Monday, November 28, 2005


Things I've seen I need to post about

So the whole "immediate thoughts shortly after seeing it" isn't really working out....

The Squid and the Whale 9
Intolerable Cruelty 8
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs 10
Repast 7
Late Chrysanthemums 8
Mother 9
Nightly Dreams 5
Brokeback Mountain 8
Imitation of Life 8
Munich 4
The new World 8
Dreamlife of Angels 10
Rashomon 10
Born Into Brothels 7
Capote 7
Cache 8
The Maltese Falcon 8
American Splendor 8
Oldboy 7
Bringing Up Baby 10
They Come Back 7
Brief Encounters 8
2046 8
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 5

NEED TO SEE: Match Point, 3 Burials....

Monday, November 21, 2005



Meridian 16, November 18
Sam Mendes, 2005


As with all his films, well made but unsatisfying. I this case, a rationale is lacking; this has all been done before. Rewatch Full Metal Jacket. A few assorted obervations: I like Gyllenhal, but he's not convincing in this role. Mendes and/or the writers don't seem to have decided what they want to do with Swofford--is he the archetypal empty vessel or the existentialist soul who goes along to get along? The key supporting roles--Foxx, Saarsgard, and in only two scenes the glorious Chris Cooper--are much more convincing. Foxx is turning out to be a hell of an actor.

The final scenes aren't bad, but they don't offer any insights that didn't already occur to the viewer. While I enjoyed my two hours in the theatre, I have the distinct sense that this film will fade from my mind quickly, as Road to Perdition did.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Good Night, and Good Luck

Clooney, October 2005, Uptown


Difficult film to rate. An efficient, well executed, absorbing bit of work. At a variety of different points, Clooney makes some excellent choices. Giving the lead to Straithern is an important move. Using McCarthy footage rather than an actor is another (any plausibly accurate portrayal would seem cartoonishly evil). The following point is apparently somewhat controversial, but I thought the sermonizing was kept at an appropriate level. Clooney knows how to balance politics and aesthetics.

Still....the whole enterprise seems a bit slight. Dialog crackles, direction is confident and focused, but in the end, it's a minor film.

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