by Ryland Walker Knight
—Words to live by, baby
- Eastbound & Down [S2E6, David Gordon Green, 2010] An attempt to sweep away some of the mean spiritedness of the previous episodes that gets by on the hilarity of certain foibles and the sheer audacity of the racism. This can't end well.
- Boardwalk Empire "Home" [Allen Coulter, 2010] Boring, poorly written, bathetic to no end.
- Bucket of Blood [Roger Corman, 1959] The way a B picture should be made: with laughs, with a twisted idea for horror that makes bodies a source of revulsion, and art.
- Rio Bravo [Howard Hawks, 1959] # Sometimes I think it's the best movie ever. And, I'm easily a part of the camp that loves Hawks because most of the movies are about the guys, hanging in a hang zone, helping define friendship. But all the films have women who can hold their own, as does Angie Dickinson here, and there's such respect for all the minorities on the sidelines; people are just people in Hawks. Oh, and this song is pretty great.
- Spread [David Mackenzie, 2009] I like what I.V. wrote here. Weird, though, to make a career of deflating what "love" can mean to dumb people yet without any kind of high-and-mighty Creator judgments. The project is admirable, in a way, but equally suspect given all that attention to explicit sex. The best thing about those scenes, though, isn't the fact that there's flesh galore but that each piece (of ass?) is about how these characters are relating to each other. But, when your protagonists are mostly idiots, the "lessons" such as they are can be rather simple and predictable. In any case, Kutcher is perfect. Never thought I'd say that. But it definitely comes with the caveat that he's perfect at being despicable for most of the movie, and then perfect as a punchline at its end.
- The second half of season three of The Sopranos [David Chase?, 2002] # is no less brutal and often yet more hilarious, with Ralphie as one of the greatest villains ever, and with Tony acting ever more the pent up jerk. Watching the series now, with some distance, it's so much clearer to me just how bad Tony is, how great at being a sociopath he is even this close to the beginning.
—Please remove your hat