Friday, June 1, 2012

Month of May

Features (17)

The Earrings of Madame de... *****
Damsels In Distress ***1/2, maybe ****
Ninotchka *****
Stolen Kisses *****
Mighty Aphrodite ***
The Saint Takes Over ***
Following ***
Shame **
Funny Games ****
Thirty Day Princess ***
Kiss and Make-Up ***
The Magician ****
The Avengers ***
M *****
Divorce Italian Style ****
Red River *****
Make Way Tomorrow *****

Stand-up specials

Aziz Ansari - Dangerously Delicious


Game of Thrones season 2
Mad Men season 5
Doug season 4
Downton Abbey seasons 1 and 2
Parks and Recreation season 4
30 Rock season 6
The Daily Show
The Colbert Report
Real Time with Bill Maher
The Ricky Gervais Show season 3
Seinfeld season 3

Notes: Jeff once asked me if I thought Greta Garbo was attractive. I think I responded with something along the lines of, "eh." To be fair, when he asked me that question, I hadn't seen Ninotchka. Now that I have, I have truly seen the error of my ways. Garbo is irresistibly adorable in Lubitsch's film. I love the moment when Ninotchka is trying champagne for the first time - the way her face lights up after she takes a sip. Unforgettable....that's what you are, Greta.

I really love Stolen Kisses. I wonder what that says about me in the context of Damsels in Distress; don't believe it, John and Ben. I mean, I'm quickly becoming a huge Truffaut fan, so it comes as no surprise to me that I enjoyed this one. But it does feel a lot better than "simply enjoyable." Seeing Antoine Doinel fail at various jobs was fun, but I love the idea of him as an inept private investigator. Good stuff.

I watched Mighty Aphrodite for the first time, and have heard great things about it for the longest time. While I did enjoy it, I have to say, I thought I would like it a lot more than I did. Granted, the idea of an R rated Woody Allen is intriguing as hell. Mira Sorvino is loveable...but there's something about her character's voice that feels slightly over-the-top. But the Lenny/Linda relationship is a nice gem. Up to that point, the Woody character had never really interacted with a prostitute, and it's definitely a situation ripe with comedy. 

The Saint Takes Over was fun. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did, but how you can hate on even a decent mystery/noir? Jeff and I talked about this a bit, and we agreed that George Sanders did a great job with The Saint. Not sure what Leslie Charteris was smoking. Sanders definitely has the ability to pull-off a debonair detective who plays by his own rules; he's a charming guy too.

I'm really happy that I finally saw Funny Games. I should not have waited as long as I did. A reminder to be less tentative about certain films. But now I make sure to always lock my doors...and I'm never giving eggs away to anyone. Sorry John, no omelets for you.

Thirty Day Princess and Kiss and Make-Up were two early Cary Grant movies. Both were decent, but I liked Thirty Day Princess more of the two. An interesting tidbit about that film is that Preston Sturges co-wrote the script. 

The Magician is interesting. Bergman always seems to blow my mind. All of his films are worth seeing because you'll walk away from them both confused and enlightened.

I texted John a one-sentence review of The Avengers. I think I called it "a cute bed-time story." Wow, who is this snide asshole? But really, there isn't much to say about it. I've never heard anything negative said or written about Joss Whedon...and I'm not about to start right now. The film isn't shit at all, but really it felt very similar to a Jon Favreau Iron Man film. I can understand people praising it simply for the fact that it could have easily been a gimmicky disaster. The themes are more well-written and better explored than most of the non-Nolan superhero movies, but at the end of the day, I say, "meh," but will end on, "Mark Ruffalo is the coolest."

M is brilliant. Note to self: watch more Fritz Lang films. There are so many great shots in this film, and the story takes us to some interesting places. I love the idea of criminals paying homeless people to keep an eye out for the murderer--in the hopes of catching him before the police can (doing something virtuous for selfish reasons). And the "courtroom" scenes are fantastic. Between this film and Funny Games, I've been thinking more on the topic of how to prosecute murderers. Hans Beckert is a danger to society, I don't care if he's insane or not, a guy like that just can't be on the streets/a part of our society. Kill him or lock him away for the rest of his life.

Divorce Italian Style is essentially the Italian, slightly darker version of Sturges'  Unfaithfully Yours. Both are comedic films that deal with similar concepts. DIS is enjoyable; the performances are well-done and characters play off of each other in a humorous and interesting way. The story unfolds in a fun way, too. Insert another vague comment. Has anyone else seen this one? I don't want to give anything away.

Watched Red River last weekend. And really guys, I am a born-again John Wayne fan. What can you say, the guy is great and I love that he's a little more of a villain in this one. I joked with Jeff that we should all do "Top Ten Mutiny" film lists; I can only think of three or four. I'm sure Brandon and John could surprise me. John Wayne - great. Howard Hawks - great. Monty Clift - equally great and now I'd like to see more of his films (only seen From Here to Eternity, I Confess, and now Red River). Clift's life story is such a tragic one. A nice little wikipedia read if anyone isn't too familiar with him.

I'll do a post on Make Way For Tomorrow soon. We can all share in the love. I also want to comment more on some of the things that everyone has written recently. Nice to see Lisa posting again.

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