By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Tue, June 01 2010 - 6:50 pm
June 1, 2010 The Secret of Nikola Tesla: Choppy and very scientifically and politically abbreviated, it seemed to me having read the AC/DC Wars. A dog (with fleas, my partner said.) I kept falling asleep.
June 2, 2010 The Lady Eve: For those who are not overly troubled by extreme moral ambiguity or relativity, have fun! Hey, it's a comedy, appropriately named.
June 3, 2010 Lewis Black: Red, White, and Screwed: Very fucking funny guy, and if you can't tolerate this minicomment you will not be able to handle the video.
June 4, 2010 Paradise Now: Chilling story, suspenseful beyond bearing, really. Paradise Never. 6/5 P.S. Study in motivation for - well, you'll have to see it yourself now, won't you?
June 5, 2010 The Best Years of Our Lives: Post World War II and the soldiers come home. An interesting lesson in what happened to returning men that time around. Sidenote: Was the housing to be made from old planes Lustron?
June 6, 2010 Breakin' All the Rules: I call it complicated. My partner says, no, it keeps moving, more like a Rubic's Cube. Many more laughs, though.
June 7, 2010 Bus Stop: Too much, but William Inge loves to show how much can hinge on small things. And I don't really mean too much. How can a film be too entertaining.
June 8, 2010 Thirty-Nine Steps: No, not a new and improved 12-step program. Old English Hitchcock. A cinematic trick in this one you will never forget.
June 9, 2010 Crude Awakening: Required viewing. My favorite image - the George Washington Monument-shaped curve of our fossil fuel usage as projected by Hubbard.
June 10, 2010 Some Like it Hot: Just charming, but my partner senses an underlying melancholy or sadness in Marily that just wasn't there in Bus Stop. Anybody else notice?
June 11, 2010 The Caine Mutiny: If you haven't seen this one for three decades, it's time to see it again. A movie designed to make the audience search its own collective conscience.
June 12, 2010 The Blue Angel: Claustrophobia-inducing and powerful. Makes me think of sayings like, "Sic semper tyrannus," and "Pride...blah blah blah." Yet the movie doesn't really seem like a morality tale. Or does it?
June 13, 2010 Mrs. Harris: Whew. A little dose of reality. Or did she have big dose of unreality (as in distortion by drug usage?) For anyone going through what she went through, and we have been legion, I recommend the I Ching. The hexagram Modesty is helpful. Also, put making purchases of guns and driving more than twenty minutes upset - hell, make it don't drive at all while upset! Why am I going on like this? Oh, yeah, it's Sunday. Forgive.
Ned Kelly: Taken from history, but of course not entirely true. Would have been nice to see it unfold, but at least a third of the film was too dark to see anything on the small screen. Couldn't make out the words, either. Lots more Ned Kelly films for anyone who is interested, though. If you can find them. (One stars Mick Jagger!) Sounds like fun if you can tolerate the violence yet again, knowing the end.
June 14, '10 Vertigo: Slick portrayal of obsession.
June 15, '10 Talk to Her: Gripping. A strange juxtaposition of different worlds.
June 16, '10 My Favorite Year: Loveable comedy. That has one over-the-top hilarious scene, but those aren't the only laughs.
June 17, '10 The Lake House: Very much like Premonition, but not so weird and sinister.
Klute: A showcase for Jane Fonda's acting talents, but it can stand up tall as well. Detection and luck abound. Really evokes for me, even though it appeared in 1971.
June 18: Marco Polo: Made for TV, I think. Marco Polo really was not convincingly energetic and sly and charismatic enough. It did drag on, but that was at least partly because the DVD kept sticking. Do teachers assign this one to their history students? Not overly historically correct, I am informed by my partner who has been reading about Marco Polo.
June 19, '10: Crazy Heart: Great acting in an all-too-universal story. Country music sings its pathology on the movie screen.
June 20, '10: Tried to watch The Hunger, but the DVD was too damaged. My partner starting watching Medieval Times made for BBC by Terry Jones. Over the last few days we have watched an episode or two. They are lively and informative and entertaining, but unfortunately I can't - with my condition of eternal sleep deprivation - seem to stay awake throughout. Maybe it is that they are monologues. Maybe I need that dialogue tension to keep me awake.
June 21, '10: The Other Man: It knows it's snobbish, but it is more snobbish than it knows.
June 22: The Big Lebowski: Funny and dumb. Makes you feel as if Jeff Bridges will do anything.
June 23: The Hunger: Surrealistic and edgy, beautiful and crazy-making cinematography. Anybody know what the hell happened in the last five minutes? In detail, please.
June 25: The Thomas Crown Affair: Have seen both version, and loved them both, but... well, I'm seeing more ethical problems and just plain old impractical risk-taking and - oh, hell, shut up it's just a plain fun yarn!
June 26: The Lifeboat: Interesting bit of propoganda, that. Obviously dated - now a woman would jump up and start - oops! Don't want to ruin it for you!
June 27, '10: One Night with the King: I wanted to see the story of Queen Esther, but not this much.
June 28, '10: Miller's Crossing: Hard, hard and hard. You know that's good!
June 29, '10: The Royal Tenenbaums: Cool humor. Drizzly gray warmth.
June 30, '10: Broken Embraces: Sad, surprising, and sizzling. We are liking this director, Almodovar.
July 1, '10:
July 2, '10: The Limey: B minus revenge flick.
July 3, '10: Beat the Devil: Devilishly clever. Unforgettable comic characters, too. Sure wish I could understand Portuguese, though.
July 4, '10: Evening: Some incredible performances in here by the grandes dammes of movies.
July 5, '10: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: Whimsical, delightful, and va-va-voom! Sophia Loren! Marcello Mastrianni!
July 6, '10: The Other Boleyn Girl: A horror story that would still be a horror story if historically accurate. Beauty abounds in spite of it.
July 7, '10: Best Boy: Thank God for cousins, apparently! A way to look ahead that can be mightily helpful for all those in a similar situation.
July 8, '10: In the Heat of the Night: Wow. Sidney Poitier in a tight situation - or two or three. We did suffer tortures of protective concern for him in the face of the small-town racist mentality and the sheriff was - but no - I don't want to ruin it for you!
July 9, '10: Free Radicals: Very disjointed at first, it all kind of comes together. Very interesting - I'm glad we could talk all the way through it so we could try to figure out what the hell was going on. Easier on the big screen? Lots of sex - I guess the scientific reference of the title has kept the teenagers from discovering it. We experienced no glitches at all.
July 10, '10: The Reckoning: Very intriguing, if unlikely in outcome. High drama with salvation and a mystery to solve. Who could ask for more - like a troupe of medieval players, for instance?
July 11, '10: Russian Ark: What, was this put on by the Russian Department of Tourism? Snooze. Except after I woke up, I enjoyed the dancing. The end was affecting.
July 12, '10: Harry and the Hendersons: Silly and fun. I defy you not to develop a soft spot for this guy.
July 13, '10: Be Kind Rewind: A slow-starter, but the "Sweded" movies were fresh and funny.
July 14, '10: Girl from Paris: Gorgeous scenery, characters believable and sympathetic. Director fooled us once or twice - at least for a while.
July 15, '10: Ghost World: I think I'm depressed.
They Call Me Mr. Tibbs: Fun to see a good old-fashioned mystery. Body. Solution. Deals with social issures, but don't expect it to be another In the Heat of the Night.
July 16, '10: Priscilla the Queen of the Desert: Some landscape of superlative grandeur. At least one character of commensurate bleakness. In spite of the slight alleviation of mood, pretty mean-spirited and now I know I'm depressed.
July 17, '10: Things We Lost in the Fire: Somewhat slowpaced, but unfortunately that is how improvement and recovery often are. Some great acting in this one.
July 18, '10: Born into a Brothel: I would have loved it if I could have understood a word the children were saying. No English subtitles! It is very frustrating to watch these children from the other side of the globe pour their hearts out and not be able to understand a single word. Did the makers run out of funding? What the hell?
July 19, '10: Angel Heart: Hard-boiled detective meets voodoo psychodrama. There's an effective but poisonous gumbo stew for you!
July 20, '10: The Big White: We were primed to love this and at first found it hysterical. It was pretty good, too, but somewhere along the line deflated. Just a little. Not much. Just got a little fuzzy. I don't know why.
July 21, '10: Amreeka: An appealing lead, but my goodness, this Palestinian/American film is like an American sitcom - lie upon lie upon lie. Glad we saw it, but dysfunction is dysfunction, no matter where the family comes from.
July 22, '10: If a Man Answers: Comedy of looney people that is really a lot of laughs. Sexism still abounds - hey it's the early sixties.
Take My Eyes: In ways a modern day Orpheus story (which is significantly featured in the film.) A perfect example of why an abusive husband needs time (like years!) before he can - but no, I don't want to ruin it for you! Amazing film.
July 23, '10: Valdez is Coming: More and more I'm thinking movies are worth watching for the scenery alone. Good old Western - from a novel of Elmore Leonard's more idealistic days?
July 24, '10: Veronica: Story of incredible courage or maybe denial. Gutsy woman. So you think you want to be a journalist?
July 25, '10: I'm Not There: Several people portray Dylan in this movie, but Cate Blanchett rules! That is, if you bother to see it. So much bullshit! And one of my favorite Dylan pieces isn't featured.
July 26, '10: The Time of the Wolf: During most of this film I was as hungry for light as they were for food and water. Dismal and not worth it - but I admit I didn't stop watching. I just wanted to.
July 27, '10: True Confessions: An interesting family combo and how it functions synergistically (or doesn't) in society. Oh, a murder mystery, too.
July 28, '10: Rebecca: Great for what it is. If you like the romantic gothic genre of fiction you will probably love it. I still bet, though, that reading the book would afford you much more suspense!
July 29, '10: The Staircase: We missed some of the middle episodes because we did not realize how the disc was arranged. Interesting but also really strange. Is forensic science as set forth in court really science at all? Who is absolutely full of - well - the jury is out on that one. Scary and kind of boring at the same time.
July 30, '10: Small Time Crooks: Woody Allen playing a reverse snob. A movie about people being stupid can still be very funny.
July 31, '10: No Remorse: 2010 Jesse Stone mystery that we enjoyed as much as the previous ones we have seen. Seems like there aren't as many straight murder mysteries as there used to be, and these fit the bill. The memorial to Robert Parker at the end, though, was a rude way to find out that this wonderful novelist has died.
Bad Day at Black Rock: A Western about small-town rot and the influence a smart brave man can wield against it. Improbable and romantic? I don't know - thank goodness!
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