Monday, September 18, 2017

Cat's Away 2: Watch man

Second-to-last night of Cat's Away 2.

I'm a watch man. That's what I am. I'm a man who watches. Movies, I watch.

What, you think you could come up with a better title?

Ah, maybe you could.

Anyway, I'm also a man who is running out time and running out of steam. Because I'm sticking to a post-a-day schedule, and because I've had a very busy Monday, this post is the only thing standing between me and closing night of this festival. So I will be almost comically brief in my recap of Sunday's movies, which surely deserve a bit more ink than I'll be giving them.

Singin' in the Rain

The Sunday morning time slot on one of my marathon movie weekends is usually reserved for an old favorite I know like the back of my hand. Singin' in the Rain is an old favorite, one my lists tell me I have seen more than once, but I don't even know it like the back of someone else's hand. I can't remember how long it's been since I've seen it, but suffice it to say a lot of it felt very unfamiliar to me. Such as:

- I would have sworn the title number came in the first 20 minutes, but it doesn't arrive until the hour mark.

- I was quite surprised to learn that the film has one of those 10+ minute fantasy dance numbers that seem to afflict films of this period; I say "afflict" because they always seem like filler, and because it's one of my chief complaints about films like An American in Paris and Oklahoma! If even Singin' in the Rain has one, I guess I have to rethink my thoughts on the subject.

- How is Donald O'Connor not a household name? That "Make 'Em Laugh" number is a show-stopper, as my fellow podcaster, Blake Curtis, told me it was.

I barely finished the film in time to run out of the house to go meet my sister-in-law and my kids to see ...

The Lego Ninjago Movie


- Love these advanced screenings, even if the movie ends up not being great; the celebratory air, the free tickets, the free popcorn and drink, the paper masks of Ninjago characters. (I guess that last one is only for this movie.)

- My three-year-old is a dick. Not three minutes into the movie he made my sister-in-law trek out to the car to get his blankie, a trip that took them 20 minutes. He then made her take him for a walk again later in the movie. I don't think she cared -- I had asked her to help in such a scenario because I was reviewing the movie and needed to give it my full attention -- but it annoyed me. He wasn't like this in his first movie, Cars 3.

- Lego may be trying to start up a cinematic universe, just like everybody else is doing, but this is its first clear misstep. Maybe the problem was not having a built-in audience for the characters, and therefore having to do more work and potentially alienating adult audiences, but I just never really fell in sync with this movie. It repeats the same comic and emotional beats of its two better predecessors, and spends much of the time offering about the same level of visual coherence of your standard Transformers movie. Stay tuned for my review.


- After I got the kids to bed I sat down for all three hours of Watchmen. Yes, I seem to have been powerless to play anything abut the 185-minute director's cut on my BluRay. Aren't these things supposed to come with the theatrical option?

- But that's okay, because that was when Zack Snyder was a good director. Yes, we may forget it, but there was a time. I was curious to watch this in the wake of his two failed movies featuring Superman, to see if the bad tendencies were still there back for this movie that I loved, but had since come to think of as sort of a guilty pleasure. Nope. I'm still comfortable calling this movie kind of visionary. And the added scenes didn't stick out the way added scenes sometimes do, to the extent that I could only be sure of one addition: a couple scenes related to the death of Stephen McHattie's retired Watchman, who probably died in the graphic novel, but never did in the version I saw twice and ranked in my top ten eight years ago. And had not seen again since ... until last night.

Sorry, movies, for the short shrift. I'll make up for it with a killer closing night post tomorrow.


Hannah Keefer said...

If that "Broadway Melody" sequence wasn't in Singin' in the Rain, there's a good chance it'd be my #1.

Derek Armstrong said...

I may never see one of these sequences that truly works for me. The Red Shoes also essentially has one.