Kubo and the Two Strings. Absurdly gorgeous for stop-motion animation. I’m so impressed. The plot drags at times, but always dazzling in some way or another.
Mad Max: Fury Road. Ridiculously fun, and so refreshing. I do wish the dialogue were more intelligible. I would have killed for some subtitles or something in the first 10-15 minutes. Sneaky side-effect, though, is that it makes you dial in a bit more, and pay attention. On the other other hand, it doesn’t matter too much, though, as it’s a (very extended) chase film where the details don’t matter too much. (Made me think of Apocalypto in its relentlessness.) Furiosa joins a long, storied line of shaven-head heroines like Ripley, Lt. Ilia, LUH-3417, what’s-her-face in V for Vendetta, et al. Filed under: road movies.
Prometheus. My first draft for this post was longer, but it was turning into a pile-on. Prometheus is not all bad, but, still… it’s kind of a mess. No good when you find yourself laughing at a dark, mysterious, portentous movie. I was sold for the first 70-80 minutes, though. Mostly. A better script is a must, and serious editing would help. Too many cooks in this kitchen? I’m not sure what kind of movie it wanted to be. It’s also handicapped by a cookie-cutter score. Cue the French horn! Shame to see talent like Fassbender, Rapace, Theron, and Elba not put to full use. You’re definitely better off staying home and watching Alien again.
Monster. Charlize Theron is amazing in this movie. But the story is weak. Great craftsman, shoddy materials. It’s worth watching at least a little bit though. On a side note, the use of some pop songs (by Journey, The Searchers, REO Speedwagon, etc.) struck me as kind of weird. I understand their use as a sort of shorthand emotional signifier, but lately I find that a little more jarring. I think I might prefer a made-for-the-occasion original soundtrack.