Friday, January 15, 2010

Viewing log: 15/1/10

New Releases

44 Inch Chest C+
Hurt & McShane really get their teeth in, Winstone tries. But why so curtailed?

All About Steve D+
Some gags fly, and go Sandy, but it's too often maddeningly garish and random

Carts around its old-hat ideas with an impressive lack of humour or credibility

Crude B–
Could have been shaped more forcefully, but bitter and cogent all the same

A smirkfest amusing itself rather than us -- doubt I'll race to see Nest of Spies

Ozu-lite? Kind of, but limpid and lovely in its simple way

Glib and opportunistic, I'll admit, but the Vera/George stuff still delights

Other Adventures

See How They Fall (1994) B–
A very uneven rough draft of a movie; does tip daringly into outright man-love

Dinner at Eight (1933)* B+
House champagne, with cracking turns from Dressler and the good Barrymore

Fata Morgana (1971) B
Herzog at full noodle; off-puttingly spare and opaque, but oddly resonant

Not enough grit, except from Day-Lewis, to make its conflicts reverberate

The Sorcerers (1967) C+
No Witchfinder, but the hokey plot is staged with some style and integrity

Bent (1997) D+
An Important Play stultified with makeshift editing and mainly rotten acting

*denotes a repeat viewing


NicksFlickPicks said...

Does this mean we can hold each other to an honor code of short, at least sentence-length write-ups from now on? I can hardly imagine a better prompt.

I'm ashamed to say it, but I kind of love that you hate Bent. I was incredibly generous, I thought, with a B- at the time, even though I remember thinking Clive Owen and especially Mark Webber were just the pits (among other sins). After ten years, and after Owen becoming someone we all know, I thought I'd try the movie again and expected to be pleasantly surprised, and I only made it about 10 minutes in.

tim r said...

Totally! I'm obviously stealing the whole format from your Fall/Winter release list, but this might be the one manageable way for me to post more than just grades up for the stuff I see. So I'm game.

They screened Bent at the bfi, with Martin Sherman in the house. I was dying to ask if he was truly happy with it -- during the Q&A he did admit that it was "unfortunately humourless" because of all the stuff he had to cut out. But what about Mathias's direction?! I will say that Owen didn't bother me so much, but Webber is a shambles, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau manages to be memorably terrible in the blink of an eyelid, and Lothaire Bluteau (who got good reviews) strikes me as quite, quite wrong. I don't know whether to read the play now to try and redeem the experience of seeing it? Life may get in the way.