Every movie trailer I see looks like a great movie. But how many of the movies I've seen are actually great movies? Great in the sense of, if I had access to a time machine I would not use it at the end of the movie to get those two hours back. Nearly none of them.
I've discovered a way to stop wasting my life on stupid movies. I don't see any movies all year. Then, I read a lot of "best movies of the year" articles online. I note which movies consistently show up on these lists, and these are the movies to rent during the next year.
"Oh, but then you're not seeing it in the theater!" That's a feature, not a bug. Seriously, I don't understand what the draw of the movie theater is. It's too loud, there are no captions, the screen is too large to see the entire frame without moving your gaze, you're surrounded by strangers with different senses of public decorum, you can't stop the movie to use the restroom, and you have a limited food selection (that is overpriced). Oh, and you're paying $10 per person instead of $3.99 for everyone. Everything about a trip to the movies is a frustrating waste of time and money. No movie is worth a movie theater experience. I imagine that, if I ever write a movie, unless the studio comps me a ticket to the premier, I'll just wait until I can stream it on Amazon.
Anyway, last year I read several good reviews of The Two Faces of January, so my wife and I watched it last weekend. Here are my thoughts on this movie. Spoilers included, but the movie is nearly two years old, now.
- It was enjoyable.
- I couldn't tell if Rydal was scamming the American college girl when they were at the café. The dialog, shots, and math were too fast. Now that I've seen the rest of the movie, I'd bet he was.
- Why couldn't Chester just go get the hotel staff and say, "We've had a crazy accident"? Because then the Greek authorities would detain him for his past crimes? He could cover that up. Go to the guy's hotel room and clean it up, say the guy was trying to rob them, leave town before they find out that he was there because Chester is a criminal. Movies that could be fixed with a 15-minute phone call are frustrating to watch.
- We've made fabulous advances in the field of ladies' underwear in the past 50 years.
- I could have sworn we'd eventually find out that Chester spoke Greek.
- When Chester goes to Rydal's room and looks at the bed and suspects Rydal had slept with Colette, I got the impression that we were supposed to think Chester was just paranoid and that nothing had happened. Later, Rydal tells Chester that he had, in fact, slept with Colette. But is this true, or is he just trying to get a rise out of Chester?
- I spent the whole movie expecting someone to double-cross someone, because of the film's title. Did Chester know Greek? Was Rydal working for the same people as the dude that slipped in the bathroom? Was Colette working for them? Maybe someone who's dead isn't really dead. Rydal's dad? The bathroom dude? Colette? In the end, I don't really think anyone was two-faced. So why the allusion to Janus? And why change it to "January"? No one is named January, and I can't tell if the film is set in January, because it's Greece and the weather is beautiful all the time. I'm sure that the novel made the title clearer, where the author had more time to weave the imagery into the plot.
- I thought that Rydal's story to his tour group about Theseus coming back from Crete and giving his father the wrong signal would factor into what was happening in the police checkpoint when Rydal and Chester came back from Crete. Rydal points at Chester, Chester thinks he's being turned in and starts to run, but really Rydal isn't turning him in at all.
- Did Rydal not make it out of the Athens airport, and that's why he is working with the cops in Istanbul?
- Seriously, WHO IS TWO-FACED?!
NOTE: Yesterday was my 2,500th post. Today was a half-assed movie review. It's nice to see that 2,498 posts haven't really changed things at all.