On “Breaking Dawn,” “Haywire,” and “Shame”

Time to talk about some movies recently “viewed in the dark.”  I’ll go in order of the ridiculous to the sublime, which will appear reading downwards in postings of course as the sublime to the ridiculous.

Okay, so I pigged out and went into overload on my first day in New York last week:   Two movies and two plays — A bad precedent!   But … Got more exercise hoofing it between them all in cold fresh air & sunshine than I normally get at home, and still had time for a quick afternoon snooze.  Ah New York!   As it turns out, movies in the morning are a good cheap way to get out of the cold without retreating to a hotel while waiting for a show to start.  So I ended up seeing seven of them before the week was out, and I’m still at it now back here at home.

I can see why I might be accused of being obsessive.  7 plays and 7 movies in 5 days????  I’m really way too old for this #*&%!!!  … Kind of reminds me of my college years when on regular visits to the city, I would spend the night in an all-night movie theater (relatively safe and in those days good “second-run” films, not trash) instead of paying for a hotel room.

It doesn’t help that the relatively few really good films that Hollywood turns out mostly get released in December.  By now, this was kind of an “off-week” in New York – old plays and movies held over and closing, and seemingly lots of new stuff coming out in the next few weeks.  Still, at this time of year, there’s a lot for a film nut to squeeze in, and it doesn’t all get offered back home.  At least I get time off when summer schlock hits the screens.

Of course I don’t necessarily limit myself to good films.  The first three qualified merely as “get-out-of-the cold” movies, that I didn’t necessarily stay to see all of.   Somewhere out there, somebody has nice things to say about them , but not here.   I caught about an hour of The Twilight Saga Part I: Breaking Dawn, for example, while waiting for a show to start.  I wouldn’t have wasted time on it at home, but I’d not seen any of the series before.  Now don’t need to see any more.  I had convinced myself that I had to be up on the vocabulary of the younger fans, which I now realize is complete nonsense.

Then there was Haywire, a few steps up … but hey,  it’s a Steven Soderbergh film and I guess pretty good for its chase/ fisticuffs genre, thanks to the fighting skills of new discovery Gina Carano.

Five more steps up is Shame, a serious Brit film about sexual obsession that features fine acting by Carrie Mulligan and Michael Fassbinder (who seems to be in everything these days).  If you’re willing to wade through a very seedy story about some very sick people, that earns its NC-17 rating, some have said it’s well-done.  I wasn’t willing to go along for the ride.

And that’s about all I need to say about those three.

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