Formerly "A Movie A Day" :/

Friday, May 28, 2010

Frenzy - 1972 - Dir. Hitchcock

I have no clue why I put Frenzy on my queue, but it was there... So I watched it one day. It's one of Hitchcock's last films and... eh... It's okay. There are definitely some bits of camera work that are TOTALLY awesome. The scene where the camera pushes into and then out of the apartment was SWEEEETTT... as is the opening. I would probably say my favorite aspects of the film are the two leads. Especially, Barry Foster whose an overly friendly but perfectly psychotic murderer. It's really not a surprise when he turns out to be the killer, but hey... I'm not sure Hitchcock films really pull too many surprises these days. Even though it's a little goofy, I kinda liked the scenes where the Detective has dinner with his wife. They're these really strange asides with that kind of "wah-wah" Hitchcock humor. I felt like the storytelling could be a little... unnatural feeling sometimes. The Detective asides were kind of indicative of that. It kind of felt like we would follow a character until he kind of ran into a dead end and then we'd switch to something more interesting. I suppose that's not uncommon but it felt a little rough around the edges sometimes and like some things were there to just fill time. Not an entirely uninteresting film, though. I little dated at times but it definitely has entertaining points.
Oh no! She's got a slug on her mouth!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Amadeus - 1984 - Dir. Forman

I haven't seen Amadeus since back in the day but MAN. This movie is sooooo good! It's like the perfect Oscar-type movie. Usually, I say that in a kind of derogatory way. BUT THIS MOVIE. Probably all the Mozart that plays helps. I mean, that music IS drama and I mean, it's no secret that Forman can direct the hell out of a movie. Especially when he's got sweet actors. Tom Hulce is RIDICULOUS! And F. Murray Abraham. AND Jeffrey Jones. But Abraham has to sell Salieri as a villain and as someone you can actually sympathize with and he really does deserve all the praise and awards he got. You really do hate Mozart with Salieri. At least, I did. I mean, where does that guy get off!? Being a big talented douche. And Hulce is so sneaky about about Mozart's collapse, you even feel bad for him. I mean, YOU FEEL FOR BOTH OF THE LEADS even as they clash. And as someone who knows next to nothing about the creation of music, the movie still is nice enough to hold your hand without feeling like you're being sat down and have it explained to you. I suppose if I had to find a criticism, the last act DOES feel a little rushed. The movie is almost two and a half hours and it doesn't really feel like it drags but I wouldn't be surprised if there was some speedy editing going on at that point. But really, it's a minor, minor complaint in what is just a really well made film.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Death at a Funeral - 2007 - Dir. Oz

Hey, I suppose, this was funnier than I really expected. I wasn't expecting much though. Sort of a mediocre British comedy but it had some refreshing elements. I suppose a lot of it came from it's amorality. Characters commit AWFUL crimes without really considering the write or wrong of it all, so the movie can move along at a pretty brisk pace. I mean, there's still an awful lot of the plot elements that are just mediocre crud like feuding brothers and the stubborn dick who wants the taken girl. There are so many different elements going on that if something isn't interesting, you only got to deal with it for a few minutes and then they'll be a whole blackmail plot or Alan Tudyk on acid (which is more entertaining than it sounds!). Peter Dinklage is AWESOME by the way. I'm always pissed when he plays the stereotypical bitter dwarf. That man can ACT. I feel like the film also has a pretty likable straightman in Macfadyen. Those characters are generally so boring in these types of film but he manages to inject some life into Daniel and his scenes are often more interesting than many others. So, uh, yeah- It's an okay comedy. I laughed at how surprisingly dark it could be for these types of films. It wasn't boring at least.
It's a loose Alan Tudyk! Catch him before he stars in a Joss Whedon production!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Third Man - 1949 - Dir. Reed

That's weird. Apparently, I haven't seen a movie released in the 1940's since I started this whole thing. ANYWAY. I have fond if not faded memories of this movie. Back in my high school time, I watched it and basically exploded with love for it. Then I never watched it again. So I figured, HELL. Let's see how it holds up. AND IT HOLDS UP SO WELL! Maybe even better than before. Orson Welles is the obvious attraction in the film, he's basically to Big Faced sponge sucking up all of my attention. On this viewing, however, and reasonably so, I became pretty enamored with Joseph Cotten. He's such a goofy dope in the movie. Basically the best protagonist you could ask for in this situation. Even when he's in "I'm gonna solve this mystery"-mode, he's charming the pants off of me. In fact, I might say that's what really feels great about the movie generally. It manages to have the best balance of tone. Dipping between morose film-noir and a kind of joking sense of humor within the same scenes without any kind of notable clash. ADDITIONALLY, Karas' score is absolutely awesome. But you know, anything with a zither is awesome. And you know, the movie just looks awesome. Even with all the goofiness, it still manages to have the most menacing and beautiful shadows. TERRIFIC!
How did such a classy chap turn into such a slob!?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kick-Ass - 2010 - Dir. Vaughn

You know, I ended up liking Kick-Ass more than I thought I would. I feel like for the most part, it's a really well made movie. It's certainly not a movie for everyone. There's a certain... moral and ethical grey area you have to be able to exist in. After all, a little girl does a lot of terrible things and has a lot of terrible things done to her. That little girl, Chloe Moretz, carries a lot of the movie. I mean, she's just fantastic. The film works a lot with the idea of childhood and well... mutations of it. Relating Hit Girl's stunted growth with that of any ordinary comic book nerd. Nicholas Cage, as always, is just awesome as hell. That man just seems to be able to read the kind of film he's going to be in and knows exactly what to bring to the table. Sure, he doesn't always seem to fill the "Big Daddy" suit. But that's almost the point. The movie never really advances past these characters living out comic book fantasies. They are always doofs in suits. And I feel like that helps so much in the tone of the film. We accept them for the doofs they are and are able to move on. Whereas in a film like Spiderman and Watchmen, I kept falling out of the reality because I felt like I was supposed to treat them like superheros... like great men and women. In Kick-Ass, we are only asked to treat them like people. And often times, it made it more exciting. I didn't know where these people stood morally, I could guess sometimes. But the movie functioned in a really pleasant gray area that constantly kept me on my toes. Red Mist's arc in particular was pretty interesting, how it toed the line between good and evil and was never... It was gray. And I really think I liked it. If you're able to enter into what is clearly a comic book world with comic book morality, I feel like you end up with something that has a pleasant amount of depth, even if sometimes it has goofy moments.
Kids these days! :/