Monday, October 25, 2010

Viewing Log #56: October highlights so far

by Ryland Walker Knight



  • Jackass 3D [Jeff Tremaine, 2010] Despite more full cock shots, less queer than the other 2, and especially the better parts of 2, which is my favorite of the trilogy. The most curious thing in the flick is just how little they seem to enjoy the process besides Knoxville and WeeMan. Steve-O, in particular, looks to be only going through the motions. But, still, I laughed so hard my nose began to run.
  • Eastbound & Down [Jody Hill et al, 2010] Just waiting on the finale now. It got darker, that's for sure, and easily a lot meaner. Not sure these are good things. It's really weird just how much this crew, despite making a comedy series, is really interested in making Real Art that does a lot to Say Something under the guise of foul language and attitudes. I'm curious (1) if they'll be around in 20 years and (2) what in the hell they could be mad about then.
  • Boardwalk Empire [Terrence Winter, 2010] That is, so far. And so far so-so. Plenty of stuff to like, plenty of stuff I could plain do without, like those opening titles.
  • Blazing Saddles [Mel Brooks, 1974] # Gene Wilder is the best person in the world with Harvey Korman and Slim Pickens running a close tie behind him.
  • High Anxiety [Mel Brooks, 1977] # A lesser effort, to be sure, but some timing gags work perfectly; and some of the spoof elements are pretty great. Mostly, I enjoyed how much my sister enjoyed it.
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox [Wes Anderson, 2009] # A joy.
  • The jerk [Carl Reiner, 1979] # Still my favorite Steve Martin movie. A fine reminder of what once amounted to a particular kind of comedic genius.
  • Plenty of 30 Rock's latest season, which I'm enjoying.
  • Code Unknown [Michael Haneke, 2000] Not really a highlight, but it's made very well. Once again I'm left thinking: sure, but you can also go to hell, Herr H.
  • The Loved One [Evelyn Waugh, 1948] Narrow in the right ways, this may be a perfect novel, though sometimes the wit gets just a tad cute.
  • Louis C.K.: Chewed Up [2008] Dude's on fire.
  • Freedom [Jonathan Franzen, 2010] I'm fine with it! In fact, I find it really entertaining in good ways, though I also find a lot of the writing clumsy in that the on-purpose-clumsiness just feels clumsy sometimes. Still, I'm happy I read it, and read it then (this year, this moment). Doubt I'll ever pick it up again.
  • Henry IV: Part One in Ashland, Oregon at the Shakespeare Festival with my dad. My legs got pretty cold, but that was alright. What truly fascinated me was just how much more interesting an actor the guy who played Hal was than the guy who played Falstaff. Not typical.

7 comments:

  1. I should watch The Jerk again. I'm still such a sucker for him in Little Shop of Horrors and (almost loathe to admit on a cinephile blog comment) Parenthood. Interestingly, I recently rewatched his other 1979 film acting role: the Muppet Movie. Only a cameo, but a delicious one in a near-perfect film.

    I hadn't seen High Anxiety until about a year ago. I like that it spoofs an auteur's style (even camera movement gets a gag or two, as I recall), and not just genre conventions as Brooks is generally wont to do.

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  2. Totally forgot about him in _The Muppet Movie_! I should re-watch THAT.

    And, yea, Brooks did a lot to squeeze as many "AH signatures" into that movie as possible. It's a lot of fun.

    Almost skipped JACKASS last night for LOLA but I went with a group of dudes and we drank beer in the theatre and we had a rollicking good start to the week. Doubt Fassbinder would've set me up the same.

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  3. Lola is hilarious, so it could not have been too poor of a start to the week.

    I share similar sentiments on Herr H, although it seems odd that the most effectively creeped out I have been by the man is when I watched a video tape playing back an image of essentially nothing. He could stand to take a cue from himself every once in a while, although I guess that's basically what The White Ribbon was. Can't argue with the results. Up next may be a silent adaptation of Jarman's Blue called White.

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  6. Waka waka waka! Let the good times roll! Before I die of impatience for the new Muppet movie to arrive to Sweden, I thought I'd go back to the humble beginnings of these wonderfully timeless entertainers. More specifically, 1979.

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