Jane Got a Gun

After Red Sparrow, Terminal, and Proud Mary, I capped my evening off with this movie, which I’d been wanting to watch for what feels like forever. This ended up being my favorite film of the bunch. I’ve been watching a lot of westerns lately, and this is a very good one, made even more interesting because it puts a woman in the lead role. A simple story, but one that was quite entertaining to watch.

Proud Mary

After Red Sparrow and Terminal, it was on to Proud Mary. This film has its moments, but they are far and few between. I basically wanted to see a movie in which Taraji P. Henson is kicking ass, and there’s a scene towards the end that’s terrific, but it’s only 5 minutes long (it’s the action sequence that has the “Proud Mary” song playing). Unfortunately, most of the film gets caught up in the drama of rescuing a young boy, and I just didn’t find that to be particularly interesting.

Terminal

Following Red Sparrow, my 2nd film of the night was Terminal, and this is a weird one. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was attracted by the stylish visuals that I saw in the trailer. In the end, that’s pretty much the main reason to watch it, as it has some incredible lighting throughout. For that alone I would probably recommend it, even if the story itself is a bit all over the place, and not as clever as it seems to think it is. As for the actors, Margot Robbie is definitely great, and the main draw here.

Red Sparrow

A week ago, on a Saturday night, I ended up watching a quadruple-bill of films all lead by women, and I kicked it off with this. I was actually expecting something that was more action-oriented — something more Atomic Blonde, for example — but instead found it to be more on the dramatic spy thrillers side of things. I liked it fine, but can’t say I was especially wowed by it, and it did feel long at times — but I was pretty into it for the last 30-40 minutes, as it started heading towards the climax, which I didn’t see coming (I had guessed something different).

Vertigo

After Bond and Indy, I’ve started a new weekly film series (something to watch on Sunday nights) and I’ve decided to re-watch Hitchcock (not all, but my favorite movies of his). I’m a big fan of his films, and I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve watched most of them, so perfect time for a revisit. I kicked it off last night with Vertigo, and still found it to be very entertaining. Luckily, I didn’t remember the twist, so it was fun to see how exactly the film heads towards its ending — and what an ending, definitely not the type of thing you’d see in a movie nowadays. As for the series, I don’t plan on watching them in any particular sequence, but rather whatever I’m in the mood to watch.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I’ve always loved the original Indiana Jones trilogy — outside of Bond, I used to consider them my favorite movies. About a month ago, after I was done my most recent weekly Bond re-watch (this time I only re-watched the Connery and Craig films), I decided to re-watch the Indiana Jones movies, as it had been a while since I’d last seen them. I was actually even looking forward to re-watching Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, not because I really like it — I don’t — but because I actually hadn’t re-watched it since it originally came out, and was curious about it, having pretty much forgotten the entire story. It’s such a weird thing. It does have some fun moments, some good action sequences (like the truck chase in the jungle), and it’s great seeing Marion again and her interacting with Indy, but the biggest problem is just that it’s not really fun to see an old Indy trying to do Indy stuff (and that’s why I’m excited at the prospect of a new Indy movie with a new actor). That also means it’s not the time period we want. And yeah, no one wanted to see extra-terrestrials in an Indy movie (and famously, nor did Ford and Spielberg, but they were forced into it by Lucas). So as much as I still love the original films (Raiders and Temple of Doom pretty much tied as favorite, followed by Last Crusade), it’s a bit of a shame that they ended things on Crystal Skull.

Planet of the Apes

The thing that really strikes you here is just how over-the-top Charlton Heston’s acting is throughout, although I guess it’s of the era. It was a fun watch — I’m sure I must have seen it ages ago, but didn’t really remember much, other than of course the famous ending. In fact, I imagine it must have been a much more interesting experience when you didn’t know that part. Also, I hadn’t realized it was co-written by Rod Serling — but when you think about it, it does feel very Twilight Zone-y.

True Grit (2010)

For someone who claims to love westerns so much — and films by the Cohen brothers as well — you’d figure I’d have already seen this, but for some strange and unknown reason I hadn’t gotten around to it. I finally rectified this omission, and I’m sure glad I did. I think it was well received back when it originally came out, and it does deserve that praise. It’s a solid film, with a great cast — yeah, even dorky Matt Damon — that feels original because of the focus on the young girl out for revenge. It’s also interesting in that it’s a rare western that doesn’t include any encounters with Native Americans (although they get mentioned).

Batman Ninja

This movie is insanely good, and by far the best animated Batman film I’ve seen. Created entirely by a Japanese staff, it’s a Japanese take on the Batman mythos, but with tongue lodged deeply in cheek, and with stunning visuals that although CG feel more like they were taken from traditional paintings (well, inspired by them at least). The whole story is batshit insane (you can quote me on that), and seriously fun — Batman and friends, and villains, are all transported to feudal Japan, and in the climax we have giant robot battles. We get Sengoku Batman even. This was just so much fun to watch, and a treat for the eyes.

Mazinger Z: Infinity

The Mazinger Z that I watched when I was a kid was in fact the Grendizer series (that I watched in French as Goldorak), and so although I’m not really familiar with the entire Mazinger series, I was pretty excited to watch this new movie. The main character ends up being Koji Kabuto, who was the pilot of Grendizer, so it did feel somewhat familiar — and it was fun seeing my wife sing along with the theme song at the start, as she was a big fan of the original series. The story here is pretty forgettable — and close to nonsensical — but I was in it just for the robot battles, and those at least were well done. I especially like how despite the modern look of the animation — with robots rendered in CG — all the evil robots still kept the crazy color patterns they had back in the original shows. Not a great movie, but it has its moments when the action happens.