The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines. This was my second viewing (cf. the first), and I really really liked it. The whole thing hung together for me better this time. One thing I noticed the second time around that I appreciated: the movie opens with the sound of Gosling’s breathing prominent; the second main chapter opens with Cooper’s. I would watch a feature film made entirely of those tracking road shots.

Meek’s Cutoff

Meek’s Cutoff. The opening scene has the cast fording a waist-deep river – rushing water taking over the soundtrack – and you sense that’s about as good as it’s gonna get for a while. I love the contrast between the hot bright sunny bleached-out days, and the nights where you can see absolutely nothing but what fire’s light touches. And the square frame makes things feel a bit more fraught somehow. Over and over we see women hanging back while men deliberate their course. (Often with men in long shot, conversations barely audible, while the women get the close-ups and mediums.) And look where it gets them. By the end, it’s time to try something new. Fingers crossed.

Kelly Reichardt’s movies Night Moves and Old Joy are also really good. Wendy & Lucy is still on my list.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Star Trek Into Darkness. This one does not compare well to the other Star Trek movies. Fun, maybe, kinda, but there’s all kinds of narrative whiplash, and the non-Kirk, non-Spock characters aren’t quite there for me. Slapdash effort. Oh, well. I’ve still got my top 5 or 6 in the series to fall back on:

  1. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
  2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  3. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  4. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  5. Star Trek: First Contact
  6. Star Trek
  7. Star Trek: Nemesis
  8. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
  9. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  10. Star Trek: Generations
  11. Star Trek Into Darkness
  12. Star Trek: Insurrection