Monday, August 30, 2010

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)**
Cary Grant trying to run a cargo airline in some South American outpost while dealing with Jean Arthur and Rita Hayworth. For the time, probably ground breaking, but seems clich├ęd and heavy handed today. Jean Arthur seems miscast especially up against bombshell Hayworth.

Friday, August 27, 2010

7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)***
Imaginative and at times profound fantasy from George Pal. John Ericson is a serious problem though and really hurts the film. Tour de force performance from Tony Randall. Good script.
Mulholland Dr. (2001)****
Classic post-modern noir from David Lynch. Not all the scenes fit together all the time, but each one is shot and executed with great care and talent.
Anguish of romantic rejection may be linked to stimulation of areas of brain related to motivation, reward and addiction:
""This brain imaging study of individuals who were still 'in love' with their rejecter supplies further evidence that the passion of 'romantic love' is a goal-oriented motivation state rather than a specific emotion" the researchers concluded, noting that brain imaging showed some similarities between romantic rejection and cocaine craving. "The findings are consistent with the hypothesis that romantic love is a specific form of addiction."

To paraphrase Mr. Robert Palmer, you might as well face it, you really ARE addicted to love!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Runaways (2010)***
Captures the mid-'70's vibe perfectly, but I think the decision to avoid ALL exposition leaves the viewer confused as to what drives these characters to do what they do and act as they do. Still it is an enjoyable picture and the actresses are all good.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Celeb doctor was tweeting about dog before fatal crash:
"Don't tweet and drive, kids. You might end up like Dr. Frank Ryan, a famous Hollywood plastic surgeon who died after driving off a cliff near his Malibu home Monday. Ryan, known for working with celebrities such as Heidi Montag, was tweeting about his border collie, Jill, just seconds before the crash, the doctor's ex-girlfriend told People Magazine."

My nominee for the 2010 Darwin Awards.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Children of Heaven (1997)****
Beautifully made tale about 2 Iranian children who have to share shoes for a few weeks. Captivating performances from the children, smart direction. Important film these days.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)***
Supremely odd and quirky pastiche of film noir tropes put together with exquisite attention to detail and technique by the Coens. Well acted by a very good cast.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Town Called Panic (2009)***
It's adults playing with plastic toy figures making up a story as they go along. Basically. But it's great stop-motion animation and pretty funny most of the time. Loses some steam in the second half, but finishes nicely. One instance where dubbing into English would be a mistake. The voice overs are just perfect.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Force 10 from Navarone (1978)**
By-the-book Alistair MacLean actioner.

Monday, August 02, 2010

TRON (1982)**
Very much a product of its time (video game parlors!) but not obnoxiously so. It has an internal integrity and consistency of tone that is actually remarkable for something so inconsequential. It's not campy, not unintentionally laughable, not preachy, not pretentious. It's an ok picture.