Undeniably the right movie for Valentine's Day. A movie about many things and all of those things real and rolled together just the way they are in our messy lives. Romantic comedy would be an insult to describe this movie, the romance and comedy both clearly coming from a place of love and reality; when I think back about it I think about it being a film about two normal weirdos that fall in love. If anything it's a love letter to in-laws and an examination of religion and family in modern America. But somehow not rubbish. At the start my partner turned to me and said, "Is this a documentary?" Well, maybe, it's certainly a very funny, very heartfelt slice of the weird and wonderful world we live in.
So deeply entrenched in the oddball sensibilities and taste of Quentin Tarantino, that, not unlike The Matrix before it, brings its sub and counterculture proclivities and its long forgotten influences to the attention of audiences with a bang and a smash.
What's not to like? It's Japanese and Hong Kong martial arts movies remade as a snappy assassin spaghetti western??!! But somehow also excellent. I mean a lot of it is in poor taste but so was plenty of innocuous old cinema that it's aping. I mean it's got the music from Ironside, quotes from TV commercials, the censoring of the lead characters name, the suit from Bruce Lee, the sword from Sonny Chiba, an anime backstory, and a Klingon quote to open it all. What the fuck is this? It's messy and stuffed but it flows and it's endlessly entertaining with its little details and flourishes.
And somehow Bill manages to be the coolest motherfucker on the planet with just his voice and his samurai sword caressing hands.
Exuberant and epic. Iconic and memorable. It's arty and mainstream appeal can not be understated.
A wonderfully messy film with an expertly crafted tone, and a tacit aloofness.
It's superbly directed with a tremendous score, lots of lovely little quirks, iconic car chases and a monumentally simple twist.
I feel it's aged very little, its script a taught, simple affair with a little flourish and a clever modern interpretation of the wandering masterless soldier.
An underrated classic.
Leading the charge of early 2000's dramedies with obscure hispster soundtracks and possibly giving birth to the adorkable lead female, Garden State is a film that alternates view by view between something creative, emotional and weighty and something dated, sluggish, on the nose and cheesy.
It's a sure, vibrant, darkly comic debut feature, bursting with personal angst and top notch actors in early roles. Dialogue is layered, simple, real and fun in the mouths of the talent but can quickly become clunky OTT tripe in the mouths of the occasional rotten apple.
Quirky is both a compliment and an insult to this film and Zach Braff's style and composure is both artistic and shabby. I guess what I'm saying is that everything great about this film is also what is bad about it. Natalie Portman is tremendous though and that sight gag with the extra certificate on the doctor's office ceiling is worth viewing it alone. So sometimes the film is brilliant, and sometimes it's rubbish. Despite the volume of things going on, the chemistry between, and dedication of, Braff and Portman is palpable and is the glue that binds the film together and gives it meaning. And Imean, that's ok.
The Full Bond Boogie. Connery is tanned, looking a touch old, and is in full lecherous, gleeful, ass-slapping mode. He shoving girls aside and lambasting The Beatles and already he's grown in to the perfect dinosaur we all know and love.
I enjoyed Goldfinger a lot but with the superbly crafted modern Bond films and thanks to parody films like the Austin Powers series, a dated film like this can only ever be so good considering the power of its nostalgia holds no sway over me.
The notion of Goldfinger as a villain that cheats is a neat one and the iconic "I expect you to die" scenes are pleasurable. But, although I know this is sacrilege to some, these Bond films are much better appreciated at Christmas time, with the family, or just found on TV one Sunday afternoon, or at someone else's house as an alternative to making conversation, or when I'll from work when a modern film wound make you feel worse.
These movies, particularly Connery era Bond, and particularly Goldfinger, with the beginnings and trappings of the Bond tropes, are good movies, but best viewed under the right context, and at the right time.
Bonus opening credits review: The first and perhaps the greatest Bond theme. There's simple and effective layering of images, is it teasing what's to come? There's a cool moment where a revolving spy number plate is superimposed over a woman's mouth which is quite an iconic image. And I mean, there's lots of gold, so there's that.