Confessions of a dangerous mind. 6/10.
Two Weeks in Another Town (Dir. Vincente Minnelli, 1962)
As a successor to The Bad and the Beautiful, Two Weeks doesn’t offer much. Despite the horrible cliches involved in the story line, it’s worth watching for Minnelli’s mise-en-scene and Kirk Douglas’ performance.
My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend : 6/10
One Day 4/5
A bit too sentimental, I suppose, and the male lead seemed a bit exaggerated, but the passing of time is a subject of great interest to me, and while there’s nothing particularly deep here, I found the film engaging, and at times quite touching.
If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle2010
Eu când vreau să fluier, fluier
DIR Florin Şerban
SCR Cătălin Mitulescu, Florin Şerban
DP Marius Panduru
CAST George Piştereanu, Ada Condeescu, Clara Voda, Mihai Constantin
This was interesting, given I find ‘real’ overrated. What is not real is the warden acquiescing to the kid’s demands.
There are establishment shots that don’t establish anything. They make the film chunky. The arc to the character is more like a trajectory, one pretty much knows what is gonna happen and then, at the end, you get to pat yourself on the back. But with the status quo maintained, one is relieved and left wondering what it was about.
Not gonna rate it, but worth a watch.
Apollo 18 (2011)
I think you are very hard to 18, certainly better than 13.
The first hour is very impressive from a recreation and visual standpoint. The actors look like space men. There wives look like spacemen’s wives. The lead has soul and toughness, just enough so that it is believable he does not kill his friend but he knows he ought to and me might have to soon. The first hour shows a good director at work (cannot wait to see what he does next). The monsters (crabs?) are somewhat generic but they are not introduced to early and they do not quite ruin the final third.
From the so bad it is good files. This will be a cult classic like Troll 2 (but much better), like The Room (but much better) or Birdemic (it lacks the kind soul and great use of non sequitor that makes this one a favorite).
The effects are bad, the myth is so odd it is just stupid. The dialog is laughable (in a good way). This is a crowd picture (even tho my finacee and I saw it in an empty theater). This is the best incest, swap creature, what the hell happened to pruitt taylor vince movie ever. One minute you are saying wow did the brother and sis really just do that? Then so this whole thing is about a monster that wants to get laid (awesome). I appreciated the copious nudity and the fact that none of the leads died until the very end so the film was not half a chase picture, I also liked how bloodthristy the marine got and how much Sid Haig got into his role. I favor silly monster films so I value this picture, one key negative is that most of the gore happens offscreen but it does provide other pleasures.
LITTLE MURDERS 9/10
a brutal urban angst film of Jules Feiffer’s play…defies real categorization
Everything Must Go
Will Ferrell gives his best performance and great work by Hall and Wallace.
This movie is hurt by a late unnecessary plot development but there are many moments of transcendence, the chinese food date with Hall, the home movies on front lawn.
This movie is tough, makes no apologies and has no great answers but it is well made.
Secret Glory 7/10
Peter Jackson must have seen the opening at some point before he finished editing the opening to Fellowship of the Ring. Both openings hit the exact same tone.
The Virgin Spring 8/10
Lars Von Trier uses this movie as porn.
She’s Gotta Have It 8.5/10
I didn’t know Spike Lee made movies like this. It makes me kind of wish I’d managed him instead of Almodovar.
Some Came Running 1958
DIR Vincente Minnelli
PROD Sol C. Siegel
SCR James Jones, Arthur Sheekman, John Patrick
DP William H. Daniels
CAST Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Martha Hyer, Arthur Kennedy, Marion Ross
ED Adrienne Fazan
MUSIC Elmer Bernstein
Sorry, I can’t drink this Kool-Aid. There some developed characters, but the film just doesn’t produce any kind of a totality.
There are things in this film that are just weird.
(Apollo 18 spoilers)
To me, the film could only work if you believed that the footage was real (or wasn’t sure). Remove that pretense and I don’t think the film would be very effective or interesting. So, I paid close attention to whether I thought the footage could have been real or not. As you say, the actors seemed like good choices for the parts, but something gave them away—maybe they looked too much like actors and not real people; also there’s a certain look people had in the past that have little to do with costumes and make-up—and these guys didn’t have it. (One contemporary film that did a great job of casting the film with people of the right look was L.A. Confidential. I’m not talking about the leading or well-known actors, but the extras and other actors in small parts. They looked like people from the 50s—or at least from 50s movies.) Another small give-away was the sound of the aliens—which sound very close to other movie aliens I’ve heard recently. (I think the aliens in District 9 might have made very similar sounds.) Partly because of this, I was pretty bored with the film. I also didn’t find the acting very convincing—that is to say, the acting didn’t seem like the behavior or real people.
@Robert – Aw, man. Some Came Running is great…as far as I can remember it. It’s been a while though. Your dismissal of it might prompt me to take another look at it soon.
Stars in My Crown (Dir. Jacques Tourneur, 1950)
So good I had to show it to my wife. This movie deserves so much more than to be a part of the Warners Archive collection. This one and Ruggles of Red Gap need to be brought out of the darkness.
When I Want To Whistle, I Whistle 4/10
For the record, I started watching this film before RWP commented on it. It is a coincidence we both watched it at the same time. I like realism a lot more than he does, but not if it’s a string of prison cliches and unearned sentimentality used to justify absurd fits of rage.
Is the audience supposed to agree that everything is the mother’s fault? I sympathize with the lead character, but I don’t like the way the movie doesn’t want me to hold him responsible for his actions.
“So good I had to show it to my wife. This movie deserves so much more than to be a part of the Warners Archive collection. This one and Ruggles of Red Gap need to be brought out of the darkness.”
Agreed regarding both films.
@Jirin When I Want To Whistle, I Whistle
Yeah, it violates a lot of film conventions too. I’m not sure that style is sustainable through an oeuvre.
As far as asking the audience not to hold him responsible, that is what the title means. It, like A Prophet, is aimed at an audience of angry young men.
@Nathan M… Aw, man. Some Came Running is great…as far as I can remember it. It’s been a while though. Your dismissal of it might prompt me to take another look at it soon.
Most over-hyped film in 20th century?
Minnelli is know for his musicals – entertainment, long on style and short on content. When this came out the Minnelli fans had something that was uh. balanced and could make the claim, as one did on the 20 minute doc, he was one of the greatest directors in the 20th century – that claim was unqualified btw.
Shirley MacLaine arced her character – it was a great performance. The frenetic and campy carnival scene takes out the emotional feeling of her being shot. What is Minnelli saying there that unconditional love has no place in the world? after the set up for that as the answer to everyone’s woes?
At the funeral Dean Martin takes his hat off as the camera pans by – that is the musical director sensibility.The thing is a mash up of natural and flamboyant.
In the doc the make a big deal of how Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra can’t slip totally out of the fact they are buddies in real life – that is the kind of kitschy stuff people like and it is not good film making.
“Minnelli is know for his musicals – entertainment, long on style and short on content.”
You make that sound like a bad thing… And I wouldn’t agree that his films are short on content (if by “content” you are talking about narrative and the way it is enunciated). Isn’t there more content in Meet Me in St Louis than in a film like, say, Pickpocket or Red Desert?
Or do you mean content in terms of weighty, important happenings? I would say musicals are not striving to show dem tings.
Sorry, I meant to say ‘substance’ – content was the word used in the 20-minute documentary and I thought that was the wrong word then.
I don’t think the same thing applies to A Prophet. A Prophet makes sure to demonstrate that his actions are based on necessity for survival. We’re not supposed to judge his actions as morally justified, but recognize that if he did not do them he would not make it out of prison alive.
In terms of morality, in If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle the Piştereanu character takes responsibility for his actions – he turns himself in at the end. He does what he has to do to get what he wants.
A Prophet makes sure to demonstrate that his actions are based on necessity for survival.
Rising to the top is more than survival, isn’t it?
It was the codes of the angry-young-man theme that linked the two films for me.
Vanya on 42nd Street 1994
DIR Louis Malle
SCR Andre Gregory, David Mamet, Anton Chekhov
CAST Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory, Julianne Moore, Larry Pine, Phoebe Brand, Lynn Cohen, George Gaynes, Jerry Mayer, Brooke Smith, Madhur Jaffrey
MUSIC Joshua Redman
Chekhov/ Mamet/ Malle
“A few years ago when I saw Vanya on 42nd Street, I wanted to blow trumpets.”
Higher Ground (Director: Vera Farmiga)
maybe I’ve watched too many religion-themed films this last week or so (Circumstance, Sympathy for Delicious, Red State) but this movie felt limp and DOA. The Farmigas (Vera and Taissa) were both good as Corinne (Taissa played the role in her teens while Vera played her from 25 on or so) and John Hawkes is always great but given so little to do. However, Hawkes does appear in the film’s one good scene (the dinner scene towards the end where he and his ex-wife exchange glances). I think if it weren’t for Hawkes, this movie would really be the dumps….
The Space Between (Director: Travis Fine)
and speaking of the dumps, only Melissa Leo barely saves this cliched film, about a flight attendant and the Muslim boy she meets on 9/11 from being absolute crap. Leo is really good in this movie but it’s cliched and predictable as hell.
PORT OF SHADOWS by marcel carné (1938)
it was REALLY COOL, i give it 4/4
This is about as good as film gets. It has the fun of the best three stooges skit, the anarchaic crime ridden spirit of Bonnie and Clyde (it is much better) and the nihilistic heroine of old noir. Everything works perfectly here.Angel Tompkins was a real find. Billy Curtis is incredible. The last third has real tragic elements and the end is the right kind of bittersweet.
MONKEY BUSINESS 10/10
This is the one where the Marxes are stowaways on a cruise ship, and get mixed up with gangsters. There’s a big debutante party, and then a big fight scene in a barn — whatever. Plot is an afterthought in this exceedingly strange little movie which is quickly becoming my favorite Marx Brothers film. There’s a lot of delight here, mainly for me in watching Groucho romance the glorious Thelma Todd, the only actress who seemed able to join him in silliness rather than resorting to Dumontish disdain. And Harpo’s imitation of Chevalier is one of the things that make life worth living.
The Troll Hunter 4/5
I really loved the details of the back story and insistence that this is a real documentary. Add to that a great sense of humor and a good use of suspense and you have one very satisfying film, more so for me than Road to Nowhere, which really didn’t grab me (although I suspect I would be in a minority with that view, at least here).
DIR Andrew V. McLaglen
SCR James Lee Barrett
CAST James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Patrick Wayne, Rosemary Forsyth, Phillip Alford, Katharine Ross, Charles Robinson, Jim McMullan, George Kennedy, James Best
I probably saw this in a theater in 1965. Apparently McLaglen liked working with Katharine Ross and he also made some seriously bad films.