International Bon Vivant and Raconteur (nick_kaufmann) wrote,
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
nick_kaufmann

What I've Been Doing With My Eyes

I remember when I first started this journal almost 4 years ago, I swore I wouldn't use it to post nerdy movie reviews. That didn't last long.

Sunshine: A mess. Why didn't anyone warn me? The movie can't decide if it wants to be the 2001-like space drama it is for the first hour and a quarter (complete with the usual space drama cliches, like the talking, omnipresent computer, the captain who would sacrifice his life for the crew, etc.) or the ridiculous and completely unbelievable slasher movie it is for the final forty minutes. By the time it was over, I had no idea what movie I was watching anymore and no longer cared if their mission succeeded. When we get the emotional beat at the end of the sun glowing brighter against the frozen earth, it's both unearned and meaningless.

Joshua: Much better. It immediately removed the bad taste of Sunshine from my mouth. This movie is slow and mannered, not really the thriller it was marketed as, and I wound up really loving it. Vera Farmiga owns this film as Joshua's mom, which is odd because I haven't liked her in anything else I've seen her in, including The Departed. But here she gives an amazing performance (unfortunately, she's missing from the latter half of the film). Also, I loved how they set it up so that you think Joshua's sociopathy is triggered by sibling rivalry, with the removal of his new baby sister as his goal, only to show you in the last few moments that he actually had a different goal altogether. Well done.

George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead: Fun, enjoyable -- especially the crackerjack scenes on the Amish farm -- but somewhere around the last third you realize you've seen this movie a hundred times before, and then all the fun drains away and it simply becomes the usual waiting game for the walls to breached, the characters to be picked off one by one, and the inevitable apocalyptic ending. If I may be so bold, I hereby declare the zombie survival film dead (no pun intended). It needs to be completely redefined at this point, burned down and rebuilt from the ground up, with whole new plot trajectories and whole new rules. Laziness and overexposure have turned the modern zombie movie as stale and unexciting as year-old Wonder bread.
Tags: movies
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