Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
October 15, 2012
We watch movies.
Kim Hollis: What movies have you seen lately? What did you think?
Edwin Davies: In the theater I have seen End of Watch, The Master and Looper, which I liked, adored and loved, respectively.
William Friedkin wrote a tweet earlier this week saying that End of Watch is one of the best cop movies ever made and, with all respect to Mr. Friedkin, that's bullshit, especially coming from the man who made the best cop movie ever, The French Connection. That's not to say it the film isn't good, it is. It's a solid cop movie with two very engaging performances, but there's not much new in it, contentwise, and the found footage angle becomes so irrelevant to the actual film that I don't really see why it was included at all. David Ayer has made a name for himself as a chronicler of modern policing, and all I could think whilst watching End of Watch was that Training Day covered a lot of similar ground in a way that was much more interesting and engaging.
I'm a massive Paul Thomas Anderson fan and I've been eagerly awaiting The Master for about three or four years now, through all its production and financing woes, so I was pretty excited to check it out. It surpassed and subverted my expectations by being nothing like what I expected, yet exactly what I didn't realize I wanted. It's a difficult film, but one that I haven't been able to stop thinking about, and those are the exact qualities that will either cause people to love it or completely dismiss it. For me, it confirms that Anderson is pretty much the only game in town as far great American directors go.
Finally, Looper was just wonderful. I've been a big fan of Rian Johnson ever since I saw Brick on its opening weekend in Britain and it feels so great seeing him make a film that's so wildly ambitious and clever which has also, somewhat improbably, become a mainstream hit. It's a piece of dense, heady science fiction that doesn't skimp on the action, but which also manages to find a strong emotional core to ground its talk of destiny and free will. A real joy.
I also caught up with Dark Shadows, which was a mess but benign; Searching For Sugar Man, which is a brilliant documentary that everyone should check out without reading anything about it because it would spoil some of the fun; and Eight Men Out, John Sayles' film about the Blacksox scandal, which I loved despite having no interest in baseball and only passing interest in gambling.
Felix Quinonez: I saw Liberal Arts and I liked it a lot. It was nothing extraordinary but it was very pleasant. I definitely thought it was a lot better than Radnor's previous directing effort, Happythankyoumoreplease, which I found a bit pretentious. A lot of what I liked had to do with the performances. Elizabeth Olsen is great in the movie and I hope she has a long career and Radnor is good too. The movie also has a strong supporting cast. Aside from the performances I really liked how it captured the feeling of college. I liked that it caught the excitement of being in it through Olsen's character. And through Radnor's character we get to see the nostalgia that some of us feel towards it after graduating. It's not the most memorable movie but it is definitely enjoyable.
I also saw The Dark Knight Returns Pt. 1. I love what DC is doing with these animated adaptations and they have improved so much since Superman: Doomsday. With The Dark Knight Returns, they are adapting Frank Miller's classic graphic novel of the same name. And they do a phenomenal job. My initial complaint was the fact that they split it up into two movies. I know that they like to keep these movies about and hour and 15 minutes but they could have made it two hours and no one would have complained. But I guess they can sell two DVDs this way. That being said, the movie is phenomenal. They split up the story in a way that it actually does feel like a whole movie rather than ending on a cliffhanger.
The voice acting is great. Peter Weller portrays Batman and he does a phenomenal job. The art is fabulous. As much as I love Frank Miller, sometimes his art bothers me. That was the one thing I didn't like about The Dark Knight Returns (the graphic novel) but on the movie adaptation they use a similar look but a lot more polished. But the thing that surprised me the most was how cool the score is. I really can't say enough good stuff about this, go check it out. Now I just can't wait till the second part comes out.