2012 – I’m a sucker for end-of-the-world stories, and for the first two acts, this is a great one. It switches gears awkwardly at the end — does anyone really enjoy “oh no the water levels are rising fast” scenes — but altogether, it delivers some satisfying apocalyptic action and some characters you care just enough about to hope they don’t die. I’m a bit surprised that it’s not a bigger hit. Maybe it needed chaste vampires?
I also reviewed this and got a clip on the Rotten Tomatoes Show. Enjoy!
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – My quest to watch all the “great” movies that came out this decade (let’s hear it for being single!) took me here, for approximately 11 hours. Is it a carbon copy of “Forrest Gump”? Oh, absolutely. The comedy and pathos of the short story are replaced by piles and piles of pathos and memorable characters — wacky captain! absent father! — and, fuck the haters, it works. I didn’t buy the relationship between Benjamin and Daisy until the third act, but that’s when I needed to, and I salute any writers and directors who could wring that out of this concept.
Slumdog Millionaire – Yes, part of the same nebulous project. The first half of this is absolutely fantastic, funny as hell. There’s nothing quite like rooting on delightful character actors while they commit crimes. The second half, though… let’s be honest, it’s “City of God: Port of Call Mumbai.” I couldn’t stop thinking of that much, much better movie.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – I no longer wonder what would happen if Werner Herzog, unable to secure funding for a documentary on the post-Katrina decay of this city, jumped at the chance to direct a straight-to-DVD cop drama and packed it with oddball stars. Cage! Kilmer! Jennifer Coolidge! Faruiza Balk!