Here are some two sentence reviews of the movies I watched in March.
- Movies watched – 10
- Movies that were new to me – 6
- Month with the fewest movies watched in the last 4 years? – This one.
- Monthly Masterpieces – Pickpocket, By the Law
- Suspiria (1977) – This really shouldn’t be even remotely good, but Argento really isn’t afraid to take major creative chances with every formal element of the film. The dialog is weak, the gore unnecessary and the plot barely holds together, but it hardly matters as Argento’s directorial chutzpah makes this a wildly entertaining (and memorable) horror film nonetheless.
- The Hunger Games (2012) – A strong cast and competent direction makes this a fine cinematic adaptation of the popular series. It could even be argued that the tight closeup/shaky cam approach to filming this one actually works pretty well.
- The Artist (2011) – All the hype around this one still can’t hide the fact that the story is pretty basic and the script can’t resist throwing in a few obvious references to the main character’s plight. A perfectly likable movie otherwise.
- Project X (2012) – One of those movies that appeals to that strange male fantasy where getting beaten and abused is the ultimate wish-fulfillment adventure. Ideologically reprehensible, but rather a good time nonetheless.
- Act of Valor (2012) – One of those movies that appeals to that strange male fantasy where getting beaten and abused is the ultimate wish-fulfillment adventure. Ideologically reprehensible, but rather a good time nonetheless.
- The Lorax (2012) – The usual cartoon bullshit full of wink wink jokes, simplistic message and over the top characterization. The five year old I was with apparently liked it, but I was having none of it.
- Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011) – A strong cast and funny script really help what would have otherwise been a typical rom com with delusions that it was transcending its roots via overly slick plot machinations and obvious messages. And I continue to be impressed that former America’s Next Top Model candidate Analeigh Tipton turning in just as convincing a performance as the heavyweight actors she shares the screen with.
- By the Law (1926) – Really fantastic Soviet silent film that abandons the more frenetic editing excesses of the big names in favor of a more stylized approach. The brilliant ambient soundtrack on the Film Archives version makes it even better.
- Monkey Business (1952) – Fountain of youth screwball comedy is great fun as Grant and Rogers run around acting like teenagers. And Monroe proves she had it from the beginning as she steals just about every scene she’s in.
- Pickpocket (1959) – Ostensibly a crime and punishment tale, but somehow it avoids even a hint of moralizing. The most convincing anti-thievery argument in the film is the adrenaline fueled rush of terror that accompanies every perfectly constructed scene of pickpocketing.
I was really bugged by the shaky cam shit in The Hunger Games. I also thought it was boring and couldn’t figure out how they spent $100M making the thing. Looked second-rate to me.