Thanks to my steady diet of episodes of The West Wing, I’ve been generally remiss in my movie watching of late. After polishing off sixteen films in January, I only saw seven in February, and none in the theater. I’ve even got a free ticket to see A Good Day to Die Hard and I just haven’t been able to muster the motivation to go. It just hasn’t been a very exciting time for new releases for me. This week takes a very tentative step towards fixing things, but even that has more than a little ambivalence to it.
It probably didn’t bode well for Dead Man Down that my most enduring memory of its trailer was this astounding rendition of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” by Kendra Morris. Niels Arden Oplev directs his first film since the original Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and brings Noomi Rapace along with him. Noomi. That’s just so much fun to say. Noooomi. I could do that all day. Which is another indication of how excited I am about Dead Man Down, if I can ramble on about pronouncing phonetically pleasing actresses’ names. To be fair, the rest of the cast isn’t anything to sneeze at, but I’ll just be over here slowly repeating “Noomi” to myself.
But now, there’s finally a film I can muster a little excitement for. It’s Sam Raimi, back after the delightfully twisted Drag Me to Hell, taking on one of the most beloved fantasy worlds ever with Oz the Great and Powerful. The trailers have looked great, promising everything Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland failed to deliver. It’s got flying monkeys, sexy witches, I was getting myself pretty psyched for this … so of course, the reviews are all over the place, from Elisabeth Rappe’s well-researched critique of the seeming abandonment of the Oz series’ long history of strong female protagonists to a near rave from the notoriously hard to please Devin Faraci over at Badass Digest. Yes, I know, I should see it and make up my own mind, but some kind of consensus would have been nice. I wanted to walk in buzzed about it. Now, I just feel that February malaise continuing.
But I’ll drag myself out there anyway. I’ll make myself go see A Good Day to Die Hard too. And finally see Warm Bodies, if it can manage to stick around in theaters. It would just be nice to have a slate of films which don’t inspire the use of words like “drag” or “make.” And with more words like “Noomi.”