31 March 2013

Cinematic Capsules: March 2013

It's been ridiculously quiet around these parts as of late and for that I apologize. The main reason for the silence, besides the general busyness of this thing called life, has been that I've been watching Doctor Who almost exclusively for the last couple of months and so my film viewing has suffered immeasurably. And if there's one thing the Internet doesn't need more of is blogs dedicated to Doctor Who. All I will say is that I still think Sylvester McCoy is severely underrated.


Some other housekeeping things that should be mentioned. I have recently joined Letterboxd and have written pithy things about the few films I have managed to squeeze in between City of Death and Remembrance of the Daleks. I am including those below as the capsule reviews for this month. I have yet to decide whether I will continue the Cinematic Capsules after this month or just use Letterboxd for that purpose, leaving this blog to the long term projects (I promise to start posting the Mickey Mouse Mondays more regularly) and for longer individual pieces. There is a handy dandy link to my Letterboxd profile under the Moving Sidewalks heading on the right of this page. And now without further ado, movies! Allons-y!

God Bless America (2012)

There are several laughs littered throughout writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait's revenge fantasy targeted at today's vacuous celebrities. The film is a mash-up of sorts of Harold and Maude, Idiocracy, and Natural Born Killers. Unfortunately, the bloody fun is all but derailed by a seres of strident soapboxing from the protagonists who soliloquize in scene after scene about the decline of Western civilization. Goldthwait's eye for satire, seen in his homages of reality TV, Fox News, and American Idol, is much stronger than his rants, which wouldn't sound out of place in a high schooler's notebook.

The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)

The comparisons between Studio Ghibli and the Walt Disney Studios of old are legion, although frequently lazy or misguided. There are just as many differences between the two studios and styles as there are similarities. However, the comparison is particularly apt in the obsessive refinement and attention to detail that goes into every element of a production. Nowhere is that more apparent than in director Hiromasa Yonebayashi's adaptation of the juvenile novel The Borrowers. The Secret World of Arrietty boasts a fantastically realized and thoughtfully conceived world where little people live under the noses of humans. The sets and sound design are practically unparalleled in any contemporary production, animated or otherwise. Compared to a Miyazaki-directed feature, Arrietty is rather slight, but it is a breezy, enjoyable film.

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