Monday, April 30, 2007

Movie Log 2007: #29-40
And this doesn't count Season 1 of Rome or the Evening with Kevin Smith discs. Let's see what I remember from early April late March...

Wife vs. Secretary - Gable/Loy/Harlow love triangle. When this showed up in the queue, I thought "hey, I'm pretty unattractive and have some false teeth. Why aren't Myrna Loy and Jean Harlow fighting over me?" Then I watched it and learned that a love triangle involving Jean Harlow is not that desirable. I know one shouldn't necessarily apply modern standards, but contrary to what we may have learned from Madonna songs, Ms. Harlow looks sorta like Jimmy Cagney's grandma. Anyway, this was rolling along nicely and took a sharp right into drama. Not Fatal Attraction sharp, or anything, but still jarring. One curious part of the film is that the wife's initial jealousy seed is planted by her mother-in-law. I'd have expected her own mom to sow the hubby mistrust.

Platinum Blonde - More Harlow. This was five years before Wife v. Secretary, and she looked much more matronly. She's supposed to be this society woman, and it's just not working. Meanwhile, Loretta Young plays Robert Williams' blue-collar-unnoticed-best-friend, and she's not only a knockout, but reeks class. The roles should have been reversed.

Saw III - hey, a string of horror/violent action films...Kirsti must have been out of town. This was more patronizing dimestore philosophy BS from the Saw folks. I was surprised to see they got cameos from Donnie Wahlberg and Dina Meyer. Well...less surprised about Meyer.

Lady Vengeance - Finishing the Chan-Wook Park trilogy. I think Oldboy was the best.

The Descent - This was pretty good. It earned the scares.

Cabin Fever - Less good. It was recommended to me, but I thought it was for the horror, not for the laughs. It was pretty funny, in retrospect.

Inside Deep Throat - The best part of the film is the Florida theatre owner and his bickering wife. Damn, they were funny.

Slither - Fun in that Tremors sort of way. "We're itchy" was a nice line.

300 - Put me to sleep. I was merely bored, while K. downright hated it.

Hot Fuzz
- The subject matter of Shawn of the Dead will always mean so much more to me, but this was hilarious, if overlong.

Grindhouse - I liked the Tarantino half better by a hair. I hope Zoe Bell gets a Jackie-Chan-esque action franchise.

Stranger than Fiction - Slow going at first, but then it really won us over. While I love the song and I'm glad to see Wreckless Eric get a bit more attention, one thing bothers me: where does Harold Crick learn "Whole Wide World?" How is that obscure song the only one he knows, given his life? It's not well-known, at least not in the states. Is this something that just pops into his head, thanks to Karen Eiffel?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Movie Log 2007: #25-28

The Departed and Gangs of New York - Both very similar films, in that DiCaprio infiltrates a rival in both. I think I liked the former a shade better, but maybe that's because Nicholson hasn't had to act in anything since Prizzi's Honor. When did Scorsese start casting such blah female leads? even the scenery-chewing of Sharon Stone would have been preferable to Diaz or this Vera Farmiga person.

Ray - Continuing the Oscar catchup. I was happy to see so many veterans of The Wire. Much has been made of Jamie Foxx's performance, but the real revelation for us was Curtis Armstrong as Ahmet Ertegun.

Lost Horizon - No, the 1937 Capra, not the trainwreck 70's musical. I think its reputation stems from the reconstructed footage and from it being Capra, not from being any sort of masterpiece. As Pauline Kael noted about the remake, the material is dated past any redemption. Edward Everett Horton is good for a few laughs, as usual. Of course, now I want to see the apparently-horrible musical.