Sunday, December 9, 2012

Celluloid #161

In Theaters

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012) Condon - Well, I'm glad it's over. The first scene immediately reminded me how cringey this series has been, but that also there's a lot of unintentional humor. Renesmee looks like a creep for the first part of the movie. Apparently her existence is a problem in the world of vampires because they fear vampire babies ("immortal children") for their lack of self-control. However, Resnesmee is only half vampire and wasn't bit. Whatever. At least this movie features a battle scene that is really satisfying until it is totally undermined. ??/10

In Home

Being Elmo (2011) Marks - So unfortunate how Kevin Clash has been disgraced in the news lately, because this documentary paints him as a pretty nice guy. Clash started making puppets an putting on local shows when he was 10. By the time he was finishing up high school, he was working for a local television show, and then shortly after, started working on the Captain Kangaroo show. Clash became the first black puppeteer to work for Jim Henson, and until recently, still ran the puppet workshop for Sesame Street and touring around the world with his character, Elmo. 7/10

Body Double (1984) De Palma - An actor catches his wife cheating and gets fired from his job all in the same day. He finally thinks he catches a break when another actor offers to let him apartment-sit. In addition to free rent, there's an impromptu nightly striptease show courtesy of a neighbor woman that's visible through a telescope. One night, the actor sees the neighbor get into some trouble with an intruder, and he tries to follow her the next day to warn her. This all spirals into a bigger conspiracy involving the porn industry - typically good De Palma. 8/10

Bonsai (2012) Jimenez - Adaptation of a pretty great novella intertwining the course of a romantic relationship with the process of writing. The movie is not nearly as successful as the book, but for reasons I cannot pinpoint. 6/10

God Bless America (2012) Goldthwait - Dark satire about America's obsession with reality television. One man gets fed up with how stupid people have become. In particular, he's upset about how people cannot have real conversations or interactions, but can only relate through inane pop culture. To top it off, his own young daughter is turning into a spoiled monster. After contemplating suicide, he teams up with a similarly jaded teen and goes on a killing spree. 5/10

Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2012) Duplass - So yeah, Jeff is 30, a stoner, and lives with his mom. His older seemingly more successful brother is having his own problems with his marriage; namely being worried that his wife is cheating. Jeff keeps following these "signs" about a person named Kevin all ver town while trying to help his brother. Pretty enjoyable to watch, even if the plot sounds like a ridiculous mess. 7/10

the Lady (2012) Besson - So sad! A story is recent history that I had no knowledge about. Since the 1970s (probably earlier), Burma has been under military rule. Movements developed to pursue democracy, but early on one leader was executed and essentially turned into a martyr for that cause. The martyr's daughter is the focus of this biopic. Aung San Suu Kyi moves to England after her father's death. There she grows up, marries, and has children. When her mother has a stroke, she returns to Burma where professors convince her to pick up her father's legacy. Despite her election success, she undergoes 15 years of house arrest. An unusual film for Luc Besson's typically action-packed filmography. 7/10

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