Thursday, January 11, 2018

Once Was Enough


Life's short, man. And sometimes you just plain regret watching a movie that, even if it has some merit, just isn't your thing.

All of the movies I have chosen this week as part of Wandering through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks have been widely seen, discussed, even lauded. Whatever. I, for one, will never make that mistake again.

Here are my Top Three Once Was Enough flicks:

"Pet Sematary"
dir. Mary Lambert, 1989

Because Zelda.

Not Zelda*. Still terrifying.

(I haven't seen it since 1995 and still I find myself thinking about those couple scares, only to curl up in a ball, breathing heavily, praying to clear my mind of those images, so I can sleep.)

"Nymphomaniac"
dir. Lars von Trier, 2013

Because life is too short to sit through three hours of some chick torturing herself for no discernible reason other than von Trier's own desire to shock.

Gag me...with a spoon.

(I actually found a bit of greatness in the first part of the two part version. Then, I started Vol. II and got to the Shia LaBeouf how many spoons bit and...HELL NO! Turned it off.)

"Knight of Cups"
dir. Terrence Malick, 2015

Because life is too short to watch a film featuring some of the best actors of a generation spin around in circles for over two fucking hours. I don't care how pretty it is.

This is me escaping the artsy Hell that is this movie.

(I could get with "Tree of Life," mostly due to the familiarity of its setting and characters and its almost narrative, but this one and "To the Wonder"...NO! I'm gonna torture myself with "Song to Song" soon enough, just because I feel its my duty to be a Malick completist, but... Looking forward to his WWII flick coming out. Heard it actually tells a story with some dialogue.)

*Note: I've spared you (and myself) the terrifying image of Zelda. But watch the movie, if you haven't. Or just google "Pet Semetary Zelda". I double dog dare you. 



17 comments:

  1. You picked two directors that I simply cannot with. Malick and Von Trier. Nope, nope nope nope.

    I did like Pet Sematary though.

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    1. I've seen two Von Trier movies. Don't really care to watch more. Early Malick is outstanding. Days of Heaven is all-time masterpiece level for the score and cinematography alone. His last three though. No. Just no. Get over yourself bro and give us something to hold onto.

      Pet Sematary is not bad. It's just fucking terrifying. Too much so.

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  2. I haven't seen any of these, and mostly for the reasons you mention - horror isn't my thing, so no Pet Semetary; Knight of Cups looks like SO much pretentious noodling (and I LOVE Malick); and Nymphomaniac... I actually probably will watch one day, because I find von Trier's work weirdly compelling, especially with Charlotte Gainsbourg, but it doesn't exactly look like something I'll like.

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    1. von Trier is a creep. Can you give me one I HAVE TO see that is not this one. I've seen Breaking Waves (which I dug, but won't watch again) and this one. And honestly I think that's it. Malick just needs to get off the self-indulgent train. I think he has.

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  3. I loathed Pet Semetary but then like Daniel I'm not a horror guy but even if I was I thought it was badly made as well as gross.

    Wild horses couldn't get me to watch Nymphomaniac, I've hated every von Trier film I've attempted to watch and from what I've heard these are torturous.

    As far as the Malick film, I loved both Badlands and Days of Heaven and thought The Thin Red Line was a good film but ever since Sweet Jesus the man makes beautiful looking endlessly drawn out endurance tests rather than movies...so no.

    Like most people I'm sure I had many candidates for this but went with films I liked but have no desire to revisit for my second two and the first just was begging to be used.

    Once is Not Enough (1975)-Oh but it most certainly was…more than enough to be frank!! Based on the theme I couldn’t resist but this terrible film based on a trashy Jacqueline Susann novel about a naïve selfish and rather stupid rich girl (Deborah Raffin) who becomes involved with an much older man (David Janssen) as a substitute for her obsession with her father (Kirk Douglas) is tasteless, crass and badly acted by everyone except Alexis Smith and Brenda Vaccaro (who somehow managed to rise above the muck and be nominated for Best Supporting Actress). For something so salacious it’s remarkably dull.

    La Ronde (1950) - Max Ophuls’s venerated roundelay of a circle of love affairs, some serious some frivolous in 1900 Vienna is a supposed mad whirl of joie de vivre. I love many other of Ophuls’s films, Letter from an Unknown Woman, The Earrings of Madame de… & The Reckless Moment among them, so I was really looking forward to this film but while I didn’t hate it I found it rather silly and too frou-frou to take seriously and can’t see myself returning to it again.

    Moonrise Kingdom (2012)-Two youngsters fall in love and run away together which leads a search party to set out for them while they have quirky adventures. I know I’ll probably take heat for this one and maybe it’s because Wes Anderson films by and large leave me cold but while others were telling me how charming and lovely this was I thought it was forced, trying too hard for a feeling of whimsy. Again I didn’t hate it but I had a big feeling of So What? at the film’s conclusion.

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    1. Endurance tests. Yes!

      Once is Not Enough! Nice one. Sounds like shit.

      But you need to get out of here with that Moonrise Kingdom talk. Lol. That movie is a dream come true for me. Bob Balaban as the "narrator," Desplat's score!!!, GREAT performances from Willis, Norton, McDormand, and Tilda Swinton (Man! She's good in a small role.) And that's not even the kids, who carry this movie with ease, easily creating one of the most believable romances is recent movie history. And the end? Oh! It melts my heart. Whimsy is sort of the name of the game with Wes Anderson though, as I'm sure you're aware. That works for me. Every time.

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  4. I loved Nymphomaniac and I'd probably watch it again, both Vol I and II. I agree on Knight of Cups, that movie was such a waste of time and talent!

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    1. I just didn't get much out of it. It's an ugly movie to me. Not only in theme. It just looks dull.

      Total waste! For sure.

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  5. I'm likely to see those 3 films again as I'm just a fan of von Trier and Malick while I liked Pet Semetary for its gore. I'm a sick motherfucker.

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    1. Haha! You know? I was actually fine with most of Pet Sematary. Except the Zelda scares. NOPE!

      I'm not sure what there is to get out of either of the other movies. Not possible for me to connect to either in any way.

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  6. Pet Sematary is awesome. Loved it ever since I saw it in the theater way back when. I've watched it a handful of times since then and I'm definitely not opposed to watching it again. No thanks on another Malick snooze-fest. I thought about watching Nymphomaniac, but so far, I've decided against it.

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  7. Oh I tried watching Tree of Life many times and have always turned it off because I have no idea what it’s about. I haven’t seen the first 2 but I might see Pet Semetary one day.

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    1. Yeah. Malick's latest ain't much. That's for sure.

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  8. Great picks… that I have never seen, although I do own Knight of Cups. (Side note: if you didn’t like Knight of Cups, then you definitely won’t like Song to Song).

    My only pick for this is Mother!. I will never put up with that monstrosity of a film ever again. I understand the meaning behind it, but, in my opinion, it went way too far with some of the metaphors, especially in the third act.

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    1. Your feelings towards mother! are warranted. I just happened to find it all quite powerful and like nothing I'd ever seen, which, at this point, is what I appreciate most.

      You're definitely probably right about Song to Song, but I'm gonna hate it the hard way.

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  9. The only one I've seen is probably Pet Sematary which I don't remember.

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