Wednesday, August 09, 2006

what I saw last week 7/31 - 8/6

To Be or Not To Be (1942): This is my favorite movie. I think it is even more funny and subversive than Dr. Strangelove. I watched it with my in-laws and brother and sister's in law, ages 8-16. It played like gangbusters. Big belly laughs. I think the reason it works so well is that it is genuinly tense and they never sacrifice the tenseness for a joke. There is even a half hour section where there is not one joke. Ernst Lubitsch and his screenwriters were that confident.
This is a criminally undervalued movie. Ernst Lubitsch is one of the top three directors ever, and this is his best movie.

Monster House: Good. Liked it.

Hard Candy: Scary and creepy. I found myself looking away from the screen even though it was just a lot of talking heads. Afterwords I felt like scrubbing myself with Clorox.

Coffee and Cigarettes: Pleasant all the way through, some skits worked better than others but so what? The skit between Alfred Molina and Steve Coogan made the whole thing worth it. And GZA and RZA should be in another movie together. They are hilarious.

Firewall: Even though I enjoyed it, I've already forgotten that I've seen it. If I didn't keep a list of the films I've seen, it would be down the memory hole.

V for Vendetta: Pretty good. I liked the foppish character and the inversion of the Guy Fawkes story, but why, oh why did he have to blow up Big Ben? I thought the whole point of the movie was that John Hurt was a bad Prime Minister because he doesn't allow art and freedom of the press and writing. So why did V blow up the parliament building? His movement is just as willing to sacrifice art (and yes, architecture is art) for ideology as John Hurt was. I don't trust whomever of those Guy Fawkes guys will be the next leader of the country after they win the revolution. They will be just as bad, or worse.

Talledega Nights: I loved Anchorman. Loved, loved, loved it. I only sort of liked this. I think the problem is that the main characters are southern rednecks. Not that I don't like Southerners, I just think the well of Southern bashing humor has run dry. Some pretty good parts, mostly when it goes surreal. One scene with a steak knife had the whole audience screaming. But other than that I was a little disappointed. Gary Cole was great. Sacha Baron Cohen was great.

Final Destination 3: Yeah, I saw it. So what? I needed to see how the trilogy plays out.


Blogger Jordan said...

i've gotta see some more lubitsch stuff. i really liked to be or not to be.

just saw talladega nights last night and laughed quite a bit. i saw it with my brother which helped. i thought john c. reilly was pretty funny and there were some great moments. probably not as good as anchorman but it was still funny even with the played out southern/red-neck jokes.

2:29 PM  
Blogger ben said...

Talladega was fun but Ricky Bobby didn't approach Ron Burgundy or Mugatu for those of you who are Will Ferrell fans.

12:40 PM  

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