some thoughts i had about some movies i saw recently.
mostly first impression kind of stuff, don't take these as like professional reviews or essays or something.
i'm just jotting down my thoughts, so they aren't lost.
i liked it. it was AMUSING, some pretty good jokes too. and just a fun movie. makes me realize more that i enjoy films that are set in only a few locations at most, i guess there's something uniquely satisfying or interesting about it artistically if it's done well. something about allowing for more depth than breadth maybe (even if again, it's not like this is a "deep" movie in a certain sense... but hopefully you get what i'm trying to say).
it's interesting that the "crazy" general character who sends the orders for the bombings in the first place has the paranoia over "flouridated water" as a central aspect to his CATACLYSMIC INSANITY. it reminds me of how my roommate watched "eyes wide shut" and thought from how people go on about how "revealing" it is and how kubrick was KILLED for it and so on, it would be something more substantial in that way. but he found it to be the opposite and not very representative of anything at all and was therefore sort of disappointed in that way. well, i guess the point of that maybe is, these are good movies but i suppose you can't really expect them to reveal any truth about the world or something like that. the topic of the movie itself was kind of the "mass hysteria hyperfocus" of the time anyway so even that is quite culturally non-threatening. that is sort of an interesting thing to observe in general, thinking about it. you see it in the twilight zone too for example, which is one other thing i've watched some of so far from around the same period. one of those things that makes you wonder if the mechanics of "collective awareness" have really changed all that much since that time, or any time for that matter.
i liked all the standout characters a lot, especially dr. strangelove himself. some of the best jokes there.
FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS
some part of me can't or couldn't decide if this movie is just pointless and retarded, or if it's pointless and retarded but that's a good thing. i think it represents a specific kind of person at a specific kind of place at a specific kind of time. i don't know if i'd say it's much deeper than that in terms of any concrete themes or meaning, but there's something i think to appreciate about what it is. haven't read the book yet so i couldn't say how things differ there. but that's how i see this movie, i think. i did keep thinking about, if it was going to get to some "point" or more cohesive plot or narrative or something, halfway through, near the end, but it never really came. i wondered if it really was just about them dicking around in las vegas the whole time, and it pretty much was. but again, i think i see that it's sort of the point. and seeing it that way, i enjoy it for what it is.
it was fun all things considered. probably a movie that gets better as you rewatch it and become more familiar with everything that happens and your favorite scenes and so on. i think a work like this, it can get pretty crude in a way i don't tend to like or find much personal value in even if that's just emotional or aesthetic-wise, but i think this movie somehow doesn't go too far in that direction, or if it does it's justified to me because of the nature of the thing, of the sleazy situations and states of mind the characters find themselves in and apart of and all that. there's an alright balance most of the time, as chaotic as it also is. i think scenes like the one in the diner are important in that sense. there are some moments that allow more of a reflection on things rather than taking you on the same ride the characters are on faster than you can think. i do like that.
one of the best things is probably the main "duke" character and his narration/dialogue. there's something about what he says and the way he says it that's very satisfying and memorable. very well-acted character, i think i can say. some of the lines and just the voice/way of speaking in general has been sort of stuck in my head since i saw the movie some days ago. it's almost kind of strange really... like it has a weird effect on me. i almost feel sort of creeped out by that, but in a way, maybe it's just kind of a brainworm because it's fun to imitate. so maybe harmless. but i don't know! it is really fun to imitate. anyway. it was also funny to look up footage of hunter thompson himself speaking out of curiosity and... he just sounded like that. the actor was literally just imitating his real voice and cadence. well, he did a pretty good job! i just thought it was interesting.
definitely a beautiful-looking movie. that's usually the main thing people bring up when talking about it, at least from what i've seen in the past, how well done the cinematography is and how the shots are framed like paintings and so on. and it's true! it is true, and well done, at least in my UNEDUCATED opinion here. but it's a good movie too in other aspects, a good story. i didn't expect how it would become kind of a "downfall" story where the main character gets more and more fucked up throughout the narrative, so that was interesting to realize where it was going after some time.
the romance stuff kind of made me sad, especially with the first one. i guess it made me think about living that kind of life, where it at least seems like there are these deep connections and intimate moments you have with people but then you just move on or are taken apart either by uncaring aspects out of your control, or your own callousness/nonattachment. makes me wonder if in barry's head those relationships even meant anything to him near the end of his life, or if he just brushed them off. i don't know. just feels depressing somehow, or depressing with how it was portrayed.
a lot of the movie was sort of depressing, thinking about it. although the aforementioned stuff was most of what struck me unexpectedly. the rest was more subdued in my mind or more a part of the general theming or atmosphere of the story as a whole, good and bad happenings, orderly and chaotic, justified and not, in the ultimate downward trend of the main character's life. just the way it is, that kind of thing. his son's death made me pretty emotional. i liked how they included that sort of side to barry too, even with how far he had fallen. with the line too that was something about how, you could say a lot about him, but you couldn't say he wasn't a loving father. although, even that aspect is a little soured with how things went with his other son and how barry treated him. so i don't know. i just like how the narrative doesn't stray from keeping it about him and attempting to show all sides of his experience, even as things get so bad.
anyway, pretty great movie. one of those films that really immerses you in the time and place its set in, which i like a lot. i don't know if it's totally historically accurate, but that quality is still inherent either way. oh, and the final duel scene was really excellent, one of my favorites in the movie. very tense.
also this is random, but it was interesting how, there's a character who is played by the same actor who portrayed delbert grady in the shining. and the first time he's on screen, at the same time or shortly before/after, the word "cook" is uttered. coincidence? who knows. just thought it was worth mentioning.