Just can’t seem to stay consistent with these Cinema Landscapes, can I? That’s because I don’t watch enough movies! Oh well. I’ve got enough to talk about today!
With all the talk about the new Mad Max film that came out at the beginning of the summer, I wanted to watch the first three. I’ve never seen a Mad Max movie. The most I’ve seen was of the third film, Beyond Thunderdome, and that was just in passing. So I got the first movie and watched it. It’s my understanding that the first movie was an independent film and man, does it show. It mostly looks like a bunch of dudes with weird clothes that were then ripped up went out into the Australian Outback and screwed around for an hour and a half. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The characters, as bizarre as they can be, are interesting and fun to watch. Not just the biker gang, but some of the police force. The captain has such a looming presence, and Max’s partner is pretty over the top as well.
However, I ultimately didn’t like the movie because I had such a problem understanding what was going on. I don’t know if it was the accents or maybe the sound mixing made it hard to understand the dialogue but I had a really difficult time getting details out of this movie. Why did they get Max a car? To keep him on the force? What, was he thinking of leaving? I had to look this up after seeing the movie because I didn’t catch that. There’s also a scene where the gang has Max’s baby and his wife is asking for it back; I got visual whiplash from that because before that, his wife is screaming for the baby in a relatively open field. Then all of a sudden, we’re in a decaying building. I thought we somehow transported back into the city! Visual language, people. Use it! Overall, I just didn’t like how the movie told its story and I put the blame on the director. It’s not terrible but I’m not really looking forward to seeing the other movies. I’ve been told that the next two movies are better, especially The Road Warrior, but I have my doubts.
I saw The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water. What a switch, right? I don’t have much to say about this movie other than it’s a sugar high for kids. The first hour or so of the movie takes place in Bikini Bottom, with random scenes of the pirate from the opening song of the series. So the much talked about parts of the movie where the characters of the show interact with the real world is only the last third of the film. The first hour is a lot of poorly done character building for the team of Spongebob and Plankton and shenanigans that will only appeal to kids who like flashy colors and with low attention spans. That being said, the last third of the movie is SO much better. Much of the live action stuff and the action scene that follows is really inspired. Spongebob and crew CGI’d into the real world also looks pretty good. However, that last third doesn’t save the whole movie so in my opinion, you can skip this.
Last movie to talk about is a classic: Goodfellas. I’ve only seen part of the movie in passing so I thought I would finally see it. I really liked this movie but I have to say, what impressed me the most is the way the movie was shot. The movie moves so quickly that some details are missed and others aren’t gone into detail. Even though the movie is already two and a half hours, it could’ve been longer. This is interesting because it reflects the gangster lifestyle. Everything moves so quickly that it’s hard to be organized and to keep track of everything. Even the excessive use of narration reflects this. Film is a visual art and as such, you show, not tell. Goodfellas shows a lot, sure, but it tells you a lot more. It’s breaking the rules of filmmaking, much like how gangsters break the law all the time. I like how the way the film is shot is also telling the story and setting the tone of the film.
As for the movie itself, I enjoy how lighthearted the movie is. Goodfellas is a drama but the tone of the movie is mostly them expressing how great it is that they can do whatever they want. Even the scenes where they are beating up, robbing, or killing people are portrayed as playful roughhousing. There are some scenes that are more reserved and as a result, feel more serious and dramatic. Since they are sprinkled in within the lighthearted scenes, it makes them feel more impactful. Oh and the soundtrack. As a Rolling Stones fan, I approve. I also dig the 60s girl group stuff. The Crystals, The Shangri-Las, The Marvelettes, all choice picks. After seeing the movie, I started looking up the making of the movie and Blu-Ray releases. They released a 25th anniversary recently so I’ll probably pick that up when I can.
And that’s everything I’ve watched! Hopefully I’ll write another one of these soon. I still have the other Mad Max movies to watch and I wanted to see Paddington because apparently, it’s really good. So tell me, what have you been watching recently? Let me know in the comments. Peace and Love, cinephiles! Colorwind out.