Whiplash

whiplashThis review contains mild spoilers for Whiplash but you should read it anyway, because the movie is bad and you shouldn’t see it, and then you will be well-informed as to why.

When someone behaves unprofessionally, you have two options. You can react unprofessionally in response, or you can take the high road, be the bigger man, rise above it, etc– we have a lot of ways to convey the same idea. Two wrongs, as we all learned in kindergarten, don’t make a right.

And yet, Whiplash seems to think they do. Or maybe it doesn’t, I’m not even sure. Based on the structure– a kid who wants to be great at something tries really hard and is spurred on by a hard-driving teacher– it seems like we’re supposed to feel for the kid. But Andrew (Miles Teller) doesn’t have a whole lot of redeeming qualities that make him worth rooting for, except for a sad kind of face and the idea that he really really wants it. which means something, right? (Answer: no) Continue reading

Birdman

BirdmanAt one point in Birdman, while playing Truth or Dare, one characters picks Truth too many times in a row for the other’s liking. As a means of defense, he says, “Truth is always interesting.” That’s not untrue; movies are usually more interesting for pursuing some kind of truth or revealing a new and different take on the world. But truth is subjective. What’s true for person A isn’t true for person B, and how that differs based on who’s thinking it is an even more fascinating topic. Birdman is focused on the latter, but, even more delightfully, it does it without feeling like a movie that’s contemplating a bigger picture.

Also at play: while exploring the nature of truth may be interesting, it’s boring if you never pick dare. Continue reading

The Wire Watchalong: A Brief Hiatus

In an attempt at professionalism, we here at An Inanimate Fucking Blog would like to take this opportunity to inform you that the watchalong for The Wire is being briefly suspended. Sam has a Big Professional Certification Exam coming up in the first week of November, and for some reason, that takes precedence over a blog series on a show that’s been over for half a dozen years already.

The watchalong will resume in mid-November. Thank you for your patience.

Gone Girl

gonegirlGone Girl is too long. It wants to be quick and snappy; the dialogue is often quite snappy, it’s a David Fincher movie and he usually makes snappy movies, the plot is certainly juicy and should hum right along. But somehow, they ended up with a two hour, twenty-nine minute movie, and it certainly doesn’t hum that long.

In spite of the length, which is the only real knock against the movie, it’s got a lot of redeeming features. The acting is very strong all around; it feels like a popular position in recent years to say “Hey, that Ben Affleck guy, he’s not so bad after all!” but you know what? Hey, that Ben Affleck guy, he’s actually pretty good at acting, it turns out. He’s matched evenly by Rosamund Pike, playing the new queen of all crazy psycho bitches, Amy Dunne. And lordy, is Amy a crazy psycho bitch. Continue reading

The Wire Watchalong: Season 3, Episodes 1 and 2

thewireseason3S03E01

Welcome to the Inanimate Blog watchalong for The Wire. Every week we’ll be watching two episodes and posting our thoughts. We’re not recapping each episode in detail; that’s what Wikipedia is for. This week is Season 3, Episodes 1 and 2.

Sam: Second Third season, same as the first! That’s how that goes, right? It sure feels more like season 1 than season 2, since the goal is the same. At least, the goal at the beginning of season 3 is the goal at the end of season 1, which leads me to believe maybe the goal will shift in season 3. Anyway, new characters! I feel like if this were any other show, you’d be concerned you missed an episode with how new characters are just there. They’re not even introduced in the episode, you’re just supposed to roll with it. Which is par for the course, as we know… Continue reading

This Week in the Box: Recap of Films 11-20

charltonhestonHaving now completed 2/5 of the task of watching all 50 films in this box set project, it’s time for another recap. You can find the retrospective on the first ten films here.

We’ll start off the same way, which is listing all 10 films from this batch in the order in which I prefer them, best to worst. Continue reading