The Martian. What’s most refreshing here is that it’s a fairly gentle, nice movie. Perfectly pleasant, always positive. I don’t think there’s anythig here for me to come back to, but it was really fun to watch. I didn’t finish the book.
Looper. Solid scifi. Just take a nugget of a concept and let it spool out around a handful of people. It makes movie sense in the moment even if it doesn’t later. I love this vision of a possible future. Dystopic, but not totally dire. Just worn out. Good job with the makeup, and especially how Gordon-Levitt takes on some Willis mannerisms. I love Jeff Daniels’ character. There is some violence that a certain demographics won’t take to very well, but I appreciate that he did it anyway, it fit the story, and that it wasn’t over-the-top exploitative. It was sad. I also liked some of the audio editing and they he played with the sound stage. There’s too much leeenns flaaare. But good movie! Rian Johnson knows his craft. Makes me want to watch Brick again.
Dumb and Dumber. This one makes me wonder how today’s comedies will come across in 2030. This is the first time I finished this movie, though I’ve seen the beginning chunk a couple hundred times. Maybe the slowest-starting comedy I’ve ever seen. The road trip and early Aspen scenes in the middle are the best.
The Purple Rose of Cairo. This is a tremendous movie. If you love movies, I think it’ll stay with you. So good. Ebert agrees with me. As in Sherlock, Jr. the characters break the screen and go back and forth from the film world to reality (Allen is a science fiction filmmaker, you might recall) and wrestle with the rules and expectations on either side. There’s clever satire of movies, movie culture, movie-lovers. Much of it is bittersweet, but there’s almost always some jumping dixieland jazz playing in the background that keeps things from getting too sour. Thus, we have an escapist film about film escapism. After all, we need delusions to keep us going.
Since no one asked, here’s my ranking of Woody Allen films I’ve seen: