July 5-11, 2009
After a horrid 2 weeks movie-watching-wise, I'm nowhere near caught up, still 20 movies behind BUT I've hit the halfway mark!!!! YESSSS!! Just 375 more movies to watch this year!! Woooo!!! The goal for the upcoming week: instead of the usual 14, 21. Here goes nothing!
362. The Farmer's Wife. Silent Hitchcock film about a widowed farmer now looking for a wife, enlisting his housekeeper not knowing she's interested. I've seen a French version of this film where the woman spoke only French, he spoke only English. I liked that version more mostly because at least there was SOME talking and that version wasn't 2 hours!! Wow! It's hard to imagine the time when watching a 2-hour silent film wasn't torture, but a treat. Some people probably saw it multiple times, marveling at the feat. When I watch really old movies, I try to watch them through the lens of the times but this was a stretch for me. 3/5 stars.
363. Memoirs of a Geisha. I like the melody of this film but am bothered by the fact that it isn't in Japanese. I prefer films with subtitles to films with people who look somewhat like they should (the characters apparently are actually Chinese) but speak in English. Crap. Americans. I want a kimono and a fan. Still a captivating story. 3.9 stars.
364. The Secret Agent. Hitchcock film about you guessed it, a secret agent. Nothing too shocking about this one. Bah. I couldn't get into it at all. 2 stars.
365. Hotel Rwanda. Amazing film with Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo as the man and his wife who saved more than 1200 people in the genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s. I loved it partly because you would never believe it if it wasn't based in fact. 5 stars.
366. Rich and Strange. Hitchcock film about a couple who inherits a large sum of money and takes a cruise. It changes their life for the worse and at the end, they're broke again with more than a few bumps along the way. At one point I was aiming toward a 4 if it had ended the way I thought it was about to, but then it took a very boring turn. Meh. No fun. 3.1 stars.
367. Defending Your Life. Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep die and have to defend their lives on earth before they can move on or be sent back to earth. Amusing romantic comedy at times but some parts really dragged. It didn't need to be 1hr48. Meryl's part was strangley vapid. 3.2 stars.
368. Hear and Now. Personal documentary about a 65-year-old couple who decide to undergo a controversial surgery to help them hear. Their daughter is the filmmaking which adds a level of interest. BUT it falls on a lot of the same conventions most personal docs seem to adopt: over-reliance on narration being the most pervasive one. It would be more interesting to let her parents just talk about what they're feeling than to add speculations that most people would already ask about. This is at least the 3rd documentary I've watched about cochlear implants and I'm unnerved that until 40 minutes in it doesn't really talk about the implant controversy And then it's really about the negative impact on her mom. It was probably a conscious decision. I would like to see something else from the filmmaker to get a better understanding of her style. Her mother is captivating, though. And it never stops being amazing to see someone hear for the first time. I don't understand at all why they keep showing waves almost like a bridge between sounds. Is that supposed to be significant or poignant? Because it's overused and confusing. Still quite interesting though the end seemed to move a bit more slowly than I would've liked. 3.5/5 stars.
369. Fool's Gold. Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey are absolutely the reason I watched this film. It's a ridiculous premise-- he's a luckless treasure hunter who sacrifices his relationship w/her in search of a mysterious treasure. Th marriage is rekindled when he finds a new clue. Malcolm Jamal Warner's horrid Jamaican accent? Mess. Way too long at nearly 2 hours. 2.5/5 stars.
370. Saving Silverman. Really stupid movie with Jack Black and Jason Biggs. Take my word for it. 2/5 stars.
371. Family Business. Matthew Broderick, Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman. "Comic caper" about a family of criminals who come together. Great cast, huh? And still not really there with the story line. Couldn't keep my attention. 2.9 stars.
372. Fever Pitch. Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon are a great couple until baseball season rolls around and she realizes what a Red Sox fanatic he is. First, it's weird to see them as a couple. They seem more like friends AND Drew as a high-powered person? Yeah right. Fair romantic comedy. Pretty non-descript. 3 stars.
373. Little Red Truck. Documentary about traveling acting teachers who teach a one-hour musical to a group of children in different cities around the country in one week. The organization of the film was a bit confusing because there were 5 simultaneous partner teams doing different plays and they bounced around to all of them. The worst part was the end though where *SPOILER ALERT* they showed an entire song from each performance-- about 5 minutes each. I am not a fan of children singing and listening to it for about 15 minutes was more than I could stand! Yikes! Still 3 stars.
374. The Hangover. Crazy movie about a group of friends who go to a bachelor party in Vegas, lose the groom and have to find clues as to what happened and where he is since they remember nothing of the previous night. Very funny. I was shocked to like this movie so much and laugh so hard. It helped that I was imbibing... but it still would've been funny. 4 stars.
375. The Last Word. Winona Ryder & Ray Romano are strangely connected to the man who pens suicide notes for people, she as his love interest though she doesn't know he wrote the note for someone she knows or that he even does that; Romano as a client. I liked that it was unpredictable without being random. I also like that this is the halfway mark!!! Oh yeah!! 3.5/5 stars