I'm way behind on my film reportage so here's a quick recap of what I've seen lately.
The Hunger Games
They made a good film. Not great, and definitely not better than the book but they also didn't screw anything up. Maybe they played it a little too safe. Weakest link: Probably the director, Gary Ross, who inflicted us with way too much shaky-cam and incoherent action sequences. Strongest link: Jennifer Lawrence made a great Katniss.
21 Jump Street
I liked it. I laughed. Maybe it seemed a little bit over-praised by critics, but a fun high-school flick, not in the same league with something like Mean Girls. I only bring this up because some critics seemed to be calling this an instant comedy classic, etc.
Five Graves to Cairo
Where has this Billy Wilder film from 1943 (his second directorial effort) been all my life? A crisp, humorous war-time thriller in which a British soldier stumbles upon Rommel's headquarters at a North African hotel. Beautifully made, this would probably be remembered a little more fondly if the leads had been Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman (as it was shaping up to be at one point) instead of Franchot Tone and Anne Baxter.
The Lincoln Lawyer
This movie felt like a television pilot, which is not exactly a criticism. One of the nice things about this film was how low-key it was. It felt very old-fashioned that way, like some sort of throwaway James Garner flick from the early 1970s. Matthew McConnaughey was excellent as a sleaze-bag lawyer who takes on a case a little sleazier than he's used to. Not a memorable film, exactly, but a well-made enjoyable couple of hours.
Crazy Clown Time
Not a film, but this seven-minute video directed by David Lynch is the only Lynch we've gotten in a while. It's a pretty intense video and I found myself having to take a break halfway through because of just how painful it is to watch and listen to. It's Lynch, though, and I keep thinking about it. My initial read: a commentary on the banality and the evilness of web culture, the way we constantly comment on what exactly is happening. Watch it here if you can.