Thursday, May 27, 2010

Films, movies and picture shows.

Oldboy (2003) - ***. Crazed, surreal Korean film about a drunken womanizer who is locked up for 15 years, then tries to find out why. Plot holes and occasional lapses in logic actually enhance the film. Well worth seeing.
The International (2009) - ***. Solid actioner has Clive Owen and an underwritten Naomi Watts going against a crooked banking system (shocking!). Scene in the Guggenheim is a standout.
The Merry Widow (1925) - ***. Mae Murray fends off three horndogs (roguish John Gilbert, slimy Roy D'Arcy, and crippled foot-fetishist Tully Marshall) in Erich Von Stroheim's extravagant silent romance. Enough weird Stroheim touches throughout to maintain interest but bogs down considerably in second half.
Gran Torino (2008) - ****. Clint Eastwood's pitch perfect as widower Walt Kowalski, a retired autoworker who begrudgingly befriends his Hmong neighbors. A burning plea for the reestablishing of honor and vanishing values. Awesome.
Navy Blues (1929) - **. Not a 'good' movie by any means, but a wonderful showcase for its two stars, effete William Haines and adorable Anita Page. Haines was #1 male star at the box office that year, though he's clearly outgrowing his 'Silly Billy" persona. Doomed Karl Dane lends good support as a gob.
Jinx Money (1948) - **1/2. Possibly the quintessential Bowery Boys comedy benefits from thug Sheldon Leonard and ham Donald (Room Service) MacBride as police chief. Directed by William "One-Take" Beaudine.
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) - ****. Tommy Lee Jones stars and directs this sure handed modern day western about a trigger-happy sociopath border patrolman who meets his match when he kills the title character, Jones' best friend. A classic.

Thursday, May 13, 2010