This used to be one of my fave of the HP films, but after rereading the novel, I'm shocked at how badly they handled the script. The actors were good, the effects are good, but Steve Kloves is a godawful screenwriter who has no clue how to adapt things. And the fact that JKR defends him makes me disgusted with her.
I already wrote a review on this. The only thing that sticks with me is the scenery porn, and even THAT isn't that awe-inspiring. Rotted Tripe and Stinky Cheese is my tumblr tag for it, and I'll probably keep the tag for the entire trilogy. Also, Martin came across as a better Bilbo while being John Watson then when he's actually Bilbo. Also, Peter Jackson completely fucked up the character of Bilbo and I'll never forgive him for it.
This is nowhere as good as the amazing, flawless, I-know-you-haven't-watched-it-yet The Passion of Joan of Arc, but it's still fairly good.
Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice (1952)
You see one Ozu you see them all. But I did enjoy how he handled the topic of wealth and marriages. Also, how he showed in his own way how Japan was affected by Westernization. It's a quiet film, but it has its moments.
Bottle Rocket (1996)
Dear Wes Anderson: stop putting women on an unrealistic pedestal. Write a real one for a change. Despite the sexism present in his films, I do enjoy his work. Owen Wilson steals the show though. Three down on their luck friends scheme to steal their way to better fortunes. A little far-fetched in some places (they stay in their local area after robbing a store and NOBODY recognizes them?) but still good.
The Home and the World (1984)
This actually is a nice companion piece to FOGTOR. This Ray film explores Westernization, marriage, and India's struggle for independence. It felt a bit long in places, but I felt it was really good. It also had some interesting answers to love, gender, and education.
El Mariachi (1992)
Even though this is the prequel to 'Desperado' it felt like it was a super-indie version of D. If you compare the films side by side, they are nearly identical scene for scene. However, while 'Desperado' is like a Mexico folktale, EM felt more like a caper movie with no lore to it. Despite it's super low low low budget (reportedly made for $8000 dollars), it's interesting just how much of signature Robert Rodriguez is there.
Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
An interesting concept, a badly executed film. This finale in the Desperado trilogy has the Mariarchi taking part in a government assasination plot with "help" from US FBI agents. This could have been good, except the Mariarchi is a supporting character in his own film! Also, it could have explored (albeit in a fun, offbeat way) the way US colonialism has affected Mexico's identity of itself, but instead it's just ignorant movie with twists for twist's sake. So much potential wasted.
The Vanishing (1988)
I was browsing through this movie's tag during commerical breaks, and I was like "oh please it's not a horror film! it's a psychological study of how we deal with the lost of loved ones." Well, then that ending came and it scared the shit out of me. Oh, my goodness! It was REALLY good but really disturbing. I think I could watch it again now that I know what's coming, but gosh! I won't spoil the ending, but if you watch it, prepare yourself to have a romantic comedy afterwards!
A Knight's Tale (2001)
I didn't know I wanted to fuck Chaucer until Paul Bettany walked across my screen. Nude. A fun medieval fantasy about a servant who wants to be a knight. I liked it but all I remember is Paul Bettany (who is JARVIS in the IM movies!!!!!!).
Total Recall (1990)
Scifi porn with a semi-serious plot. Arnold S. plays a man who wants to vacay to Mars but its too poor, so he plans to have a fake vacay planted in his head. But the fake vacay transplant doen't take? Or does it? It felt like a B movie with A list actors. It wasn't bad, but it's an overrated movie.
A film noir set in high school sounds corny right? But this works. It uses all the old school cliches but in such a clever way without feeling like a cliche. I loved everything about this movie, which makes it hard to explain the reasons why you see it (i'm one of those annoying people who always need a good reason, and more than just 'I love it!'). Remember how I complained about 'The Million Dollar Hotel'? Well, MDH tried to reinvent the film noir but it had no understanding of the genre, and it just felt slapped onto a plot about poor homeless mentally ill people lving in a hotel. This works because the kids ACT like high school kids despite being typical film noir characters. Plus, the way the film is set up, you genuinely believe that the high school kids run the town. Also, it has clever nods to old Hollywood film noirs. I can't wait to watch this again. I really hope someone I know from LJ will watch this film.
A surprising redemption tale hidden in a love triangle. It's unconventional. I'm hardpressed to explain the plot in a few paragraphs, so IMDB it. It's good though.
Purple Noon (1960)
The original Talented Mr. Ripley. Far better than the Matt Damon film too. It's like if Gossip Girl had been set in the 1960s and people had actually been allowed to be their unpleasant, juicy, disagreeable, hanger-on selves without all the moral conventional shit attached to their characters.
Gosford Park (2001)
Julian Fellowes actually can write non-shitty material! But that's only because it's Robert Altman's baby in both idea and production. (Apparently, Fellowes has never gotten over this film, which is why everything he does now is prove the rich are always right). The murder is besides the point, it's really about the distinction between the classes, the changing of the tide (the film shows how Americans and our classlessness threw off both the servants and their masters), and that whole era. It's really good. Too bad Fellowes missed the point. It's far better than Downton Abbey will ever be.
The Hi-Lo Country (1999)
YAWN! that is all.
Murder, Inc (1960)
YAWN. It has some intriguing elements, but it just isn't good enough.
The Lovers (1958)
A dreamy, atmospheric Louis Malle film about a bored, well to do housewife and the man who becomes her lover. Long before 'The Hours,' and 'Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood' this film showed what women did to rediscover their authentic selves, to be loved. I quite enjoyed it.
The Last Metro (1980)
A World War 2 film by Francois Truffaut. Theatre actors in France under the occupation. I like Truffaut but this film was definitely his "look at me whore WW2 for all the awards!" film. There was nothing substantial about it, even if did show a different angle. I said over at tumblr, and I'll say it again, if Ingmar Bergman had this, it would have been better. Bergman, for the most part, always can find the menace in the shadows and the light lurking around the corner. Truffaut just served up a lightbulb with no heat and not much light.
Do you know how much I love Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon except from that love of course)???? This film has the most BAMFIEST hero ever to cross the screen. Yojimbo is an impoverished samurai drifting from town to town in search of a job. He stumbles across one when he comes to a town controlled by two rival families. He resolves to break up the war to restore good fortune to the town. Yojimbo doesn't take shit! He's clever, witty, and sarcastic. While the film violent it also seemed to making a point about the uselessness of violence. It did that by emphasizing the petty, twisted, and greediness of the two opposing families and their inane quarrels. This film is said to have inspired the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns.
The sequel to Yojimbo. I'm just going to ignore it. It wasn't offensive bad like Rashomon but rather suffered from 'sequelitis.' Which I hate, and will always hate.
Belle De Jour (1967)
This makes an interesting companion piece to 'The Lovers.' A well to do housewife is bored and decides to take up prostitution to enrich her sex life. I think the film is overrated, but it's good. Also, even the Gossip Girl writers used as inspiration for one of their episodes, the film is really unlike the episode (and the writers as usual missed the point of the film). It does seem relatively safe by today's standards though.
Stranger than Paradise (1984)
Once upon a time, Jim Jarmusch was (still is?) a hipster. This is his first post-film school film, and it's rather good for a first professional film, but one can tell that JJ hasn't outgrown his film school sensibilities. The black and white wasn't needed, the characters aren't that fleshed out, the plot isn't all that wonderful. But on the upside, it does show a side of the Midwest that never gets depicted in Hollywood movies, it still is a decent effort for a first film, and despite it's pretentiousness, it's not an in your face "look how quirky and special i am!" indie. JJ actually lets the characters be normal people. Which is commendable.
Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
A lesser Woody Allen movie. He and Diane Keaton play an empty nest couple (their son is a baby! Zach Braff, BTW) who think their next door neighbor was murdered and investigate it. It was more memorable than it should have been, largely due to Woody and Diane's chemistry (they felt very married) and the naturalness they brought to their characters (Woody plays his usual neurotic self, but the stuff he did...make me laugh...a card scene in particular).