Saturday, December 26, 2015

Klute (1971) (+)

Believe it or not, big, huge Hollywood blockbuster are not really my thing. So Star Wars' posts are not going to be the "thing", as I resurrect this blog.  And just so you, dear reader, do not make false assumptions.  Movies are not going to be the "thing" either.  They will be one of the "things".  Records and books, too.  Books, always.  In fact, I received eight books for Christmas.

But for this post, we have Klute, a crime thriller from the year of my birth.  That I was not even aware of until I went searching for some interesting film noirs that I had not yet seen.  Klute resided on one of those lists.  I wouldn't exactly call it a noir, but it definitely shows its influences.  Noir or not, who really gives a shit.  Is it any good? Am I right?

And yes it is.  In fact, or at least in my opinion (for the purposes of this blog = fact), it is very good.  Klute stars Jane Fonda, in an Oscar-winning turn, as call girl, Bree Daniels, and Donald Sutherland as the titular character John Klute.  I have no idea, who the nominees were in 1971, but let's just get this out of the way -  Fonda's portrayal of a conflicted NY call girl trying to get out of the life is very Oscar worthy.

The plot is simple enough,  PI Klute is hired to find his best friend, who has gone missing, by his friend's wife and employer.  Some obscene letters written to Bree by the friend...lead Klute to her.  And with that, we are pulled into a psychological thriller in the truest sense of the title.  Not only are we drawn in by the voyeuristic creepiness of a killer stalking Bree, but there's also Bree's shrink trips where she tries to work out her reasons for remaining in the trade despite not really needing it,  and also a developing sexual tension between Bree and Klute.  It all works, though I admit to not being pulled into the shrink stuff until Bree turns her attention to her feelings for Klute.

Klute works as a great piece of cinema, despite no real gun play, no car chases, no fact, very little "action".  It's a shame crime films like this are seldom made anymore.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Holidays - The Force Awakens (2015)

What the hell is this? You ask.  A blog post? Yep, so I'm going to try to resurrect this.

Yes, but "The Force Awakens".  Yep.  I found myself reading back through my old posts, and it was really enjoyable to read back on some of my thoughts on books I read (and humorous to read all my typos and lack of editing).  Really enjoyable.  So even if I have no readership, it still seems valuable, cathartic, and good for nostalgia a couple of years down the road.  And I'm going to write about all kinds of popular movies, records, and of course books.  No memes, unless I'm drawn to the dark side.

Which brings us to Star Wars.  It's a good, fun movie.  Much like the original.

In fact, it's really a retelling of the original with handfuls of Empire pulled in for extra Star Wars goodies.  Now, I would guess that some cranky "fans" will point this out as a pitfall of the movie.  "It's not original!"  Actually, I don't have to guess, I've already seen it on the world wide internets.

Here's the problem with these types of proclamations...

The original Star Wars isn't "original", either.  It is a retelling of the most popular story in the history of man-kind.  I don't think that's a criticism.  I just point that out to temper any of the finger pointing of this being a rip-off.  The reason the original Star Wars story was compelling was not "originality" it was that it did a good job of telling the Hero's Journey story.  And it ported it to a space opera, which gave it  a modern/cool element.  The"originality" of Star Wars came in the form of the effects, which were masterful.

And where does that leave me?

I liked the movie.  Because I liked Star Wars (and loved Empire Strikes Back), and because I am ok with them grabbing from those movies with huge handfuls to create what amounts to a love letter to them.  And I like the female Luke character.  Good strong female characters are always a nice find IMO.

One complaint...I am in fact done with huge, mass destruction weapons shaped like planets.