Tuesday, September 04, 2012

What I Watched In August

Only two trips to the theater in August. Disappointing, but I take what I can get.  The first was a return visit to see THE HUNGER GAMES so that my beloved could finally check it out. She had not wanted to see the film until she had read all three books so this was her chance to compare and contrast. Her verdict was (as I suspected) that the book was better but she wasn't unhappy with the film. My feelings about it didn't change at all and my irritation with the terrible editing choices in the action scenes only increased. If I can't understand what is happening then I don't give a shit, Mr. Director.

The one new viewing was THE EXPENDABLES 2 and I was surprised to see that Stallone & Co. seems to have learned from the original film's mistakes. In what is becoming a reoccurring bitch of mine, I was pissed off by the fact that the first film's actions scenes were all but incomprehensible. I could never tell what the hell was going on in any gunfight, fistfight or indeed any shot that involved movement because director Stallone had decided to shoot everything in extreme close-up and edit the whole mess like he was having a spastic fit. In a true first I am actually going to praise the choice of SimonWest as director for the second film. I wrote him off years ago after suffering through his miserably bad LARA CROFT and CON-AIR disasters but in recent times he seems to have found some way to harness his more idiotic inclinations. Not that THE EXPENDABLES 2 is high art or even a great film but West's usual deep-core stupid script tendencies have finally been off-set with a sense that the people involved are AWARE that the things they are doing are pretty ridiculous. A simple knowing wink at the audience goes a long way toward making me, at least, relax and go along for the ride. It helps that this film has a tighter script than the first EXPENDABLES too with some good character bits for most of the macho guys and a few quieter moments to let the plot develop into something more than just the reason shit blows up. This is what I had hoped the first film would be- fast, funny and exciting. This cast plays well off of each other and I would really like it if they managed to crank out at least one more with even more interaction with the tough guys as they do their thing. I can hardly believe I typed that but it is true! 

THE NOTORIOUS LONE WOLF (1946)- 5 (first post war film of the series with new cast)
DRIVE ANGRY (2011)- 7 (rewatch)
OPERATION CONDOR - 7 (rewatch)
FROGS (1972)- 5  (  rewatch)
A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL (1966)- 8 (excellent Spaghetti western)
RODAN (1956)- 5
THE HUNGER GAMES (2012)- 7 (rewatch)
PLUNDER OF THE SUN (1953)- 7 (good Mexico set, noir-ish adventure)
TAM LIN (1970)- 6 (interesting art/horror film directed by Roddy McDowell)
THE EXPENDABLES 2 (2012)- 7 

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