Billions is on Showtime and it’s brilliant.
I’ll never finish this but in attempting to rewatch all the movies I own in chronological order, here are the last five, with the comments I put on FB.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
One of the interesting things about watching these movies in chronological order is seeing some of these obscure-ish actresses appear prominently in a few films (Jessica Harper in Phantom of the Paradise and Suspiria; Brooke Adams in Days of Heaven and this film), before disappearing, either through career/life choices or aging out of women’s leading roles. This movie is still a kick, if a bit more sophomoric than its rep. The new-age psychobabble self-help angle gives some of these late-70s horror films added color (“The Brood” being a another favorite). I’m surprised they haven’t made a new version of this film (the Nicole Kidman one doesn’t count) involving, I dunno, smartphones. Goldblum and Nimoy should have been in more films together.
Lord of the Rings
I saw this movie in second-run theaters more than once as a kid and the legions of lifelike orcs always freaked me out. As an adult, I admire a good amount of the animation but the handling of the story reminds me of all the times when I have an 800-word assignment and I get 600 words in before I realize I’m still on the lede.
The Omen 2
The concept of the Antichrist being raised through the American political, military, and corporate power structures is pointed enough to carry evergreen appeal. The reason that this movie doesn’t rank higher in the horror canon is likely that the death scenes are spaced out a little too much like clockwork, never letting an element of surprise seep in. I still find the central concept juicy, the death scenes appropriately goofy, and the acting a bit better than what is required.
Superman: The Movie
It had been a while since I had seen this film, and it had curdled in my memory a little bit. What I remembered most, aside from the two lead performances and the lively Daily Planet scenes, was Lex’s leaden scheme that bogs down the film’s back half. Watching it again, particularly after a decade of superhero films with a distinct lack of wonder and in which the notion of “fun” comes via a conveyor belt of lame quips, I found the Lex stuff to be breezier than remembered and the minimalist Kryptonian effects in the first half to be as delightful as remembered. None of this is as strong as the middle sequence, however, from the helicopter scene through the montage of Superman’s feats; not only is this the best stretch of cinema in any superhero movie, but it’s literally impossible to imagine a modern film topping it.
The final scene remains the powder keg, and most of the movie is watching the fuse slowly burn down to the moment in which it explodes in ways that never feel congruous with that the setup leads you to believe could happen—it’s almost like a magic trick and a nasty bit of social commentary all in one. Its overt reliance on the climax is softened by the lived-in backdrop of 1970s Detroit, and the peculiar casting and in particular, Richard Pryor’s effortless, everyman charisma.
I watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers fairly recently and I still enjoyed it. It held up better than I thought.
The 70s Body Snatchers is one of my favorite films. It’s definitely in my top 5 favorite horror films of all time.
I tried watching the Purge trilogy this week. Out of them the only one that works even generally is Anarchy (the second one) but they’re all pretty weak. It’s definitely a dumb idea that the writer/director clearly thinks is very smart but never looks at it as anything other than a way to murder a bunch of people. It’s a strangely preachy about anti-violence while reveling in that same violence.
One of the creepiest scenes in cinema:
This is a movie that I’ll put on once every few years and it always works for me. Still probably my favorite superhero movie despite some of the sillier/dated parts. It really holds up for me.
I call you brother.
One of the strengths of superheroes is the fact they don’t change like normal protagonists, they change those around them. I think that’s been forgotten in modern superheroes, except probably Steve Rodgers. In Superman, his character arc happens early in the film, so afterwards you see the beauty of how a superhero can affect those around them. Spider-Man 2 got the ‘maybe I shouldn’t be a superhero arc’ perfect, but in most cases you miss the joy of superheroes being resolute and they characters around them evolving in some way as an affect of the hero being a hero without question.
*this was meant to be a reply to @RobertB but I f’ed up. Alot of my own character arc seems to be f’ing up.
The dog is even creepier!
I think at one point it was in vogue to put down Superman the movie, mostly because the San Andreas fault line scheme and the time travel stuff is a bit dumb, but then you watch it and it’s like “oh yeah, this is still pure magic.”
Wow. I tried watching Superman: The Movie again not long ago and barely got through it.
It’s overly long, takes weird liberties that are somehow glossed over and then there’s whoever the hell Gene Hackman is playing.
Christopher Reeve is still incredible and totally inhabits the character but those around him seem to be in a different film at times.
Wait… I don’t remember him breaking anyone’s neck?
That’s the next film where he just throws depowered Kryptonians down a ravine or suffocates them with plastic shrink rap.
To be fair, they were very rude
He even gets Lois in on the killing.
Reeve is always incredible though. Look at how he even sells that plastic S thing. It’s a shitty idea and he completely commits and executes.
Guys, there’s totally a ball pit down there. They were all fine. Just enjoying some recess time.
What do you have against women feeling empowered??