• Bad Hair

    Bad Hair

    ★★

    Cinema Vérité inflected fiction film.

    Nine-year old Junior lives with his mother and baby brother in a housing project in Caracas. Dad is dead, it takes a while to learn that it was probably a gang related death: Granny would like to break the cycle of violence and keep Junior away from the guns that killed her own son.

    Mom has lost her security guard job, we’re not sure why, there’s some kind of investigation, the details of which we’re…

  • Dear Diary

    Dear Diary

    ★★★★

    An episodic daydream, a staging of a filmmaker’s delights and frustrations, an examination of Italy’s charms and foibles, resplendent or foreboding. The first two sections, Rome via Vespa, and Islands by boat, are a lot about place and its effect on mood and  actions, while the third, which diverges entirely, is about doctors. Often funny, as much as Moretti is happy to skewer others’ nonsense, he’s willing to examine his own.

  • I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    I'm Thinking of Ending Things

    ★½

    Tiresome. When there are no rules, when I can't depend upon anything, I disinvest. Anything can happen and does, so, so what? If there's a story of past horrors being remembered here, of insecurity and confusion about one's own identity, of dread for the future, great, it's a deep film, congratulations. If I have to parse all of it, give me something with some kind of logic: don't just throw every blunt object in the toolshed at me and expect…

  • Becoming Bond

    Becoming Bond

    ★★★★

    Lazenby can really spin a yarn, especially with a director who’s willing to have some fun with recreations. Lazenby’s willing to reflect very openly on his failings as well as his triumphs, and the film, with lots of laughs along the way, presents him as his own imperfect but dignified self. 

    The perfect follow-up to watching On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Becoming Bond sets a tone for the time of that film as well as Lazenby’s complicated life as he stepped into acting, and then stepped away from Bond. Kinda fascinating.

  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    ★★★½

    Watched this with friends tonight, as a tribute to Diana Rigg, shortly after her death. First time for them. Still good. Telly Savalas still sucks.

  • Casino Royale

    Casino Royale

    ★★★★½

    Time to dig into the 6th Bond actor, Daniel Craig, and the first reset for the entire franchise: as of Bond #21, this is Bond #1.

    Oooo, are we in the past? We’re in Black and White. MGM, Columbia, no gun barrel walk? Huh!

    Prague, modern day. Bond is waiting in an MI6 agent’s office when “Dryden” arrives one night. Bond delivers a message that M is unhappy with Dryden for selling secrets. Dryden assumes that Bond, not a double-O,…

  • Watermark

    Watermark

    ★★★★

    4 ½ points for visuals, 3 ½ points for story.

  • The Graduate

    The Graduate

    First time ever having seen this, and I went back for more after it ended. Quite the mix of comedy and drama. While I’m not sure about all the choices that were made, it’s undoubtedly a great film. I think I need to let it settle before I rewatch it, and then review it.

  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    ★★★★

    Having just watched the 2002 version last night, tonight it’s all comparisons.

    I love Judi Dench (I mean who doesn’t? Monsters?) but where she plays Lady Bracknell imperiously in the new version, here Edith Evans throws ridiculous into the mix as well, which makes more sense given the material Wilde wrote for Bracknell. And while everyone else is fine in the newer version (Reese Witherspoon being the slightly weak exception), but other than Edward Fox who killed as Moncrieff’s butler…

  • The Importance of Being Earnest

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    ★★★

    Amusing… but with this cast and the Oscar Wilde source, I expected more laughs from more biting social satire. I’ll be checking out the 1952 version next.

  • Howard

    Howard

    ★★★

    The author of one of my all-time favourite offbeat, tell-all lyrics, "I use antlers in all of my decorating," Howard Ashman was pretty much a genius. The movie Howard is a long-deserved tribute to the brilliant playwright and lyricist who, along with Alan Menken, pretty much brought Disney back to the forefront of entertainment. (Thanks Howard for Ariel, Aladdin, Belle… and even Gaston.)


    The film is great for giving you a feel for Howard the person, but not great at making you feel that you understand how everything fit into a timeline. You may need to head to the Wikipedia article afterwards to get that sorted.

  • Lost Highway

    Lost Highway

    ★★½

    Huh?!