Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher. I liked it the first time, but I appreciate it so much more now. More subtlety than I remembered, like starting with a solid 8-10 minutes without dialogue. More great humor than I remembered, like Reacher sometimes acknowledging that he’s a bit ridiculous. And the mouthing off before the fight outside the bar. Love the dynamism in the car chase, great filming there. Also LOVE how he takes control of the hostage negotiation on the phone. There’s nothing else like it. This, then Oblivion then Edge of Tomorrow is a solid three-year run.

Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher. Pulpy, ridiculous, and just barely passable thriller. Tom Cruise, though. I love how pretty much every female in the movie starts drooling whenever he passes by. He’s a pretty remorseless “hero”, but interesting to see him enact a very personal brand/blend of justice and opportunism.

The Conversation

The Conversation. Great, great flick. The scale is so small and focused, and the protagonist is a perfect tragic character, in turns expert and inept. Themes: Surveillance and paranoia. Temptation vs. dull professionalism. Signal, noise, interpretation, expertise. I love how the movie’s opening and closing mirror each other, or maybe I should say echo each other. Gene Hackman is fantastic. Harrison Ford has one of the best scowls in the game. Fun fact: Coppola released both this and The Godfather Part II in 1974. That’s a good year, huh?

THX 1138

THX 1138. Part of me wishes that George Lucas had continued to make weird films. But then we wouldn’t have The Empire Strikes Back, so… I don’t think the characters are great–you root for them more as symbols–but the mechanics are fun. I love the claustrophobic close-ups, the dead interiors. The chase was surprisingly good for a debut, in this era. And those confessional booths! This one is certainly better than other flight-from-dystopia films like Logan’s Run, but not quite up there with Brazil.