Alright, we’ve done books and TV, now let’s dive into this random assortment of movies; there’s no rhyme or reason to this selection, other than it focuses on (mostly) recent films, so without further ado, here’s what I watched this summer:
Yes, I realise it’s been officially fall for a while now, but both the weather and my current location still scream summer to me, so I’m still operating in beach mode. And although it’s hasn’t been a conventionally productive period for me, it was quite relaxing, and exactly what I needed after a not so wonderful winter.
And it’s been somewhat productive in terms of pop-culture consumption. I enjoyed several books, movies and TV shows, and that’s exactly what this post is about: a handy list for me to keep track of everything I read and watched over the summer.
Every time there’s buzz around a movie, I promise myself I won’t give in to the hype. And every time I get sucked in.
M. Night Shyamalan’s Split was no exception. No matter what kind of drivel the man has produced since The 6th Sense, it seems like the world keeps hoping that he’ll finally come up with something to equal the well-deserved success of his breakout film.
The problem with tremendous hype around a movie is that, when you finally get to see for yourself what the fuss is all about, your expectations are inevitably sky-high. Having been subjected to rave reviews of the movie, ranging from ‘sleeper hit’ (is it me or is that term thrown around excessively lately?) to ‘best horror picture‘ of the year, I went in fully expecting to be terrified by Jordan Peele’s feature film directorial debut.
What I got, instead, was his particular take on racist America, interspersed with humor and a few instances of horror towards the end of the movie.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Get Out – just not for the reasons I felt I was supposed to. There was very little horror to contend with, and, in the end, its power was diminished by the message.
There’s the kind of action-adventure movies where one of the most entertaining aspects of the viewing experience is knowing the hero’s lines before he even speaks them; it comes from years of repeated viewings of classic films of the genre, ones that make speaking such iconic quotes as ‘yippe ki-yay, motherf*cker‘ or ‘hasta la vista, baby‘ along with the hero so damn enjoyable, even though there’s zero element of suspense any more.
Then there’s the kind that is so riddled with clichés that every single line of dialogue seems like a throwaway, every character is two-dimensional, every plot twist entirely predictable.
That’s basically Jack Reacher: Never Go Back in a nutshell.
To be honest, the reason this movie seemed interesting was not its unoriginal premise (guy’s girlfriend goes missing and he discovers she’s not who he thought she was) but its lead actor. I’ve loved Aaron Paul since his Breaking Bad days, and, much like I usually stay away from movies starring actors I dislike, I will watch pretty much anything featuring my favorite TV/movie stars.
Captivity is a slightly older movie (2007), but it sparked my curiosity when I read all the mixed reviews it had received, depending on which version of the movie audiences commented on. The original movie was more psychological thriller than horror, but the studio decided to milk the torture porn frenzy that was going on at the time (remember, these movies were at their peak in the mid-2000’s) and re-shot, re-cut and basically re-vamped the entire film.
I was unsure which version I was about to watch, which gave the experience an added level of suspense. It turned out to be the tamer version, which, judging from viewers’ descriptions of the added gory scenes, I was definitely not upset about.