Monday, December 3, 2012


Features (15) :(

Holiday Inn (1942) ****
The Lady From Shanghai (1947) ****
Looper (2012) ****
Ride the High Country (1962) ****
In Bruges (2008) ***1/2
The Master (2012) *****
Frankenweenie  (2012) ***1/2
I Walked With a Zombie (1943) ***1/2
The Leopard Man (1943) ****
Rome Open City (1945) ***1/2
Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) ***1/2
The Quiet Man (1952) ****
And Then There Were None (1945) ****
Bigger Than Life (1956) ****
Lincoln (2012) ****
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) ***1/2

Television Shows

Dexter season 7
Boardwalk Empire seasons 1 & 2
30 Rock season 7
Parks and Recreation season 5
Seinfeld season 5
The Simpsons (various always)
Real Time with Bill Maher
The Daily Show
The Colbert Report

Notes: 15 films in October and November...disgraceful. Despite both months lasting 31 and 30 days respectively, they seemed to move by at an incredible rate. John tweeted yesterday that he couldn't believe it was top ten time already; I agree. What a blur 2012 was. But speaking of 2012 top ten lists, I did at least catch five movies from this year in October and November. I still want to see Argo, Seven Psychopaths, Killing Them Softly, The Hobbit, Django Unchained, and somehow, someway I'll try and see Amour, Zero Dark Thirty, and Cosmopolis before making my list.

Anyway, moving on to the small list of movies I watched over the past two months...

Holiday Inn was a lot of fun. Had I not already been a Bing Crosby fan,watching this movie would've made it so. He's likeable (an undersell) and easy to root for when he's down. I also enjoyed watching Fred Astaire play a character who's a bit of a turd. The movie is great musical and one that's very appropriate for this month. And I wasn't going to mention this, but it's semi-related to our Lincoln discussion so what the hell. In celebrating Abraham Lincoln's birthday, Bing has his dancers and musicians dress in black face. Now normally that would lead me to be heavily critical of a film (even older ones, as you all know). While black face is never, ever okay, this particular number was celebrating Lincoln for the Emancipation Proclamation. So it's a very odd scenario, indeed. Anyway, I'm occasionally known as being the outspoken liberal in instances like these, but I have no large objections here, and again, I feel that the outspoken liberals who are attacking Spielberg's Lincoln should give it a rest.

I enjoyed The Lady From Shanghai. Film noir is fun. Rita Hayworth is beautiful. Orson Welles has a great Irish accent. And for a noir, the twists and turns are very satisfactory. I love the Fun House ending.

We booed about Looper...that was fun, but all that seems so long ago, doesn't it? Hopefully we get the chance to boo about another movie. And maybe we should do some booing for our Twilight Zone group, John. Just a thought. Anyway, now that some time has passed, I'm still high on Looper; it's still one of the better movies of the year in my opinion.

Overall, I liked Ride the High Country more than The Wild Bunch. I had only ever seen a young Joel McCrea as well so it was interesting to see him as an old man. But he and Randolph Scott are great together in this one. And I was kinda bummed out that Scott didn't look like this for the duration of the film:

I watched In Bruges in preparation for Seven Psychopaths, which again, I still haven't seen. In Bruges has enough to like/love, but I admit that there was nothing about the movie that really impressed me. Just me calling 'em as I sees 'em. But Martin McDonagh has my attention and I look forward to seeing 7P.

I watched I Walked with a Zombie and The Leopard Man; I hadn't seen either before. The former was all right; I definitely enjoyed The Leopard Man a lot more and I'd rank it just behind Cat People for the Lewton films I've seen. I like the shift in the character of Jerry Manning. It's just an effective, suspenseful horror/mystery story from beginning to end. The shot where the blood drips past the threshold of the door was great.

I wanted to see Safety Not Guaranteed because it actually looked like a sincere indie film to me. I largely avoid indie films because so many of them seem phoney and stupid. I'm still not sure how I feel about SNG. There are things about it that I really enjoyed and there are things about it that I wasn't crazy about. I can't say that there was anything about it that I hated, though; it is a good movie, but I don't know that I'd recommend it to anyone. I guess I need to let it sit with me more. Mark Duplass kinda reminds me of Matt Besser. I liked his performance. Aubrey Plaza is great and believable.

In Brandon's wonderful write-up on John Ford he lauds Ford's fight sequences. I can't think of a better showcase of that than the ending of The Quiet Man. I'll post a top-5 or 7 John Ford list soon and will offer a few thoughts on this one.

And Then There Were None was one of the more enjoyable movies that I watched recently. Murder mysteries are a lot of fun if they're done right; Rene Clair's film is. Great cast too. Wish I had more to offer.


The seventh season of Dexter has been terrible. I'm actually happy that there are only two episodes left this season. I was actually intrigued by the first few episodes, but everything has been downhill since then. The storylines are dull and trashy. I am, however, holding out hope that the writers will do something insane with the season finale. Maybe Dexter gets caught and spends the last season on death row...or maybe Deb will kill LaGuerta and Matthews. Fingers crossed for either scenario.

I re-watched seasons 1 and 2 of Boardwalk Empire and part of me wondered if I would see the season 2 finale any differently upon revisiting it. Not at all. Still hate it. Still don't understand it. Still have no real desire to watch season 3.