March 27, 2011

#123: Batman: Under The Red Hood

Of all the cartoons I used to watch as a kid, Batman: The Animated Series was always one of my favorites. I loved the style of animation and in general Batman is just awesome. He is my favorite super hero by far. Despite the awesomeness of the Christopher Nolan films, the animated series will always be my favorite Batman franchise. When I saw Under The Red Hood on Netflix instant I was super excited. Based on my nostalgia there was little chance I would dislike it. It did not disappoint.

I remember getting off the school bus, coming in the house and turning the tv on. I'd watch Batman, then spend the next hour playing with my action figures and Batmobile. It was the sweet looking Batmobile from the animated series and one of my all-time favorite toys. Unlike most most cartoons, Batman could get dark and almost scary to a little kid. It was violent and funny at the same time. Under The Red Hood brings that same grittiness combined with levity. I was surprised by the brutal violence in the opening scene. It was probably never that severe in the television show, and it was a bit jarring to see at first. It wasn't quite the same as I remembered it as a kid, it was almost better.

March 20, 2011

The Low Point Of My Film Year

Every year around this time my film watching hits a pretty substantial lull. The weather is starting to get nice, so I am spending less and less time indoors. College basketball season it reaching its pinnacle, so the time I do spend in front of the tv is mostly spent watching sports. During the week American Idol is wasting three hours of my idle time. I have also been reading a lot more lately. I haven't seen a film in over 2 weeks. I tried to watch The American last night, but ended up turning it off about 30 minutes in.

Not only do I tend to stop watching film around this time each year, but I also seem to stop caring about all the film news and rumors. I still make sure and listen to the weekly Filmspotting and /Film podcasts, but other than that I don't spend a lot of time keeping up with all the stuff that's going on. Everybody is starting to talk about the summer movies, and I tend to disengage. It seems like a bad time to try keeping up with a film blog.

March 10, 2011

#122: Dogtooth (7/10)

Dogtooth is a film that most casual movie watchers will not be able to stand. Even though I really enjoyed it, it is almost impossible to recommend. It is probably the first Greek film I've ever seen. It is shot in an art-house style reminiscent of Michael Haneke. There is lot of odd focusing and framing that will likely turn people off.  It is slow paced with almost no plot.  The characters speak with an unemotional, almost robotic style. It is entirely in a foreign language making it even more difficult to connect with the film.  It would seem to have a lot working against it, but it still resonated with me. More than any other film I have watched in the last several months, Dogtooth prompted me to seek out reviews, and demanded that I think about it further.  While it might not be the easiest film to watch, Dogtooth is one that will probably stick with you for a while.