@ Drunken -
I found The Innkeepers to be tedious and monotonous. Whereas in House of the Devil has compelling characters throughout the buildup to the climax, The Innkeepers has just two mopey twentysomethings hanging around a hotel lobby talking about nothing. It should have Lena Dunham in it because the characters were grating and insignificant! haha. Plus, unlike House of the Devil, which has incredibly tension and a great payoff, The Innkeepers was neither scary nor tense. It felt incredibly amateurish.
I would also like to say that I thought the acting was notably bad. The dialogue was wooden and reminded me of a lot of bad independent cinema. I didn’t find any of that in House of the Devil – Noonan and Gerwig were especially effective.
we need to talk about kevin : 9/10
Great Mubi-style film. Last ten minutes kept it out of 10/10 contention.
^looking forward to seeing that this weekend!
Love Streams – 4 stars
It’s hard for me to talk about John Cassavetes. He’s such a personal filmmaker for me and sometimes I feel like I just want to keep my relationship to his work private. But let me just say, although I’m still processing this film, it’s a masterpiece.
^^4 stars=masterpiece? What’s 5 then? hehhe.
I hope Criterion get around to releasing Love Streams. I saw the French dvd years ago and the subtitles are hard! It was really distracting. What’s interesting about Love Streams is that while it’s clearly the work of Cassavettes, it also feels somewhat transitional. Unfortunately we’ll never know which direction it could have taken him.
@ Joks – I use the 4 star system, not 5 stars.
I like to keep it simple. That extra star is just too much for me to handle.
Has anyone seen 2 Days in New York?
It’s a sequel to 2 Days in Paris.
Julie Delpy stars and directed both. I just heard about it. Can’t wait. Now just gotta find if it’s going to be in theaters round my way.
Solaris (2002): 6,5/ 10
This Means War
Reese sings horribly
and Handler is gross
^don’t think I can bring myself to watch that one. Haha
While I’m here…
Art History 5/5
OK, finally getting around to seeing that bit of Weinstein hokum called My Week with Marilyn. Watched this primarily to see Kenneth Branagh ham it up as an uptight Olivier. Since Branagh has spent his whole career trying to re-invent himself as the next Olivier, I wanted to see how he would accomplish the task of impersonating his hero. Because he plays the role just a bit over-the-top, it does succeed as a good satire of Olivier’s meaner traits – so more power to Branagh for making this cameo campy.
Michelle Williams does as much as possible with what is given to her. Of course, this film, even though based on a memoir, does little to reveal the enigma that was Monroe. Williams plays her as a loopy, troubled, nervous sexpot. She is seen as maddening on the set; but a vulnerable, voluptuous, and charming free spirit off the set – away from all those trying to contain and control her. The film plays with the conventional wisdom about Marilyn, but never gets below the surface. Marilyn – even through Williams’ brave attempt in trying to portray this icon – is just as mysterious after we see the film, as before.
Once again, the real women who was Monroe eludes the trap of trying to capture just who she was. Many a book and article has been written about her, but she always remains ever elusive. One can learn far more from studying her photographs (as Norman Mailer knew in his book on Marilyn) than reading all the memoirs about her in the world. The film has some good British actors like Judi Dench and Derek Jacobi just slumming. Finally, the film comes off as more of a type of adolescent fairytale, wish-fulfillment by the lead played rather glibly by Eddie Redmayne as Colin, than as a penetrating picture of the actress. The only thing this film made me want to do, is to finally get around to seeing The Prince and the Showgirl to see the real Monroe in action.
My Man Godfrey (Gregory LaCava, 1936) – 10/10 – Second viewing. If Preston Sturges had never penned a script, this would be my favorite screwball comedy. It’s still easily in my top five.
Murder By Natural Causes (Robert Day, 1979) – 8/10 – a tv movie, it’s one of those twist-filled mystery things like Sleuth or Deathtrap, so if that doesn’t sound appealing, don’t bother, but for what it is, it’s about as good as you’ll find. Consistently entertaining, cleverly scripted, and a diverting way to spend 90 minutes.
Theodora Goes Wild (Richard Boleslawski, 1936) – 5/10 – A screwbally comedy, I was quite looking forward to this, and while the premise seemed to have a lot of potential, they somehow forgot to make it funny.
Se7en 8/10 – the only good Fincher film for me
Moonrise Kingdom – 3.5 stars
His best since The Royal Tenenbaums, this is a wonderful little comedy, light and sweet like a bowl full of Cool Whip.
Cool Whip as in that toxic chemical imitation of whipped cream made by Kraft?
^You got it!
Hasn’t Wes Anderson made commercials for Kraft?
Tuesday, After Christmas- 3/4
Polisse 8 or 9/10
Very well written movie that’s a realistic portrayal of police investigations into pedophilia, and manages to get in a lot of different angles on the various issues of enforcement, including those moral, practical, and corrupt.
Is it an 8 or a 9? If somebody can convince me that the events of the last scene made any sense in the story it’s a 9. Otherwise, I have to assume it was just shock value, and it gets an 8.
@ Jirin – It’s a 10! haha
I don’t want to spoil the ending for people so I won’t be specific. But I did feel like it was completely earned. In fact, towards the end of the film, I felt like something like that had to happen. I think that’s part of the point of the film – it’s like what they say about doctors and nurses who work in the ER. They get so burned out and exhausted that they can’t do it forever. After five or ten years, you need to do something else because it’s just so intense. In Polisse, I saw these cops in a similar light. They all have their own problems, their own lives, and yet they’re also like a family because they share experiences that not many other people have. But at the same time, it’s exhausting and emotionally draining. In the case of the character of Iris, we get a glimpse into her home life and who she might be. Combine that with the shit she sees at work, the tension with her coworker friend, and the news of her new job and that was enough. For me, it completely worked and was the only way to tie up that story of these people.
I see your argument, but I see it as a film which spent most of it’s time in the cruel realistic veering into the melodramatic.
I don’t disagree with that but I would argue that there’s nothing wrong with that. Melodrama in and of itself is not bad. It’s all in how it’s used. And in my opinion, it fit completely with the rest of the film. Either way, the ending for me is not a deal breaker. I think had it not had that moment in the end, that would’ve been ok too. But I like the choice that Maiwenn made in this case – it gave some acknowledgement (and compassion) to the troubles these people face. And I liked that. Yeah, it might’ve put too much focus on what the film is actually about. But I didn’t mind it.
Excuse me mubians, sorry to bug you, but earlier this page I saw Jirin’s rating for Elena. He called it a mubi-style film, may I ask what a mubi-style film is?
It’s not a deal breaker at all, it just reduces my estimation of the film. It’s still a great film.
I don’t hate films with melodrama, but I think consistency was important, and I don’t feel the ending was consistent with the overall style of the film. The film focuses on the every day dredge, not grand dramatic gestures.
Von Stroheim’s GREED – 5/5
An uneven print that seemed to veer between crystal clarity and strange soft-focus, but it wasn’t severe enough to dim this film’s remarkable power. Man oh man.