Cinema Digest 2013 – Week 14

Scary Movie (2000)

So I’m late to the party. I haven’t seen any of the Scary Movie movies (I know that’s awkward phrasing but I refuse to call this a “film”) and based on this one, I have no desire to see any of the other four. And this is supposed to be the good one? It is occasionally funny. I got some chuckles. But I can count on my hands the number of times this happened. This is definitely nowhere near the depths that the godawful other “Movie” movies (Epic MovieDisaster Movie, etc.) get to but overall, it’s just no good.


Playtime (1967)

Playtime is Jacques Tati’s magnum opus. His skill at creating and executing elaborate and sometimes subtle sight gags is nothing short of amazing. Tati’s use of 70mm film is simply incredible. A big highlight is the 30+ minute restaurant scene near the film’s end that juggles over a dozen characters all with their own set of jokes and running gags. The thematic disconnect of people vs. technology is at least on par with Charles Chaplin’s Modern Times and there are several poignant moments where the Paris of old is glimpsed just briefly and indirectly through modern glass buildings. See it on the biggest screen possible and be prepared to laugh.


Evil Dead (2013)

Check out my full-length review at The Alternative Chronicle [link].


Happiness (1935)

This silent film comes out of Soviet Russia and tells the story of a peasant who can’t do anything right and has the worst luck imaginable. In one part of the movie, a couple thieves try to rob him but he’s so poor they give him a small bit of money and steal his horse instead. It sounds sad, and much of it is, but at other times it’s also a delightful little comedy. There’s a hilarious gag where a group of people literally carry a full-size shack on their backs. Not a great film but definitely an interesting look at life in Soviet Russia for the non-privileged.


The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011)

This isn’t a movie. This is wish fulfillment for preteen girls. Literally, the entirety of the first 45 minutes is Edward and Bella’s wedding and honeymoon. This is followed by an hour of Bella being pregnant and everybody talking about whether or not they should keep the vampire/human spawn that’s growing rapidly in her belly. And then she has the baby and dies and Edward finally turns her into a vampire. That’s it! That’s all that happens and it takes a whole 2 hours! People claim that Warner Bros. split up the last Harry Potter book just so they could make more money. No. This is a shameless money grab. There’s not a single reason why this had to be split into two parts. This could so easily have all taken place in 45 minutes flat. It’s staggering how little happens in this movie. But we’re not done yet because next we’ve got…


The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

Okay, at least this one has some action at the end. I can’t believe this is rated PG-13 with the absurd number of decapitations in this. So many heads get ripped off it’s almost comical. There’s so much absurdity that this easily becomes the most unintentionally hilarious film of the entire series. Like the previous entry (and all of them really), this film fills out so much time by having people stare at each other for long periods of time or having boring, repetitive conversations about what they should do instead of ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING! Thank god this series is over.


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