just a weird name, nestled into a bunch of netflix suggestions that I already loved. why not? Watched on a whim. It even sucked the wife in, who was intent on doing other things.
What to say without giving anything away? It was much more about mood, and creating careful confusions, than any gore or shock or other horror tropes. Can’t remember the last time any movie kept me saying “just what the FUCK is going on here!” so far into it. I can’t decide if the ending/explanation was brilliant or a little silly. but. an extremely bold movie. not afraid to just go do it’s own thing. Also very well shot (luxurious and darkly toned, kind like a Fincher flick). Part of me wants to go back and rewatch it to try and nail down some of the stranger confusing moments, and part of me wants to just savor what a strange experience it delivered.
Also watched some shit. Like Dredd and Columbiana and wasn’t that impressed and yadda yadda.
maybe it’s better not to waste time talking about less than great movies? so little time, so many flicks?
I really enjoyed the end of AmericanHorrorStory:Asylum, and am currently loving every episode of the latest season of Justified. along with the classy filth of House of Cards. TheWalkingDead has also been solid (but hasn’t thrilled me for a couple episodes). Jekyll has also proven to be a quality show (though the wife seems to like it more than I do. it’s from the same british talent that made Sherlock so charming and modern).
Also really enjoyed FDR: American Badass. Maybe because Ian set my expectations so low. (I’ll admit, it is no-budget trash. sure.). but I also enjoyed it because it’s just trying so hard every goddamned minute of the movie. like it was written by cocaine rage itself.
probably best if I don’t go into any detail at all about The River Murders (2/5) or Supernatural:TheAnimeSeries (2.5/5) or Resident Evil:Retribution (1/5) or… all these various cartoons I won’t even name.

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