So another light week this week, though I did have a couple films on in the background, but stopped watching them because I wanted to pay more attention to them that I was, so maybe next week I’ll tell you about them, but these are the ones I’m discussing this week.
Extract-This is the new film by Mike Judge, probably best known as the creator of Beavis & Buthead or preferably, writer/director of Office Space, as well as doing Idiotcracy and probably other stuff I can’t remember of the top of my head. Starring Jason Bateman, who is most famous for Teen Wolf Too, being Justine Bateman’s brother, and Arrested Development, the film follows him as he struggles with getting some from his wife, trying to sell his extract business and having to deal with an employee involved in an accident at work trying to sue the company under the influence of a con-woman. Hope I didn’t give it all way then, but none of that is really a surprise, I’m pretty sure I knew most of that going in. Anyway, I guess the real question is, was it funny? And yeah, I thought it was pretty good. Maybe not such an instant classic as Office Space seemed to be, but still pretty good. I’d give it a watch, if I was you.
The Visioneers-The appeal here is Zach Galifinakis, but it’s not your typical Zach Galifinakis role, so I guess I should tell you a bit more about it. The film seems to be some future world where some kind of mega-corporation seems to be pretty much running America, selling happiness, I guess. Except people seem to be exploding, for no apparent reason, and Zach’s character is some mid-level paper-pusher who has seems to be more intimate with the voice on the other end of the phone on another level than he is with his wife, and I guess is going through an existential crisis. It seems to be of that kind of film similar to stuff by Kaufman. And I don’t have anything against it, but I just kind of wonder, did they really think what they were saying was anything new? Do we really think that happiness can be achieved through buying the right things and following some corporations instructions? I’d like to think most of us aren’t that shallow, and if we are, we’re off watching Transformers, not hiring out some unheard of movie. It was cool, but didn’t really leave me with much of a sense of anything.
A Serious Man-I got this out because I’m trying to figure out if I think this is the Coen Brothers best film or not, since I enjoyed True Grit so much recently. And as it started I was thinking maybe I had overvalued it, but as the film continues, I think it becomes a really strong contender for best film. I’m not sure I can answer that question, which is appropriate for this film, since it deals with unanswerable questions so much. But one question that was answered, in regards to the opening story, does it have significance for the rest of the film?, and the answer is apparently no. Which make me feel better. In the bonus features, there’s an interview with the Coen Brothers, and they discuss how they just felt it was the right way to open the movie, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with the film. So that’s good, because I struggled to make any connections, but it is a great way to open the movie, and does set a tone for he film.
I think this film is really visually strong. I think Roger Deakins is who they worked with as cinematographer on True Grit too, and this guy’s stuff looks beautiful. Plus you’ve got ths really particular niche script, with truly great performances, especially form the lead guy, and it really is a great all round package. I’d say it falls into my personal top five Coen Brothers films, but I need time to ponder a bit more whether I think it is their best film, which is what I’ve previously stated, and probably still think.