My 2013 Movies: Skyfall/Django Unchained Double Feature! (2012, at the theatre)
It may come as a surprise to some of you that I do actually watch movies once in a while, rather than just mocking their actors with crudely-rendered animations and dopey Photoshoppery. And in 2013, I resolve to write more about the movies I’m watching in the theatre and at home, if only so that I can look back in December (as I almost never am able to do) and contemplate better what the year held for me in terms of movie-watching.
Having received a bucket of movie gift card money for Christmas, I indulged myself this week with a rare double feature: Skyfall and Django Unchained, which actually make for a decent pairing, seeing how both riff on themes of personalized vengeance/mission-based shootout movies, and both have their roots in long-running cinematic genres.
I loved watching both. I was blown away by neither.
In the interests of non-dashboard cloggery, I’ll send you off to my site to read the rest if you’d like:
Here’s the thing: I do love Bond movies and I do love Tarantino movies; but how appropriate is it, really, to compare a new Bond or a new Tarantino to those that have come before? Is it even possible to judge them solely on their own merits as stand-alone movies, or can we only contemplate them in the context of their cinematic siblings?
For me, I know the answer. It’s really difficult to separate the now from the history, just as it’s hard to separate our own histories from movie viewing. When we sit down in the theatre and the lights go down, we’ve already brought a lot of other stuff with us. What’s past is prelude.
Of the two of these, I ultimately enjoyed Skyfall more. Quantum of Solace was such a letdown, so dreary and horribly shot and edited; coming as it did after the revitalized joy of Casino Royale, there was reason for despair. So Skyfall’s ability and willingness and robust joy to bring the franchise back home again feels…right. Solid. Exciting in so many ways. And to have it shot by Roger Deakins is a sublime, giddy thrill; it’s a gorgeous, spectacularly visual film that I will absolutely own when it’s released on Blu-ray (another exciting Christmas gift I got!).
But as joyful as I felt watching Skyfall, there was a lot of the plot that didn’t engage me as much. Silva’s mission - while delightfully carried out by Bardem - ended up feeling too small, too personal for a Bond movie, and I felt myself poking too many holes in its logic and execution. And while I was entertained by the loads of self-referential humor and context to Bond lore, those elements of the movie also felt like they were pulling me out of the story. Yes, the Bond movies are meaningful; yes, they need to age with the times; yes, we get your cheeky references; please get on with telling me a great story.
Still: there’s a lot to love in Skyfall.
Django? Django. Tarantino. Django.
Again, I loved watching this; it’s loads of fun. There is no one like Tarantino; no one who composes shots, builds sequences, creates intriguing characters and indulges himself so completely in his work. It’s inspiring and wonderful to see. It’s filmmaking so unconventionally Hollywood that I truly admire that it gets made and that I can have fun experiencing it.
But honestly? Django Unchained has already left my consciousness. It was fun but I don’t think it’ll stay with me the way the Kill Bills have. Pulp Fiction. These are lasting, indelible works to me that speak of drama and tension and character. People change in these movies; you can see growth and impact. The wounds hurt and the deaths matter. You can mine these stories for deep human truths, lovingly rendered. That just didn’t happen to me with Django, and it didn’t happen with Inglorious Basterds. And I despised Death Proof. I’m miserable that he’s so still so stuck, so committed to this idiotic grindhouse fast-zoomy crap. I’m really bored with it. Before it started, I decided I’d try to count the crash zooms, but then there were two in the first five minutes and I realized it would only make me mad to do so.
And oh Lordy I wish he’d stop acting. But that’s pretty much always been the case.
I do tend to love his movies. Strike that: I love watching his movies. But after Kill Bill, they don’t get to me anymore. They’re standing at a distance, being awesome for awesome’s sake, not for mine. I have no interest in owning them, revisiting them over time, and I know that Django - with all of its many, many charms - simply will not stay with me.
- r0deodrive reblogged this from burbanked
- samharris1998 reblogged this from burbanked
- bouncy-elf reblogged this from burbanked
- smoke2327 likes this
- dphillip535 likes this
- yummybuns likes this
- supermanpancakes likes this
- oh-please-god-help-me reblogged this from burbanked
- oh-please-god-help-me likes this
- barmybits likes this
- jadakinz1999 likes this
- ipwndu5678 likes this
- fionxd likes this
- rhianfrancis likes this
- jamesbnd reblogged this from burbanked
- 17272dorsetave said: I was out after the Kill Bills too and I wasn’t sure if he had changed or I had. Thank you for encapsulating how I’ve felt about Tarantino’s films for the past few years. My interest has shifted from the movies to the man — I’m learning again.
- aweirdcoolsquid likes this
- 17272dorsetave likes this
- burbanked posted this