16 June 2013

This is the End of The Man of Upstream Steel

Upstream Color

Primer is the definition of a head-trip. It's nearly impossible to follow. Shane Carruth successfully made a film that only makes sense if you analyze to a ridiculous degree, but still manages to be intriguingly entertaining without going to such lengths. Now with Upstream Color, he's taken a bit of a different route; instead of rooting the story in scientifically plausible concepts, he's almost tripped into the fantastical with psychotropic worms and telempathic (yeah not a word, deal with it) pigs. In the end it's not nearly as hard to follow. There's still a lot of non-linear scenes going on, and a lot of the time it's not certain what's real and what isn't (a-la Trance), but the fogginess of it all only serves to make a relatively simple storyline seem complex. All that said, it's a gorgeously shot and emotionally compelling film.

Man of Steel

I think I've only seen three of the previous Superman movies, and I'm not particularly well-read on him as far as the comics go. I did watch Smallville through something like the seventh season until I realized it was crap though. With all that as a baseline, I can confidently say this is the best Superman screen-property that's been made so far, and definitely Zack Snyder's best film. Although Michael Shannon didn't transcend anything he's done before, his character was well-written and a believable villain, even moreso than his predecessor in Superman 2. I'm a bit sick of Russel Crow. This Henry Cavill guy's got a future with this character though. He lacks the playfulness of Christover Reeve, but his physical and emotional presence is perfect for this god character. The element of god-hood isn't really discussed to quite the degree I would have liked, but Snyder already tackled that in Watchmen, so I guess he didn't feel it necessary to go overboard with it and just stick with the acceptance of an invincible, altruistic being from another planet; not to say that it was ignored completely. Anyway, the action's fantastic, the dildo-space-pods are hilarious, and KNEEL BEFORE SHANNON.

This is the End

Definitely an interesting movie just because all of the actors play themselves. There's a lot more to it than that though, and it's funny-as-hell to boot. There's nothing funnier than a bunch of screaming dudes kicking a bloody, disembodied head around the floor (except maybe for Michael Cera as an insufferable asshole). The whole religious thing is great, and the special effects are possibly the best I've ever seen in a comedy. Between this and 50/50 I think Seth Rogen has established himself as a quality dude. I just really wish Franco had reprised his role from Spring Breakers and started yelling "LOOK AT MY SHIT" for five minutes again.