Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Film Capsule Reviews

Sheba, Baby (1975) - BOMB. Poor Pam Grier flick suffers from dull script, bad acting, little action, no nudity. What were they thinking?? Barbara Mason’s funky soundtrack is its only virtue.

SherryBaby (2006) - ***. Another gutsy role for Maggie Gyllenhaal as a drug-addict ex-con trying to get her life together. Nice to see bad guy Danny Trejo in a sympathetic role too.

Watchmen (2008) - * ½. Expensive, overlong, self-important superhero gobbledygook without one sympathetic character among them. Based on Alan Moore’s celebrated graphic novel.

Whiteout (2009) - * ½. There’s a killer on the South Pole and only Kate Beckinsale can catch him in this trite, illogical time waster.

Die, Mommy, Die (2003) - ** ½. Campy John Waters-like tribute to 50s melodramas stars drag performer Charles Busch as a washed up singer mounting a comeback in the worst possible way. Fun for awhile, but Busch fared better with Psycho Beach Party (2000).

Whip It (2009) - ***. Predictable but likable ‘girl power’ roller derby movie. Excellent work by Marcia Gay Harden and Daniel Stern as Ellen Page’s parents. Directed by Drew Barrymore who also co-stars.

Corsair (1931) - ** ½.. This sturdy, atmospheric rum-runner movie received a bum rap in the Thelma Todd bio, Hot Toddy, but is well worth seeing. Todd has a thankless role as a bitchy society girl in one of her few dramatic performances. Director Roland West’s last film.

The Last Flight (1931)- ** ½. Four shell-shocked airmen decide to stay in France after the war and pursue the same girl (an irritating Helen Chandler ). Borrows alot from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (right down to the bullfights). David Manners’ character is remarkably fey, at one time called “a big sissy”. Don’t ask, don’t tell.