Wednesday, June 1, 2016

May Movies

The Danish Girl - After having read and truly enjoyed David Ebershoff's book, I had very low expectations going in to the movie version. Films rarely capture a book in the way the reader had hoped, but this was really wonderful. I loved the look of the film and the colours, bold and vibrant, then stark and cool. It was gorgeous. I thought Alicia Vikander was excellent, as was Eddie Redmayne and of course, Matthias Schoenaerts. (This was actually his first English-speaking film that I liked.) The one thing I didn't care for was the very last scene. It felt a bit too precious for my taste and overly melodramatic. In short, I groaned and said aloud, "How cheesy..." But even so, I did like the film. 

Jack Goes Boating - Just as good as I remembered. Oh there were so many awkward moments in this film that felt unbelievably real and true to life. It made me miss PSH and all the beautiful performances and characters that will never be.

The Martian - Riveting! I have loved watching Matt Damon grow from the skinny little bastard in School Ties to the magnificent actor he has become, which is evident throughout each scene in The Martian.

Casting By

Spotlight - I thought this was so well done. The acting was that fine line where it might have been so easy to overact and throw subtlety out the window, but not one actor fell from grace. Oh, the best performance in the entire film was that guy having lunch with Michael Keaton. His expressions were staggering. He didn't even move the slightest muscle in his face yet he conveyed everything. I was blown away. I gotta find out that guy's name...(post script: Anthony Paolucci played Kevin. Casting agents, take note. This man is exceptional.)

Crimson Peak - Kinda dull and didn't go anywhere. It looked fantastic, but aside from that I wasn't terribly drawn in to the film.

The 'Burbs - This show is just as funny the 300th time as it was the first. So many memorable and hilarious moments. It's a classic!

We Were Here

Kinamand - I can't imagine how I came across this film and then added it to my Netflix queue, but it arrived in early May and it was actually just a really nice movie. Not 100% original - a local fella marries an immigrant so she can obtain a visa and then they wind up falling in love. All that aside, I really liked the ease of the film, the steady pace, the mixing of such different cultures, and of course, Ms. Vivian Wu. She is staggeringly beautiful and so believable in whatever role she plays. She added such charm and stillness to Kinamand and her scenes with Bjarne Henriksen were delightful.

Learning to Drive - Oh how I do so love Ms. Clarkson. Put her along side Ben Kingsley and you have a picture perfect film. It was thrilling to see that Dhani Harrison (along with Paul Hicks) was responsible for the wonderful score. George's boy is all growed-up and making his own kind of music.

The Intern - Get ready for a rant: Ten minutes in to this movie and I already felt the intense ageism. All of the characters under 35 were shown as being out of touch. They had no idea how to change their speech and attitude to adjust to the age of the person to which they were speaking. They were shown as stupid, thoughtless, and vapid, and thought that old people are quaint with their suits and pocket squares. I don't like when films paint people over 60 as sexless, forgetful, tired old farts and I certainly don't like when films like The Intern make young people out to be oblivious moronic robots. It was extremely offensive.

I thought DeNiro was an interesting choice but even he couldn't make this mess into a watchable film. Anne Hathaway does absolutely nothing for me. Never has. There are so many gifted actresses in this world, why she gets any role is beyond me. Oh Christ, and the little five year old daughter with the "yisping" and baby talk? Beyond irritating. It was as though she had stepped out of the school for precocious children and right onto the film set.

Then there was the role reversal, which was a bit ridiculous. It was as though the writer had a flash of brilliance and thought,  "Let's turn the female into the typical 1950s father - you know, obsessed with work and no time for family and let's make the man into a typical Mom - does everything, never in the mood for sex... Won't that be original!" It wasn't. It was just bad. Oh, and every scene with Rene Russo made me feel embarrassed for her. Like, majorly embarrassed. All in all this was the worst film I saw all month.

Ten Cent Pistol - A film I saw simply because Brendan Sexton was in it. I did not like the main character at all, but I really liked Jena Malone and the ending made me happy I stuck with it.

The Kids Menu - I finally got a chance to see this mid-May and it was really good! Made me love Joe Cross and everything he's done to get people of all ages interested in eating healthy and taking better care of themselves. 

Clash of the Titans - Good lord, I hadn't seen this since like, grade school! Oh it brought back so many memories of watching it over and over and over again with my brothers. I noticed at the opening credits that the writer was Beverley Cross and had no idea that Maggie Smith's hubby was responsible for not one but two of my favourite childhood films, Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts. Such fun, fun flicks.

Murder By Death - I'd seen this film years ago and decided to check it out at the library. Maggie Smith was hilarious in her perfectly subtle way. Peter Sellers is still annoying and offensive, but if you can overlook his dreadful character, it's a delightful movie. Neil Simon has always been a family favourite and Murder By Death was a fun sort of love letter to all those fabulous murder mystery figure-outters.

Everest - Picked this up at the library on a whim and was skeptical after the horrible trailers that preceded it. Actually, it was really good. Great characters, mostly believable backgrounds, even though so much of it was green screen and I've frankly had enough of CGI, but mostly I really liked how honestly the actors behaved. Sometimes with big name young actors they sort of phone it in on blockbuster type movies and don't put their heart into it. Not so in this film, which I think is why I liked it so much. That and the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal has never in his life looked so good. That beard is to die for. To. Die. For.

Like Sunday, Like Rain - This was another film that Evan recommended. While I found the kid to be a tad annoying at the beginning, it was the female lead that disappointed me in the end. Regardless, it turned out to be a pretty decent film. All I kept thinking was, "Are there really people that live like this in the Upper East Side??" The gi-wombous house for two people and the hired car to take you everywhere and non-existent, distant parents seemed so sad and gloomy. I'll take my middle class upbringing over that any day of the GD week.

Bridegroom - I really like documentaries that introduce you to someone new and wonderful and this doc certainly delivered. I am a sucker for a sweet love story, even if the ending is sad.

The Overnight - Extremely awkward dinner party that grew more bizarre by the minute. Definitely worth a watch.

The Dance of Reality - This was only my second Jodorowsky film, previously I had seen Santa Sangre and enjoyed it. He is not my favourite filmmaker, but he so endeared himself to me in the documentary Jodorowsky's Dune that I wanted to check out some of his films. Like most true artists, Jodo's work is not for everyone, which is what I really respect. Dance was surreal in parts and strange and sad, but what I liked above all others was that the mother in the film sang all of her dialogue as though she were performing an opera. It was absolutely mesmerising.

Tootsie - Seriously one of my all time favourite films. Warm and funny and intelligent with a stand-out cast giving brilliant performances. The behind the scenes interviews on the 30th Anniversary DVD are what made me love Dustin Hoffman so very much. He is the cat's god damn meow.


Cerpts said...

Love all these movie posts (how could i not, being the slavering film nut that I am) but you REALLY need to get a letterboxd account, girlfriend! Think of the fun you could have with that!

Star said...

I'll hafta look into this Letterbox thing that you speak of...sounds intriguing...