Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Movie Rundown - This Past Weekend

Here you go, part two of the movie extravaganza, this time detailing the movies seen from Friday through to Sunday. Hope you're still with me. Like most second acts, it's a dark and dreary road.

Halloween II (**)
Probably the worst Rob Zombie film, and that's saying something (I adore House of 1000 Corpses, but I'll freely admit it's a trainwreck of a movie). The problem isn't that Zombie has no good ideas. In fact, there are lots of good ideas here. A realistic look at what horror movie survival can do to a heroine, a solid amount of gore, and an incredibly well-used Malcolm McDowell. That said, the film is so horribly put together and has so many OTHER ideas that are simply garbage that I will recommend this one to the hardcore only.

Indie Sex (****)
A fantastic four-part documentary about sex in film, from the beginnings of cinema to the modern cutting edge of envelope-pushing art films. This one's a great tribute to a lesser-known line of films, from the incredibly influential to the extremely obscure, but treated with the proper thoughtful discourse that our culture so often lacks when it comes to such things.

If you're a film person? This is a must-see. For everyone else, I would simply say that if the subject matter interests you, there's little that's not covered here.

Anchors Aweigh (**)
An incredibly flawed musical starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. As much as I like Gene Kelly, and as famous as the sequence of him dancing with Jerry the Mouse is, the movie's too long and too lacking in musical bits to really grab me. It just feels terribly bloated and self-important. I would suggest looking up the musical bits on youtube, and letting this one pass by the wayside.

La Vie en Rose (***)
A beautiful film about French singer Edith Piaf, this movie is ... frustrating. The character is well-acted, but is so terribly unlikable that I spent the first two thirds of the movie wishing I were doing something else. I don't know how accurate it is, but it's very off putting. That said, I think that it ends pretty well and the music and cinematography are second to none. I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it, but then, I rarely think biopics scream recommendation.

What A Way to Go! (****)
A great dark comedy starring Shirley MacLaine and a bunch of leading men (Gene Kelly, Dick Van Dyke, Paul Newman, etc.) about her continued efforts to land a man who appreciates the simple life and her curse of them all trying to gain huge fortunes and dying. The movie is goofy, but one of the best things about it is that each of the men she goes through has a genre of film spoofed about their relationship. It's a neat touch, and the film itself is clever and light and everything it needs to be. A comedy that still works as much as the day it came out, a rare treat.

Les Paul: Chasing Sound (****)
A documentary about the life and accomplishments of Les Paul. It's good. I learned a lot. If you like music or interesting people, it's well worth watching. That is all.

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