Viewed some moving pictures recently.
Let's Be Cops
This was actually alright. The opening scene almost made me leave but once it picked up it turned out to be pretty funny, and really started to shine when it turned into more of an action movie toward the end. It's definitely not Hot Fuzz or even 21 Jump Street but as a forgettable late-summer "who gives a shit" kind of movie I was far from disappointed.
Synecdoche, New York
This was a tough one and something I'll definitely need to watch again to wrap my head around. I love everything else I've seen from Charlie Kaufman, but they've always been fairly grounded and with clearly defined sci fi concepts, but this one just feels like an incomprehensible mess at times that doesn't care about making sense or allowing the audience to keep up. Even so there seems to be a massive amount of detail in it, the soundtrack and acting are fantastic and even when nothing makes sense it's hard not be sucked in and to empathise with these characters even when their situations can seem so far removed from anything relatable.
Small spoilers ahead. One thing I noticed just upon watching the first few minutes again is how the dates are constantly changing, every time Kaden looks at the newspaper the date has moved forward, and when looking at the milk he claims it's expired even though the date on it is a few days ahead etc., showing that weeks are passing even though from Kaden's (and the audience's) perspective it feels like minutes. Then you have his daughter in the car asking if it's tuesday when it's friday. That's a line I didn't think about at all the first time through but clearly it's suggesting that Olive was picking up Kaden's faults and that's probably why his first wife left. The wife and Maria were portrayed as the closest thing to villains in this movie but now I'm not sure if Kaden was any better. I don't think I've seen anything else that forced you to pay close attention to the environments because the character(s) were unreliable.
Honestly half the movie probably flew right over my head since I wasn't expecting it to be near as challenging and was already well into it before I realized how complicated it is. I'll need to give it another full watch and probably go through Kaufman's other films as well. Eternal Sunshine and Being John Malkovich have been some of my favorite movies for a long time, but I think this one might be his best work, even if it's not his most enjoyable (if that makes sense).
In the Mood for Love
I tried watching this once before a long ass time ago but only got about half way. This is one of those films I'd love even if it had no plot at all. I love the fashion, the lighting, the interior design. You'd be forgiven for thinking it really was filmed in 1962. The way everything is shot is almost claustrophobic but makes you feel so close to the characters. Whether it's in the corridors of the apartment building or the open streets it's a constant series of narrow shots, always focusing on small details rather than the entire scene. It's hard to describe but this film has this unique feeling of "closeness" that leaves you longing for it again once it ends. The story itself is just beautiful in how restrained it is throughout. It reminded me of 5 Centimeters Per Second, another film I've been wanting to rewatch and I now realize must have been largely influenced by In the Mood for Love.
Next I'll probably watch The Raid 2. Been hyped for that since the first trailer but I've put off watching it because of the run time.