Avengers: Infinity War. It was mildly distracting to see the movie’s first major battle taking place in my downtown Atlanta neighborhood, just blocks away. Is this how New Yorkers feel all the time? Thanos is a great villain. Maybe knowing they’d have him around later let them invest more and give him some motivation beyond destruction? I like the several scenes where loved ones are torn between hard choices – Vision and Scarlet Witch, Thanos and Gamorra, Starlord and Gamorra, etc.. My main frustration with the movie was the big Wakanda scenes. We are convinced this is the most technologically advanced civilization on the planet, and they are fighting a crucial battle… with infantry, hand-to-hand? It’s a shame. They could have done something more interesting. The giant roto-tiller machines were cool, though.
Ocean’s Eleven. It’s decent! It doesn’t have the same zany charm as the first time I saw it, but holds up well enough. Filed under: Steven Soderbergh.
Boogie Nights. It’s not my movie, but it’s a great movie.
Traffic. It took a good hour before I realized I’d seen it before. It took a good two seconds before I remembered that I have a huge man-crush on Benicio del Toro. He’s so good. Don Cheadle, too. The movie as a whole is pretty straightforward, docudrama-ish style, not played up for emotions like Babel or other multi-storyline, “highbrow globalist tearjerkers”. A few interesting things… the cool blue tint for U.S. interiors vs. the overexposed yellows in Mexico; the tension between identity and professional image; and the anecdote about Khrushchev and the two letters:
You know, when they forced Khrushchev out, he sat down and wrote two letters to his successor. He said, “When you get yourself into a situation you can’t get out of, open the first letter, and you’ll be safe. When you get yourself into another situation you can’t get out of, open the second letter”. Well, soon enough, this guy found himself into a tight place, so he opened the first letter. Which said, “Blame everything on me”. So he blames the old man, it worked like a charm. He got himself into a second situation he couldn’t get out of, he opened the second letter. It said, “Sit down, and write two letters”.
Iron Man 3. I liked it more than Iron Man 2, maybe not as much as the original Iron Man, though I don’t remember it well at this point. This was definitely funnier than the first sequel, with some Kiss Kiss Bang Bang-ish genre awareness and biting humor. The villains, though, were a letdown, and the silly action spectaculars were kind of a mess. And yeah, it is kind of a feature-length damnation of wearable computing.
Iron Man 2. It’s really pretty when things are blowing up. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie with a lot of ‘splosions, so I’m behind on the state of the art. Lots of eye candy, though. The main villain face-offs felt really low-stakes and awkwardly paced. Really erratic writing. I felt like the first one was funnier? Captain America is still my favorite of the few Avengers movies I’ve seen.
Out of Sight. This was sooooo much better than I expected. Lots of good writing and shooting here. If you’re gonna watch a movie that’s not outlandishly amazing, might as well choose one that’s really, really good.