|06.27.14||Netflix|| OK a few things... this first is that I'm starting to formulate a theory that directors who came up in music videos had to manufacture so much fun and exuberance for other bands that when it comes time for them to make movies of their own, all they have left to interest them is sadness and melancholy. Seriously, what the fuck. Mark Romanek, Michel Gondry, and Spike Jonze. You couldn't find music video directors with more innovation and experimentation and visual finesse in their work, yet all three of these motherfuckers can't make a movie with any kind of happiness to save their lives. What gives??|
But aside from the inevitable bummer that this movie's story delivers, I really really liked all the other things about it. The worldbuilding of future LA is at the top of the list. Trains and skyscrapers everywhere, subtle touches in fashion and design and technology... all these things are so awesome and so well implemented. The fact that everyone has different kinds of phones and computers that represent different brands, the clothes are some new perspective of past trend, technology is a practical step ahead without going over the top... I just can't go on enough about how well this world is constructed.
I also love how Jonze made this movie like a contemporary romantic comedy. He uses the same second unit shots that we usually see... helicopter skyline stuff, straight-down satellite type stuff... sunsets and vistas... the only difference is that they city these shots capture is fabricated. Yet there's no crazy muted color palette or sweeping impossible CG camera moves or anything like that to tell us to expect explosions or fly-bys from spaceships. So well done.
And the story's not as bad as I thought it would be. The premise still kind of makes me gag but Phoenix's performance is so good (and like it's hard not to feel for Johansen's voice) that I didn't really mind it. It's still the weakest part of the movie for me, but that's ok because it wasn't terrible.
So yeah, I liked this a loot more than I thought I would. It's a really really good movie.