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  • The Lego Movie 2014

    Watched 20 Dec, 2014

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

  • The Front Page 1974

    Watched 19 Dec, 2014

    I was pleasantly surprised by this, which I didn't expect much from given how perfect His Girl Friday is. I mean, once you've done the gender switch and it was awesome, it seems pretty dumb to go back. But I have to say, I laughed out loud a bunch of times, and when Carol Burnett showed up (unexpectedly to me) as Molly Malone, I was sold on the movie, and it was pretty interesting to see the ways in which it diverged from His Girl Friday (besides the obvious, I mean).

  • Avanti! 1972

    Watched 09 Dec, 2014

    As a gorgeous travelogue of the Italian coast and the transformation of an "ugly American" executive through exposure to more laid-back Italian life and a comely British woman, Avanti! is a very enjoyable romp.

    As a comment on women's weight, a factor which comes up often as a joke and a subplot, it's pretty exasperating. It was almost humorous how NOT funny it was by the end. Maybe that was the point, Wilder you sly dog. (I don't think so.)

  • The Fortune Cookie 1966

    Watched 03 Dec, 2014

    I took a big break in watching this - I fell asleep halfway through, no fault of the film, but I did struggle in caring to go back and finish it. I'm very glad I did, though, because even though it took me a bit to get into it, it ends up being very sweet and genuine, maybe as sweet as Billy Wilder's ever been.

    I never cared as much about the plot as I wanted to, but the scene-by-scene…

  • Conflict 1945

    Watched 29 Nov, 2014

    Bogart really knows how to sell the tortured yet embittered soul who we feel for even though we know he's a murderer (not really a spoiler), in a role that sort of foreshadows his much more complicated one in In a Lonely Place. There are some similar lighting tricks used here as well, as well as some genuinely disoriented camera angles that make us wonder if we're losing our minds, just as Bogart's character seems to be. Well-crafted glossy noir,…

  • Interstellar 2014

    Watched 23 Nov, 2014

    I've been intrigued by all the mentions of 2001: A Space Odyssey I've seen by people talking about this film, and I can see what they mean - it doesn't feel anything like 2001, really, but it's definitely the kind of movie someone like Nolan would make if they were making their version of 2001 - both more action-oriented and more emotionally-charged. It worked quite well for this film.

    In any case, it pretty much wrecked me. And then I had to go hug my daughter really hard.

  • Jeopardy 1953

    Watched 06 Nov, 2014

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

  • Freaks 1932

    Watched 01 Nov, 2014 3

    So glad to finally see this one, which has been on my watchlist forEVER. And I was mostly not disappointed.

    It does feel exploitative at times, as some scenes highlight the deformities of the sideshow performers (who are actual sideshow performers, not actors with makeup and special effects), but they also tend to highlight the amazing feats these people have become capable of to rise above their circumstances. The dexterity some have with their toes, and others with their mouths…

  • The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes 1970

    Watched 28 Oct, 2014

    This is kind of a goofy movie, which seems to be rather a common factor of late Wilder films. It has an opera sequence that results in Holmes being propositioned to be the father of a retiring singer's desired progeny, to which he insinuates that he and Watson are lovers. It has a damsel in distress who may just be a femme fatale. It has the Loch Ness Monster and a top secret government plot led by none other than…

  • X-Men: Days of Future Past 2014

    Watched 30 Oct, 2014

    Better than I expected, although I should've, well, expected that given the solid reviews it got this summer. It was kind of a risk throwing us into the future state like that, and I think it paid off. That said, I did find it quite amusing (for good or ill) how very hard they were trying to make the original three films fit with this continuity. It's simultaneously convenient and brilliant that they've now basically given themselves an out to explain away any continuity conflicts.

  • [REC] 3: Genesis 2012

    Watched 25 Oct, 2014

    Even though I liked the first two, for some reason I wasn't too excited to go into [Rec] 3, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. Interestingly, it kind of leaves the franchise's found footage aesthetic in the dust; the opening is found footage, but once the film itself gets going, it shifts to a standard camera, and it looks REALLY good. I kind of appreciated that it wasn't afraid to eschew its gimmick and just be an enjoyable zombie…

  • Island of Lost Souls 1932

    Watched 18 Oct, 2014 2

    There are a few shots of Charles Laughton in this that are simply amazing.

    It would've been interesting to have seen some more creatures that were closer to the animal side than the human side, but I suppose that would've been much more difficult to depict at the time. You could do it now, but then you wouldn't have Charles Laughton, so....