The End of the Decade Lists: Episode II – Attack of the Second Thought

So I promised that the following list of the 2010s would also be one that makes enough sense to drop this early as well as being much more optimistic than the last one about how many movies I don’t like as much as I did anymore (or at all).

And not only do I have those to drop but writing and elaborating on this list has led to a couple of other offshoots that I might post either later tonight or early tomorrow morning around the sort of optimistic positivity.

But first, there is looking forward towards the future which means that I present the below list in alphabetical order of 20 Movies of This Decade That I’m Most Looking Forward to Revisiting in the Future.

Some of these I want to take another fresher look at, some of these I’m certain that I will reappraise, some I just enjoyed so much that I can’t wait to watch them again but I also kind of want to patiently give space in between those rewatches, and then some I have no patience and intend to watch immediately. Let’s do this, hombre.


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(2017/dir. Johann Lurf/Austria)

Easiest selection, this movie is constantly having material added and touring all over the world (it is already over 15 minutes longer than the edition I saw in Anthology Film Archives last year) so I’m excited to revisit it whenever it comes near me and see how the cinematic perspective of the starry night sky has expanded over the past year (or 2 years if that opportunity does not return until next year).

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24 Frames (2017/dir. Abbas Kiarostami/Iran)

I swear Kiarostami has a pattern to his selection of frames and their respective content. It’s just so obvious in the middle of watching it, I just was to busy sinking into each image to actually try to intellectualize the experience. I purchased the Criterion Blu-Ray as soon as it dropped and so intend to rewatch it one day with a more intensely analytical eye (which might even necessitate a second review).

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The Amazing Spider-Man(2012/dir. Marc Webb/USA)

Spider-Man: Far from Home exists. Hell, now that Venom exists, really. The fact that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have not only announced they’re returning to a deal regarding the character but that they’re going to incorporate the knock-off villain spin-offs universe that Sony has tried to peddle forever is only going to further rose-tint this movie whenever I re-approach it.

 

 

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Blackhat (2015/dir. Michael Mann/USA)

I’ve been maintaining that you all have been wrong about this movie from the second y’all were talking shit and now that we have Michael Mann doing his Michael Mann thing by constantly switching up his cuts, I am ready to take a dive into that director’s cut and get more of that hypermasculine, hilariously technomuscular Mann thriller goodness and none of you get to join because none of you deserve this movie.

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Central Intelligence (2016/dir. Rawson Marshall Thurber/USA)

Listen, this is my most-watched movie of 2016 and it’s gonna continue to grow and grow and grow. It’s not that good, but 2016 wasn’t good either (as movie year or like… actual life year) and I need to be afforded my comfort blankets like watching The Rock tower over Kevin Hart with a friendly smile to reflect off of Hart’s look of fear. I will take an overlong 2 hours of that. Leave me alone. I’m putting the Blu-Ray in again and you can’t fucking stop me.

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Clouds of Sils Maria (2014/dir. Olivier Assayas/France, Germany, & Switzerland)

Maybe I was wrong about it. I don’t think I am, to be quite frank. I think it is committing all the sorts of sins Birdman’s detractors accuse THAT movie of committing (by the way, in case y’all are wondering how it feels comparing an Assayas movie and an Inarritu movie and saying the latter is better… it feels awful. Thankfully Assayas has made more movies that are better than Birdman than I have fingers on one hand) and it is the disappointing weak link in my admiration for both Assayas and Huppert (Chloë Grace Moretz… man, I can not get her). But, y’know what? Everybody I trust on this matter loves the movie so I will give it another try. I’ll just complain while doing it.

NB: Speaking of movies starring Chloë Grace Moretz that y’all make me feel I’m on the wrong side of history for, but I outright avoid conversations about The Miseducation of Cameron Post because I don’t feel like talking shit about a movie that meant A LOT to the LGBT+ community (and I can get why). I don’t think I’m as inclined to rewatch it as I am with Clouds but it’s not out of the question.

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The Croods (2013/dir. Kirk DeMicco & Chris Sanders/USA)

Yes, it’s no less generic character or story-wise than any other non-Panda/Dragon production by DreamWorks Animation but I’ve seriously underestimated the design of the whole thing. It’s… y’know, crude and also wildly different than anything Sanders has made beforehand, but in a way that makes it so much more interesting to look at if I take another look at it. Particularly the way that watching The Boxtrolls opened me up to the possibility of grotesque character designs being a lot of fun, I wonder if I’d be so amiable to The Croods on my second watch. In any case, I’m having a tough time naming a top five for animation of 2013 and The Croods might just have a spot. Maybe I’ll rewatch it when Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal drops.

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Drive (2011/dir. Nicholas Winding Refn/USA)

A movie that should be exactly my jam feels wholly chilly to me. Maybe it’s just because of The Neon Demon and Too Old to Die Young (or even Only God Forgives, terrible movie that it is) showcasing a version of stillness that feels unique to Refn himself but Drive doesn’t feel that way to me. It feels still in the same way every other post-80s crime thriller tries to be, a decent movie but nothing revelatory as I was expecting. Perhaps that’s why it’s Refn’s most popular and accessible movie, give or take Bronson. Maybe I’ll be more satisfied now that I am more fully in the Refn bag again. The Neon Demon was just that good to make me give second chances.

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Drive Angry (2011/dir. Patrick Lussier/USA)

No way is this movie any good, I don’t care what the fuck Quentin Tarantino says. But it’s probably a lot more fun than I was willing to credit it for: at the very least, the gonzo imagery of certain situations and William Fichtner’s performance is good trash cinema material so here’s hoping a rewatch gets me digging to find more enjoyable trashiness.

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John Carter (2012/dir. Andrew Stanton/USA)

Is it REALLY that bad? Obviously, Stanton’s notorious leap into live-action filmmaking that resulted in the biggest financial bomb in history has its dedicated defenders. I am not really one of them: the first and only time I saw the movie was spent thinking it was basically doing things done way better in Avatar. But that was also an exhausted IMAX midnight screening and while I don’t think I’ll ever prefer to it to Avatar, a more clear-eyed screening may turn me to one of those arguing for the movie’s honor. I do love space opera.

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Noah (2014/dir. Darren Aronofsky/USA)

I’m very mean to Darren Aronofsky. I mean, it doesn’t help that he fucking sucks, but it has to be handed to him that he’s ambitious. I think if I could bother to muster any possible urge to rewatch his two most spiritual works with The Fountain and Noah (note I did not say theological because that’d include π and mother! and hahahahah fuck that), I might find them a lot more interesting and nuanced if not necessarily good. Noah especially gets more attractive coming out the same decade as Exodus: Gods and Kings and Ben-Hur. I mean, fucking… if that kind of clangy nu-Gladiator bullshit is being made out of Biblical material, it’s refreshing to have somebody like Aronofsky who could be secular and still passionate about this shit. To be honest, that passion does result in some of the greatest cinematic moments of the decade within Noah however far in between.

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The Other Side of the Wind (2018/dir. Orson Welles/USA, Iran, & France)

I’ve seen it three times now, but I just know I’m going to be watching it over and over. Orson Welles’ movies already lend themselves to rewarding rewatch value, but The Other Side of the Wind has the added element of trying to be prophetic and reflexive towards the modern age of cinema (maybe having it be completed decades after it was shot is cheating) and I am quite energized by how it might maintain that reflexivity in 5 years or 10 years or 20 years.

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Paterson (2016/dir. Jim Jarmusch/USA, Germany, & France)

There has been by now at least one Jarmusch film from this decade that I was cold at first watch but then came around to love. I’m not as cold towards Paterson since I find it a very lovely and friendly film, but I do think there might be more to it than I care on first glance. I mean, it’s a film based on poetry so I’m expecting more poetics.

And none for The Dead Don’t Die, bye…

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Prometheus (2012/dir. Ridley Scott/UK & USA)

I think it’s good, fuck the haters. But my one and only viewing of the movie was done in the context of an Alien marathon and I really want a chance to watch it isolated and as its own object. Because I do think that’s what it could have been if it wasn’t for the fidelity to the Alien franchise (and I’d dare say the moments where it functions as an Alien prequel are its weakest). What’s kept me from doing it all these years is knowing I probably won’t have a chance to see it again in IMAX 3D, which made the Map Room sequence crazy immersive and a very fond experience in the cinema for me. Give me time.

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Shutter Island (2010/dir. Martin Scorsese/USA)

I will admit I don’t know what the fuck Martin Scorsese has been up to in the past 20-something years. I mean, I guess he’s at the point where Spielberg is that the two of them just don’t have to prove shit to anybody but Spielberg is still casually tossing out great movies and Scorsese’s have been… I don’t want to call them lazy because they’re ambitious as hell, but other than Silence, there hasn’t been a single Scorsese release since The Age of Innocence that has felt like a final cut. In any case, they’re almost all net-satisfying except Gangs of New York and this… this movie that almost sits at the bottom of my Scorsese rankings. And I think a bit of my ranklings towards it was based on its failures as a character-based thriller on any level, which is way out of character for me because I think it otherwise exudes a tremendous Gothic aesthetic so I hope to perhaps give it another look and treat it strictly as atmospheric genre work rather than… anything that has to regard what a terrible script and group of performances it has.

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Somewhere (2010/dir. Sofia Coppola/USA)

I’m convinced the movie is so much subtler than I gave it credit for. It’s definitely patient for such a short movie and I like to think Coppola intended more than just ennui in those lengthy spaces between that are taken up by stripteases to Foo Fighters and figure skating to Gwen Stefani. I like to imagine now that it’s beginning to fade maybe I’ll be open to take in a lot more thematic details than I was when I first watched and liked the movie. Fuck it, maybe it’s just gonna be time for a Sofia Coppola retrospective since all of her movies are rewatchable.

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Things to Come (2016/dir. Mia Hansen-Løve/France & Germany)

Like The Other Side of the Wind, this movie that I already so dearly love just feels like it’s going to reward rewatch. You already have the sense in Isabelle Huppert’s performance that there are layers behind her muted reactions to everything being thrown at her. That there will be signs and omens so slight about the things that blindsided her and us on the first watch. I’m looking forward to trying to catch those and connect the dots: it will kind of play like the sort of mentality I have whenever something terrible happens to me in my life, “where in my path could I have averted this?” Except I expect this will be much more pleasant than my life.

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To the Wonder (2012/dir. Terrence Malick/USA)

The one Malick film (outside of Voyage of Time, of which few people have seen and fewer have seen all three cuts) that eludes my enthusiasm – I specifically am not as on-board with the lead performances the same way I am with his other movies – but it’s also clearly the seed of Malick’s interesting late phase of pseudo-essayist structure that I think now that I have seen and loved Knight of Cups and Song to Song in its wake… another chance at To the Wonder might not be such a bad idea. It’s like I have the cheat sheet to the storytelling code he’d been developing with this film.

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Whiplash (2014/dir. Damien Chazelle/USA)

A breakout movie that I liked, rather than loved, and honestly expected more out of than the sort of familiar independent character study this was. But it’s not just Chazelle’s subsequent work knocking my fucking socks off that make optimistic about this movie: First Man appeals to me using a method that is overdependent on close-ups that I was unimpressed with in Whiplash and now I wonder if that’s just hypocritical of me. I mean, it could be that Ryan Gosling is a vastly better actor than Miles Teller and much more interesting to look at even at his stillest, but I definitely want to give Teller the benefit of the doubt when it’s his one performance I thought was worth a damn.

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White House Down (2013/dir. Roland Emmerich/USA)

A less confident instance of Drive Angry’s situation: the possibility of me missing on the ironic joys of another “so-bad-it’s-good” movie, particularly in how blatant a fake Die Hard sequel it is and my newfound love for Channing Tatum as an actor. I’m just not as confident about this beyond the pleas of folks who have the same movie interests as me. At the very least, I’ll regret the rewatch less than watching ANY of the “… Has Fallen” movies but, y’know, I’m not in any rush. Roland Emmerich’s last few movies have been pretty bad in an not-fun way to earn this apprehension.


So those are the movies I’m most willing to give a second look or second chance at and sometime between now and tomorrow, I will be dropping lists of movies I have successfully given those second chances to already and reconsidered my original opinion towards. See you guys then!

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