Here are some two sentence reviews of the movies I watched in October.
- Movies watched – 9
- Movies that were new to me – 5
- Arnold movies – 2
- Monthly Masterpieces – The Scarlet Empress, Rififi
- The Heat (2013) – Despite the unlikability of the leads, Bullock’s charisma and McCarthy’s gift for improvisation will end up winning you over. Nothing too impressive to be found here, but it is satisfying enough, and there are a few scattered laughs to be gotten out of it.
- Follow the Fleet (1936) – Not the best Fred and Ginger film, mostly because of the boring B plot about Randolph Scott’s bimbo sailor and Ginger’s “good girl” sister. The songs and the dance numbers are great at least, it’s just too bad the script isn’t a bit more focused.
- Escape Plan (2013) – Stiff and stilted dialog, and an eye rolling plot don’t help get the creaking carcasses of Arnold and Sly through this underwhelming film. I might have forgiven some of that had the big escape been cool, but unfortunately it ends up being about as underwhelming as this movie is.
- Pumping Iron (1977) – Classic documentary that establishes Arnold Schwarzenegger as a shoo-in for the next decade’s biggest movie star. Arnold’s ridiculously charismatic screen presence aside, the world of male bodybuilding is more than interesting enough to carry a movie by itself.
- The Aristocrats (2005) – This is just a bunch of comedians trying pretend that one can learn something about comedy based on the “different” deliveries of one in-joke that is pretty obviously made up just for this movie. One gets the distinct sense that 90% of the people involved in this project kind of wished that they’d never let Penn Jillette talk them into it in the first place, and for good reason as the flashes of humor were few and far between.
- The Scarlet Empress (1934) – One of Sternberg’s most visually impressive films (which is high praise indeed), but don’t for a second think the appeal lies solely in the visuals. Sternberg takes what is, on the surface, merely a historical drama and then twists his usual tale of sexual power games and the men they destroy into the narrative to powerful effect.
- Rififi (1955) – One of the few heist films that can approach The Asphalt Jungle in terms of sheer nihilistic cinematic power. This one has some especially ugly male/female relationships that makes its heist film world-view that much more unpleasant.
- Night of the Creeps (1986) – This is one of those shitty horror movies where everyone involved is sure that something can be so bad it’s good and thus set out to make a movie like that instead of something actually good. Which, actually, it fails even on that front as it ends up being mildly watchable despite its pitiful ambitions.
- Child’s Play (1988) – Not bad for such a silly premise, though it isn’t all that scary despite the potential inherent in a small child having an evil doll for a best friend. I’m not sure it merited this first viewing, let alone a repeat viewing.