This past week I watched Death Proof (2007), Hitchcock (2012), Michael Clayton (2007), Seven Psychopaths (2012) , Prometheus (2012) and Into The Wild (2007).
I mentioned briefly that in the Zodiac review that this year I will be reviewing movies from 2007, 2012, and 2017 to give a little context to see if the movies from not that long ago were as good as they seemed at the time and to see how their popularity has lasted beyond the year that they came out.
This was fairly forgotten at the time it came out because it was released as a double feature with Planet Terror and a good number of fake trailers by prominent directors. Planet Terror was just a B movie for me to sit through but the whole presentation as though everything was produced in a different time is a lot of fun. The viewing experience I had in the theater 10 years ago was one of the best I've ever had because it felt like more than just a movie, or two movies. It was an event like dropping into a time machine to see older movies, but to see them for the first time. Death Proof is a small story but an entertaining one... once the horror part of the story is over and the unlikable characters are killed off.
I'm not sure this movie has been remembered very much in pop culture, but it's a personal favorite and still feels fresh to watch now. Zoe Bell, Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson and Tracie Thoms are very enjoyable to watch although none of them may rise up to being one of the best of the year, although Zoe Bell's stunts and Kurt Russell's creepy and awkwardness just might put the two of them over the top.
I don't think the dialogue writing is quite Tarantino's best work although the movie is directed wonderfully and I very much like his cinematography.
My Noms: Best Picture, acting for Zoe Bell and Kurt Russell, directing and cinematography for Tarantino.
This is a nice movie that's yet another telling of Alfred Hitchcock's career although the portrayal of him is a little jarringly over the top. He was a bit of a jarringly over the top person in real life, but that doesn't make the character easy to watch in a movie. Hellen Mirren gives a great performance and James Darcy absolutely transforms into Anthony Perkins in such an eerie way. They are the two actors that should be mentioned against other performances of 2012.
The best legacy this movie brings to culture and film is that Universal released a box set of Hitchcock films with great extra features along with this movie. It's a collection that I really enjoy and had a really wonderful couple of weeks of law school revisiting all of the old films.
My Noms: Acting for Hellen Mirren and James D'Arcy
This is the first of these movies that was nominated for few awards and Tilda Swinton won for Best Supporting Actress, however it has more or less been forgotten. Swinton does give a great performance and should have been considered for the award and I'm sure she was the best of the actresses nominated as I am a big fan of hers. Her performance is pretty understated although she excels in portraying her characters deep insecurities and anxieties. Not sure if she would win again if she were up against other actresses from 2012, but she would definitely have a fighting chance.
This movie was relatively forgotten until this past year when the writer and director Tony Gilroy was called in to rewrite large sections of Rogue One in a move that seems to have been an incredible success of collaboration.
My Noms: Cinematograpy for Robert Elswit, screenwriting for Tony Gilroy, acting for Swinton
This movie might be an early favorite for some of the acting recognition for 2012 because of the great performances from Collin Farrell, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken. The writing is very interesting, because of the dialogue and the episodes of stories but the main story doesn't quite come together and there's a tag at the end that is cringe-worthy. Screenwriting-wise, I suspect it will just miss out in being recognized against other films of 2012, but the soundtrack and score is both lively and fun mixed with somber notes that are very touching.
My Noms: Acting for Farrell, Rockwell, and Walken; soundtrack and music.
This movie was made fun of pretty much off the bat for rewriting the mythology of the Alien movies and for infamously not letting characters run sideways. I wasn't much of a fan of the Alien movies before seeing this in 2012, and I went back to see them after seeing Prometheus. Those older Alien movies do not hold up. They don't. And they get worse when you go further through the Alien series of movies. Prometheus does have some cool special effects, but a lot of them are oddly duplicated in John Carter where we see great hologram displays projected in a room in a circular design. I don't hate this movie, but it's hard to miss the faults in it. I think any lesser director than Ridley Scott would have made this story some kind of unspeakable atrocity of film.
I wasn't a huge fan of this movie when it came out, I thought it dragged on and the soundtrack felt hollow, but I like a lot of the scenery and Emile Hirsch does a good job of playing the energy and mixture of being socially charming and obliviously hurtful. Hal Holbrook was nominated for an Oscar as was the editing, and Eddie Vedder won a Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Holbrook doesn't come into the movie until two hours in and does do an incredible job in his short time, but I nearly turned the movie off before he got on the screen. Vedder's songs throughout the movie are good, but not my cup of tea as it sounds uncomfortable, sad and a little hollow.
My noms: We'll sneak in a recognition for Hirsch's acting.