Here are some two sentence reviews of the movies I watched in August.
- Movies watched – 13
- Movies that were new to me – 11
- Julia Stiles movies – 2
- Monthly Masterpieces – 0
- Farmageddon (2011) – I’m sure there is a good message here, and the film probably isn’t as dishonest and one-sided as it seems, but it still manages to raise my bullshit-meter induced heckles. Pro tip: try not to use the word “toxins” when you want to pretend you are making a point based on hard science.
- Picnic (1955) – Big drama, and lots of histrionics are on the menu at a labor day picnic thrown all aflutter by Holden’s deshirted (and dislikeable) drifter. Good fun, but not on par with other, superior stage to film adaptations of the time.
- The Wolverine (2013) – Typical superhero fare, but at least Jackman is a compelling lead (with able support from that red haired chick). Still ends up being a collection of haphazardly plotted character intersections, but at least it is better than Wolverine Origins.
- Vera Cruz (1954) – A mesmerizing Lancaster, and slightly less wooden Cooper reluctantly team up to get some gold through a revolutionary Mexico. Lots of backstabbing, shootings, adventure and general fun ensues.
- From One Second to the Next (2013) – Basically just a collection of people telling their sad texting and driving stories, with predictable results. If I hadn’t known it was Herzog I probably wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow at this, as it was, my forehead barely furrowed anyway.
- Encounters at the End of the World (2007) – The more I watch Herzog’s recent documentaries, the more I feel like he’s begun to implode in on his own ridiculous persona. Still plenty of great imagery and bits of scattered hilarity, but I’m not sure this film is testament to a genius at work.
- Rancho Notorious (1952) – Bizarre western with a revenge crazed man running into Dietrich who owns a ranch haven for outlaws (when she’s not busy racing through bars on the backs of men). Lots to like in this film–the sung ballad interludes between the sections of the film are especially impressive.
- Wicked (1998) – Awful psychodrama mystery film about the incesty relationship between a teenaged Julia Stiles and her dad. The minor matter of the identity of the serial killer turns out to be about as important as the pointless final reveal confirms.
- The Big Combo (1955) – Fantastic noir with Wilde’s cop going up against Conte’s hilariously awesome (never makes eye contact or talks directly to Wilde) gangster. A dark and twisted film, made ever more by John Alton’s brilliant (as usual) camerawork.
- It’s a Gift (1934) – Probably W.C. Field’s best and funniest movie, an effortlessly wince inducing survey of the trials and misfortunes of little man in a big world. Not really much more than a series of set pieces, but it is pure genius nonetheless.
- Carolina (2003) – Julia Stiles tries to juggle a love life and the kooky (read: fucking awful) grandmother/family that dominates her life. At the point in which her friend seems to guilt trip her into dating him because he always liked her so much I began to question if even Julia Stiles’ boundless charms were a reason to keep watching this dud.
- I Hate Valentine’s Day (2009) – Abysmally wretched rom com that starts with a totally implausible premise and then goes downhill from there. You know a rom com is bad when you are actively rooting for the leads not to get together by the end (or, in this case, about ten minutes in).
- History is Made at Night (1937) – Charming screwball drama that has aged pretty well for as old fashioned as it is. Some of the dramatics get a little dark for what seems to want to be a lighter movie, but overall it is all quite enjoyable.
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