May 10- 16, 2009
Summer vacation has put me just 2 movies off track where at the beginning the week I was 8 movies off, the week before that, 11. So by the end of the day I expect to be back on track, by the end of the week, at least 3 ahead. The more films I can squeeze into this summer, the more I learn about films and the more I can focus on making my own film in the fall.
257. The Times of Harvey Milk. Great documentary about the gay San Francisco supervisor killed by a former fellow supervisor alongside the then-mayor of the city. I liked the feature film, Milk, and I really liked that the documentary went beyond the feature, showing the trial of Dan White and the aftermath of the manslaughter guilty verdict. Like with all good films, I felt the need to see what happened next, which is how I found out after serving 5 years, White was released, then killed himself a year later. I'm curious to hear the other side: how his wife and 3 children, one of whom was an infant at the time of his death, have coped. I'm always curious about that.
258. Waitress. Keri Russell plays a waitress who makes great pies and unexpectedly gets pregnant by the husband she hates. Cute movie. I liked it and that at least part of the predictable ending didn't come. If it was completely unpredictable, I would've liked it even more.
259. A Letter to Three Wives. A movie about three women trying to figure out which of their husbands their friend ran away with when she sends them a letter. Good start, boring, meandering middle, utterly unfulfilling end. Do not want.
260. Friends With Money. Title is self-explanatory and yet I still felt like this movie had no idea what it wanted to be. Le sigh. What on earth is this about? It was really boring. Scratch that. Really, really boring. I know that was harsh and I wanted to like it but I didn't. For one of the first times in my life I agreed with Roger E.bert and I feel really weird about it. He said, "It seems to be more of an idea than a story." I was thinking the SAME THING 32 minutes into this, "What is this movie about?"
261. The Royal Tenenbaums. Odd movie about a self-described family of geniuses. They're really just a bunch of over-achievers. It's supposed to be witty but is mostly just weird.
262. Grey Gardens. The feature film version of the famous Maysles brothers' documentary. Great supplement to the documentary. I finally got biopics and films made from books after watching this. They're not supposed to be necessarily true to the original. If you can appreciate them for what they are, treat them as stand alones, then they are a success and in that manner, and for it's resemblance to the doc, this film is a success. I liked it.
263. The Holiday. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet switch homes and continents. Jack Black as a love interest? I'm sorry. No. I feel very meh about this movie. It was just there but it was absolutely too long. 2hr+ for a romantic comedy? Foolishness.
264. Run Granny Run. Documentary about a 94-year-old woman running for senate in New Hampshire. I was bored after 32 minutes and I still had about 45 minutes left. Ay. Too heavy on news reports for me. That was 5 years ago... she's still alive! Okay that makes her amazing but the film kind of fell flat.
265. Trouble the Water. This year's academy award nominated documentary starring a woman who started filming the day before the hurricane hit (Katrina, of course), and kept filming during the days she was stranded on her roof with her husband and 28 of their neighbors. Then it follows her in the weeks afterward as she tries to rebuild her life. Great footage but it became less interesting the longer it lasted unfortunately. I wanted more of her footage during the storm.
266. I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. Wow... somehow I'd managed to have seen all the good parts but none of the parts that advanced the plot in any way. Lol. Very odd but this movie was amusing to me.
267. Dorothy Dandridge: An American Beauty. Documentary about the black actress who starred in "Carmen Jones" and "Porgy and Bess" but died of (some say an intentional) prescription drug overdose at the age of 40. This film was narrated in an odd style with the guy who played the dad on "H.alf and Half" sometimes standing or sitting which made it resemble an infomercial. It appeared this film would break no new ground after about 15 minutes and since I read a book about her as a kid, I felt like it didn't. I look at docs as ways to learn things no one else knows. The people closest to her weren't even in this film, though some of them were obviously dead and others treated her horribly, it would've been nice to have interviews with people who knew her more intimately.
268. You Don't Mess With the Zohan. Can you believe I liked this silly movie where Adam Sandler plays a former "counter-t.errorist who wants to become a hairdresser? It made me laugh. Lol. It shouldn't have been almost 2 hours, though. Repeat after me: that is too long for a comedy.
269. Burn After Reading. Lol. Very strange dark comedy about how small events can suddenly snowball out of control. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton. Lots of people you've heard of acting up and acting out. Amusing. Rashan didn't want to see it but I think he would like it.
270. Bridesmaids. Sela Ward movie from the 80s WAY too Lifetime movie-like. I hate Lifetime. That should tell you I was less than enthused about this movie. I only picked it because it was short. I guess that's what I get.
271. Throw Momma From the Train. Danny Devito and Billy Crystal movie which riffs on a Hitchcock film. Amusing. There were a couple of false endings but overall I liked it.
272. How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It). Documentary about legendary black director Melvin Van Peebles, father of Mario, with the title taken from an article he wrote by the same name which was never published but captured his willingness to make people uncomfortable. Van Peebles was alternately inspiring, entertaining, bemusing and even a little annoying. Some really out of place music in some of the down moments which was distracting because it did not fit with the overall tone at all.
273. Marley and Me. This movie was so cute. There were some very strange parts like the neighbor and some other parts (to eliminate spoilers I'll just leave it at that) completely unrelated to the dog. I cried a little bit, because it made me think of Ebony, my dog of 14 years. I was surprised to have liked this movie as much as I did, but at almost 2 hours, they needed to cut at least 15 minutes. Aren't you shocked to hear me say that?
274. John Tucker Must Die. Not as bad as I thought it would be but Ashanti was. Burn. You know I don't like her. This film is absolutely what "Not Another Teen Movie" was making fun of... and really, rightfully so. I did laugh out loud on some parts but I don't need to see it ever again.
275. Lost in Translation. Hmm... I was pretty lost in this movie. It wandered like a dyslexic 3-year-old lost in a foreign country for me. I didn't dislike it. I just didn't understand the point of it.
276. Snatch. Jam good movie about myriad groups of thugs fighting over a stolen 84-carat diamond. I didn't know anything about this movie to know whether or not I would like it but I did.