Sunday, July 24, 2005

Movies, Dully Listed and -

- I am going to try this. What does it look like? I don't know. This is just what I have seen since the last post about movies. I am going to adopt a shameless rating system, 1-4 stars, just like Roger Ebert! Sort of. Throwing in what commentary occurs to me. In an ideal world, something like this would become a weekly tradition, a Sunday night tradition, in the spirit of the Friday iMusic-blogging, and any other spirits I can conjure. I need some spirits if this blog is going to be anything other than a once a week music post...

Murderball ***
Youth of the Beast (DVD) ****
The Beat My Heart Skipped ***1/2
Batman and Robin (DVD) **1/2 - I have been trying to watch some crappy movies lately - to test myself, see if they are really all that crappy. This one, actually, crappy as it is, is not as crappy as it could be. Yes yes, the dialogue is appalling, the story is dim-witted, the spectacle is tiring and direction lacks any juice - for all that, it almost achieves the campiness it aims for - the spectacle here has slowed down from Batman Forever, and that makes it work better - the set design and colors and lighting - the whole works - works better slow - it looks more like a comic book or the TV show - and that is good, at least here. Uma Thurman in particular seems to get the idea, and camps it up with real gusto - she has the eye-rolling scene chewing absurdity of the TV villains; she's quite good. The rest... well... still... what can I say?
2046 (DVD) ***1/2 - I also saw a trailer for this at the movies - I am pleased. It is gorgeous indeed, even on DVD, but the TV cannot do justice to its widescreen, rich, lucious lighting... I shall reserve judgment on it until I see it in a proper setting - though it looks pretty good as is.
Happily Ever After - **1/2 - I was disappointed, somewhat to my surprise. A French ensemble comedy that didn't quite go anywhere.
Batman Forever - ** - I should hate it, but... it's passable, Carrey and Jones ham it up in fine style, and it almost manages... but in the end, this is probably the dregs of the franchise - that alone is perhaps a radical statement, given the usual reception of Batman and Robin - but I have to call what I see...
Me and You and Everyone We Know - *** - one of those films I couldn't help finding fault with, but that somehow adds up to more.... I think what it gets right - the kids, the performances (by John Hawkes and the kids playing his sons, especially), the structure - the loose arrangements of stories around a fairly convention romantic plot that it keeps in the background - outweighs what it gets wrong... some of the cutesier dialogue, some of the more overt symbol mongering, and anytime Miranda July herself appeared on screen - what an obnoxious character she played! On the whole then... I liked it. (This is one I may come back to when I have a chance.)
Mysterious Skin - **1/2 - billed as the Gregg Araki film that doesn't suck, it managed to reach that not very exalted level... ad maybe more. It started slow, but got better - Araki found a rhythm in the last third, and the characters seemed to outgrow the cliches they'd begun as... the acting is quite strong, and it ends on a powerful note.

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