Man, I jerked off like my life depended on it this weekend. No, really, it's like my cock was the rip cord on my secondary chute or something. I can't remember the last time that's happened. Weeks at least.
When I wasn't investigating my crime scene, I was at the movies. I've seen all the Best Picture nominees now. Care to hear my capsule reviews? I'll start with the ones I caught this weekend.
There Will Be Blood
Epic in scope and theme, I think this is a movie that will stand the test of time. And Daniel Day Lewis inhabits a character, doesn't he? Like few other actors, for me he just disappears. There are many years this would be Best Picture, but not this year.
Wow, this movie is a corker! I loved it, and I think that nobody picks movies better than George Clooney. Granted, he gets all the best scripts, but so does Kevin Costner. Or he did. Michael Clayton has the best acting ensemble of the nominated films. George? Fab. Tilda Swinton? Ohmychrist, you're named after punctuation and you own. Michael O'Keefe? Smarmy goodness. Tom Wilkinson? Hell yes. Sydney Pollack? He can do no wrong in my book. Julie White? OK, you were barely in this, but my love endures from your screamingly funny turn on Broadway in Little Dog Laughed. Oh, and Tony Gilroy, the genius director of the Bourne films, both wrote and directed this one. Whew. Mad talent. The last third of this movie had me riveted.
No Country For Old Men
Best Picture of the Year. Beautifully written, gorgeously shot, wonderfully acted, I think this one stands out in a startlingly good crowd. Javier Bardem sees to it that Anton Chigurh scares the crap out of you. Come to think of it, Chigurh shares a similar moral code to There Will Be Blood's Daniel Plainview. A distorted one, yes, but clearly defined at least. From the opening minutes, NCFOM grabs you by the collar and then never lets go. You know those movies that you stumble upon in the middle of the night or on a Saturday afternoon and then you HAVE to stop and watch? This will be one of those for the next ten or thirty years.
This is the prettiest film of the bunch, and as I've often mentioned, the book is one of my all-time favorites. I was pleasantly surprised how true the film stayed to novel. Some really good acting in this, one of the best tracking shots in, ummmmm, movie history, and that delicious ending. There's a theme that runs through many of McEwan's books and it's hauntingly presented here-- whole lives can hinge on a moment, and often just a few words said (or unsaid) can be all the difference. Yikes! And yum.
So sweet, so funny and suprisingly unsentimental. OK, there were times I felt manipulated (and not in a good way), but mostly I was entertained. They're writing that Juno is this year's Little Miss Sunshine. Huh? Both funny, I guess, and neither lightweight. And I guess I like that the Academy nominated Juno (and Little Miss Sunshine....so maybe there's validity in the comparison after all?), but it's nowhere near the best thing I saw last year. I know, I know, people loved it, but I'd even nominate Superbad before this one. I'll be honest. Juno-speak really got on my nerves after a while. I like quirky, but c'mon. Still, very funny and well-done.
So yeah, No Country For Old Men, brotha. If you haven't seen it, why not?
ADDED: They showed a trailer for The Dark Knight before Michael Clayton. It was about 25% Batman and 75% The Joker. I'd seen stills of Heath Ledger as the Joker, but hadn't seen any clips. Startling.