Here are other 2012 movies I reviewed for Entertainment Maven.
Richard Gere puts his ass on the line in Arbitrage. Just let the self0importance of that title sink in. It has two ridiculous (sub)-plots. the first one involves Gere’s character cheating on his wife, played by Susan Sarandon. I don’t care if he’s diddling some French model playing a French artist, you just don’t cheat of Susan Sarandon. The second ridiculous plot point is their dumb son, but I actually got a kick out of that. I only sympathize with half of the rich characters I watch and this is one of the many cases where I wouldn’t mind if they died in a fire. The cast is aces however, including Brit Marling as the smart daughter who unfolds Gere’s lies and Tim Roth who has the same goals as I do if I was in the movie.
The Raven is one of two movies where a de-glam John Cusack partners himself with a beautiful damsel in distress with questionable taste in men. The damsel is Alice Eve, who got unjustly lambasted for her apparently lacklustre performance in Men in Black 3D. It’s hard keeping up with three great actors, even if it is a 3D blockbuster. This time around, Alice Eve was just lovely.
Ira Sachs’ Keep the Lights On is a movie that reminds me that like Thure Lindhart’s character, I’m accidentally hilarious when I’m trying too hard to be sexy. And that yes, I am sleeping with too many men who smoke crystal meth without having partaken in the drug myself. I already have insomnia to make me seem slurry and haggard, I’m not taking an illegal substance to speed up those processes. But just like the protagonist, it’s hard to just stay away. The gay world is a world of rejected human beings and we don’t want to inflict that on people we love. We also don’t choose the people we love, anyway.
I also watched the random movie at a few of Toronto’s many local film festivals. For the Planet in Focus film festival, screening movies that bring attention to our environmental problems, I saw two movies, Dead Ducks and Keep in Rolling, that both tackle oil consumption.The former is about how the Alberta oil sands are killing ducks from both sides of the border while the latter is about the outrageous car culture in Europe. I seriously thought that only North America and Asia had this problem.
For the imagiNATIVE Film Festival I mostly saw short films, like Alexus Young’s anecdotal Where We Were Not, a poetic animated movie about the director experiencing police brutality in the Prairies. The festival’s Witching Hour Shorts program, the closest thing I got to TAD this year, featured many genres like science fiction and horror, my favourite one being The 6th World. The thing about these small, local film festivals is that the urban elite are the only people who catch these obscure titles. Thankfully The 6th World is in some specialty internet channel or something.
Oh and I also watched new shit like Life of Pi And I kinda don’t feel like spending money now so movies will all be enjoyed in my bedroom.
I can’t bring myself to fully hate Four Rooms, the collaboration between Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino and two ‘up-and-coming’ 90’s auteurs who did not survive this movie unscathed. I disagree with others about this movie, that Tim Roth and the setting unites the sketches although yes, Roth’s character the bell boy doesn’t seem to have his own backbone. The directors embody crazy, a quality that unites anything. Everyone’s favourite is the Rodriguez sketch with Antonio Banderas and his John Waters-like pencil moustache and his two rowdy children giving the bell boy hell, but my favourite sketch is Madonna’s because I adored everything she touched because I’m a gay stereotype. Ooh, a humourous, irreverent take on oral sex, semen and phallus, how can that not be edgy, right? The film’s vulgarity appeals to the young who’s discovering indie films, Four Rooms serving as a capable gateway drug to this part of American cinema.
I caught the Tarantino sketch late at night, my second or fourth favourite (does the phone conversation with Kathy Griffin count as a separate sketch?). I always dislike movies that had convoluted dialogue only to summarize it with one line or action. Tarantino also thinks of himself as someone who can seduce better than the devil, starring in his own segment as a Hollywood party junkie who convinces the bell boy (Tim Roth) to harm the former’s friend. But his rapid fire delivery sells this premise. It’s also always nice to see Bruce Willis‘ shadow-like presence and performance.
- Quentin Tarantino’s Cinematic Reality (Column) (popmatters.com)