Some recent movies I watched:
1. THE HURT LOCKER: I adore Bigelow's Near Dark. That movie is full of energy and quirky characters. It's a vampire movie with heart. THL has a fantastic movie in there somewhere, but the finished product is just such a mess. A good 40 minutes could be excised. The Ralph Fiennes segment slows down the film, and adds nothing to the narrative. Some of the acting by the minor characters is hammy and embarrassing. While the movie is tense and immensely gripping at times, nothing new is explored. I've seen films about men who feel safer in the pressure cooker of wartime fighting. Bigelow adds nothing to that. A real shame that the first female director wins for such a sloppy film especially in a year when Jane Campion directed the much better, Bright Star which was shamefully overlooked.
2. DILLINGER IS DEAD: Egads, this movie was awful. I have a thing for long films where nothing much happens, but this movie is D.O.A. There's no life to it. It's 90 minutes of Michel Piccoli walking around the house, making a meal, looking at home videos, and then we get some plot movement in the last five minutes which I won't spoil if you're masochistic enough to want to watch it. If I hadn't invited people over to see this film, I'd have stopped it 10 minutes into it. It's one of those films which critics bend themselves into verbal pretzels trying to explain the "deep meaning" of the "nothingness" in the film. What is said in the film would have been better served in a short film. Instead, 5 minutes of actual energy is overwhelmed by 85 minutes of self-indulgence. Some films are just pieces of shit. This is one of those films.
3. The Leopard Man is a 1943 film directed by Jacques Tourneur who directed Cat PEople and Easy Living with Lucille Ball. It's a horror film about a leopard who escapes and starts stalking women. It's swiftly placed, has some nice scares, and a quirky sense of humor. The resolution is a bit of a letdown, but it's a small quibble. IF you like black and white horror movies from the forties, this is one to check out.