RSS feed for Catherine
  • Cinderella

    Cinderella 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 13 Mar, 2015

    "The old feels new in Kenneth Branagh and Disney’s live-action retelling of its 1950 animated feature (itself an adaptation of the Charles Perrault fairy tale). When did a classic take on a fairy tale become refreshing?

    The answer is sometime during the current blockbuster cycle of revisionist live-action fairy tales. As Disney leads the way in the Revampathon of iconic properties, we’ve witnessed digitized world expansions, CGI battles galore, villains in the spotlight, needless mythology and lots of flavorlessness. Some…

  • Dumb and Dumber To

    Dumb and Dumber To 2014

    Watched 10 Feb, 2015

    It pains me to say this was as terrible as it is...but it is. It's truly unfunny

  • Foul Play

    Foul Play 1978

    ★★ Added

    I always forget that Goldie Hawn is just he cutest. Unfortunately, despite a promising start, this movie is not.

  • Get on Up

    Get on Up 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 07 Jan, 2015

    Biopics can learn a lot from this film. Namely; don't be afraid of your subject.

  • Vertigo

    Vertigo 1958

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 01 Dec, 2014 2

    From Top Ten By Year: 1958 (#1):

    What do you even say about a film like Vertigo? What strikes me most upon revisiting is it’s the rare film (if anyone can think of others do let me know) that manages to retain its sense of eerie discovery. However well we know the narrative, its almost supernatural hold remains. The ‘mystery’ goes beyond story; it’s pumping in the blood of the thing. It is here that Hitchcock, the definitive deliberate…

  • Bonjour tristesse

    Bonjour tristesse 1958

    ★★★★½ Watched 05 Nov, 2014

    From Top Ten By Year: 1958 (#2)

    I had been looking forward to seeing Bonjour Tristesse more than anything else on my watchlist. Turns out my hopes were not unfounded. After Otto Preminger launched Jean Seberg into uncertain fame with the much maligned Saint Joan, he put her through his tyrannical ways again with an adaptation of Françoise Sagan’s steamy and scheming coming-of-age novel. Teardrop stained minimalism courtesy of Saul Bass segues into the dour partying of a black-and-white…

  • The Tarnished Angels

    The Tarnished Angels 1957

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Oct, 2014

    From Top Ten By Year: 1958 (#3)

    Douglas Sirk transports the stock players and the baggage of melodrama from the previous year’s Written on the Wind into desolate black-and-white territory with a longtime dream project; an adaptation of William Faulker’s Pylon. It’s about post-WWI identity but feels dislodged from time. Trading a suburban setting for death-defying airshow attractions, a pilot (Robert Stack), his wife (Dorothy Malone), and mechanic (Jack Carson) all live in a sort of lost haze where…

  • Bell, Book and Candle

    Bell, Book and Candle 1958

    ★★★★ Rewatched 15 Nov, 2014

    From Top Ten By Year: 1958 (#4)

    Shot after Vertigo, Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak reteamed for Bell Book and Candle, a supernatural comedy that retains Stewart’s obsession with Novak, but trades all of that torment for eccentric frothiness. In the film, Novak casts a literal spell on Stewart. Gillian works for herself, and owns her manipulations, regrets, and the circumstances that lead to her decision (I also love the novelty that someone like Kim Novak is convinced she…

  • Touch of Evil

    Touch of Evil 1958

    ★★★★ Rewatched 10 Sep, 2014

    From Top Ten By Year: 1958 (#5)

    This refers to the reconstructed version of Touch of Evil, put together by editor and audio engineer Walter Murch, producer Rick Schmidlin and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum according to Orson Welles’s famous 58-page memo to Universal which details the ways in which (through both editing and sound) the studio chopped up his vision.

    There are only a handful of films that make me want to take a shower afterwards. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre…

  • Auntie Mame

    Auntie Mame 1958

    ★★★★ Rewatched 19 Nov, 2014

    From Top Ten By Year: 1958 (#6)

    Why is it that the happy-go-luckiest film from this group is the most difficult to write about? Auntie Mame doesn’t impress so much as it does slap you silly with celebration. Don’t look too hard at those encrusted jewels and turbans or it all falls apart; luckily, the devil-may-care surface is the thing. It’s got a daring lack of conflict. When something major does happen, like, oh, say, poverty or death, it’s…

  • Murder by Contract

    Murder by Contract 1958

    ★★★★ Watched 01 Sep, 2014

    From Top Ten By Year: 1958 (#7)

    An assassin who doesn’t like guns. Prepping over doing. Kicking your feet up and seeing the sights. Those who’ve seen Murder by Contract know how singular it is (Martin Scorsese is chief among them, citing this as a major influence), that it zags where others zig. Removed from almost everything going on in American cinema at the time, it’s a B-movie sunken in its own mellow groove even though the hit job…

  • Anna Lucasta

    Anna Lucasta 1959

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Oct, 2014

    From Top Ten By Year: 1958 (#9)

    As written, “Anna Lucasta” (inspired by” Anna Christie”) centers on a Polish-American family and an estranged daughter-turned-prostitute returning home. But it was originally performed and adapted by the American Negro Theater, opening in Harlem with an all-black cast in the 1940’s. Fifteen years and one Paulette Goddard film later, an adaptation of the African-American production was released.

    Nobody talks or writes about Anna Lucasta. Nobody seems to have seen it (it’s available…