If you’ve never seen a Terry Gilliam film before, you’ll be baffled and likely frustrated by the storytelling style and visual exaggeration that are trademarks of his weird and wonderful movies. A former member of the comedy team Monty Python, a peculiarly English sense of humor suffuses his films too, from Time Bandits to The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to Brazil. In the spirit of disclosure, I am a big fan of Gilliam’s work and have looked forward eagerly to the cinematic release of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and really enjoyed it.
When does a dark satire about life transition into a marathon of bad luck and suffering by a hapless, spineless man? Though I’m sure that’s not what the Coen Brothers intended when they created A Serious Man, that’s the experience I had when I watched the film.
When someone is murdered, their spirit lingers on, observing and trying to influence the course of justice, a ghost seeking revenge or simply to experience the karmic balance that we hope will transpire. But what of the ghost during this period of time, what’s their experience and what if there is no peace, no justice, nothing but someone who refuses to let go, who refuses to accept that they have died?
Ever wonder what kind of guy drives an armored car full of thousands – if not millions – of dollars worth of cash, securities, checks, credit card transaction receipts, etc? Yeah, I never did either, but that’s the environment that Armored presents us with: a bunch of edgy, tough-guy losers who somehow have ended up as employees of Eagle Shield Security.
I’ve spent the time to rant about the films I saw last year that I thought were the worst of the bunch, not just middling experiences, but genuinely “how on Earth did they ever raise the money to make this abomination?” movies where they either started out okay and slowly collapsed on their own weight (like Knowing) or were daft from the get-go (like Transformers 2).
2009 was a big year: I started out as a film fan who went to the theater maybe once every 2-3 weeks and otherwise lazily waited until movies made it onto the premium cable channels before I saw them. Not a lack of motivation, just a busy life. Early in 2009 I started to write a series of columns for Linux Journal on how to create a Twitter queueing system and my example subject was film news. So birthed @FilmBuzz, a now-popular film news channel.