Summer of 2012 in Movies

The first movie self saw after getting back from her oh-so-intellectual June in southern Scotland was “Magic Mike.”  Since she’d read the reviews of this movie in The Guardian and The Times, she was naturally all agog to see this film’s representation of American male hot-ness as embodied by McConnaughey, Tatum, and Pettyfer.  Especially since the representation was being delivered by a director like Steven Soderbergh who, self is sure we can all agree, is a recognized authority on tasteful marketing of hot-ness (Exhibit A:  Ocean’s Eleven.  Exhibit B:  Ocean’s Twelve).  And it did not disappoint!  Self’s jaw dropped as she was watching!  She even wanted to go back and see it again, but was unfortunately derailed by homely chores like straightening up the house and watering her garden and doing laundry and cooking fine, delicious dinners for The Man.

Self saw “Total Recall” and liked it.  Naturally, Colin Farrell is a big, big improvement over Arnold.  And Kate Beckinsale —  how self loves this actress’s incarnation into kick-ass.  Time was, a long loooong time ago, when Kate used to play the Plain Jane in Jane Austen movie adaptations.  At least, she did in one movie self saw.  This was, of course, pre “Pearl Harbor.”

Self also saw:  “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (Excellent) and “Moonrise Kingdom” (Excellent to the nth)

Then there were those three Filipino films she saw at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (end of June) which she still hasn’t found time to discuss —  hopefully, things will calm down enough for her to pour her heart out.

She really liked “Dark Knight Rises.”  She even got to like Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.  And can’t imagine what a Ryan Reynolds Batman will be like.

She still hasn’t seen “Expendables 2” or “The Campaign” but hopefully will, soon.  And she really wants to see the movie with “Ruby” in the title.

But now she will reflect on Bourne.  The reason for this is that she has been perusing the August 13 & 20, 2012 of The New Yorker (a double issue:  it’s pretty thin, for a double issue), and has read the David Denby review of “The Bourne Legacy.”

When the movie began, self kept imagining Matt Damon playing the lead.  He has a completely different type of face from Jeremy Renner —  more lean, and more ordinary, but also more compelling.  But self liked Rachel Weisz in the role of female sidekick —  she never quite got over the demise of Marie in Bourne 2, and then she was slightly hopeful for Julia Stiles at the end of Bourne 3, but look where that got her.

The best, the absolutely most tension-filled scene in “The Bourne Legacy” is one that no reviewer has yet seen fit to discuss:  and that is the scene where Renner comes over a snowy mountain and encounters a sad-eyed, laconic man living all by his lonesome in a cabin, and they have quite an extended conversation, during every second of which self would turn to The Man with eyebrows raised and hiss:  “He’s gonna pop him now!  Now!”  The solitary man is so out of it that he attempts to read a book after dinner.  No self-respecting spy worth his salt would let a man read a book when he is available for questioning.  But apparently solitary man does not slip so easily into the verbal game thing, for his response is to close the book, stand up, and leave the scene.  Whereupon —  self kept expecting him NOT to show up the next morning, but he showed up.  Then she thought he would NOT show up after cooking breakfast, but again he was there.  Then she thought he would surely try to off Renner when Renner goes somewhere — maybe behind the woodshed, where some very scary meds are being stored in a super-secret freezer — but again, he is there.  There is just no getting rid of this man and his mournful presence!

Here’s self’s favorite section of the Denby review:

In an age of movie magic, the “Bourne” series, even at its most accelerated, stuck to grounded action.  Gravity mattered in all three films; stunt men, falling earthward, were more central than pixels.

Hear, hear!

In addition, Denby says that “The Bourne Legacy” can boast of having “the longest motorcycle chase in the history of wheels.”  But why stop there, David?  It is also, in self’s humble opinion, the BEST long motorcycle chase in the history of wheels.  In no small part because that chase scene takes place on location in Manila.  And, jeez, anyone who’s seen the chaos of a Manila street would know how hard it is to thread anyone through it, much less movie stars like Jeremy Renner and Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz!  That is a singular achievement in and of itself!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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