Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Viewing log: 26/3/10

New Releases

We've seen worse, let's face it, but it's hard not to feel unduly hugged and patronised

I question the manipulative score and odd omissions; still, potent and commendable

Trapero's direction is characteristically great on detail, texture and rock-solid humanism

Often dazzling, and great around the edges; does seem evasive about its own point at times

Exposition Hell: one-time alchemist Greenaway transmutes lead into more lead

An inspiration vacuum, with little going for it except the reliable Gleeson

Storm B
Impressive leads in a welcome feminist take on reconciliation politics, but thrill it does not

(still haven't seen: No One Knows About Persian Cats, Shank, Nanny McPhee)

Other Epic Adventures

Bumbles along, shackled to a terminally musty conception of male camaraderie

on flight to...

...34th Hong Kong Film Festival and Filmart

Helped with my city geography, but not with my ongoing bafflement at opening-night selections

Bloody Shake zzz (jetlag)

Nothing makes any real sense, but it just about kept me awake

on flight back...

Same old sentimental score-settling; the line between this and Taken is thinner than To's fans admit

and on the same day(!)...

...24th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

I expected precocious and up itself, which it is - but too damn confident not to impress

Admirably tough, forceful and well-acted, until the pile-up of misery just gets too much

Christopher Strong (1933) B
Flippant fun when it's being flippant fun, though it's technically dodgy and hard to take seriously

(36 hours' sleep)

Gay love explicated through a dreamscape of danger and myth; a gorgeous homo-odyssey

Viewing log: 19/3/10

New Releases (youch, what a week this was)

Should have loathed this, but Aniston lifts surprising swathes of it to near-watchability

Two depressing weddings for the price of one, and they've really skimped on the photography

The Far From Heaven of retro slasher homages: precise and shivery, even if it's all build-up

Never establishes a workable tone, but it's surprisingly full-on with the guy on guy stuff

I could emit distressed animal noises but don't know how to spell them

Not unpromising, but it juggles too many conceits and drops them one by one

Couldn't discern any degree of formal flair, just lots of syrupy orange blood

Starts well, looks great, but too much is hard to buy, and the acting wobbles

Initially like every other kiddie-contest documentary, then gains muscle as it proceeds

Other Adventures

The shape's a bit random, but I love its thoughtfulness; moving and eerie by turns

Young and Innocent (1937) B
Middling Hitch for the period, dawdling a bit towards its one great set piece

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Viewing log: 12/3/10

New Releases
Disappointingly stodgy at best, and leaves a rather acrid taste in the mouth

Obviously compromised, pulled off watchably within its limits: still, a shame

What's with Gere and the Japanese remakes? Sits, lies down, begs for your love

An astute incision into pathological jealousy, matchmaking Rose's passions

Clanks its way through an ill-conceived plot with futile look-at-me craft

Other Adventures

Almost too grim, but I'm all for serious British horror and admire its integrity

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Viewing log: 5/3/10

New Releases

1234 B
Modest but engaging; a more charismatic lead might have helped it fly

Confused about what it's for, visually unenticing, and traitorously generic at the end

I've started feeling sorry for Ren-Zel, but really, the whole contraption is risible

Chloe C
Julianne shines in a fast-nosediving project Egoyan clearly doesn't care about

Deceptively artless, as befits a philosopher's movie, assembled with thought and grace

Legion C
Crummy... but there's some trash pleasure to be had when it's not yapping on and on

A dubious brief -- Uma does Mrs Dalloway -- which becomes parodic and nightmarish

Hard to see how anyone thought this was a good idea, least of all Chris Doyle

Other Adventures

Strangely academic, but Affleck's committed, and it's an honest stab at the book

Wasn't sure at first, but the ensemble fill it up with life like some joyous balloon

Powerfully sober, with Harrelson only the third best in show; Foster is wonderful

Red Dust (1932) B+
Count me a Jean Harlow convert! Pleasurable as more than just camp

Viewing log: 26/2/10

New Releases

Promising set-up, but devolves rapidly into a no-brain, resonance-free apocalypse

Perfectly harmless, even pleasant, save for the garish kiddie apparitions

Unduly mawkish disinterring of a manky old chestnut; the "light" bits are deadly

Lots of guilt, no pleasure -- noxiously retrograde, and the leads don't help

To be sure, eejit leprechauns trapped Amy in this charmless, gone-off confection

Micmacs C
Tiny bits pop, but the whole proposition is so tactless and off-putting

Other Adventures

Iffy gender politics lessen but can't spoil the inspired makeshift silliness