Movies watched for the first time (non-theatrically) since last week:
* Orphan - Well, I lied. When it was in theaters, I said I was "never gonna see it," after glancing at the ridiculous poster for it that claimed how you were never going to guess her secret or something along those lines. So I knew the twist ending going in, but it's that twist that actually probably compelled me to see Orphan. I had to see how they would pull it off - would it be pretty seamless or turn into a campfest?
Sad to say, it was as tastefully done as possible, and the movie really isn't terrible. Perhaps worse, it errs on the side of boring - if you've seen one Evil Child movie, apparently you've seen them all. Good to see Vera Farmiga pissing on the tree of Evil Kid movies and marking her turf. First Joshua, now Orphan, and both within three years of each other? What's next, Vera?
* The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - This is one of the 'classics' that I was really interested in watching. I love Clint, it's supposed to be the Greatest Western of All Time, it's from the mid-60s (and thus still within the realm of "not too old" for my tastes, necessarily), it had the content from the video below. Suffice it to say, it had a lot going for it.
And I liked it. Really, I did. GOAT? Probably not, but as with so many 'classics,' I don't doubt that Leone introduced several techniques, conventions, yada yada yada to the genre. But...
3 FUCKING HOURS?!?! ARE YOU SHITTING ME??
This movie was an hour too long. At least 45 minutes. Listen, the opening sequence = awesome. The vignettes introducing each of the characters were great, as well as serving as a reminder of just how much Tarantino no doubt loves this movie. The ending was pretty badass. Clint was great, though I was disappointed at how relatively small his role was. Lee Van Cleef was fantastic, and I can't wait to see him in other films. What a face. Eli Wallach was pretty funny.
I think the biggest culprit was the extended bridge/military sequence prior to the finale. It served almost no purpose whatsoever, save for perhaps giving us a chance to see Clint perform a paid of good deeds. That's it. It was a half-hour diversion that took away all of the momentum the flick had going for it, and for what? Just so that we might be introduced to the Italian George Clooney (I swear, if they ever remake this flick, the alcoholic Union Captain part has to be played by him)? Considering the fact that they didn't need the bridge to cross the river in the first place, why not just walk through it at some other point and spare us the diversion? Interesting note: Clint nearly got killed doing the blowup scene.
Take 45 minutes away, and I'm a lover of this movie. As is, it's too long and slow for me to want to revisit anytime soon. And I swear, I'm not some punk kid raised on MTV that requires choppy editing and a lack of characterization in his movies; those scenes were filled with tension and portrayed these men excellently. But no Western should be 3+ hours long, and there was clearly some filler here. Why that seemingly bothers no one else is beyond me.
All that said, I'll watch a greatest hits compilation any day, and I'm eager to check out Leone's other (and shorter) works.
Music I'm currently obsessed with:
Yeah, I've had this in my head for four days now...
Book I'm currently reading:
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, the final entry in the Millenium trilogy (until Larsson's family digs up 'lost' pages of his 4th book and cashes those in...just wait). Of course I'm liking it, but it's awfully procedural and historical, and I think it's got way too many characters at this point. It seems there's a new one or five every chapter, and I'm having trouble keeping them all straight. The Swedish names aren't helping. Am about halfway through it.