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  • The Rocketeer

    The Rocketeer 1991

    Watched 23 May, 2015

    What do gangsters, Nazi, spies, actors, pilots, the FBI, and Howard Hughes have in common? They all want a jetpack. I mean, really, don't we all?

    A fun throwback to 1930s serials, that pretty much hits all my favorite thing buttons. Can't believe I put off watching this until now.

    My souvenirs:

    "He's the best captain in the German army" immediately before he gets knocked right out of the blimp. Oops.
    Oh, and BTW, there's a Nazi blimp just hanging out over the Griffith Park Observatory.
    Valentine, the gangster leader. Loved him.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015

    Watched 17 May, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Halfway through I was thinking "this is an action film where the action sequences are the worst part about it." This was after the farm scenes, which are so good, after the Iron Man-Hulk fight, which is so not good. But really, that Iron Man-Hulk fight is the only thing I ended up not liking. The extended final fight works very well. Ultron is a refreshing villain, too, despite having a tired goal like "destroy the world," thanks to his personality and humor. Enjoyed the new additions to the team, and loved the Clint Barton backstory.

  • Mission: Impossible

    Mission: Impossible 1996

    Rewatched 08 May, 2015

    Liked this much more this time around than I did the first time. I think the first time I was expecting more of an all-action all-the-time thing, and while there are a few virtuoso action sequences, a lot of it is straight up spy thriller, complete with understatement and patience.

  • Safe in Hell

    Safe in Hell 1931

    Watched 14 May, 2015

    That was actually quite good. I knew a bit about the story, and from the sound of it, I was expecting something that went way off the rails (along the lines of Call Her Savage), but while there are a couple of WTF plot developments, it stays very tight and focused. Yet it still has time for an impromptu musical performance by the lovely Nina Mae McKinney and some recurring jokes featuring the would-be suitors at the Caribbean hotel.


  • Topaz

    Topaz 1969

    Watched 09 May, 2015

    What a nearly totally atypical Alfred Hitchcock film. It's a political thriller (accent on the "political") based on actual events surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis, with Russian defectors and CIA agents and French spies and Cuban resistance fighters and double agent spy rings. It's really all a bit too much, though lots of sections work quite well on their own.

    There are a few shots I'd say feel like Hitchcock (a watcher in a mirror, a few high-angle close-ups during…

  • Horns

    Horns 2013

    Watched 02 May, 2015

    Loved all the humor and weirdness of the first half - people turning uninhibited around him, not remembering his horns or him - I feel like there was a great bizarro-world comedy in here somewhere. Then it turned all angsty and revengey, with a lot of horrible stuff happening to a girl so Daniel Radcliffe could be all angsty and revengey. There's literally a scene where she's being raped in flashback intercut with two guys fighting over her in the present. Seriously? Seriously.

    Back on the plus side, it's one of the more gorgeously-shot films I've seen in a while.

  • The Jaywalker

    The Jaywalker 1956

    Watched 01 May, 2015

    I love UPA cartoons. I'd never heard of this one until someone posted it in a Facebook group I'm in, and it's quite delightful, about a middle-aged sad-sack type guy who finds new joy in jaywalking.

  • She Done Him Wrong

    She Done Him Wrong 1933

    Rewatched 28 Apr, 2015

    This worked much better for me this time - probably too young to get ALL the jokes last time, heh. For a bit Mae West almost feels like she's not even in the same movie, she's just floating through with her one-liners, but she settles into it before long.

    Memorable bits:
    West brushing Rita's hair nonchalantly while the cops are in the room.
    Grant rebuffing West's first
    Most unromantic and baffling marriage proposal

  • Big Hero 6

    Big Hero 6 2014

    Watched 25 Apr, 2015

    I <3 Baymax. I want one.

    I would've liked a bit more time getting to know the other team members - we really got time to hang out with Baymax, which is great because he's such a great character, but I would've liked some amount of hangout time with the other Big Hero 4 as well.

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    Watched 18 Apr, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I'm going to start using my "reviews" here mostly to catalogue the things I found memorable in each movie, since I'm really enjoying savoring those memorable moments rather than trying to deal with movies as a whole, especially immediately after watching them. Hence, there will probably always be spoilers.

    Memorable moments/favorite things.

    - Edward Norton's entrance, and the general lack of accent consistency.
    - "Did he just throw my cat out the window?" "No, I don't think so."
    - The…

  • American Hustle

    American Hustle 2013

    Watched 10 Apr, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Sometimes you just want to watch awesome actors doing awesome stuff with an awesome script, and though it was a little uneven sometimes (I don't mind the tonal shifts, I just found the more plot-heavy parts less interesting), this delivered.

    Memorable parts:

    Irving's comb-over
    Irving's quiet seething when Richie musses his comb-over
    Irving and Sidney falling in love in between the moving dry cleaning ranks
    Description of Rosalyn: "She was the Picasso of passive-aggressive karate."
    Rosalyn exploding the microwave ("No,…

  • Suspense

    Suspense 1913

    Watched 28 Mar, 2015

    This was REALLY good. A huge step up from the other films in the program in terms of editing and use of the camera. The shots are still static, but they're often from very interesting angles, especially a few shots from above the door looking down on the vagrant outside - when he looks up, it's genuinely terrifying.

    Weber also uses a triangular split-screen to show the woman inside with her child, the tramp outside trying to get in, and her husband at work, answering her call and rushing home to help. It's ingenious.