Larry Crowne 2/5
I don’t want to go too hard on this movie, first because it wasn’t one I personally chose to see, and second because it’s pleasant enough entertainment on a hot summer day. However, the ease in which Larry overcomes unemployment and makes beautiful friends isn’t very interesting, and makes it hard to sympathize with him when we’re suppose to.
Not as good as the series Community (which has a similar setup and setting) at it’s best.
Jeez, you can’t poke gentle fun at a guy these days… There was a time, I used to say nice things about…oh forget it. Boring conversation, anyway.
Rear Window – 10/10
The Magician – 8/10
Monsters – 7.5/10
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – 3/10
Dir. Tony Scott
As a straight action film, it’s not very good, but there seems to be something more going on—unlike other TS films (e.g. Man on Fire). The problem is I don’t really know what that is or if it’s worth anything. It’d be nice if TS fans could help.
FWIW, I loved the opening credits. But the filmmaking style got really difficult to watch (although at the end it settles down a bit). There’s a line from the film—“a ferret on crack.” That could be applied to the editing (at least in the scenes I’m thinking of).
this is my all time worst film list
the only film that ever gave me a migraine
Yeah, I can understand why you say that. It was almost as bad as Blair Witch Project in terms of “unwatchability.”
Btw, I liked Mickey Rourke, and I was disappointed that his character got shuffled off the side as the movie progressed.
Night and the City- Dassin : Disappointed in this, considering that i think Riffifi is amazing. Wouldn’t put it in the top bracket of Noirs. Found it hard to like any of the characters, narrative not that tight, lacking tension etc. Good shots of London of course. 7/10
Happy Go Lucky- Leigh : Watched this not knowing it was M.L with my wife cos I saw an ad on t.v and thought it might be the kind of thing she might like..but I got sucked in too. Did,nt find the lead character completely annoying- which I could see being a stumbling block for some- enjoyed the rapid dialogue and explosion by instructor at the end seemed authentic. 8.5/10
Au Hazard Balthazar – Bresson : Second time with this, after a break of a few years. Although it didn’t have the kind of ‘profound’ impact I felt watching it on the big screen I think I understood some parts of it more second time around. I want to know more about Gerard. I’m not sure I understand the role his character played. Very malevolent, a corrupting force etc…is he supposed to represent some aspect of humanity, evil etc or is that going too far? 9/10
Chatroom (Director: Hideo Nakata)
a brilliant, ingenious film that has wrongly been marketed as a horror movie. It’s not even a thriller but rather a serious drama about cyberbullying but despite that it never feels heavy-handed. One of my favorite movies so far this year! A must-see!
Yonebayashi’s “Arrietty” ** worst Ghibli to date.
Paths of Glory (1957, Stanley Kubrick): Wait, Kubrick can be humanist? Huh. A superb film about war, corruption and class. I can’t quite place it among my favourite Kubrick’s (I prefer his more operatic work), but it’s still riveting stuff that really got my angry at the injustice on show, and that ending is haunting. 8.5/10
Pi (1998, Darren Aronofsky): An industrial horror film about maths. You certainly don’t see that every day. But you do see the whole descent into madness thing every day and normally done in a far less annoying, jarring way than this film does it. It reminds me of Eraserhead, except where Eraserhead sucks you in with its atmosphere and so you buy into it even when it gets veeery strange (which is often) Pi on the other hand kicks you out of the film every time weird stuff goes down. Also the maths in this is dumb… 4/10
Career Girls (1997, Mike Leigh): This may just be because I’m such a big fan of Mike Leigh, but I thought this was so, so underrated. I agree with the notion that few men could pull off such a sensitive film about women, and would add to that that the film is funny, touching, genuinely compassionate, that it feels so real even with its hyper-real characterisations and whimsical playing with chance, and that it features a spectacular and hugely enjoyable performance from Katrin Cartlidge. 8.5/10
This Happy Breed (1944, David Lean): Charming drama covering twenty years of changes within a middleclass British family inbetween World Wars. Never really does anything special, and the dialogue can get a tad too expository at times, but I enjoyed it quite a lot and Robert Newton was great. 8/10
@ Junderhump _Night and the City- Dassin : Disappointed in this….Found it hard to like any of the characters-
Umm….. are we supposed to like the characters? Many noirs have a self-righteous protagonist, do we really like people like that?
Johnny Guitar 1954
DIR Nicholas Ray
SCR Philip Yordan, Ben Maddow, Nicholas Ray, Roy Chanslor
DP Harry Stradling Sr.
CAST Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady, Ward Bond, Ben Cooper, Ernest Borgnine, John Carradine, Royal Dano, Frank Ferguson, Paul Fix, Rhys Williams, Ian MacDonald
Viewed on a flawless VHS (expect for the colors).
Lives up to the hype as a cult classic.
Ok so I accept characters are not made to like but if i think about the main characters in my fav. Noirs ( Riffifi, Big Heat, K.M.D, Gun Crazy, Out of the Past, In a Lonely Place etc…) all of the main guys, even if they aren’t paragons of virtue have some kind of charming quality which makes me secretlly ‘root’ for them. They are mostly flawed but somehow i still found them likeable as charatcers. Not so in N and C. I just found him to be a weasel. Some sympathy near the end a bit I suppose but not very convincing… and this with other weaknesses in plot added up to a disappointment for me.
I thought Johnny Guitar was good but too long. You had no problems with the length?
You had no problems with the length?
Muriel or the time of the return 1963
Muriel ou Le temps d’un retour
DIR Alain Resnais
SCR Jean Cayrol
DP Sacha Vierny
CAST Delphine Seyrig, Jean-Pierre Kérien, Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée, Nita Klein, Claude Sainval, Laurence Badie, Jean Champion, Jean Dasté, Nelly Borgeaud, Martine Vatel, Julien Verdier, Philippe Laudenbach, Catherine de Seynes, Françoise Bertin
Subtitles were a mess on this VHS. If you like depressing French films and I do, this is a good one.
The 39 Steps – Alfred Hitchcock
How to Train Your Dragon
-It was neither Toy Story 3 nor The Illusionist but it was definitely a good film that had more heart than any of the Dreamworks films in the last couple of years. The animators originally came from Disney and did the underrated Lilo & Stitch so you know they were filmmakers with heart but HtTYD is night and day compared to Lilo & Stitch. The voices are all over the place with Vikings played by Scots but the lead character voiced by Canadian Jay Baruchel which has to be one of my biggest pet peeves in any animated film. The movie is predictable but the score is a thing of beauty and the aerial shots really carry the second half.
-I felt like this movie should have been split up and spread out into an episodic CW program. I write that in the kindest terms because this quasi-sci-fi/quasi-sex comedy was pretty enjoyable until the whole reveal. It is not that the reveal was bad but it felt rushed and the villains in the movie just happened to be the weakest actors in the film. I know the ending was played for laughs in a Dr. Strangelove sense but it just did not work for me. But the first half to 2/3 of the movie where it is just sex and college life, I enjoyed the writing and characters.
Survival of the Dead
-I have heard so many different things about this new Romero film. I followed the recommendation of Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and looked at the movie not as a horror film but a Western. It made it better the film lacked the tension that I expect from Romero even when I expected less scares. The acting was not bad by any stretch, you had Alan van Sprang who has found his comfort zone in Romero films is a good lead, and Kenneth Welsh is also standout. The dialogue and set-ups are pretty laughable and there were times when I think somewhere there is a good film going on. It felt like the zombies were background inanimate objects until the third act which was too little too late. I loved the last shot and wished more of the movie was about that than seeing people travel back and forth to and from the island.
I saw most of The Ledge but fell asleep (not the film’s fault)
will get back to it tonight….
Kaboom is based on an unsold MTV pilot Araki made about 10 years ago or so which is why it feels like a CW show.
“Kaboom is based on an unsold MTV pilot Araki made about 10 years ago or so which is why it feels like a CW show.”
That makes perfect sense. Thanks for that tidbit.
Bloodworth (Director: Shane Dax Taylor)
a southern gothic drama that takes it’s been there/done that premise from other southern gothics (among them Get Low and That Evening Sun) but the cast is sharp, even though Barry Corbin and Frances Conroy are sort of typecast in these sort of roles now. Also, why doesn’t Val Kilmer cut his hair?…. Anyway, yeah it starts slow but gets pretty good.
I also watched like 20 minutes of Sanctum…. Which wasn’t for me. Beautiful to look at but awful, awful, awful acting and writing.
Seeing Ioan Gruffudd act is always like watching a freakin’ trainwreck though. It’s hard to look away. Probably the best really bad actor out there right now. Best being somewhat sarcastic of course ;)
X-Men: First Class – 9/10.
Fantastic – exactly what a prequel should be: carefully delineated origins for the characters and motivations that we’ve come to know from their older selves yet with a substantial plot of its own, interwoven with the Cold War. A whole new take on the Cuban Missile Crisis! And, of course, Fassbender…. :)
Akira (1988, Katsuhiro Ôtomo): That was an interesting and strange experience with loads of awesome moments and a great visual style, though admittedly what was happening near the end didn’t make a huge amount of sense to me. I can imagine myself liking it even more once I read the manga (which I definitely plan to do) and afterwards see it again, as hopefully the plot and more importantly the ideas will be a clearer then. But yeah, I was impressed. 8/10
The Virgin Suicides second watch (1999, Sofia Coppola): Beautifully shot and the soundtrack by “Air” is great and creates a subtle melancholy. That said, the feeling of ennui that Sofia sometimes excels at showing just feels awkward here, the performances aren’t always convincing and the film is clunkily overstylised. 6/10
Blithe Spirit (1945, David Lean): Fairly amusing, but let down by how frustrating Ruth is as a character (you saw a table levitate and yet you don’t think there’s anything strange going on? you have to take every comment your husband says to the ghost as directed at you even though he’s not looking at you and clearly not talking to you?), a dumb inconsistentency (so Elvira, the ghost, can pick up objects yet can’t touch Charles? that’s silly…) and the utterly charmless main character. 4/10
Tropical Malady (2004, Apichatpong Weerasethakul): I found this very challenging, and it is very much in need of a rewatch. Second time round I should be able to engage with this poem on the mysteries of love a lot more. 8/10
Fallen Angel (Otto Preminger) – 6/10
Scarlet Street (Fritz Lang) – 8/10
Minority Report (Steven Spielberg) – 10/10
Vanishing on 7th Street (Brad Anderson) – 2/10
Eternity and a Day (Theodoros Angelopoulos) – 9/10
The Two Jakes (Jack Nicholson) – 9/10
I’m Gonna Explode (Gerardo Naranjo) – 5/10
Hardware (Richard Stanley) – 8/10
The Hourglass Sanitorium (Wojciech J. Has) – 8/10
The Third Man (Carol Reed) – 11/10
The Ninth Gate (Roman Polanski) – 5/10
The Falcon and the Snowman (John Schlesinger) – 7/10
The Driver (Walter Hill) – 10/10
The Saragossa Manuscript (Wojciech Has) – 7/10
Insomnia (Christopher Nolan) – 9/10
Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis) – 8/10
Topsy Turvy (Mike Leigh) – 6/10
The Big Heat (Fritz Lang) – 10/10
The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer) – 11/10
A Film Unfinished (Yael Hersonski) – 8/10
Moonrise (Frank Borzage) – 6/10
My Night At Maud’s (Eric Rohmer) – 7/10
Who gives a Sofia Coppola film a second watch? :P
Keaton’s GO WEST — 8.5/10
Marvelous, one of Keaton’s stranger and darker films, great fun overall.
Did things a bit ass backwards for the 4th of July. Ended up watching patriotic films, but they were BRITISH patriotic films. I do have to say that, despite our grievances circa 1776, they really more than made up for it by being well ahead of the States in that whole stopping the Nazis thing.
49th Parallel – 1941 – 8/10
Powell and Pressburger were so ahead of the fighting Nazis curve, they opened up a whole new front to the war, Canada. I was skeptical of this conceit as the film started, but its bullheadedness won me over. It wasn’t satisfied with the physical results of battle and intrigue, but went after the ideology, and not subtly. P&P keep us off guard in two effective ways. First, due to the Canadian setting itself, being so unfamiliar to WWII iconography. Also, we are following the Nazi escapees. In essence, sharing their point of view while never sympathizing with them. This is quite a narrative accomplishment and more than makes up for Lawrence Olivier’s hilarious attempt at a French accent.
Night Train to Munich – 1940 – 8/10
Despite, The Third Man being one of my all time favorites, I’ve been behind the eight ball in appreciating Carol Reed’s body of work. No more! Night Train to Munich, Odd Man Out, The Fallen Idol, The Third Man, Outcast of the Island and, yes, even Oliver! are all varying degrees of awesomeness.
With Night Train, The creative forces behind The Lady Vanishes (sans Hitch), return for a follow up that comes pretty close to matching the charm of the original. The vague foreign threat are now clearly Nazis and Reed, despite helming a light hearted thriller, delivers the urgency of the actual war that is a palpable undercurrent. A very delicate balance of comedy and suspense is maintained, as much through Rex Harrison’s seemingly effortless performance, as anything. The return of Charters and Caldicott could have been treated as a joke, but they are cleverly utilized to move the plot forward (and are still funny).
The Fallen Idol – 1948 – 8/10
Leaving WWII behind, but retaining Carol Reed and Hitchcockian suspense, The Fallen Idol is edge of your seat stuff based on just how wrong a child of six or so, might perceive adult situations. Ralph Richardson provides just the right amount of ambiguity to his flawed butler and Reed makes the consulate mansion an unforgettable setting. Also, features the creepiest hide and seek game in film history.
“Who gives a Sofia Coppola film a second watch?”
Ah, I love Somewhere and Lost in Translation. I only rewatched The Virgin Suicides (which I wasn’t keen on first time round either) because I haven’t seen it in years and I wanted to see it again before writing up my list for her work. I’ve also rewatched Marie Antoinette just this morning which I used to love when I was younger and only just getting into film, but I now have quite a few issues with it and can only give it a 6/10 (and even that feels generous).
Topsy-Turvy (Mike Leigh)- 8.5 Saw this as sort of an anti-“Amadeus”. Whereas that film treats the opera as a reflection of divine inspiration, this one depicts the nitty-gritty of human effort that forms the backbone of the creative process. Reminded of The Red Shoes in how skillfully it depicts the backstage world, but far more naturalistically, with typically wonderful (for a Leigh film) performances across the board.
Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi)- 9.5 The last few scenes achieve a similar effect to the most wistful passages of Ugetsu. I still prefer that film because I find it less blunt than this one, but this is a masterpiece as well. Can anyone explain to me why it is titled after the villain?