Sunday, February 24, 2013

Short Cuts: Film Reviews (Pre-Oscars Special Edition)


Home again, home again, jiggity jig! It's been a couple of months since my last posting here, as the rush of the holidays and post-holiday work meant blogging time shrunk considerably. It's ironic, too, as I've been consuming more popular culture since late November than I have in ages, catching up on television (Boardwalk Empire, the final season of Gossip Girl, all three seasons of Downton Abbey, and much more), comics (I commend Batwoman, The Flash, Daredevil, and the ongoing one-two punch of Matt Fraction's dazzlingly intertwined Fantastic Four and FF to your attention), and pop music (Frank Ocean, Adele, Japandroids, P!ink, and new singles from Prince, David Bowie and Justin Timberlake are all worth your time). And of course, movies. I'd like to touch on those other aspects of pop in future posts, but since we're only a few hours away from this year's Academy Awards, I'd like to devote this moment to the movies, with quick takes on all the stuff I've been watching since Thanksgiving. After all, the "end" of the previous film year is really marked by the garish, grating, glorious hilarity of Oscar night, isn't it? The movies below range from 2012 blockbusters to tiny indie films to 1933's vision of the ways PTSD gets displaced onto class (dis)order. Good, bad, beyond awful and utterly brilliant, they've all been wonderfully vivid reminders of cinema's power for me the last three months, even if only a few have a chance to win one of those statuettes described by one wag as being the perfect symbol of Hollywood: "It cuts off the head right where the brains are, and leaves a blank space where its balls should be."

Just a note: I still haven't seen the following films: Argo, Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, Flight, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Master, Amour, The Hobbit, Les Miserables, and Beasts of The Southern Wild. But this isn't a year-end "best" list, and anyway, you're probably sick of hearing about those movies anyway, yes?