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  • Fedora 1978

    Watched 29 Jan, 2015

    This is like an almost even more morbid version of Sunset Boulevard.

    "The ending is essential. It's what people remember. The final exit, the last close-up. The legend must go on."

    Souvenir: The one moment Mme Fedora seems truly happy, watching her daughter excitedly accept an honorary Oscar on her behalf. Of course, this has a sickly dark side to it as well, like most things in this movie do.

  • Lucy 2014

    Watched 24 Jan, 2015

    Really enjoyed it - Luc Besson's crazy sensibilities usually mesh with mine pretty well. I thought it was really interesting that as her mental capacity increased, her empathy decreased proportionally. Sort of the opposite image of Leeloo in The Fifth Element, who almost couldn't go on with her mission after being overwhelmed with emotion when she saw the embattled history of humanity. Leeloo is essentially a god confronted with humanness, while Lucy is a human who becomes god-like. Of course,…

  • Life After Beth 2014

    Watched 17 Jan, 2015

    More enjoyable than I expected, to be quite honest, although I expected Aubrey Plaza to carry it for me and really, she didn't - Dane Dehane did. I mean, it's his story so he needed to, but I wasn't sure he had it in him. The story goes some...places...but after some resistance a couple of times, I just let my self go along with it and it turned out pretty cute for the most part. Also an interesting and unusual…

  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 2014

    Watched 11 Jan, 2015 1

    Really enjoyed it. Solid end to a solid trilogy.

  • Cloud Atlas 2012

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 10 Jan, 2015

    Yep, still an incredible watch.

  • Five Graves to Cairo 1943

    Watched 08 Jan, 2015

    Field Marshall Rommel vs. a left-behind British soldier the Germans think is a German spy. Nicely suspenseful spy story, with the bland but likable Franchot Tone playing both sides while an unfortunately underdeveloped (and overaccented) Anne Baxter is alternately antagonist and supportive of him. I'm a fan of Baxter, and she does well with what she's given, but her character is too thin, with insufficient motivation for her initial anger or her turn, undercutting the otherwise stirring ending a bit.…

  • In a World... 2013

    Watched 03 Jan, 2015

    Sometimes falls a bit into the Sundancey-quirky aesthetic that I'm starting to grow out of, but by and large quite charming.

    Souvenir - When Geena Davis (cool casting there, BTW) talks to Carol in the bathroom at the awards. Interesting way to take the theme.

  • The Emperor Waltz 1948

    Watched 31 Dec, 2014

    This is far more a Bing Crosby film than a Billy Wilder one, with Bing as an American salesman dead set on selling Austria's Emperor Franz Joseph on the phonograph and making a killing in Austria. Instead, his dog falls in love with a Countess's dog, and the he falls in love with the Countess. Yes, the dogs are important enough to the story to get first billing.

    It's a slight affair, but it is interesting to see Wilder play…

  • Christmas in Connecticut 1945

    Rewatched 25 Dec, 2014

    Coming soon to a pedantic blog near you: What Christmas in Connecticut Gets Wrong About Childcare.

  • The Lego Movie 2014

    Watched 20 Dec, 2014

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

    On a line-by-line, moment-by-moment, joke-by-joke basis, this movie is pretty dang awesome. It's really clever, and more of the jokes land than not. I can see what they were trying to do, too, in the overall arc - poking fun at the stereotypical hero's journey with a special chosen one who can save the world - but that fell a bit flatter, not least of all because it could've been really subversive by, say, having Wyldstyle be the ultimate hero. Oh, well.

  • 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.)