April 26- May 2, 2009
Thank GOD for student screenings this week!! I'm now MUCH closer to where I'm supposed to be. Instead of being 11 movies behind, I'm only about 8 behind. Baby steps. I should easily make that up this week as I have NO obligations. Ah life. So grand as a person between semesters for a SUMMER! Loves it.
225. Gates of Heaven. Early documentary by Errol Morris about pet cemeteries. Included exactly the weird pet owners you thought it would with some activities from the weird cemetery workers. Very amusing at times and at others completely perplexing. Something of a meandering plot. After 25 minutes I wondered, how long can I listen to chatter about pet cemeteries? Obviously the entire 83 minutes, but I didn't want to.
226. Blackmail. Hitchcock film about a woman trying to keep her part in a murder a secret. I liked it mostly because of the ending. 4 out of 5 stars.
227. Say Anything. Awwwww!! SUCH a cute 80s teen movie! I loved it! I know I technically shouldn't have but I gave it 5 stars. Lol. It was too cute! Right up there with how I feel about "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles" and "Pretty in Pink." How did I miss this film?? Does this not come on network tv like the rest??
228. The Queen. My ignorance of this film can be wholly blamed on my general disdain for reading synopses. I knew it was Helen Mirren's Oscar-winning role and that she amazingly resembled the queen, but I didn't know this particular role surrounded the death of Princess Diana and I felt blindsided by emotions! A nice film but something was missing for me. Still 4 out of 5 stars. I guess because it was set in my lifetime about people I've had peripheral knowledge of, I spent a lot of time wondering how true these things were to their personalities and what actually happened.
229. Deep Water. Wow. Great documentary about the race to be the first to sail the world alone and the men who kept logs of their journeys. Loved it.
230. Juno and the Paycock. So very un-Hitchcock and so very boring. Very little suspense and by the time they got to any I didn't care.
231. The Stranger. Orson Welles film about the search for an escaped Nazi war criminal. I liked it! The ending made it a really good movie. Very unexpected! I love unexpected endings!
232. You Can't Take It With You. Jimmy Stewart movie directed by Frank Capra. Overly long. You don't need a 2hr and 5 minute comedy. It lost my undivided attention after a while. I really couldn't stand the shucking and jiving parts for the black actors. A black servant (of course!!) walked into a jail cell and said, "Home again." Unacceptable. Automatic drop in the rating. I read on IMDB that the female lead turned down the lead in It's A Wonderful Life b/c she didn't want to work w/Stewart again. Wow... good move. *sarcasm* And she also has quotes about not wanting to do interviews, etc. Famous people who don't want to be famous or only want to act exasperate me. I'm not saying you should love the paparazzi or in any way insinuating the paparazzi has any sorts of rights, but don't give me that I don't want to be famous stuff. Then go act on Broadway or off Broadway and you'll be paparazzi-free and only known by a select few if all you want to do is act. You know it (fame) comes with the territory. Suck it up.
233. How About You. Indie comedy about 4 evil old people who try to overtake an old folks home. It was amusing but did some overly predictable and eventually irritating things with music loops. 3/5 stars.
234. Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired. Documentary about the acclaimed director's life mishaps. Though he's still alive, the directors obviously were unable to get him to participate, understandably, as he doesn't want any more publicity on this case, and instead had to rely on a wealth of archival footage. The filmmakers also had to rely heavily on text which was somewhat of a hindrance to me liking this movie more. I wish it had been screened before people who weren't intimate with the details of any of his life and could have told them where there was confusion. I would have been one of those people and left this film with a lot of questions. It was interesting to a point but you also knew he wasn't going to be a participant in this film and so in some ways would be disappointed with whatever the outcome would be without him to weigh in.
235. Happy-Go-Lucky. British film about a happy go lucky woman and the not so happy people she encounters. A bit of a downer and her personality was too much. She won a Globe for it, though. One of the first few scenes was misleading about her relationships and the ending was disturbing. This film meandered a bit too much for my taste.
236. Life After Tomorrow. Documentary about the girls who played roles in Annie on Broadway or on the national tour. Pretty depressing how many of them feel like they peaked at 10 because it was the greatest experience of their lives and their parents finally loved them and when it was all over so was the best part of them. Makes you understand even more why so many stars who have been in the business for so long are so jacked up. But the biggest issue with this film is that it was one continuous, 72-minute string of complaining and/or wistfulness. A million interviews. People watching films are looking for someone to connect with and when there are 20 Annies and 20 orphans, your head starts spinning. I imagine the filmmaker, herself an Annie kid was trying to show how many of these kids have the same experience of surviving after the show but it just became too much after a very short period of time.
237. A Walk to Beautiful. Documentary about Ethiopian women with obstetric fistulas-- after days of labor, they become incontinent. Difficult to watch at times but an important story to tell. I wish there had been more explanation early on. In a 51-minute doc, it was at least 16 minutes before I felt like I had some kind of clue what was wrong with these women. That's a problem.
238. Chasing Health. Student doc from my program about the growing medical tourism industry for elective and necessary surgeries. It's amazing to see people's films improve from the first rough draft to the last one.
239. The Man Behind the Curtain. Student doc from my program about an artificial intelligence researcher who killed himself. Very interesting.
240. Lessons Learned. Student documentary from my program about a charter middle school in trouble.
241. Better Bones and Gardens. Super cute student documentary about a man who builds really nice homes out of things that would have been sent to the landfill and a man who creates food gardens in his neighbors' gardens.
242. Postcards from the Edge. Hmmm. I wanted to like this Shirley Maclaine and Meryl Streep movie about a movie star and her movie star mom more than I did. Meryl's my girl and Shirley's funny but it just didn't really happen for me.
243. Afro-Punk. Documentary about black punk people. I kind of liked the movie and the feel in some ways but was confused by the people who felt like outsiders in punk and felt like outsiders in the black community. So you left one unaccepting community for another? AWESOME. I was really appalled by the young woman who had all these awful ideas about black people like, "I'm not a typical black girl, I don't wear slutty clothes because I respect myself" and "My mom told me not to marry a black man because he probably wouldn't be able to pay the rent and wouldn't have a decent job." WHAT IN THE BLUE BLAZES?!!? And had the nerve to say she didn't hate herself. Honey there is some self-hatred if the only ideas you have of black people are negative ones. You need to expand your horizons. She blew me away. I needed her to get her life together. I was most interested in the people who drew parallels between afrocentricity and punk. I was interested in what many of the people were saying, but again, a continuous string of interviews, with very few breaks, even for music, is a tiring thing to watch. At some point you want something else to happen. And in this film it never did.
242. Saving Grace. UK film written, directed by & starring Craig Ferguson (yes, that one) about a widow who starts growing pot to pay off her dead husband's outstanding debt. Mildly amusing.