Three movies big 2012 movies, none of them Django Unchained.
The Hobbit-An Unexpected Journey
Peter Jackson, 2012
The success of The Lord of the Rings movies are that they were able to cut and reshape a dearth of text into three movies with form and momentum and though I don’t love them (I like them fine but I don’t need to see them again) I respect them. I’m a believer that you can get more from cutting than adding…Peter Jackson has very much gone the other way. This is a guy who made “King Kong” 3 hours, if ever there was something that was made to be 90 minutes long it’s that. The Hobbit is that kind of bloated and it will be that bloated two more times. I was talking to somebody and said I didn’t care for this but I’d be back for the next one. She asked me why I would do that. I had nothing.
“Less is only more when more is no good.”
Frank Lloyd Wright
Sam Mendes, 2012
Of the 23 James Bond movies that count (whatever) I only think 5 or 6 of them are actually good and the rest can be dismissed to that land where I’m not bothered they exist but don’t bug me about them. Those 5 or 6 however I think are REALLY good and a couple are favorite movie status. This squeaks in the bottom of that list by being technically accomplished and well-done all around. The stuff in Hong Kong with the window reflections genuinely wowed me by being something Seijun Suzuki would do. Daniel Craig made me feel inadequate about my body which is the correct feeling. And it is Dark Knight James Bond and that’s fine because its really the only other pre-existing character that could map onto (certainly not Superman) It falls flat on its face in the last five minutes because it doesn’t trust the audience to draw easy conclusions or try to deliver those conclusions in any sort of naturalistic way. For the victory lap it was taking I can understand why it was done just not why it was done so badly. It wasn’t the most heavy handed thing I saw though because I saw…
Steven Spielberg, 2012
A movie that constantly gets in its own way. The part at the beginning where he talks to the soldiers at the end is terrible. Not because it couldn’t happen in real life because it could but because it shouldn’t happen in a movie in 2012. It only serves the purpose of setting up that anytime Lincoln opens his mouth in this movie it’s to tell you the meaning of the movie (slavery bad.) All the stuff around it about the house of representatives and the vote buying and the weighing of ending the war right away versus getting the 13th amendment passed, the stuff with James Spader and Sol Star is excellent…all the scenes without Lincoln really. More times than not it all grinds to a halt when Lincoln is around. Dealing with Joseph Gordan-Levitt’s dull storyline and more of Spielburg’s daddy issue stuff (I’m sick of daddy stuff in movies and other things I consume) or with Sally Field complaining about being thought of as crazy but is nothing but crazy in the movie. And the end…I could go on a long thing but this sums it up succinctly.
-Daniel Von Egidy, 2013