Sunday, May 15, 2005

Flick the Button

Been sick over the last couple of days, so I've been pretty much watching movies and sprinting to the bathroom. Missed the last premiership picks of the year, and I'm sure many of you are furious with me at that. On to the films!

Rebecca: Suspenseful, and interesting. A very good film. Normally Olivier bothers me, but here he did the job. I'd put it in the middle of the Hitchcock films, which is still very good. Sharp steak knife.

The Kid: I saw the shorter version with Chaplin's score. Also a really good film. I love the boxing sequences in Chaplin films. The scene where the child is taken away and the Tramp chases after the truck evokes countless Lifetime movies, but with actual emotional involvement by the actors. I liked this better than the other Chaplin films I've seen, so Cadillac.

The Age of Innocence: I didn't get into it. I respect the detail, though I'm afraid the praise this movie got probably encouraged the waste that is Gangs of New York. Also, if forced to choose, I'd pick Winona Ryder over Michelle Pfeiffer every day of the week. I don't get Pfeiffer's appeal. Scorsese has done much better, and this isn't as great as plenty of other movies. You're Fired.

Buffalo Soldiers: I remember reading something about how this kept getting shelved because of the political climate and how it was anti-American or something. I don't see that at all. It doesn't have that much to say about war, or troops or anything else important. Really it's just a pretty straightforward comeuppance film where the underdogs you root for aren't all that likeable to begin with. And the comeuppance isn't much of a payoff. I was prepared to steak knife this about halfway through (and I should get across that it is actually pretty funny), but by the end it was You're Fired.

The Ice Storm: Yeah, this movie pretty much creeped me out. Especially every scene with Christina Ricci. I wasn't emotionally attached to any of the characters, except maybe Tobey Maguire's character (which had too little attention paid to it). The acting is all fine. The score seemed more appropriate to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon than this. Though it might be good filmmaking, I didn't enjoy it. You're Fired.

The Untouchables: Pretty standard fare, with a few bright spots. Andy Garcia is good. Simple, good guys win, some tense moments. Two scenes elevate it: DeNiro with a baseball bat and the Odessa Steps. Steak Knife.

On the Waterfront: Here's where I'm picking an argument. I did not like this at all. But was it because of context - specifically, because I knew the Kazan backstory? Probably. When Malden gives the crucifixion monologue, I thought it went too far. Plus, Brando is weird looking. I realize that this movie is almost universally praised, but not by me. You're Fired.

Schindler's List: Well, I'm sure everyone has one or two films he definitely should have seen, but for some reason hadn't. This and Gone With The Wind were/are my 2. There's nothing I can say about this film that hasn't already been said. It is just about unassailable to criticism. A remarkable, nearly perfect film. One of the finest ever made and Spielberg will not surpass this. Cadillac.