I’m normally a voracious movie watcher and on occasion I’ve done criticism professionally but lately there just hasn’t been a whole lot of time to see new films. The only space in the day is right before bed as I’m drifting off to sleep and I never end up finishing anything. The existence of Netflix has also created a two-fold problem; I search and search for what movie to watch amongst thousands of choices only to get halfway through my final selection because I wasted so much time on deciding. More often than not, it feels like I’ve seen the film even though I know I didn’t make it to the final credits, so I just never put it on again.

This week, again, I don’t have anything new to review, so I put together some entirely unqualified capsule impressions of my recent failures.


Berberian Sound Studio - B+

When I’m falling asleep the sound of a movie is very important because at a certain point, that’s all I experience. I remember the sounds later, more than the images. In my half-awake state, I hear it all and it mixes with my dreams until the two are one and the same. This film was pretty great for that, if you don’t mind your dreams being a little dark.

It’s all about a man who creates sound effects for horror movies and he starts getting paranoid about the various goings on at the studio. And there’s a woman that is bad news. The man is played by the guy who played Truman Capote in the other Capote movie that no one saw. Lots of chopping of lettuce and screaming. A pin drops. And screeeeeech. The film comes to a climax when ominous circumstances lead to a mystery which leads to an enigma and a puzzle box of tones and notes. A modern classic.


Bad Boys II - D

This movie is terrible to fall asleep to. Just one big explosion after another. Will Smith and Martin Lawrence play two really crooked DEA agents who appear to steal money from the people they arrest because they drive Maseratis and live in giant houses. Martin Lawrence gets shot in the ass at an early point in the movie and from that point on he keeps talking to Will Smith about his ass. Smith’s character checks up on Lawrence’s ass often and uses a lot of curse words and the two make a lot of homophobic jokes until they kill almost every person in Miami. Crooked cops win the day. More depressing than Bad Lieutenant.


All Is Lost - A+

Basically Robert Redford is sailing the high seas alone. He’s very rich which makes him invincible but then his boat springs a leak and he has to face the elements alone. There’s no one for him to talk to, just the ambient sound of waves and seagulls.

As things get worse for Redford and all becomes increasingly more lost, he falls into a reverie, flashing back to a time when he did not insist he could do it all alone. He remembers when Morgan Freeman would drive him around because he never learned how. He recalls when Will Smith would teach him the finer points of being a better golfer. He thinks back to how he made his fortune in the fishing industry, having been given the idea by his partner Bubba, an expert on shrimp and everything to do with shrimp. The hubristic, wealthy man with the unsinkable yacht realizes that he never could have gotten where he is by himself. Back in the present, storms rage and Redford’s water supply is dwindling along with his sanity. He entertains himself by day with a makeshift guitar that he’s assembled from live puppies. At night the endless ocean recedes to a desert landscape and he dreams of his youth, when he would get into adventures with Paul Newman. The swaggering rapscallions had nothing to lose, until one day they found themselves cornered by the law. With no where to run, they decide to go for it. Guns blazing, they charge at the police and freeze frame. Credits.

...Or so I remember this experience, and can only assume that two friends managed to get out of that jam with one another’s help. The enigmatic ending once again reinforces the ways in which we must come together if we hope to succeed, and perhaps, paints a scathing indictment of capitalism with a sad man who went searching for himself and only found a deep need for others.

In the future, I will try to finish the movies that I watch.