Klendathu Drop

29 year old male NYC film critic.

Posting thoughts about movies, life, love, politics, etc.

Sep 27

-Hollywood continues to play feeble patty cake with sex in “Don Jon,” a sometimes perceptive, mostly sloppy story of an emotional mess who has to curb his pornographic instincts in order to realize his true potential. The original title was “Don Jon’s Addiction” and it’s probably best they bailed on that last part of the title, since it doesn’t really illustrate that Levitt’s title character has a specific sex addiction that requires diagnosis of some kind. Not only that, but in grouping him with an older woman (Julianne Moore, quite good), it ignores the possibility that he can have love, intimacy and porn at the same time, after the vintage smut she gifts him goes unwatched. Moore’s good; surprisingly it’s Scarlett Johansson who steals the film as gum-smacking New Jerseyite Barbara Sugarman, and she finds the humanity behind an irritating, selfish Miss Thang, the kind we’ve all dated once or twice. Pity poor Levitt, overshadowed in his own directorial debut, his Jon effectively a schmucky asshole for the film’s entire runtime. Schizophrenic and skin-deep, “Don Jon” is a modest directorial debut for him. I never liked him as an actor, but shoot, the movie’s zippy spritz of young imbecilic love is mostly convincing, proof that there isn’t an idiot behind that pretty face.
-I headbanged most of the way through “Metallica: Through The Never,” which I guess is a recommendation. The 3D looks great, immersing you in what looks like an incredible stage show for one of rock’s oldest, heaviest outfits. It’s a pity it’s attached to a narrative that keeps interrupting the concert at hand, with Dane DeHaan as a tortured groupie wandering into a post-apocalyptic riot destroying downtown Los Angeles. Not that this segment of the film is bad – it’s a pretty gnarly collection of album covers strung together into a ridiculous non-narrative. But how awesome would it be to see these images (which includes an ominous knight on a zombie horse, and a fistfight where one person self-immolates) completely scored uninterrupted by Metallica’s music? If there’s anything Hollywood screws up, it’s the idea that just about any action sequence can be scored by an orchestra fronted by some Hans Zimmer-alike. Why not try Metallica next time, guys?
-“On The Job” is a Filipino movie pretty incredibly based on a true story about prison inmates who would be freed in order to serve as hitmen for political interests. They cast this thing pretty sexily – I was struck by Gerald Anderson, who looks like an Eastern Sam Worthington. You can check my review of this serviceable crime thriller here.
-“We Are What We Are” has to be one of the most immediate remakes in recent history, coming after 2010’s Mexican “Somos Lo Que Somos.” That film found a family torn apart by the death of its patriarch and the sibling squabbles between the two young alpha wolves attempting to be in charge. It’s spooky, disgusting, and ultimately quite sad. The remake doesn’t quite have that edge, but it does sagely play with the sex roles of the first film, with the mother of a devoutly religious lower class family passing on, leaving two hormonal teenage sisters squabbling underneath spooky patriarch Bill Sage. It doesn’t have the level of terror of that first film, which feels like a nightmare at times; in fact, it’s more of a suspense thriller, placing emphasis on the investigation of missing bodies by local sheriff Michael Parks (haunted and true). But director Jim Mickle knows how to build suspense, and this is a more conventional, but still satisfying picture. And that Julia Garner – easily the most fascinating and bewitching young actress of her generation, she’s got a face that unsettles and crawls under your skin. You see her porcelain skin and distaff eyes, and you just cannot look away.

-Hollywood continues to play feeble patty cake with sex in “Don Jon,” a sometimes perceptive, mostly sloppy story of an emotional mess who has to curb his pornographic instincts in order to realize his true potential. The original title was “Don Jon’s Addiction” and it’s probably best they bailed on that last part of the title, since it doesn’t really illustrate that Levitt’s title character has a specific sex addiction that requires diagnosis of some kind. Not only that, but in grouping him with an older woman (Julianne Moore, quite good), it ignores the possibility that he can have love, intimacy and porn at the same time, after the vintage smut she gifts him goes unwatched. Moore’s good; surprisingly it’s Scarlett Johansson who steals the film as gum-smacking New Jerseyite Barbara Sugarman, and she finds the humanity behind an irritating, selfish Miss Thang, the kind we’ve all dated once or twice. Pity poor Levitt, overshadowed in his own directorial debut, his Jon effectively a schmucky asshole for the film’s entire runtime. Schizophrenic and skin-deep, “Don Jon” is a modest directorial debut for him. I never liked him as an actor, but shoot, the movie’s zippy spritz of young imbecilic love is mostly convincing, proof that there isn’t an idiot behind that pretty face.

-I headbanged most of the way through “Metallica: Through The Never,” which I guess is a recommendation. The 3D looks great, immersing you in what looks like an incredible stage show for one of rock’s oldest, heaviest outfits. It’s a pity it’s attached to a narrative that keeps interrupting the concert at hand, with Dane DeHaan as a tortured groupie wandering into a post-apocalyptic riot destroying downtown Los Angeles. Not that this segment of the film is bad – it’s a pretty gnarly collection of album covers strung together into a ridiculous non-narrative. But how awesome would it be to see these images (which includes an ominous knight on a zombie horse, and a fistfight where one person self-immolates) completely scored uninterrupted by Metallica’s music? If there’s anything Hollywood screws up, it’s the idea that just about any action sequence can be scored by an orchestra fronted by some Hans Zimmer-alike. Why not try Metallica next time, guys?

-“On The Job” is a Filipino movie pretty incredibly based on a true story about prison inmates who would be freed in order to serve as hitmen for political interests. They cast this thing pretty sexily – I was struck by Gerald Anderson, who looks like an Eastern Sam Worthington. You can check my review of this serviceable crime thriller here.

-“We Are What We Are” has to be one of the most immediate remakes in recent history, coming after 2010’s Mexican “Somos Lo Que Somos.” That film found a family torn apart by the death of its patriarch and the sibling squabbles between the two young alpha wolves attempting to be in charge. It’s spooky, disgusting, and ultimately quite sad. The remake doesn’t quite have that edge, but it does sagely play with the sex roles of the first film, with the mother of a devoutly religious lower class family passing on, leaving two hormonal teenage sisters squabbling underneath spooky patriarch Bill Sage. It doesn’t have the level of terror of that first film, which feels like a nightmare at times; in fact, it’s more of a suspense thriller, placing emphasis on the investigation of missing bodies by local sheriff Michael Parks (haunted and true). But director Jim Mickle knows how to build suspense, and this is a more conventional, but still satisfying picture. And that Julia Garner – easily the most fascinating and bewitching young actress of her generation, she’s got a face that unsettles and crawls under your skin. You see her porcelain skin and distaff eyes, and you just cannot look away.


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    Pumpin 20’s on a military press… how come I don’t look like this Joseph
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