Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Recent Viewings

I have been very lazy lately about the blogs, so I apologize to you, my modest number of somehow devoted readers, and I will give you a stupid list of the movies I watched recently. Why? Because I'm lazy. So, from the latest backwards, here are the last twenty films I saw:

- The Passenger (1975): Antonioni's thriller is a masterclass in filmmaking. Every frame and snippet of sound is a meticulous work of beauty.

- Charlie Wilson's War (2007): It is a decent effort, but somehow I was unsure about the tone and the slight ambiguity at the end seemed rather cowardly.

- The Savages (2007): Absolutely fantastic performances by the two leads, but this suffers from the same tonal issues.

- Reservation Road (2007): There is not much new here in terms of content - it is a glorified Lifetime movie.

- Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007): Lumet's slightly uncompromising street attitude is all evident here, but it is too aware of itself to be edgy.

- Bug (2007): Definitely an interesting film and the source material shows itself clearly - it is a play shot through a camera.

- In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Movie (2007): I couldn't resist and watched an Uwe Boll film and I regret every second of it.

- Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007): The first dud from the Apatow Laugh Factory, this is nothing but an SNL skit gone horribly long.

- Eat Drink Man Woman (1994): A deeply moving, palate-caressing, and poignant soap from Ang Lee, which also ticks many boxes on the humour level.

- Lions for Lambs (2007): Robert Redford's rather bland, but well-acted, Iraq-war-themed movie lacks focus and depth.

- Alexander: The Director's Cut (2004): There is so much potential wasted away in this epic that it is painful to watch without thinking what it could, and should, have been.

- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007): It is an impressive-looking horror-musical, but it doesn't give room for any of its characters to shine from the claret-colored gloss.

- Mean Creek (2004): A tense and gripping drama with great performances and characters. It hits a huge roadblock in the third act, but still ends with a satisfying finale.

- Wristcutters: A True Story (2007): A premise as goofy and genius as a Charlie Kaufman story, but unfortunately handled in a very complacent manner.

- House of Sand (2005): This Brazilian mini-epic boasts another magnificent turn from Fernanda Montenegro, but its episodic structure belittles its ambitions.

- Once (2007): One of the best movies from last year, it is honest, moving, uplifting, and has the best soundtrack this side of Garden State (2004).

- Sin City (2005): It looks amazing and has an incredible cast ... but it is irredeemably boring and hasn't got one convincing or memorable performance from its stars.

- Driving Lessons (2006): In this PC version of the brilliant Harold and Maude (1971) Julie Walters gives one of the best performances of her career ... and that's pretty amazing.

- The Kite Runner (2007): By cramming every little part of the book and thus exposing some of its limitations, it is hurried and awkward.

- The Legend of the Black Scorpion (2006): A great-looking version of Hamlet that lacks an actual story beyond the premise.

So, folks, here they are. As you can see I haven't paid a visit to the theaters for a long time, because there hasn't been anything that I was dying to see in the last couple of months or so. And, sadly, that is unlikely to change in the coming weeks. They spoiled us late last year and now we want more quality films. I'm curious how this year will compare to 2007.


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