Catching up... way up.
In the last week I have seen: For the Love of Spock (2016), The Magnificent Seven (1960), The Magnificent Seven (2016), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Man vs. Snake (2016).
For the Love of Spock
Pretty interesting look at the career and personal life of Leonard Nimoy. There was a lot about his non-Star Trek I didn't know, but I had hints of just from his appearances on Futurama. I had no idea he had an alcoholism problem and that he became sober in his later years.
The Magnificent Sevens (1960 & 2016)
I think it's worth it to write about both of these movies in the same section because their titles don't differentiate. The original film was a classic movie from my childhood that was probably watched as much as the Star Wars movies for me during my elementary school days. It would seem I might have related to the eager child-like character but I do remember that my best friend and I thought of that character as a less mature child and we saw ourselves more like the Yul Brenner, Steve McQueen and James Coburn characters who had control of their faculties.
Both movies have great casts. The remake is stacked with great actors and the writing gives pretty much all of them humorous things to say, although they aren't necessarily action comedy quips. The bench of the remade Magnificents is deeper than the original and they all get more interesting character moments with Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and a very strange Vincent D'Onofrio.
Seeing the original film, Eli Wallach as the villain and McQueen and Coburn are favorites to watch. For some reason Wallach looks older in this film than in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly that came out six years later. It might be that he has a couple of gold teeth to look more like he is showing off his bandit money.
The remake is absolutely beautiful, has great colors and staging, although the action isn’t groundbreaking it is still fun. The soundtrack of the original is still a blast of brassy fun that doesn't just exceed the remake, but the vast swath of most movies from 2016.
The Royal Tenenbaums
The last time I had seen it was maybe three years ago and I was used to the movie but this viewing it had a fresh feeling again. I was still surprised by the humor in the jokes and turns of conversation, even if I anticipated every word. There was a time I watched this movie pretty regularly. It was one of a small handful of movies from the late '90's-early 2000's that really woke me up to what movies could do. It reminded me that great films weren't something that died out after the '70's. It also reminded me that great works of art don't have to lack a sense of humor, in fact that just might make it a greater work of art.
Man vs. Snake
This documentary of an endurance record for a 30 year old arcade video game somehow breaks past the very similar story of King of Kong from just a few years ago. By the end of the film it becomes a story about the friendships of competitors. The most touching story line is about the love of a couple where the man is torturing himself during his scarce time off from work and the woman is touching with her emotional support during these 30+ hour challenges.