movie blogging to go

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Diary of the Dead. (2008.) There isn't a whole lot more I can say about Romero's newest zombie flick that Patrick hasn't already said better, but for whatever my two cents are worth: in spite of a shaky first five or ten minutes, Romero manages to not only dispatch once and for all the flock of witless no-no-but-in-this-one-they-run "of the Dead" remakes horror fans have been subjected to since 28 Days Later hit it big back a couple of years ago, but America's Best Horror Filmmaker also reinvents the NOTLD legacy for a whole new generation's neurosis, complete with an all new take-your-breath-away ending - they're dead, they're all messed up. If Land of the Dead was Georgie-Boy getting all relativistic and channelling Al Jazeera, Diary of the Dead is him doing 'The Daily Show': a brash, hilarious, and heartbreaking processing of the End of Days.

Drawing Restraint 9. (2005.) From everything I'd seen and heard, filmmaker Matthew Barney is a serious asshole, and I was expecting a right piece of ostentatious crap when I crawled out to the Esquire's Midnight Movie showing of the ninth offering in his continuing series of avant-chic movies. I was, however, pleasantly surprised: in #9, as he as done to some degree with most or all of the things in the Drawing Restraint series, Barney examines the tension in some very basic - primal? - imagery and feelings: things, living and otherwise, which organize into relationships, then decay, then pull apart, then organize anew. His aesthetic sense lends itself readily to medium of film, and even with a Japanese tea ceremony thrown into the middle of a movie I was watching at 1 A.M., I was intrigued and engaged the whole way through.

Goya's Ghosts. (2006.) I'm not sure what happened in this movie, really. Javier Bardem's an Inquisiton-era priest who likes art, and Francisco Goya in particular - who, just like everyone who has ever been in a Milos Forman movie, is hopelessly misunderstood by everybody - and then Natalie Portman is in it, and then she's not, and then Bardem gets chased away for being a heretic, and then Napoleon invades Spain, and Javier is back again, but he's all bummed out, 'cause he screwed Natalie Portman (who's insane now). And Stellan Skarsgard paints and goes deaf. Yeah, you know what? Don't see this. Rent The People vs. Larry Flynt instead.

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