For your entertainment… these are the seven best movies I saw between April and September this year.
Best of Enemies
Gore Vidal takes on William F. Buckley. This documentary was all about those wonderful faces & voices, the brinkmanship and the sense of place. Simultaneously a pointer to the future we live in and the last shimmer of a past that’s gone forever. Something strangely haunting about the fact that while what was put on TV may have been a pair of personas, they were the personas they used in real life too. So when the persona breaks on TV, real lives can be damaged. Strangely melancholy. B
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Decent. Not a series highlight, but all these MI movies are good. With the exception of MI:2. God, that was bad. This one has a nice opera house assassination, filmed De Palma style, and a couple of moments where Cruise’s performance is so eccentric that he seems to have simply embraced his own natural strangeness. However, as a side note, the writers don’t seem to know what a nation is. B
DINOSAURS! Swagger! Kisses! Sexism! MORE DINOSAURS! B
Amusing. But with quite a sad funeral scene, in which I may have had something on my eye. Strangely, the best thing in it was probably the wrestler John Cena, playing a ‘roided-up boyfriend. B
Slow art-house Western, doom-laden and haunted by death, in which a teenager tracks across the new world for his absconded sweetheart, accompanied by Michael Fassbender. Some great stand-offs, gunplay and dream-like drunken confrontations. B
The first half of this was a fun Gerwig/Baumbach comedy of big city dreams curdling into hipster delusions. Not a million miles from something like a particularly acidic version of Girls. Then the second half turns into some sort of one-location farce, with an ensemble cast running in and out of rooms in a country house and overturning each other’s narratives, all status-games, reversals and stagey dialogue. Peculiar. But fun. B
Documentary about a family of brothers, held effectively captive in their New York apartment by a Peruvian father with some sort of God delusion. Unable to explore the city, they obsessively watch DVDs, meticulously recreating them as full-costume plays in their living room. My personal favourite was the Dark Knight Batman outfit made from painted cardboard and sliced-up yoga mats.
But their world transforms when one of the brothers dresses as Michael Myers from Halloween (in part to protect himself “from bullets”), escapes from the building, and walks into a local bank. Remarkable in all kinds of ways. B+