Hard Eight

Hard Eight. Philip Baker Hall is awesome, and so is John C. Reilly. Love how Reilly becomes a poor imitation of the expert. I love the moments of still life, coffee and pie and cigarettes and such. I felt a bit let down by the reveal. I guess you’d have to steer the climax a bit differently without it, but I didn’t really need a reason for how the story opened. I was totally on board with this strange characters. I think The Master is my favorite of Paul Thomas Anderson’s, then probably this one and then There Will Be Blood and then Magnolia? Hard to say. They’re all pretty solid.

The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley. I had to re-watch after reading the appreciation in Bright Lights. Like Drive, this is one of those movies where I go in thinking, “I’ll just watch the opening 20 minutes or so, then skip around a bit”, and then an hour later I haven’t moved… Tom is even more pitiful than I remembered. Dickie is even more of an asshole. I can’t help but find Marge adorable–such a sunny, blank foil to the other two. Freddie is one of those characters you root for and also find kind of insufferable (Hoffman!). I still think Plein Soleil is a bit better.

Iron Man 2

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.

Contagion

Contagion. Pretty good. Deliberate, precise, dispassionate. It’s not a weepy melodrama. The point is to get a sense of all the moving parts. I’d call it scifi, but in the less-fantastical sense of exploring a hypothetical that isn’t (yet!?!!?!?!) true. Jude Law’s blogger/gadfly was a hoot. Another good score by Cliff Martinez (Cf.). This is only the third Steven Soderbergh movie for me, outside of the Ocean’s trilogy.