November 15-21, 2009
A visit from momma meant I watched fewer movies than usual. Still behind but I should be able to catch up this week since I only have ONE day of work!!!! YESSSSS!! But I'll also be in Savannah... hmmm....
647. The Life of David Gale. Kate Winslett, Laura Linney (I like her), Kevin Spacey star in this film about a convicted rapist & murderer reminiscing about his life on the last days of his life. The heartstring-tugging music was ridiculous. It cheapened the effect of what was otherwise a pretty good movie. Just a tad too long. 3.8 stars
648. The Maltese Falcon. Classic detective thriller directed by John Huston, starring Humphrey Bogart with a supporting role by Peter Lorre. Criminals on the hunt for the maltese falcon involve Sam Spade (Bogart) in their plot as he tries to unravel the truth. I enjoyed it. I realized I don't like Bogey that much... I know... Somewhat strange for me, too. 4 stars
649. Unfaithfully Yours. An orchestra conductor goes nuts at the thought of his wife possibly with another man. There was this A.MA.ZING dress in this film that I neeeeeeed minus the roses on the back. There were some bizarrely unnecessary sound effects. The transitions to the dream sequences were overly exaggerated, too. The film was interesting and engaging for the first 1hr15 but became too ridiculous and just wouldn't end. It started out as a 4 star film, ended as a 2 star. Too outrageous and at least 15 minutes too long. Incredibly disappointing end to a lovely start.
650. The Chorus. French film about a music teacher at a school for orphans and boys who misbehave and their transformation. Some of it was unbelievable and it sounds kind of corny but there's humor and the music is beautiful. The end stole my heart. 4.7 stars
651. To Be or Not to Be. Carole Lombard & Jack Benny star as a actors who find themselves a part of the Polish resistance. The plot is convoluted which makes it seem unnecessarily long. The script has strange bits of humor among awkward moments. Waste of Lombard and Benny. They are amusing in their roles but again, it's awkward. There were plot additions that extended the film for no reason after it had reached a natural conclusion. I became increasingly disgruntled the longer it lasted. I'm sorry this was her last film. That doesn't make it a good one. Please don't waste your time. 2 stars
652. Waltz with Bashir. Animated Israeli film about the director's memory gaps about his service with the Israeli army during the Lebanese war in the 1980s. It relieves coping the war & coping methods. I wish I'd had more background info before watching this film. I felt like I was dropped into the middle of a conflict I knew nothing about. 3.2 stars
653. The Public Enemy. Jean Harlow & James Cagney gangster classic from 1931. Awesome rain shots toward the end. I didn't love this movie. It had its merits but not enough to really keep my attention until the end which is too late. 2.9 stars
654. The Break-Up Artist. Good concept of a movie about a girl who breaks up with people for people for a living. There was some really bad acting from secondary characters. Some stereotypical dialogue & overuse of music. There was an interesting twist when she found out who her competition was. Decent chemistry between the two main characters. Trite plot contrivances keep this movie from becoming better than it is. 3 stars
655. The Palm Beach Story. 1940s film about a woman who leaves her husband to get a divorce. They both go on adventures as he tries to win her back. The black roles were horrendous. I didn't really care what happened to the main characters. There were multiple scenes that were either useless or had long used up their purpose before they ended. And the actual end? Horrid. 2 stars
656. Six O'Clock News. Documentary about people covered in tragedies on the local news. The filmmaker seems utterly unable to make a film without inserting himself... sometimes to the detriment of the film. You don't really have to narrate everything and so insidiously insert yourself. Extricate! The stories would have been more powerful without his personal anecdotes as well. I wanted to hear more from the people who inspired him to start shooting. Overuse of some interviews and interview subjects past their interest. He makes these attempts to take ordinary or even extraordinary events in people's lives and make them philosophical messages. I would've been happier with fewer screen shots of static as a device. Very abrupt non-ending. 2.3 stars
656. How to Be. Indie film about a guy (Robert Pattinson) in his 20s who moves back home after he's dumped by his girlfriend and spends the film trying to figure out his life. Hmmm... a bit too aimless for me but I can see other people liking this. It's difficult for me to watch films about shiftless people. Typical super specific indie music. 2.9 stars
657. The Hours. Meryl Streep (my girl), Nicole Kidman & Julianne Moore in a film about three connected but unconnected women dealing with melancholy in their lives merged by Virginia Woolf (Kidman) and her book Mrs. Dalloway. Some really beautifully written dialogue. Ed Harris was great, as was Meryl. Nicole Kidman completely disappeared into the role in a shocking way. I was somehow simultaneously drawn to and repelled by this movie. I would definitely like to see it again. 3.6 stars