I saw Pirates! Band of misfits today and was disapointed. Although I did laugh and the inherent charm of stop-animation was there, the dialogue was not what I was expecting. The funniest character was Surprisingly-curvaceous-pirate though, which was a pleasant surprise. :)
P.S. Am I the only one was oddly endeared towards the dodo? I kept stumbling back to “I hope they come out with a stuffed animal version of that dodo” over an over again throughout the movie. Damned adorable fictionalized extinct bird.
Broken Drum (Dir. Keisuke Kinoshita, 1949)
Hitler is attacked posthumously in this film about a despotic father who runs his family to the edge of sanity and beyond. Dramatically, this is one of the stronger Kinoshita films I’ve come by so far. Recommended.
Tower Heist: not bad. good cast, pretty shitty script. Ratner’s direction was OK, he made the best of what he had really. not that i’m defending him or anything, i’m definitely not a fan. Eddie Murphy was decent, but he isn’t in it nearly enough to save the film from mediocrity. and if you are relying on Murphy to save anything in 2012, you already know you are in trouble! 5/10
“The Player” (1992). 7/10
EVERYTHING MUST GO: This is one of those ‘almost’ movies to me. It’s almost funny, almost sad, almost moving, almost interesting, but never quite gets there. It just doesn’t push any of those buttons hard enough. I understand that it was meant to be a low key film, but it’s not really pointed in any specific way. It’s quite shapeless really. Ferrell is just too restrained for his own good. He is interesting to watch, but he can’t pull off that Bill Murray style of wry, understated dramatic/comedy. I felt the director wasn’t sure about the tone he wanted either. However, there are a couple of sharp observations that ring true, and the acting is generally sound across the board. It’s a good idea that they could have done so much more with. It’s not good enough to recommend, or bad enough to avoid, it’s just kind of ‘there’, floating somewhere in the middle. 5/10. maybe 5.5.
The Good Fairy (Dir. Keisuke Kinoshita, 1951)
Kinoshita is obsessed with purity of heart, typically expressed in youth. Here he updates his typical protagonist, giving him a spine. The film’s narrative is like quicksand and it’s exciting as hell. I want to take some more time to process this one, but I think it’s Kinoshita’s most mature film yet. Not to be confused with best or favorite.
Again, I’m going through his movies chronologically based on what’s available on Hulu Plus, so there are gaps in my viewing (Morning for the Osone Family, for instance, is not on HP at this point).
The Dictator 6/10
I can’t say the movie wasn’t amusing. I enjoyed it. It’s good for a lot of giggles but fails as satire. Most of Cohen’s caricatures go further and more shocking than reality. Aladeen goes less far than reality and is less shocking than the dictator jokes in NBC comedies.
There’s a speech toward the end that sounds like it was supposed to be like Stephen Colbert having a Charlie Chaplin moment, but instead it came off like a depressed teenager’s blog post delivered like a Seth Meyers monologue.
The one part of the satire I did think was successful is the Zoe character. She’s a post-college liberal who runs an organic health store where she takes in people who have nowhere else to go and manages them ineffectively. She proudly declares: “I’m not racist, I haven’t dated a white person since high school.” Then when she lets Aladeen step in and apply some solid leadership, the people she brought in start effectively applying their talents and the store becomes more successful. This I think is intended as a wake up call to liberals: For your good intentions to mean anything you need a solid decision making process.
In the end though, Borat seemed like a 90 minute R rated SNL skit, and so does The Dictator, except if it weren’t for a handful of dick and vag shots it wouldn’t even be R rated.
The last political film with any teeth was Bulworth. Dictator is funny but safe. The only brave Cohen film was Bruno because there he was taking on something people actually care about.
“EVERYTHING MUST GO”
Yeah, didn’t quite pull together. I was thinking from the beginning that it seemed vaguely Carver-esque. It took we quite a while before it actually occured to me it actually was an adaptation of a Carver story.
^^Ah, well i know nothing about Carver actually, but judging from what you said it probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway!
poto and cabengo d. jean-pierre gorin (1980)
heartrending film about twins who developed their own complex language, after being diagnosed as ‘probably retarded’ soon after birth and shielded from contact with the outside world. they spoke no english and spoke only to each other until the age of 8 and the sounds they made were written off as ‘gibberish’ by their own parents.
one of the most moving things i have ever seen 10/10
The Dictator – 2.5 stars
Meh. Had some funny bits but overall the schtick is wearing thin, even if this was scripted. Mandel, Berg, and Schaeffer are not very good writers. They came in late to Seinfeld, late to Curb, and apparently late to Cohen’s films.
The Five Year Engagement – 2.5 stars
Not Sarah Marshall. Clumsy, meandering story. There were a couple moments of real drama, real vulnerability that Segal writes so well. But there’s nothing much else going on here.
Sunset Blvd. – 4 stars.
Yeah, this is a masterpiece.
wow, so proud :’)
santino finally watched sunset blvd!!
And I gotta say, I give Sunset Blvd the slight edge over All About Eve. You really just can’t beat Billy Wilder’s dialogue.
ok i really have to work harder at this break from the forums lol
anyways long as i’m here a watched a couple more fantastic documentaries, seems i’m on a binge
the eye above the well d. johan van der keuken (1988) 10/10 a wonderful visit to the kerala state of south india
letter from a filmmaker to his daughter d. eric pauwels (2000) 9/10 something like a filmed scrapbook that magically evokes the wonder of childhood
tmrw i will watch sleep furiously d. gideon koppel (2008), hopefully in time to vote in the world cup match
Lebanon (Samuel Maoz – 2009) 8/10
Very good. There’s been a lot of single location films in the last few years. So far I’ve seen two in a single room, one on a ski-lift, one in a coffin, one in an elevator, and now this one, set in a tank.
Well seen there’s a recession on :)
I rewatched Pa negre for the second time today. My first impressions of the films lighting and cinematography were reinforced. I really enjoyed the lighting in the boys bedroom and the father’s cell; I appreciated the consistency of showing the faces in half shadow, I think it has the potential to add a more ephemeral layer of meaning to the performances. It highlights the eyes in an eerily beauftiful way. The same sort of disconcerting beauty that I found in many shots within the movie as a whole. Andreu lying on the blue-hued clay roof shocked me. It came out of nowhere and I reveled in it. I think there was even a slight reference to in the In the Mood for Love during the meeting with Sergi López’s Mayor (or am I searching?)! THere is a great irony to this movie though. I loved the sickly youth; he was endearing and a moral compass and loved that he was the last person to which Andreu sincerely said goodbye, but I have to admit, that scene, though touching, was detrimental. 4/5
Gloria – 3.5 stars
I finally got around to watching this late entry Cassevetes. Yeah the kid was terrible, yeah Conti’s score was obnoxious, and yeah the plot was a bit contrived. But man, Cassevetes captures New York City in a way that not even Lumet could compete with. I loved the environment that is created in this film; the texture, the faces, the color.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Cassavetes film and this film reminded me why Cassavetes had such an impact on me a couple years ago. The mumblecore posers have nothing on him. He was one of a kind.
^^You seen Love Streams?
^No. That’s one of the few remaining that I haven’t seen.
“The Beggar’s Opera” (Peter Brook). Just saw it on TCM. So enjoyable it should be better known. 9 out of 10.
Safety Not Guaranteed – 3 stars
Above average Sundance indie. It’s a bit sci-fi and a bit quirky but it’s not really mumblecore. I’m not much of a fan of Mark Duplass the actor (or director, for that matter) but he hits it perfectly in his performance as a slight oddball who is apparently building a time machine. This is an enjoyable dramedy, even if it’s a bit slight.
The Gospel Of St Matthew 8/10
No Mel, if you had ‘Just followed the Bible’, you would have made this movie.
Film has a few exciting bits but has a ton of issues. Besides reaching a lot for a bunch of the plot points, the film jumped with ten minutes left from having no moral center to having a very loud moral center.
//And I gotta say, I give Sunset Blvd the slight edge over All About Eve. You really just can’t beat Billy Wilder’s dialogue.//
I also give credit to Wilder’s superior direction. He created a sense of decay and dissolution throughout the film.
Sunset Boulevard is a much better film than Eve…..Eve is great fun though.
Polisse – 4 stars
The best movie I’ve seen this year (and considering how many amazing films I’ve seen this year, that’s saying something).
@RGrimes – I agree with you completely regarding Wilder’s direction. He does a superb job of creating a sense of despair and horror and that house! Man, what a great location!