Friday, February 8, 2008

Every movie I have seen in the past couple of weeks and a couple of sentences about them. Part 1

I keep saying to myself that I want to write something out about ever film that I have seen from the past couple of weeks, but I finally came to conclusion that is just a dream, it is impossible to do now. Well, I guess it is possible, but it would take too long and I have become lazy lately when it comes to this blog.

So, I am just going to list every movie that I have watched lately and what I thought. Hopefully, this will catch me up and I can continue to do a write up for each movie I watch. I hope to do this in two or three parts today.

In the meantime...

Beach Red (1967, Cornel Wilde) ***1/2

I really love criterion for a lot of reasons but I think the top reason is that through their reelases, I am able to discover filmmakers that I might have not discovered otherwise. I recently saw and loved The Naked Prey, so I was quick to get a hold of the director/stars follow up, Beach Red, and it was almsot as good. Beach Red is like a glorious B movie with hints of French New Wave sparkled through out. It's a very interesting war film that is sadly knocked down a couple of notches thanks to some very wooden acting. Still, though, the film is quite fascinating at times with the odd (read, artistic) steps it takes.

Rocket Science (2007, Jeffrey Blitz) ***1/2

Once Rocket Science was about 30 minutes in, I was reminded of another film that was born through Sundance, got a ton of buzz at Sundance, came out in theaters and flopped, and then came out on dvd with little attention. The movie i am talking about is Thumbsucker. I was reminded of this film because both Rocket Science and Thumbsucker seem to have suffered from Sundance and the marketing angle that they received thanks to their "indie cred". I remember renting Thumbsucker because of all the buzz I remember reading and only because of that. I hated the marketing angle of making it seem quirky, hip, and youthful and I expected to hate the film. Instead, I got a very intimate film with some dark comedy and memorable characters in a film that was not as pretentious as the marketing made it seem. the same exact things goes for Rocket Science. I remember the grand buzz, then I was surprised by the very mixed and reviews, and then even more shocked when reviewers wrote it off as Wes Anderon lite, or a film that tried too hard to be quirky. Bullshit. This is still the film that people fell in love with at Sundance and I can see why. Sure, it does have it's moments which do come off seeming a little bit too quirky or hip for it's own good, but despite these 5 minutes or so, the film is really great. It's overall dark and depressing tone is refreshing and it's honest portrail of characters that could have easily become cartoons is also great. I really enjoyed it and was surprised by it. I hope it finds its audience one day. The same goes for Thumbsucker.

Miss Julie (1951, Alf Sjoberg) ****

This is another title that I think I might have never watched if it wasnt for Criterion. I absolutely lvoed this film and it felt like it only lasted 10 minutes. I love movies that are sexual without ever being sexual at all and Miss Julie is a great example of this. The films basic premise of a forbidden love between a high class woman and her servant at first sounds like it might be some overblown melodrama and soap opera theatrics, but I didnt feel that it was that at all. Instead, I was surprised to find a film which had such rich characters and such rich interactions between the m to match that I just fell in love with it. It also had a couple of memorable sequences which played around with what cinema can do which I also loved as well. Great stuff. It's Before Sunrise before Before Sunrise...and thats a lot of befores.

Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965, Norman Taurog) ***

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that I have a giant soft spot for deliriously campy films, but to my knowledge I think everyone does, right? So, it comes to no surprise that I am actually a fan of the Avalon/Funiecello films. I love how they are the last dying grasp of innocence from the 60's and I love the not-so-hidden sexualness to it all. Plus, it's too much camp to handle at times. So, in this non-beach entry to the series, Vincent Price is a mad flamboyant scientist who is producing hot robot girls in bikinis in order so that they can get married to rich men and then take away all their money. How awesome is that? If you are able to buy into it all and enjoy the film with the mindset of the times that it came out is very awesome. Vincent Price is having the time of his life, the visual style is all over the place, and it's so insanely whacky that it feels like a live action cartoon. I'm a fan of the genre, so I liked it. Hell, I even like Gigdet...and yes I know that is pretty gay.

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