The Mute Boat Captain, A Homophobic Drug Smuggler, CGI in Space



I am behind on my journaling. I knew it was going to happen. Between the podcast, consuming media, and working, who gets the time to write anything down anymore.

The last journal topic I wrote about was death and nonexistence.  I skipped over the stream of consciousness day, I write to much of that crap anyway (plus you wouldn’t want to read it and adore me).  Also skipped ‘a mind dump’ where I write out everything that is worrying me. It worked for Eisenhower, and look where he is, dead. Then straight on into last friday and the topic is ‘Write a review on some form of entertainment you recently took in’.  In the last week I’ve seen two Oscar nominated films, Gravity with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and Dallas Buyers Club with Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, and one that wasn’t All Is Lost with Robert Redford.

I like talking about movies with people, a lot. I seem to always be sharing my opinion about some film I watched recently. People are always so opinionated about films, an I am always the biggest asshole in the room when it comes to mine. I do feel a little strange giving a critics review of movies though, I always hide behind the guise of just ‘a big fan’ and here I am giving my incredibly narrow view of a few movies that everyone seems to love.

First I watched All Is Lost. I have wanted to see this since I first heard about it. I really like alt cinema and when someone tries something new in films, or at least something I find interesting. Robert Redford on a boat not saying anything as he struggles to survive? Its like Passion of the Christ without all the anti-Semitic undertones.

Within minutes I am trying to discern if Redford is wearing a hairpiece. He has wonderfully thick hair for a 77-year-old man. I am also thinking out loud to my wife why would a 77-year-old man be out in the middle of the ocean by himself not even remotely ready for disaster.

His small boat gets plugged by a shipping container, it starts leaking water, and for the next 130 minutes is a man slowly giving up on survival. It’s actually quite beautiful in its simplicity, or lack of color and depth. An orange life raft, orange rain slickers, and an orange cargo ship, it’s as if the director is screaming at as to take notice, these things represent false hope. I feel that halfway through a similar situation I would be cussing and singing and just all together cracking up. That definitely says a lot about a senior citizens mental well-being after being stuck out to sea for what feels like a millennia. The music is soft and haunting set against the often grey and blue bleak landscapes, quite brilliant. Then he gets shot in the chest and dies in the pool he never swam in.

Dallas Buyers Club had me contemplating the dualistic nature of the statement ‘Based on Real Events’. I always think that Hollywood sees an idea ‘ A man with AIDS selling AIDS drugs’ and really pulls at our heartstrings by crafting a touching hero story about a terrible person learning the good in all people and trying to make the world a better place. What if he was just a piece of shit drug peddler trying to make a quick buck and get his own meds at the same time. If going to court against the FDA was going to prolong my life then I would do what ever was possible to make that happen. Jared Leto was god damned amazing though, simply amazing. I can see why he came out of movie retirement to do this role. Looks like the emo band is on hiatus for a while Leto, them offers are going to start rolling in now.

Then there is Gravity. Beautiful. This movies visuals are stunning but not over wrought. It’s like a symphony of sight, with lows and crescendos perfectly paced to enhance mode and movement. This movie has such a fluidity to it that it’s almost like watching a waterfall in zero gravity backlit by the sun. I immediately recognize Ed Harris as the voice from Houston, and I feel like I am in a classic space movie. Clooney is his ever charming self, adding a bit of humor to this stoic beauty. Bullock is alright, but I feel like she was mostly a voice actor, most of her scenes are her in space which is 100% CGI. I came away feeling like Clooney stole the show, even though he wasn’t the main character.

There. That’s my opinion. Brief and somewhat scattered, but I don’t always watch movies the way others do. Oh, and Sam Rockwell plays a teenage thug in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Look it up. I have a theory that this is one of the greatest american films ever made. Ask me about it some time.

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