Saturday, 14 April 2012

I have not felt like writing in my blog. I’m sure the two people who actually read me have been immensely disappointed. A lot of things I want to write about, but I just don’t have the interest or discipline to write about them. I decided just to paste some comments I made about recent films I’ve seen. I keep a movie viewing notebook, and I jot down a few comments about each film I see. It may seem as if I like a lot of film, but I only rent/buy/watch movies I am fairly certain I’ll enjoy. Here are those films:

a good recreation of the period
Bogdaovich maintains a nice claustrophobic atmosphere
Jennifer Tilly and Joanna Lumley are standouts

LOVE AND LEARN (1947) ***
too silly, but it is amusing for a Sunday afternoon (the time I saw it)
Janis Paige is wonderful.

MADELEINE (1950?) ***
too long
Ann Todd is too old for the part. She looks more like she could be the character’s mother
direction that gets the mood and builds tension
script is literate and the courtroom scenes are done well

THEY ALL LAUGHED (1980? 81?) **1/2
brilliant set pieces, but the pieces never gel into one cohesive narrative
too much of Ritter’s schtick
weak script

funny, incisive, but it doesn’t reach its full potential
wanted more of Lee Grant
Meryl Streep is luminous

A PLACE FOR LOVERS (I’ll guess 1969) **
gorgeous scenery
there is absolutely no story; most of the movie is Dunaway and Mastroianni posing
one good scene: Dunaway is driving through the mountains like a madwoman
so odd it holds a certain satisfaction

50/50 **1/2
Joseph Gordon Levitt and Anjelica Huston give Oscar-calibre performances
the film is too gimmicky
never settles for one tone or allows the emotion to speak for itself
Seth Rogen sinks it. He’s an annoying presence. He’s not amusing, attractive, charismatic, or talented.

Glenn Close hits all the right notes. I never felt she was commenting on her character the way PSH did in CAPOTE
the script has so many neat touches: humour, humanising minor characters
Janet McTeer and Pauline Collins are a joy to watch

clever mystery
Myrna Loy is excellent
witty and sophisticated.
liked this better than the original

SHADOW OF THE THIN MAN (forties?) ***
too many characters
not as funny as ANOTHER THIN MAN
still entertaining for a lazy day

BEYOND ***/12
Noomi Rapace owns every scenes she’s in
Tehilla Blad as the younger version is heartbreaking
predictable story given more depth

TOMBOY ***1/2
held my interest from beginning to end.
child actor is phenomenal
the bathtub scene was not necessary

biting and acidic comedy that resonates
the small office scene is one of the best scenes I’ve watched in a while. Every second was perfect.
liked that a lot was left unspoken

the kid is insufferable
The film never answers why viewers should give a shit about this child, or why the hairdresser tolerates this behaviour
tonal issue: too much fantasy coupled with stark realism
the ending is very strong though.

good performances
doesn’t always go the predictable route which makes it enjoyable
pleasant enough romantic comedy

LE HAVRE ***1/2
highly amusing character driven comedy
wanted it to go on longer than it did. A bit too short for me.

KLUTE (1971) ***/12
Fonda deserved her Oscar for this. She owns every scene she’s in.
they cast an actor who just screams “he did it!” every time he appears
script focuses on characters rather than the plot

MY SISTER EILEEN (1942?) ***
Rosalind Russell is a great comedic actress
supporting actors can be entertaining.
Janet Blair as the sister is given little to do.

THE BIG CHILL (1983) **
too much damn music. IT never stops.
the writing is so superficial.
the film never quiets down to let us get to know the characters
Glenn Close comes out best, but her character is not well written.

Ellen Barkin is outstanding. Dennis Quaid is very good.
moody script and direction add to the film
the ending is such a letdown. Badly choreographed, directed, edited. It mars a near perfect film.

Ellen Barkin should have been nominated for this film.
some of the supporting characters are not fleshed out and the actors go over the top
Ezra Miller’s character has too much screen time.

AMER ***1/2
stylish to the max
so many great images
interesting take on the giallos of the seventies

Allyson Reed is fatally miscast. She can’t sing. She can’t act. She can’t dance. She can barely get out of a cab.
too much emphasis on the love story
Vicki Frederick and Audrey Landers give the best performances even if it’s obvious Landers can’t dance.

HUSTLE (1975?) ***
a large number of fantastic set pieces. So many scenes work.
A number of scenes could be cut (Borgnine and the hostage scenes for ex.)
liked the hard boiled noir feel
Reynolds is weak in a very important scene towards the end
Deneuve is Deneuve and that’s always a good thing.
Reynolds is so sexy in this.

Theron is flawless. She also should have been nominated.
Oswalt is solid as well.
much better than Cody’s JUNO which I was not a fan of.
does not have Ellen Page which is a major bonus
Cody does not take the easy way out with the lead character.


  1. Of the movies I've seen on the list, I agree with most of them. I enjoyed "The Kid With A Bike" much more and thought it is the most accessible Dardenne film to-date. Also, Klute is a triumph for Jane Fonda during that period of progressive, character-driven moviemaking period.

  2. You ever seen Cinema Paradisio, or the Scent of Green Papayas. Wonderful films.