Logan. I had sworn off superhero films for a while, needed a break. This was a solid re-entry. And a relief to see a superhero film that’s not a direct sequel, and also not an origin story. Hard to see a hero so thoroughly vulnerable. Really fun limo chase.
The Fountain. Second viewing. (The first.) I think I have to bump this up to my favorite Aronofsky. Izzy’s lines drive me a little nuts. Thematic bludgeons. But the visuals, the score, acting, tone, mood, and everything else that’s supporting the themes: on point. Filed under: Darren Aronofsky.
Prisoners. The older I get, torture scenes in movies are just more and more unbearable. I fear we still haven’t appreciated Hugh Jackman enough. Nerdy Terrence Howard is a treat! Gyllenhaal’s character is so weird and I love that they don’t delve into it. much He just is.
The Fountain. The score is such a big part of the emotional impact here that it almost hurts the movie’s case. In other words, I found it distracting. Absolutely beautiful to look at, though. I like Aronofsky’s restrained sepia/golden/silver palettes, and smart use of the macro lenses. I wonder how it would have turned out if the first, fully-budgeted version had gone to completion. I liked Black Swan just a bit more. Pi and Requiem for a Dream are also good, but The Wrestler is the best. I think it’s fair to say I respect his work more than I enjoy it. But he makes movies you should watch. Can’t say that about many.
The Prestige. Themes: obsession, sacrifice, craft, identity, showmanship, revenge, deceit, science as magic, etc. It’s a little mechanical and maybe overstuffed, but always interesting. Hugh Jackman is excellent. I expect viewers would either love or hate the ending, in which the inevitable is delayed while the story is re-told and all is explained. I kinda hate that, but I should have expected as much. I guess that’s Nolan’s own prestige moment? I get really annoyed when you watch a movie and then, near the end, the movie tells you about the story that happened that you didn’t know about. (Yeah, I know I complained about this recently.) Good twists are fine, but they always make me wonder how you could tell the same story in an engaging way while sharing more details with the audience up front. Isn’t it also fun when we know something the other characters don’t?
I’ve now seen all of Christopher Nolan’s feature-length movies. Here’s how they stack up for me right now:
- Memento (with a commanding lead)
- Batman Begins (I’d like to re-watch this soon)
- The Prestige
- Following (tied for third?)
- The Dark Knight