12/31/2011

Outrage (2010) ***

The Last Circus (2010) ***

Beautiful visuals, highly stylized, but a bit silly and takes itself a little too seriously, trying to incorporate real life events.
This film had the potential to be really cool and bizarre, but plays by the numbers in the last quarter of the film. It started out very promising, but turned into a series of clichés.
It reminded me of Santa Sangre, but wasn't nearly as good.
I'm still giving it ***, because I enjoyed many aspects of this film.



Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) ***

I'm having a hard time even giving this film ***.
I'm also having a hard time wondering why this film is being praised so highly.
I guess I can sort of admit that I just didn't "get it".

I went into this film only with the knowledge that Gary Oldman was in it, it was directed by Tomas Alfredson and it was about spies. That was enough for me.
I had no idea that John Hurt, Ciarán Hinds and Tom Hardy, all actors that I enjoy, were in it.

I like slow burn films.
I don't need lots of action in a film to enjoy it.
I don't even necessarily need lots of dialogue either.
But there was almost NO action in this film and the majority of the dialogue was just not interesting.

I also felt like I paid attention throughout and I still didn't understand exactly what happened to these characters and why, nor did I really care.
There is a lot of intelligence jargon going on.
I honestly found this film to be a "snoozefest".

I'm disappointed.
I absolutely loved Tomas Alfredson's Let The Right One In.
Both that film and this film are based on novels; in the case of TTSS, on a John le Carré novel, who actually worked for British intelligence agencies.

I didn't think Gary Oldman's performance was anything special.
Hell, I didn't think any of the performances were anything special.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't think that this film was "bad", just very over-hyped.
I'm giving this film *** merely because I recognize that it is well made, serviceably acted and does have a few (as in actually, maybe three) great moments, and also because I feel that maybe a rewatch could leave me more satisfied.
My actual rating, based on my first reaction would have been closer to ** or **1/2.

12/27/2011

The Tree Of Life (2011) ****

Still an excellent film, upon 2nd viewing.
My original "review" here.

Far far too many gorgeous images in this film to post, but here's a couple very blue ones.





12/26/2011

The Conversation (1974) *****

Fantastic paranoia drama.
Beautiful rag-like score by David Shire (The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three (1974), All The President's Men, Zodiac).



Rushmore (1998) *****

Still my favorite Wes Anderson film. Simply perfect.

 Angelic.

 Dr. Nelson Guggenheim: We're putting you on what we call sudden death academic probation.
Max Fischer: And what does that entail?
Dr. Nelson Guggenheim: It entails that if you fail another class, you'll be asked to leave Rushmore.
Max Fischer: In other words, I'll be expelled.
Dr. Nelson Guggenheim: That's correct.
Max Fischer: Can I see some documentation on that, please?

Max Fischer: Sic transit gloria. Glory fades. I'm Max Fischer.
Rosemary Cross: Hi.
Max Fischer: Hi. 

 Max Fischer: So you were in Vietnam?
Herman Blume: Yeah.
Max Fischer: Were you in the shit?
Herman Blume: Yeah, I was in the shit.

 Max Fischer: I like your nurse's uniform, guy.
Dr. Peter Flynn: These are O.R. scrubs.
Max Fischer: O, R they?

 "UNLOCK IT!!"

Max Fischer: The killing's gotta stop, esse. It's getting too loco. No more gats.
40 Ounce: Nigga, you the crazy one. People be tryin' to kill you and you talkin' about you're gonna get rid of your gun?
Max Fischer: It's time, homey.
 Margaret Yang: Kiss me, Little Juan.
 
 "You're a real jerk to me, you know that?"

 Coach Beck: What did you think, Mr. Littlejeans?
Mr. Littlejeans: Best play ever, man.

Babes In Toyland (1961) ***

I used to watch this A LOT as a child.
I realize that it's not terribly good, but I still enjoy it.




12/23/2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) ****

Just as exciting, compelling and expertly crafted as the 2009 film.
Rooney Mara is a great Lisbeth Salander, neither better nor worse than Noomi Rapace, just different, in my opinion.
Fincher is obviously the more skilled and experienced director, but both films are excellent, so see them both.
And no, I honestly don't think it matters which one you see first.
There is a difference to the ending, that has been mentioned, and I won't spoil it, but it didn't affect my viewing or change the tone of the film for me.

12/21/2011

The NeverEnding Story (1984) ***1/2

"I am the servant of the power behind The Nothing."

"Why don't you give 'em a good punch in the nose?"

"We don't even care if we die."

"To the winch, wench!"

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) ***

Pure trashy fun.

"You're scared, ain't ya? You should be. Christmas Eve is the scariest damn night of the year."

"Punish!"

"Naughty."

12/20/2011

Boardwalk Empire - Season 2 (2011) ****1/2

For some reason, no matter how much I wanted to love Season 1 of this show I didn't. It just never grabbed me the way that I expected that it would, but I stuck with and despite the first few episodes of this season still not blowing me away, boy was it worth it.

Something. Just. Clicked.
And now it's my favorite show currently on television.

Dexter - Season 6 (2011) ***

Overall a decent season (possibly better than Season 5, but not by much), with the usual great moments here and there, but I feel like this show is wearing out its welcome.
The final moment (literally - moment) is a great one, but I feel like the writers were just building up to that for the entire season, probably patting themselves on the back for how amazing it was gonna be, without giving us enough "meat" the rest of the season.

Christmas Evil (aka You Better Watch Out) (1980) ***1/2

One of my favorite holiday films.

Have YOOOUUU been good this year?

Santa's a leg man.

"Alright, once more with feeling, you mugs. Merry Christmas!"