Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rhodes (1936)*
Ill-conceived and ill-executed biopic of the legendary imperialist which glosses over trivialities such as the Second Boer War and much of Rhodes' chicanery. Walter Huston is watchable in the lead.
Faulk still reeling from 'being cheated' : Stltoday:
"•Mike Martz’s playcalling was awful. The Patriots lined up in a nickel or dime defense with extra pass defenders on 75 percent of the Rams’ plays. Belichick correctly concluded that Martz wouldn’t have the patience or discipline to stick with running the football. Indeed, the Rams attempted 47 passes and only 22 runs."

Ok, once more for the all incompetent sports writers, the number of plays called and the type of plays called as a meaningful statistic bereft of context is MEANINGLESS. Just looking at the stats, the Rams offense was incredibly successful in terms of yardage despite the supposed superiority of the Patriots' defensive scheme. The 3 turnovers directly resulted in 17 Patriots points and was the difference in the game.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Hospital (1971)****
Exceptional Paddy Chayefsky script, terrific George C. Scott performance, and innovative direction from Arthur Hiller which would be copied 20+ years later by ER and others. Another great movie from the 70's.
House by the River (1950)***
Nifty noir with interesting touches from director Fritz Lang. Jane Wyatt is very good as is the b/w photography.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

'Zero Dark Thirty' Is Osama bin Laden's Last Victory Over America: Rolling Stone
"But forget about all of that. The real problem is what this movie says about us. When those Abu Ghraib pictures came out years ago, at least half of America was horrified. The national consensus (albeit by a frighteningly slim margin) was that this wasn't who we, as a people, wanted to be. But now, four years later, Zero Dark Thirty comes out, and it seems that we've become so blunted to the horror of what we did and/or are doing at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and Bagram and other places that we can accept it, provided we get a boffo movie out of it.

That's pathetic. Bin Laden was maybe the most humorless person who ever lived, but he has to be laughing from the afterlife. We make an incredible movie that celebrates his death – a movie so good it'll be seen everywhere in the world – and all it does is prove him right about us."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Boogie Nights (1997)****
Vibrant, compelling, hilarious and a tour de force for director PT Anderson. Clearly influenced by Scorsese, with a near perfect performance from Marky Mark. Period detail is spectacular as is the use of popular songs of the era.
Woman of Straw (1964)**
A complicated murder mystery with a fine cast, well written and shot, but needs a good 30 minutes cut. Gina Lollobrigida is quite good.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986)*
If a director is going to significantly change a novel in the adaptation to the screen, he really should change the title. Or perhaps Mr. Lyne didn't INTEND to play it as a rom-com after all. Only worth watching for Kim Basinger. Apotheosis of the "80's" movie.