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movii parvae et interrupti
By: Esther Powell
Posted on: Tue, September 01 2009 - 12:22 pm


Well, I said it wasn't really fair to write about movies made for the big screen viewed on the small screen with numerous interruptions, but I find after three months of this silence I just can't resist.

Latin scholars - you can tell me how to improve my article title if you want.  It's kind of a joke, but I'm open to suggestions!  Like, should it be parvii?

We've watched almost six months of movies, one every day, and I'm going to start with the one we saw day before yesterday - the one that broke the dam of my silence (never a very solid one!)

The ones we already saw?  I'll mention them if future ones call them to mind!

August 30, 2009  Taxi to the Dark Side: A must-see documentary film for anyone in the U.S. of A. who thinks we are always the good guys.  There are no laughs in this one.

August 31, 2009  I, Robot:   I hear the critics were hard on this one, but I enjoyed it.  I don't watch so much science fiction that I am jaded, and it had an interesting twist that recalled 2001.

September 1, 2009  Word Wars: Scrabble documentary highlighting four contestants in a national tournament, unfortunately none of them women.  Oh well, it was really interesting both to scrabble aficionados and those who abstain. (This set represents two of us this time.)

September 2, 2009  Didn't have time for a movie for the first time in weeks, so I'll mention one that we saw in the week before I began this daily record:  French CanCan.  This film, directed, as I am told, by a Renoir whose father was the great impressionist painter, did not make it to the U.S. in the mid-fifties when it was first released.  Too risque!  Ha!  It is bright, colorful, humorous, and the cancan dance as depicted here is surprisingly er, well, let's say unpolished.  We liked it.

September 3, 2009  Interview with the Assassin:  An intriguing mockumentary idea.  For what it is, well-done if quite dismal.  I think it is a movie that is suitable for the small screen, and would not find an invitation to see it again on the big screen tempting.

Amazingly convincing, though!

Sept. 4, 09  Suspect Zero:  Ben Kingsley notwithstanding, just weird.  I rate it a nasal "enh" with a shrug.  Was frustrated to see they had my idea for - but no - don't want to ruin it for you!  Why ruin a good shrug?

Sept. 5, 09  Inside the Vatican:  A National Geographic film that I checked out mostly from curiosity to see some of the glories within.  Martin Sheen narrates in an upbeat but bland voice, which I will not blame for putting me to sleep.  Documentaries that are not really creatively pepped up or controversial tend to do that to me.  What I saw was interesting, though:  a nun who has spent thirty-five years restoring a 16th-century tapestry;  a tailor who makes the very complicated ornate uniforms of the Swiss palace guard;  a photographer who has a full-time job taking pictures of His Holiness.

Not a film I would expect would challenge me, but a couple of things bothered me.  For one thing, the "proof" necessary to declare someone a saint - not scientific at all, of course.  For another, the sheer wealth and richness of the Vatican bothered me afterwards.  The attention paid to external pomp and luxury and show in an institution which is supposed to be all about internal, invisible things seems so contradictory.

All I can say is, widow, hold on to your mite!

Sept. 6, '09  Once:  A song about musicians with real musicians singing real songs of their own composition.  (Well, at least one writer.)  I call the film a song because it is one.  Not a ballad, but lyrical  - more like a short story than a novel.

Some of the songs are sung in their entirety and they are worth listening to.  I liked this movie!  Real people, real lives.  Like.

Sept. 7, '09  Did you ever wonder what happened to Typhoid Mary?  Did you ever feel sorry for her, or wonder if she was one of your mysterious shadowy ancestors?  Well, watch Nova's DVD about her and your questions will be answered.  Fascinating!  I only dozed off once, relatively early in the show!  (Some of the actors are kind of hammy, though.)

Sept. 8, '09  Breach:  Based on a true story, still an edge-of-the chair thriller.  We loved it.  One strange character, that....

Sept. 9, '09  The Awful Truth With Cary Grant and Irene Dunn :  So silly, so much fun.  I think I know what the awful truth is.  Do you?  Email me and let's compare notes!

Sept. 10, '09  The Pursuit of Happyness:  Hard to watch, let alone to live.  I can't imagine.  Really a thriller.  May be a feel-good film, but you sure have to wait a long time for happiness!  Don't get me wrong, though.  Inspirational!

Sept. 11, '09  Waitress:  Well, aside from the misnomer of a title, I liked it.  Reality and fairy-tale land blended into a bitter-sweet chocolate and sweet-sour persimmon pie!

Except after sleeping on it, I don't think trying to recreate the past is the solution to the present.  I want to say it is evil, but I guess what I should say is that it doesn't honor the reality of the present.  And who wants to live in Candyland, anyway, even if it did exist and it doesn't.  And what is with that final scene with all those (shudder) nasty green pies?

Those would have been even worse on the big screen!

Sept. 12, 2009  Wackness:  Definitely not black comedy, more like a skewed checkerboard of gray and sepia, but you gradually (finally!) begin to relate to and empathize with the characters.  Weird and kind of passionately low-key.

Sept. 14, 2009  Inherit the Wind:  It is positively eerie.  We saw this wonderful movie made fifty years ago, and later the same evening we see scenes from the same movie being shown on an MSNBC news program!

Not eerie at all, actually.  My partner chose the movie because recent demonstrations and crowd irrationality remind him of the mob scenes in Inherit the Wind  Someone working for MSNBC must have been reminded as well.

This is another must-see film.  Unfortunately, the people who need to see it most probably never will.

No, I take it back. No matter who you are or what you believe - everybody should see this film!  You won't be bored!

Sept. 15, '09  A Secret:  More like multiple secrets.  A slew of secrets!  This film should convince those that believe the holocaust is a fable, with its shocking original footage.  Oh, damn, I just gave away one of the secrets.  Don't worry!  There are lots more.  Based on a true story, it is a wonderful film, really.  Lots of tricky art in it.

Sept. 16, '09  Independence Day:  What can I say?  From the sublime of yesterday's movie to ... well, Independence Day is to movies what cosies are to mysteries.  Er, plus or minus a few million fiction deaths.  Quite a spectacle!  A little hard to watch post 9/ll.  Very rock 'em knock 'em but not so technically convincing you get really scared.  Not really small screen material, maybe.  For fun.

Sept. 17, '09  Road to Perdition:  A revenge tragedy grimmer than the Brothers Grimm.  Well done and visually beautiful even so.  The world of these people is a closed system - almost.

Sept. 18, '09  The Son:  Stark French film (no music) which portrays the experience of a man teaching carpentry to local youth.  Described as a thriller, it is a very gentle one.

Sept. 19, '09  Smart People:  This movie about pissy people who think they are above common manners (behaving pissily, in other words) is of course interesting, as is all pathology.  I don't know why we should care about these characters at all, but by the end of the movie I confess I did a little, in spite of my high SAT scores!  My undue compassion is probably due to the fact that my inferior intelligence didn't qualify me for perfect ones!  (What the hell am I talking about?  See the movie!  Or not - maybe it's not smart enough for you!)

Sept. 20, '09  Big Rig:  Lots of interviews with real truck drivers, lots of shots of big cities and sunsets and the USA from coast to coast.  Seems to go on a little too long like a long-distance truck ride, but what would you cut?  A fascinating, candid documentary.

Sept. 21, '90 Ulee's Gold  A good one - not particularly tender, but not too sadistic to the viewer either.  Interesting of bee-keeping scenes interspersed with family drama.  There were times I wished I were viewing this one on a big screen.

Sept. 22, '90 The Visitor:  A very affecting tale about some of the long-term fall-out from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Not only Americans but Arabs have been the victims, and this is a story similar to what many have experienced.  Sweet and - oops, I won't say more.  A film very much worth seeing.

Sept. 24 '90 The Station Agent:  Another movie written by the same man as The Visitor.  Another good one.  Interesting and dramatic without stepping off into the unbelievable.  Watching films like this make you heave a big sigh of relief.  Why don't we have more like these two?

Sept. 25, '90  Inside Out:  A weird film that goes too far into creepiness for my taste (I admit I'm a wuss). Interesting, though and quite lawless considering its basic life-affirmation.  It reminds me a little of some of the stuff by John Barth and Peter Schaefer.

Sept. 26, '90  Balseros:  A documentary about some of the Cubans who tried to float across the ocean between Havana and the U.S.  It's subtitled: The Dream.  The Journey.  The Reality.  And all those, of course, are different for everybody featured.  Want more of an idea of the real story?  I didn't know I did, but I'm really glad I saw this.

Sept. 27, '90 we watched Gabrielle:  Years ago, a movie theatre opened in Santa Fe which said it didn't want to show "neurotic French films."  At the time I though, "Oh."  I probably liked them, maybe, I thought.

Well, here's one for you, I think, and thirty years later, I don't like them.

Watching this couple with their sado-masochistic emotional torture over the course of a few days, maybe reminds me too much of the worst times of my marriage.  I couldn't watch it too well.  At one point, I turned on the light and cut my fingernails.

Not that it wasn't interesting.  It was just so - unbearable.

Sept. 28, '09 The Situation:  Another difficult movie to watch.  Maybe I learned a little about Iraq.  The courage and persistence of the main protagonist I have trouble admiring.  Too many consequences.  Aaaay!

Sept. 29, '09  Sweet Land:  Sweet movie, and I am not damning it with faint praise.  Sweet.

Sept. 30, '09  The Third Man:  Not only a great noir tale, but also incredibly visually interesting - black and white and proud of it!  Is it my imagination, or are they not making mystery films like this anymore?  (And I don't mean black and white!)

Oct. 1, '09  Quick Change:  It's embarrassing to admit that Laurel and Hardy made me nervous, and so did this one.  There were laughs anyway.  Fun to recognize a few faces of people that have made it big since this movie was made.

Oct. 2, '09  High Crimes:  A killer thriller highlighting the military.  You won't fall asleep watching this one!

Oct. 3, '09  My Dinner with Jimmi:  A little slice of life of The Turtles, including quite a dialogue with Jimmi Hendrix.  Was that really accurately remembered and reported?  I never remembered so much of a drunken (well, any!) conversation in my life.

Oct. 4, '09  Fire:  First of an Indian trilogy, sumptuous and compassionate, even in its portrayal of some behavior blatantly selfish.  Really wonderful.

Oct. 5, '09 The Statement:  Another evocation of World War II horrors and a fascinating track-down.  Michael Caine is great at being despicable.

Oct. 6, '09 The Squid and the Whale:  A divorce and the fall-out thereof.  Toward the end I did get a little tired of it all, being in my sixties now and more serene (heh) but it was good.

Oct. 7, '09 Lions for the Lambs:  Reminded me of George Bernard Shaw - lots of dialogue.  For lots of people that would be a thumbs down, I guess, but I always liked GBS.  Very timely.

Oct. 8, '09  The Education of Little Tree:  A good movie, but his "education" seems like enough to make the poor kid dissociative for life!  Beautiful scenery, spirituality, and sentiment.  It makes me dissociate.  Oh, well.  My mom liked it.  So did I, I confess.

Oct. 9, '09  The Spreading Ground:  Starts out strong with some interesting twists, then, huh?  I'm just not convinced.  Oh, the criminal convinced me.  The other connections, I'm not so sure.  Absorbing, though.  I didn't get sleepy!

Oct. 10, '09  Sneakers:  What fun this one is!  I can sure see the point of the bad guy, though.  In fact, if he weren't power-hungry and ruthless - well.  I haven't given anything away with this one yet, have I?  I'll stop now.

Oct. 11, '09  Scoop:  They don't come much more fun than this.  Romantic/mystery/comedy triple decker.

Oct. 12, '09 Night Train:  Watch this movie and you'll probably be dead by sunrise.

Oct. 13, '09  Matchpoint:  Halfway through, I'm going, This reminds me strongly of - what was the name of that movie that was the name of a boat? Cassandra's dream.  Oh, yeah, another tortured Woody Allen film.  And he's not just a masochist - we all have to suffer watching his characters writhe.

Oct. 14, '09  Spy Game:  Normally probably wouldn't see a movie with the word "spy" in the title, but I'm glad I did.  Really quite romantic, in more than just the common sense!

Oct. 31, '09  Appaloosa:  I picked up the movie because appaloosa is a cool print of horse, but the movie was about a town of that name.  I got caught right up in it, though, so I couldn't say if there was an appaloosa in there or not!  The other reason I got it was because it was adapted from a novel by Robert Parker, and I enjoy his stuff.  I liked it, but the made New Mexico sepia for the mood - like an old photograph, and that was a little hard to take.  New Mexico doesn't really look like that!

Nov. 1, '09  Earth:  Second of the trilogy started by Fire.  This one is not for the faint of heart; it is about violence between Muslim and Hindi during the partition of India in 1947 and is harder to watch than any other movie I can remember seeing.

P.S. The last incident I have read somewhere in recent years.  Where it was set, who it happened to, I cannot yet place.  Freaky what is happening to my mind!

Nov. 2, '09  Speak:  About a young teen who loses her ability to express herself as the result of a trauma.  Well done, and it aroused my sympathy.

Nov. 4, '09  Blind Horizon:  We watched this one uninterrupted, which means if something happened too fast for our unvisually sophisticated and visually slow brains (sarcastic false modesty here, don't crow) we couldn't look at it again and pause for arguments.  Parts of it really had to be explained to me afterward.  Duh.

Nov. 6, '09  Happy Birthday:  Full of surprises and not all birthday ones.

Nov. 7, '09  A Horse for Danny:  This is a movie I had never heard of, but we liked it.  Good for kids and adults.

Nov. 8, '09  A Fine Mess:  Just too dumb - watched about five minutes.  Five Card Stud:  Watched it all, but it wasn't all that good either.  A Western murder mystery with not enough red herrings.

Nov. 9, '09  Babel: an awesome movie straddling Morocco, USA, Mexico and Japan.

Nov. 10, '09  The Seduction of Dr. Lewis:  Looney but likeable.

Nov. 11, '09  Jesus Camp:  Unspeakable.

Nov. 13, '09  Unknown White Male:  The true story of the subject's amnesia recorded by a former friend.  Gives a slant on amnesia I haven't seen before in novels or in real life written accounts. 

Nov. 14, '09  Bright Leaf:  Kind of a tobacco-related family investigation, featuring a Gary Cooper movie of the same title.  Interesting, but needed some fierce editing. 

Nov. 16, '09  Meet the Parents:  This kind of comedy just makes me uncomfortable.  Last 15 minutes kind of endearing, but I'm a pushover.

Nov. 17, '09  In the Valley of Elah:  One of those stunningly real movies that you don't hear much about and wonder why.  Except you know why.  A message most Americans just don't want to hear.  Great acting and no surprise there.

Nov. 18, '09  Meet the Fockers:  For once a sequel far superior to the original, in my opinion.  Who knows, maybe I just think so because it made me much less uncomfortable.

Nov. 19, '09  Treasure of the Sierra Madre:  Awesome.  These characters are unforgettable.  The story is classic morality tale, I guess.  But on what a grand scale!  So what if the Mexican Natives speak Spanish all the time?  To nitpick about that would be small-minded.

Nov. 20, '09  Kennel Murder Case:  Tried to watch this VCR and couldn't really tell one character from another.  I don't want to blame this fuzziness on my eyes!  A disappointment, because it looked like such fun but I just couldn't stay awake.

Nov. 21, '09  Water:  Another of the Fire Earth Water trilogy that deals with the treatment of widows in India, 1938.  Unfortunately it is still going on these days.  Bad situation, incredibly vivid movie.

Nov. 22, '09  Religulous:  Drove quite a ways to see this movie in a theatre when it first came out.  Still think Mahr is right on, except maybe his take on Muslims' interpretation of the Koran.  There are enlightened Christians that don't take the Bible literally, same for the Islam religion.  I hope.  Enjoyed it just as much this second time, heard and followed more.  The clips interrupting the interviews are great fun.

Nov. 23, '09  The Deep:  Treasure hunt with a dash of social conscience.  Scariness under the ocean.  Fun adventure with a pleasing - but no, I wouldn't want to ruin it for you!

Nov. 24, '09  Take Care of My Cat:  The story of five Korean girls set in Inchon and Seul.  The environment - very industrial urban.  Liked it quite a bit, but it was a little long.

Nov. 26, '09  Beyond the Sea:  Satisfied some of my very idle curiosity about Bobby Darin and his life, but somehow just couldn't rise to the level of any real significance for me.

Nov. 27, '09  Blind:  Liked the music at the beginning.  A curious juxtaposition of practical and emotion engaged me at first, but then more and more unconvincing acting and deadly dialogue ensued.  The film became a serial scene-killer.

Nov. 28, '09  Seven Pounds:  It was fun to sit and try to figure out this puzzler.  It's kinda creepy, but definitely interesting and well done.  Will Smith only went over the top once or twice.

Shopgirl:  I kind of liked the book, though it was curiously gray and blank.  The movie, not so much.  What I thought was the best line of the book didn't make it to the movie.  That annoys me.  Considering the author of the book also wrote and acted in the movie, I would have expected a little more fidelity.  Oh well.

Nov. 29, '09  Suicide Kings:  The jacket called this a comedy.  Sorry, a few laughs do not a comedy make.  It kept me interested, although frustrated by people's stupidity. Maybe that is what was supposed to be funny.  Farce?  Definitely - but serious.  I'm still confused about some of the nuts and bolts of the plot.  Oh.  It is not about a suicide pact.

Nov. 30, '09  The Avengers:  No chemistry!  What a disappointment with such star power.  I fell asleep a couple of times at least.  I did love those mechanical attack wasps, though.  Cool.

Dec. 1, '09  Adaptation:  I wonder how John LaRoche and Susan Orleans feel about being turned into - but no, I can't ruin it for you.  Just remember: The Orchid Thief - literary journalism.  Adaptation:  movie.  The title is an understatement.

Dec. 2, '09  Born Rich:  An interesting pastiche of interviews of fellow rich kids by one of the young Johnsons (of Johnson & Johnson fame.)  Fascinating, the consciousness of unlimited wealth and very limited dating pool!  That's only part of it, though.  View!

Dec. 3, '09 Night Passage:  Jesse Stone tale with typical Stone depression and Robert Parker absolutely unreal directness of dialogue.  We enjoyed it.

Dec. 5, '09  The Missing:  Another hard to watch film, but quite a story (did stuff like that really happen?)  You won't fall asleep while this one is playing! 

Dec. 6, '09  Scotland, PA:  MacBeth turned darkly comic and set in small-town Pennsylvania in the 70's.  Weird and funny, almost always too literally dark for the small screen.

Dec. 7, '09  Grey Gardens:  Bizarre, pathologically absorbing, but oh, too much old-lady singing.  Enough already!

Dec. 8, '09  Outfoxed:  An important film to see which I failed to watch all the way through.  In my case, they are preaching to the choir.  If you watch Fox, watch this film!

Dec. 9, '09  In the Bedroom:  Not a sexy film at all.  All about the consequences of uncontrolled passions.  And they reach farther than you dream when you start watching this film!

Dec. 10, '09 All the Days Before Tomorrow:  Pointless?  Boring?  I guess you could do the same thing and have it much better.  As far as I'm concerned the cinematographer can take his ugly filter and... well, you know.  And a movie that depends so much on character and dialogue better have better both.  Fell asleep several times, almost stopped watching, but had to follow through just to see - okay, I saw.  Nice, but no salvation.

Dec. 11, '09  Almost Famous:  A movie about the rock world that didn't have to have the sound turned up and down throughout to make it bearable.  The sound track had works by many rock groups so it was interesting, and the main character very successfully aroused our empathy.  Worth seeing!

Dec. 12, '09  Everything's Cool:  This documentary about global warming and how dealing with it has been derailed by people casting doubts that it is really happening is extremely educational.  We are in Hamlet's dilemma in more ways than one.  Conflict paralyzes action, and if we are not careful, we will parallel Hamlet in another way and everyone will be dead at the end.

Dec. 13, '09  Sylvia:  A necessarily dark movie about a dark human being.  One wants to just shake her sometimes, but she was a real person so even fantasizing it seems disrespectful.  Maybe Ted Hughes was right; maybe she was "insanely ambitious."  (Not put forth by the film - my idea.  It unfairly trivializes her, I'm sure.)  Well done!

Dec. 14, '09  Stranger than Fiction:  Wonderfully bizarre set-up.  This is my favorite film in quite a while.  Except the acting was so good that I was convinced - but no, I don't want to ruin it for you!

Dec. 15, '09  End Game:  We started out enjoying this immensely, and then somehow... it... just... let's put it this way.  It doesn't make any sense at all, her perspective.  Won't say any more because I wouldn't want to ruin it for you - any more than it ruins itself, that is.

Dec. 16, '09  Battle in Seattle:  Good to learn more about this demonstration against the World Trade Organization and its evil deeds.  Real footage interspersed with fictional characters and at least one unbelievable jail scene.  Still, action-packed and safely delivered of its message.

Dec. 17, '09  Best of Colbert:  Like the Colbert Report?  Then you'll like it.  I did, too, but I think I enjoy Stephen Colbert more in 1/2 hour doses.

Dec. 18, '09  Before the Devil Knows You're Dead:  Highly dramatic in spite of our numerous at-home interruptions.  Organized like the severed bloody fragmented fingers of a ...  well you get the idea.  A powerful film with hateful characters who richly get their - but no, I don't want to ruin it for you!  We enjoyed it dreadfully.

Dec. 19-20  Born on the Fourth of July:  This movie made a big splash when it was made but I never saw it.  What an eye-opener!  I'm embarrassed to admit it, but it was.  I know that the Vietnam War was bad, but were veterans' hospitals really that bad?  My God, that was the sixties!  I thought we were enlightened then!  Was that really the country I was living in at the time?  Well, like I said - an eye-opener.

Dec. 20, '09  Jerry Maguire:  I already saw this years ago, but it only gets better on second viewing. 

Dec. 21, '09  Unconditional Love:  A little slow-starting, but once it takes off - phew!  Unlikely and all the more fun for it.

Dec. 23, '09  Red Cap:  A pretty thorough downer of a film.  My partner thought it was uplifting and I replied I was uplifted to my ankles.  Don't be misled by a happy look on the cover;  it was due to an illusion that only lasted seconds.  Not to say the movie wasn't very well done.

Dec. 24, '09  The Amish How they survive:  Surprise, surprise.  They adapt, like everyone else.  But oh, so reluuuuctantly!  Interesting and eye-opening - not to say disillusioning.

Dec. 26, '09  Insomnia:  How come I never heard of this movie?  Star-studded and powerful detective story set in Alaska during the summer, when you can't see stars in the sky at all, I guess.  The cast shines in their place.

Dec. 27, '09  Charlie Wilson's War:  Amazing, amazing.  I'm not the only one who wonders why we have so much money and energy for killing, so little for healing and building.  I learned from this film, but there was more gratifying action for teen-age boys than for me - except for its cautionary tale, which, of course, is probably ignored by most viewers.

Dec. 27, '09  Thin Ice:  Caught this one on TV with long ads.  The prickly Stone character is okay, but I did not see him give one gesture of affection or even attention to his dog.  Well, he did open the car door for him once.  But ah, the movie is not a doggie flick for children.  It's about kidnapping and attempted murder (not necessarily in order) and I guess that and marital failure would be enough to depress anybody.  I liked it.

Dec. 28, '09  Fragments:  Aftermath of a violent diner shooting.  This isn't a detective story, as we thought it might be.  It was all about the effects on the victims, including those who escaped without a scratch.

Dec. 29, '09  Coco Chanel:  A visually beautiful film with pathos and glamor that actually shows what combo of luck (with a patron, in Chanel's case) and hard hard hard hard work and creativity it takes to be successful.  My partner liked it a lot, too!

Dec. 30, '09  Verdict:  A courtroom drama, and a good one.  Anyone interested in the law and its perversions, for good and evil, will like this one.

Dec. 31, '09  Collateral:   A thriller that would probably have given me a heart attack if the good patrons of the public library were not so sticky-fingered, and if there were no such thing as a pause button.  Good thing I didn't see this one in a movie theatre!  Except if I had, I wouldn't have missed the part that would have shown me why - well, never mind.  I wouldn't want to ruin it for you!

Jan. 2, '10  North Country:  Another hard movie to watch, but inspiring.  Hard for me to imagine people trying to hold on to such crappy lives, but I guess it's all relative.

Jan. 3, '10  Seconds:  Very sixties film in black and white - bizarre and spooky and blatantly thought-provoking.

Jan. 4, '10  Pearl Diver:  The most irrational character gets her way in a manner I don't understand, but hey, I can't say that that isn't like life!  Surprisingly, set near Goshen, Indiana in farm country.

Next morning - I didn't go far enough in praising this movie.  It is really plausible and psychologically credible.  It's a good movie in spite of the fact that I have this hatred of secrecy... but hey, if nobody kept secrets, would there be a movie at all? 

There's a challenge for you, film-makers!  Make a good movie in which secrecy is not an important ingredient.

Better hurry, or I'll manage to think of a dozen examples before you finish it?   ....or will I?

Jan. 5, '10  No Turning Back:  This movie just seemed dumb.  I felt almost no empathy for the main character because he just couldn't make a good decision.  I got the feeling we were supposed to think that the fact that he was an illegal alien gave him a reason to do anything that seemed expedient at the time.  So irrational did he seem to me that I had trouble believing he was ever a teacher at a university.  The fact that you have some responsibilites doesn't give you an excuse not to take any responsibility for anything you do.  A frustrating experience, watching this movie.  I wanted to stop watching, but maybe the title was just too suggestive.

Jan. 6, '10  Mostly Martha:  For a largely serious movie, pretty whimsical.  I liked it, but the last scene just doesn't ring true.  A real chef would know right away exactly what was wrong - but no, don't let me ruin it for you!

Jan. 7, '10  Mr. Brooks:  Twisted!  Several strands twisted!  Triple double twisted!  But still not too sick to watch and enjoy with not too much concern for the protagonist.  But to the more sensitive of you, it's twisted.  Stay away.  I actually think that thrillers are bad for me, too.  Make me too scared and hyper.

Jan. 8, '10  About a Boy:  Finally, a comedy - and a very enjoyable one.  Although why the protagonist got upset by the artist's description of him as - oops - I wouldn't want to ruin it for you - but it seems to me her description would have made him a perfect canvas for - oh, well.  I'm sure I haven't ruined it at all.  Really!

Jan. 9, '10  Blindness:  Oh, hell.  Another movie about hell on earth.  My partner wishes he would have been blind so he wouldn't have to see it.  What was it supposed to be, an allegory or something?  Shades of Katrina?  A physical analogy to moods?

Jan. 10, '10  Around the Bend:  A touching movie about four generations of males.  Almost moved me to tears - a rare event for me.  And movies with road trips always appeal.

Jan.11, '10  In Her Shoes:  Serendipitously, after a movie about multiple generations of males, here is a movie mostly about three generations of females.  Admittedly, the middle generation is no longer present.  This one also dealt with the damage life inflicts upon people, but is lighter-hearted.

Jan. 13, '10  Reversible Error:  Dang!  So chopped up, dirty and interrupted I can't really say I saw it.  But I liked it well enough to try to see it whole - lots of yummy twists and turns, but I can't say I found the love affair between - but no - I don't want to ruin it for you.

Jan. 14, '10  Rocky:  I finally saw this movie for the first time.  I never saw it before because I don't really want to see people beat up on each other.  I admit that I enjoyed the movie, though, and even found myself caring about which one of those idiots inflicting the maximum amount of damage on the other would win.  I'm probably up for one or two of the best of the sequels.  Maybe.

Jan. 15, '10  Saw two movies, firstly Paranoid Park, which really seemed amateurish to me.  I know that the style was probably intentional, but it was a little nauseating from time to time.  All that jiggling and photographing of abdomens!  Of course the values were a little disturbing also, but I try to keep an open mind about those things.

Next we saw the much slicker Ice Harvest.  In some ways it was like Paranoid Park, with a lot of really stupid behavior.  But where Paranoid Park was about an skate-boarding teen, this was about adults.  Sometimes I wonder about films called noir comedies.  Are they sometimes serious movies about ugly themes that just don't come off?  I did not think this was very funny very often.

I give both these films this:  though we don't particularly want to see either of them again, we didn't fall asleep!

P.S.  The more I think about it, though, I wouldn't mind seeing Ice Harvest again in a couple of years.  It had a lot of surprises!

Jan. 17, '10  Presumed Guilty:  A little lackluster, but if anyone needed to be shown that clerical niceties are important, this movie might do it!  How people can pay big time for other people's careless mistakes.

Jan. 17, '10  Inside Man:  One of the most impressive films we've seen lately.  Runs like clockwork and entertains the whole time.  Includes kind of a visual preterition - we won't really - oops - don't want to deprive you of any suspense!  "A first-rate flick" thumbs up from my partner.

Jan. 18, '10  In and Out:  Great fun!  Almost want to say it trivializes a very difficult issue, but damn it, it shouldn't really be such a difficult issue!  Tom Selleck is absolutely loveable and so is Kevin Kline, of course.  This is a star-studded movie and you know it is partly for the cause.  Well, we laughed a lot.

Jan. 19, '10  The I Inside:  Huh?  Sorry, I didn't get it.

Jan. 20, '10  Unfaithfully Yours:  Pretty silly but the leading lady sure is purty.  Unconvincing lapel ceasing and conducting.  If you've got a couple of hours to kill watching another movie with visual preterition, go for it.  Silly for me to even bother to mention it - after all, a movie is always visual preterition!  Ha, ha, silly me!

Jan. 21, '10  Gladiator:  Hauntingly like some novel I have read way back when.  This is a super movie, but oh, all the constant fighting and intrigue!  No wonder Maximus wanted to go back to his farm.

Jan. 22, '10  Death in Paradise:  Another Robert Parker Jesse Stone movie.  Obviously we like these, but oh how I hate that death warmed over telephone ex-wife of his!  Dreary!

Jan. 23, '10  North by Northwest:  Good lord, this protagonist is a forensic person's nightmare!  He doesn't seem like the brightest bulb but how can you resist the suspenseful allure of the South Dakota - well, hell, the airplane scene was pretty awesome, too.

The Thing About My Folks:  Sweet, sweet movie about the older generation and the older one than that.  Some of it sounding very familiar.  This is very much worth seeing.

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