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Monday, January 24, 2005

Comments

andrew s

the wolves were my favorite part of the day after tomorrow! with the ship floating up in front of the library close behind in second. the only parts of the movie that weren't hilarious were the actual jokes. it's a disaster movie! what did you want from the film, more ice? TIRED! how many other times this year did you see hungry wolves in a ship in front of the library? NONE.

of course, if you're not hip to the occasional genius of michael bay, we're probably not going to see eye to eye on this one.

dave

Sorry, but I would love to hear how 2004 was "a great year for film." I am frankly sick of it. When dross like Before Sunset, Kinsey, and the ultimately forgettable Sideways are heiled as brilliance, I can't help but think we are in the throws of dismal cinematic back-patting. You may have hated The Brown Bunny, but it had balls, and showed that crudity gave way to credibility while phoney garbage was lauded to heaven's gate, both in the blogosphere and by the critics so detested by bloggers. Where was the love for Los Angeles Plays Itself and S-21: Khmer Rouge? Why is The Aviator "not a great Scorsese film" even if it is, straight up, great? 2004 was a joke for movies.

If anything 2004 was great because we were treated to fantastic retrospectivces - Widescreen at Walter Reade, film noir and Welles at Film Forum, and the reopening of MOMA, whose "art" is still underwhelming, but whose fantastic, beautiful theaters are back after years of, well, seemingly nothing. Thank god for a million free movies at $75 a year.

Aaron

Andrew: You're right, I am most definitely not "hip to the occasional genius of Michael Bay." Putting "genius" anywhere near his name is absurd. Personally, I don't want to laugh at a movie because the storytelling is so lazy and absurd that it becomes ridiculous, and therefore elements like the wolves are unintentionally funnier than thatn what the filmmakers are actually trying to accomplish. Explaining it away as just a disaster movie is unfortunately the mentality that allows a movie to be made as a piece of crap instead of finding a way to make it interesting which is possible.

Dave: I'm not going to disagree with anything you said except for describing Before Sunset as "dross" or Sideways as "forgettable." (I wasn't a huge fan of Kinsey in fact.) I have forgotten very little about Sideways, and I consider Before Sunset and incredibly accomplished and meaningful piece of filmmaking, even more so because it is so talking. This was a great year for film, however, if only because there were a greater number of very good-to-excellent movies than in most years.

And I'm not sure why you're confused as to my Scorsese comment; it's pretty straightforward. Does The Aviator match-up to Taxi Driver, Raging Bull or GoodFellas? Or even to Mean Streets or Last Temptation of Christ? Not to me. Those are "great Scorsese films." Does it, however, compare favorably to other films through the years (and this year) that people would consider "great films"? Does it hold up against other Oscar winners? (Not that they're all great.) Absolutely.

But you're right that places like the Walter Reade and Film Forum and the reopening of MoMA are great things for film as well. And you haven't yet heard my love for Los Angeles Plays Itself because I only saw it last week. (But love it, I did!) In fact, when I do a little month-end recap in about a week, I may be reconfiguring my Top 10 list a bit because both Los Angeles Plays Itself and A Very Long Engagement absolutely blew me away.

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