Here are some two sentence reviews of the movies I watched in September.
- Movies watched – 12
- Movies that were new to me – 7
- Movies based on books I’ve read – 5
- Monthly Masterpieces – 0
- A Royal Affair (2012) – Beautifully shot and well acted, but I still can’t find a way to give a shit about historical biopics like this. I was basically counting the minutes until it was over as soon as it started.
- My Little Pony: The Movie (1986) – Honestly, not the worst bit of toy advertising I’ve ever seen. Most of it is fairly risible, but the ooze stuff that is taking over pony-land is kind of cool.
- The Relic (1997) – I saw this back when it came out, and, unfortunately, my fond memories of it didn’t hold up that well on a repeat viewing. Nothing really wrong with it, just a fairly typical monster/horror film in a cool setting (a natural history museum).
- The Bourne Identity (2002) – A really excellent spy film (far superior to the book), with stellar work coming in at all levels of the production. I especially love the European flavor of the atmosphere, it fits the film quite well.
- The Bourne Supremacy (2004) – Still a fine spy film, but the constant quick cutting (and not just during the fight scenes) is exhausting. Still, it’s always nice to see Bourne effortlessly outwit the helpless people who are tracking him.
- The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) – By this point in the series, everything is feeling a bit formulaic. At least this film has quite a bit of Julia Stiles in it, so obviously it comes highly recommended.
- The Hangover Part III (2013) – Thankfully we have an actual plot this time around instead of the scene for scene retread of the second film. Still a little stale and mean-spirited, but a decent way to kill an afternoon watching if watching men abuse each other if your idea of a good time.
- Riddick (2013) – An attempt to return to the more personal badassery of the first Riddick film, and it is almost successful. Vin Diesel is definitely up to the challenge, unfortunately the atrocious dialog and misogynistic script never let you forget how much better this could have been.
- The Day of the Outlaw (1959) – Great western that uses its town-held-hostage premise to excellent suspenseful effect. The location shooting in 3 feet of snow is especially well incorporated into the film.
- The Glass Key (1942) – Not the most compelling Hammett adaptation (though, admittedly, there is some fierce competition as far as those go), but a nice proto noir nonetheless. Alan Ladd really takes some punishment in some especially brutal torture scenes too.
- Up in Smoke (1978) – Archetypal stoner comedy that is a far better film than you would expect it to be. The escalating pace works well, the jokes are hilarious and the soundtrack is pretty kick-ass.
- Monsters University (2013) – I know people go crazy for these animated movies, but they all seem to have plots so formulaic that they amount to little more than a typical episode of a typical tv program. Of course, I also watch a lot of TV, so maybe that’s not even that much of a complaint.
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