Sonntag, 7. Oktober 2012

A month of movies: September.

Let's make this quick: Please, by all means, do yourself a favour and ignore Ted (trailer) even if you like Seth MacFarlane's other productions, watch On The Road (trailer) if you liked the novel (but don't expect a revelation), trust your senses about End Of Watch's trailer and of course, see Take Shelter (trailer).

The short -
Go and see: /
Well worth watching: Take Shelter (DVD).
Average: On The Road.
Forget about: End Of Watch, Ted.

The long -
The rules: Only movies seen at cinemas during the month referred to in the post title and recent DVD releases (which will be noted as such) are eligible. This excludes films seen on video or television. Also excluded are movies from festivals, which may or may not get treated in separate posts. Premieres and previews, however, are fine. The reviews are listed in alphabetical order. Finally, ratings are given on IMDB's 1-10 scale. These rules, likely to be broken at the discretion of yours truly, solely exist because no rules are fun, and we cannot have that here, now can we?

End Of Watch. What starts off as an annoying example of standard action movie fare closes on a surprisingly somber note. While the change of tone in End Of Watch's final chapter is hinted at a couple of times before, the intensity of it still makes an impact. Unfortunately, by the time we reach the finale we have sat through one and a half painful hours of male bonding, crude humour, a blasting soundtrack and an amount of fucks we no longer give any about. The police buddy-buddy movie has been done to death and death may add interest here, but it does too late. 4/10

On The Road. While collages of moving Instagram moments, as road movies today tend to be, and this one is may not be especially exciting, they're easy on the eyes and not going to offend anyone. And really, On The Road's worst fault is its occasional length, when the beloved heroes of Beat go off on another night of binge drinking. Then again, that's just a sign of the movie staying close and true to the source material, at least in content. In style, however, it doesn't really, with each episode clearly cut and divided from the next, offering a breather where the novel famous for its flow would not. Garrett Hedlund delivers a very convincing performance as the headstrong Dean and Kristen Stewart shows she can hold up her own as his on-off love interest Marylou, while Sam Riley seems a little out of place and perhaps miscast as Sal Paradise, Kerouac's alter ego. 6/10

Take Shelter (DVD release). A working-class man who is striving for the ideal of the American Dream sees everything he's attained endangered by a threat. This classic setup in Take Shelter is complicated by a sense of doubt and questioning of perceptions - and this is where the film is ingenious - on behalf of both the main character and the viewer. For the largest part, we are as unsure about what we're witnessing as he is, and the self-doubt and fear we read on his face becomes frighteningly contagious. Whenever we are being let in on what was kept from us before, we don't receive a clearer view of things or reassurance, but instead the addition of another layer of uncertainty, making us further regress into territory we fear to tread just like he does. Michael Shannon is the star of this foray into a clouded mind, showing why he is widely considered to be one of the best contemporary actors in America. The film's second star are the sound effects, which manage to amplify the vague feeling of threat underlying and underlining each scene. Sadly, the movie finally yields to the demands of having a resolution, thus losing its chance to go out on a really strong note. While reading an ambiguity, which the director claims to have intended, into it is possible, taking it literally seems a much more obvious choice. 8/10

Ted. Trash sans redeeming qualities. 2/10

Previous months of movies: January, February (no post), March, April, May, June (no post), July (no post), August.

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