For the first time in years… I watched the Oscars, and wasn’t furious at their outcome. I don’t know if I should attribute this to actually agreeing with the academy members, or… if this year’s movies just weren’t particularly diverse. It was a fine year for movies, but not great. Which is to say that, aside from Brick (which, obviously, wasn’t Oscar material), there weren’t any films that I reacted particularly strongly too. The Departed was good. Nothing that hadn’t been done before, but done particularly well. Babel was really good, but not stereotypical Academy material, and not a film that, despite being really good, I’m going to rant and rave about. Letters From Iwo Jima was pretty good, too. I feel a little mixed about it, actually.
For one, Iwo Jima felt like … a war film, told form the Japanese perspective … by an American. I can’t pin down exactly what it was about the film that made it feel American… but it did? Probably because I’ve never seen a foreign war movie that felt like Saving Private Ryan– which is the sort of feel that Iwo Jima had. The sound editing was VERY crisp. It’s ambient noise and use of positional audio was some of the best I’ve heard in a movie, bar none. There were a few points where it was actually slightly distracting–the idea that the artist tells a lie to show us the truth–where the sounds seemed slightly overdone, but on balance… the sound editing made my ears sizzle.
Unfortunately, Clint doesn’t seem willing to let anyone else compose his scores. Not that I have anything against … simple … music, but sometimes a scene would be so much better with more than one instrument, and more than a small handful of notes…
I also had a problem with the cigarette / blue filters that were used when the film was shot, giving it a sombre, World War II mood. The filters themselves were good, but there were points where color was emphasized by removing the filter from a specific part of the screen– exploding flames, or red blood, for example. Clint, again, is no Robert Rodriguez. His strengths are elsewhere. Best to leave selective use of color to someone better. It was just … distracting–because it wasn’t especially well done.
There were a few other films that came out this year that were … pretty good (worth owning), but nothing epic, nothing stunning…. meh
Pan’s Labyrinth was really good and really dark… but again, not epic, not life changing, although thoroughly enjoyable.
I’m excited for 300. If it fulfills its ambitious previews, it might be the best movie in two years.
This is stupid, and boring.
It’s snowing. Thick, heavy flakes. Again. For the 50th time this month. God, Bozeman’s beautiful. There’s something ugly about Bozeman, too. It bothers me. I can’t put my finger on it. But it bothers me.
Spark notes: Academy Awards didn’t piss me off this year, partially because there weren’t any particularly impressive films.