Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Some short movie reviews

Tomorrow we live. 1942
This doesn't even deserve a 1 star rating mainly because the transfer is so rotten that after 1/2 hour I turned it off. It was like watching a movie shot through a grilled cheese sandwich. It might have been a fun little B movie if I could have seen it especially since  Ricardo Cortez is in it. I will never ever rent alpha video again. They should be run out of town.

crime of passion 1957

somewhat ok movie melodrama featuring Barbara Stanwyck as a feisty independent newspaper reporter who rails against marriage and a woman's place is in the kitchen thing who then suddenly and without much motivation off and marries a weak willed police officer played by Sterling Hayden. This is not an ideal marriage for her, and she soon starts to have moods of anger and depression as she goes about trying to manipulate her husband's career by sleeping with his captain played by the oily Raymond Burr in order to get Hayden a promotion. Bad things soon follow but there is really little motivation or reason why this strong woman would suddenly change her tune and get all weak in the knees over Hayden. The film begins as a tough newspaper movie and then the mood and feel of it changes and turns into a woman's flick.  The best scene is the dinner party where Stanwyck has a minor breakdown over the cream cheese and olive sandwiches. Not too interesting, but as usual Stanwyck holds the screen and our attention. Directed by B cult director  Gerd Oswald.

Bruno 2009
Garbage. This film sets gay rights back to pre-Stonewall days. A mean -spirited unfunny piece of crap. I wish I had never rented it. Sacha Baron Cohen please go away.
Drag me to hell  2009

Predictable full of holes horror film with high budget fx and a few good laughs and scares. But it's pretty much old hat stuff. Did like lorna Raver though as the old gypsy from hell, and the great title promises more than it eventually delivers. The horror genre continues to free fall into the blahs. With the attractive and promising young actress Alison Lohman.

Event horizon 1997

In space no one can hear you yawn. Predictable space adventure that lifts material from much better sci-fi horror flicks. The script (if you can call it that) doesn't give the cast much to work with, although the sets look good, look elsewhere for a good sci-fi space flick. Well there's always Alien.

Los Bastardos 2008

Not very good shocker, influenced by Michael Haneke, Carlos Reygadas & Bruno Dumont but nowhere as interesting or exciting as their films. The opening is a riff on the ending of The Third Man. A little too little for me, and the burst of extreme violence is just sickening without any emotional pull. There is no depth to the characters (although the housewife is heartbreaking) and I kinda like the idea of not really knowing where or why a film is going but this one is not developed enough, maybe it needed more than 90 minutes to tell its story. (I can almost hear the moans and groans) Why this got a push from Film Comment is beyond me.

Twentynine Palms 2004

Dumont is an original French film director who makes visually striking physically and emotionally violent films. I've pretty much seen all of his films and always find his work to be intriguing, powerful and usually shocking. His influences are everywhere in his films sometimes inspired by art (Humanite’s important "tableau" is inspired by Duchamp's final great work) and Twentynine Palms ending reminded me of Hitchcock. But his films can be slow and difficult in terms in his pacing & camera shots. I also find most of his films to be disturbing and this too can be a big turn off for some along with his use of explicit sex scenes. So this film is about a couple traveling through the desert and some very terrible things happen. The suspense at times is killing, and as a quasi horror film, it's so much better than what is accepted as horror films these days. I think with a director like Dumont one should just forget the reviews and see at least one of his films. Dumont is one "newer" foreign film directors who use pockets and spots of unexpected violence and explicit sex in their films, some of the others include Gaspar Noe & Catherine Breillat & the Mexican director Carlos Reygadas. This is Dumon't only film in English, and its known that he would love to make more films in Hollywood


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