August 30- September 5, 2009
This week will be interesting because one of my friends is getting married Saturday. The bachelorette party is Friday and it will be the first time I've seen some of my friends in years. Yeah... I seriously doubt movies will be on anyone's minds. BUT I passed 500!! So excited about that! More than 1/3 of the way to my goal!
493. Mohawk Girls. Documentary about a tribal woman and filmmaker in Canada talking to young girls in her community (the Mohawk nation) about their issues. Made in conjunction with the National Film Board of Canada. Horrible music. Filmmaker's narration to introduce the characters seemed unnecessary. At the very least ineffective in the way it was used. It was used as segues but she really could've benefitted from rudimentary assistance with her delivery. The photography needed some help, too. It seemed like a student film. There were some really good stories with these girls opening up that are buried by some of technical issues and definitely by the story line (dis)organization. Some scenes are confusingly out of sync. 2 stars
494. Persepolis. Iranian animated film (in French) about a girl who wants to be an ordinary kid but she lives in a war-torn country. Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature based on a true story about the Iranian girl who goes abroad, then returns to Tehran as an adult. It moved nicely and I stayed intrigued. It wasn't nearly as depressing as you might think and there were even some amusing parts. 4 stars
495. Nursery University. Documentary about the crazy NY private nursery school application process. An admissions consultant charges $4,000 to walk you through the process... There are lotteries. And it's 20k/year for your 3yo. Yeah. Right. I will hire a private tutor or send them to regular preschool. Look how amazing I turned out in public school. But who knows what will happen when I pop out some kids. This film includes the U.S.'s oldest mother-- twins at 57. Again, pass. I barely want to have babies at 37. As skeptical as I was I felt stressed out for some of the parents. Lol. Actually there was only one parent I didn't like because he was so overbearing. There was a tacked on 5th family that they should've just left out because their story was so poorly developed. Not bad in general. 3.5 stars
496. The Garden. Oscar-nominated documentary about the largest community garden in the nation which is in South Central L.A. and feeds mostly Hispanics. There was too much time traveling on the front end of the film-- from the present to more than a decade ago, to 2003, then 2004, when the farmers were fighting to keep from being evicted. Basically the film was following whether or not the eviction will go through. There was some good drama but it seems to be nearing its climax 25 minutes into an 80-minute film. I couldn't understand based on the information presented how the farmers had a case. Very obvious slant. Became a completely different film when the true dramatic climax happened and it was GREAT! The beginning was very shaky and should have been set up more clearly to allude something happening in the film. LAers knew but we didn't. 4 stars
497. The Game Plan. Disney movie where the Rock plays a self-centered football player whose life is turned upside down when he finds out he has an 8-year-old daughter who shows up at his door alone to live with him. Kind of boring. The premise was amusing on the surface but ridiculously carried out. I know it's a kid movie but still. Maybe I'll like it when I have kids. 3 stars
498. Titicut Follies. Controversial Fredrick Wiseman documentary about the inside of a prison for the criminally insane. Banned for decades in Massachusetts. Filled with ethical issues including the rights of those who are apparently not competent to give consent to be on film. Very disturbing. 3.5 stars
499. Witch Hunt. Documentary about people in California wrongly accused of child molestation and abuse. The dramatic arc was a bit overplayed. Too theatrical. Sean Penn narrated. Seemed like it would be more interesting that it was. The endless string of interviews with little video from the time became boring to watch. Compelling stories hurt by slow pacing and unnecessarily protracted ending. It should've ended 15 minutes before it did. MSNBC production and it shows. Seemed much more like a long news piece than a documentary. 2.3 stars
500. Libeled Lady. Classic film about a woman libeled who sues a newspaper and the scheme the newspaper men enact to get out of it. William Powell, Myrna Loy (who costarred in the Thin Man films), Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow. Quite the cast, huh? Amusing hijinks typical of classic comedies but it started to feel a bit contrived and long after a while. 3.4 stars
501. Waking Ned Devine. Irish film about 2 friends who decide to bring their dead friend back to life to claim his lottery winnings. Hilariously awesome ending! Lol. 4 stars.
502. Match Point. Atypical Woody Allen film about a tennis pro torn between two women, one of whom is the fiancee of his friend. Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johanssen. ScarJo is so obvious in her "me so sexiness." Effortfully sexy. Predictable happenings at first which then started to take a much more interesting turn. The opera was an interesting device. I enjoyed this one more than most of his films. 4.3 stars
503. Muriel's Wedding. Australian story of a nerdy girl (Toni Collette) with horrible friends who dreams of getting married. Some continuity issues and plot holes but still amusing enough for me to watch until the end. 3.5 stars
504. Born Yesterday. Classic Judy Holliday comedy about a crooked millionaire who hires a newspaper man to make his girlfriend smarter so she doesn't embarrass him in DC. I didn't love it. It bored me. Actually I think my biggest issue was how dumb Holliday's character was and the crap she put up with. I know it was a different time but I don't live in that time. 3 stars
505. Death at a Funeral. Outrageously farcical British film about a funeral and the outrageous hijinks when a dysfunctional group of people come together for it. A hidden gay lover of the deceased shows up and his family has to keep everyone else, including his wife, from finding out. 4 stars