Here are some two sentence reviews of the movies I watched in December.
- Movies watched – 9
- Movies that were new to me – 4
- Masterpieces that didn’t make the list of Monthly Masterpieces – 2
- Monthly Masterpieces – From Russia With Love
- Getting Straight (1970) – This movie accomplishes the rare feat of making me desperately want to punch both the director and the screenwriter in their respective stomachs in order to dislodge their respective heads from their respective pretentious asses. Gould’s scenery chewing is the LEAST offensive thing about this shite film that is really just a vanity project for a screenwriter who massively overestimates his own intelligence.
- The Lego Movie (2014) – Legos are such a culturally embedded property that this latest kid/teen/adult cartoon was bound to feel even more “written by committee” than usual. Scattered nice moments, cool animation, but in the end, it is just another collection of cheap pop culture references and scattered zingers that every one of these animated films has been since Toy Story.
- From Russia With Love (1963) – If not the most action packed Bond film (Connery doesn’t even show up until well into the movie!), definitely the most cinematic. This is the kind of movie those Daniel Craig movies wish they could be–the train fight alone has yet to be equaled in terms of visceral brutality in the 50 years since this film came out.
- Persona (1966) – An obvious all time classic, it’s just too bad this is such a chore to watch. Pretension reeks out of every cinematic orifice, and, it only pisses you off more to realize this this movie is probably actually as good as the director thought it was while making it.
- MASH (1970) – A masterfully done and extremely episodic account of life in a Vietna…Korean war Army hospital. Classic Altman, marred only by the casual undercurrent of extreme misogyny that persists throughout.
- Run Ronnie Run (2002) – A very earnest performance from David Cross manages to carry this movie at least to the halfway mark, but it still sputters out long before the finish line. Sporadically funny, but more often about as half baked as any of Ronnie’s ill-fated schemes.
- Bell, Book and Candle (1956) – Along with I Married a Witch, further proof that classic Hollywood’s attempts at making witch-themed rom-coms are pretty dire, unfunny, and just plain weird affairs. By far the worst movie that James Stewart and Kim Novak made together in 1956.
- Ten Things I Hate About You (1999) – I have to wonder how much I’d really like this film were it not for the commanding performances from the leads. It’s a smart teen film, with a bit of actual emotion and angsty honesty, but, at the end of the day, this is all about Julia Stiles’ certain je ne sais quoi and Heath Ledger’s devil may care grin.
- Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny (2006) – Awfully stupid, but I have to say its earnest humor ended up charming me anyway, and not just because it had a Dio cameo. Though, there sure is a lot of acoustic guitar for a movie about “metal.”