August 2-8, 2009
I had actually caught up this week but got behind again (only by 3) mostly from laziness, but also partly from wanting to spend time with my family and Jojo (lol) before I left Charlotte for the summer.
432. Top Hat. Musical featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. A misunderstanding between the two sends slaps and black eyes to many of the main male cast members. Cute film but of course the dancing was the best part. Loved it! I definitely want to dance like that one day! 3.7 stars
433. Thank You for Smoking. Tobacco spin doctor tries to suppress any negativity about cigarettes, promote cigarettes all while trying to be a good role model for his son. Yeah. Lol. The music supervisor is very funny and accurate in choosing songs. Very funny. The end of this movie seemed long in coming and not because the movie was so long, but perhaps the script could have used a bit of tightening. 3.7 stars.
434. Danielson: A Family Movie (or Make a Joyful Nose HERE). Personal documentary about a family of singers who do weird indie Christian music. It's narrated by the family members & friends in an annoying way-- very amateur. My background in news writing makes me even more of a stickler for good narration than the average person because I know what it should sound like. It didn't help that I didn't like the music at all. Overly long interviews which slow down the film. I can understand why their fans, friends and family would want to see this. I don't fit in those categories and was therefore mostly baffled/disinterested. The group's one-time (? maybe still) member Sufjan is the most interesting and has the best music in the film. Indulgently, unnecessarily long at an hour 45. 1.2 stars
435. Wheel of Time. Werner Herzog documentary about the largest Buddhist ritual in part of India complete with his trademark bizarre score. He only ever uses world music. It makes sense in this movie but a lot of times it is off-putting/confusing. Long periods of music and video. I get the impression that Herzog doesn't particularly care whether you like his films as long as he likes his films. There are several strange staring contests between worshippers or monks and the camera. As one reviewer notes, Herzog is a very unobtrusive narrator in this film allowing the devotion to speak for itself. This made for times of intense boredom. 3 stars
436. Tuck Everlasting. Disney movie about a girl who runs away from home and is taken in by the Tuck family, a family who drank from the fountain of eternal youth. When she falls in love with a son in the family she has to decide whether to join him in never dying. Interesting ending but en route was at times corny and boring. 3.3 stars
437. Space Cowboys. A team that was kept out of space 40 years ago is now being summoned to go into space on a mission as geriatrics if they can pass the tests. Amusing film though the music was more than a little over the top. 3.5 stars
438. Chariots of Fire. 1981 Best Picture Oscar winner about two runners from Britain competing against each other in the 1924 Olympics to be the fastest. Boring. 2.4 stars
439. The Ritchie Boys. Documentary about German immigrants to America who were fighting for America against the Nazis as intelligence workers during WWII. Very interesting stories and some great interviewees. The narration was obtrusive and mostly unnecessary even in its sparseness toward the end. Still I enjoyed this documentary 4.2 stars
440. Labor Pains. Lindsay Lohan movie about a girl who hates her job but needs it and pretends to be pregnant to keep from getting fired
441. Jezebel. Bette Davis won Best Actress for her role in this William Wyler film. She made it when the studio wouldn't loan her out to a rival to play Scarlett in Gone with the Wind. So she got her own movie full of slaves stepping and fetching. Davis plays an arrogant New Orleans socialite who tries to make her fiance (Henry Fonda) jealous but things go awry. I know despite the Oscar she was still heated about GWTW. Clearly that's on the list of classics and I'd never heard of this one and it's not as good. 3 stars
442. Rope. Alfred Hitchcock film about two men who commit the perfect murder until they hold a dinner party and their plan begins to unravel. James Stewart has a great monologue. Hitchcock's trademark photography was not there in this film. The story line was interesting enough but the hysterics of some of the actors was at times off putting. 3.5 stars
443. I'm Reed Fish. Alexis Bleidel stars in this movie, too. I can honestly say from the beginning I didn't care much about the main characters. Then a very blah twist. At the end instead of saying "ahhh" you said, "What?" 2.4 stars
444. Guide for the Married Man. Old film with Walter Mathau as a man devoted to his wife getting coached into cheating on her by his philandering best friend. Throughout this sexist film the women were one dimensional: vapid, whores or half-naked (by 1960s standards, not 2009 standards). Butt close-ups? Really? Being a combination of one of the three doesn't add a dimension. Random familiar to semi-familiar names and faces throughout. Boring repetitive style to deliver the ways to cheat. Not a fan. I would never see this movie again. Ever. 1.7 stars
445. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Geeky unattractive 30-year-old woman transforms herself and catches the man of her dreams (Aidan from SexAndTheCity)... unfortunately he's not Greek so there's a culture clash. And yet it works (of course). Kind of corny but it was cute. With 20 minutes left I was ready for it to end so the script dragged a little toward the end of act II. Still a cute movie. 3.7 stars
446. Forgiving Dr. Mengele. Documentary about a woman who survived experiments on twins in Auschwitz by Dr. Mengele. She's a woman who controversially forgave, in her name only, the N.azis and German people. This film went wildly off course after about an hour going into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The filmmakers also touched on her effort to find Dr. Mengele's files but not in depth which to me was one of the most interesting parts of the film. I wanted the whole film to be more engaging than it was. Thought-provoking, yes. Engaging, not really.
447. In Bruges. Two British hit men are sent to Belgium after a botched job to hide out and await their next instructions. Colin Farrell plays one of the hit men. Really interesting movie as you learn the real reason they're in Bruges. 4.3 stars
448. Sabrina. A tycoon (Humphrey Bogart) takes it upon himself to break up a romance between his playboy brother and their chauffeur's daughter (Audrey Hepburn). Interesting enough film and amusing at times. 3.2 stars
*Tried to watch "M.utual Appreciation" but it was too boring and felt like a poorly made student film. This is at most the third film I've lost patience with that early on that I wouldn't finish it even to watch 750 movies this year.