Film review quarterly: 2013 Q2

30 Jul

So I planned to stop writing the quarterly film review since I’m writing more frequently about movies these days. That was a bad idea. My team of SEO wizards has gotten me on the first page of Google results for searches like “2013 q1 movies”. I didn’t know people searched for that. But I get some pageviews that way. So I’m going to keep doing it.

I realize this is a month late and I don’t care. Now that I’ve decided to write it, I think this is a good idea. A nice recap of the past three months. My plan going forward is to write about each movie individually and then I’ll do this every quarter. Then I’ll write some kind of year-end thing. So I’ve written about all of these movies before. Click on the titles for more. I’m just going to do a quick little blurblet or something for each of them here. Spoilers as always.

The Silence
Blah. This could have been such a good movie. Needed a rewrite. Some of the characters were pretty far from believable.

To the Wonder
I want to see this one again. I think I might have been prejudiced by my dislike for Ben Affleck and by reading some bad press. It would make me sad if Terrence Malick made a bad movie.

The Place Beyond the Pines
This one has stuck with me. Especially the Ryan Gosling section. And Dane DeHaan as his son. The opening tracking shot has gotten some notice. I want to take a closer look here, because I think there’s a little trick involved. Watch the clip first.

OK. The big takeaway for a lot of people is “WOW, look at Ryan Gosling doing that crazy motorcycle stunt!” I don’t think so. Pay attention at 2:28. Ol’ RyRy GosGos rides out of the frame. The camera stays on the other two guys, then swings back to show the Sphere of Death or whatever with him already in it. Or his stunt rider, I should say. Busted. Although I think that adds to the technical impressiveness of the shot. Just something to point out.

In the House
This is another foreign movie that felt like it should have been better. I was hoping for more fireworks in the last act.

The Great Gatsby
I wrote a lot about this one. I still have good feelings about Gatsby. After some time, it’s easier to forget about the bad parts and remember the good parts.

Stories We Tell
This might function better as an academic exercise than as a narrative. “What if I made a documentary like this” kind of thing. I still enjoyed it. Keeping my eye out for Sarah Polley.

Room 237
I don’t get why people thought this was interesting.

Frances Ha
I like Greta Gerwig and I like this movie. Maybe at the 7/10 level or thereabouts. I stand by my anti-New York thoughts. Fewer movies set in New York please.

What Maisie Knew
Steve Coogan is a versatile performer. Alexander Skarsgård’s performance might be one of my favorites so far this year.

Before Midnight
Looking forward to the next installment. I listened to the Slate Spoiler Special about this one, glad to hear I’m not the only one who likes Julie Delpy much more than Ethan Hawke.

The East
Almost a really great and memorable movie. I think Brit Marling will put one together eventually.

The Bling Ring
Yuck. This was a huge misfire.

The Place Beyond the Pines was the best movie of Q2. I think Stoker is still my favorite so far this year, but it’s close.

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