Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some movies, quickly

I don't see movies as much as I used to. But thanks to netflix, I do still see movies. Here's a few quick hits on stuff watched recently, and watched via netflix, unless otherwise noted. In no particular order:

The Visitor. From the same guy who made the terrific The Station Agent a few years ago, this is the same kind of fine, fine movie: thoughtful, funny, with intriguing characters you care about.

Slumdog Millionaire. Liked it; didn't love it. Watched the day after the Visitor, and the differences in characterization were sharp; fast, beautiful, and yes, moving, but not because I particularly cared about the characters, who were pretty generalized. Glad I saw it, but not a movie I'll return to. As far as Danny Boyle goes, my favorite movie is Millions.

Up. Saw this in the theater. Great fun and adventure, maybe a little darker than most Pixar stories, but it was funny and beautiful, and weird as a non-Tarzan Edgar Rice Burroughs novel.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Can't remember the last time I saw a Woody Allen movie, but liked this one well enough, with its Barcelona backdrop and great work from Bardem and Cruz. A little chilly and abstract, especially with the voiceover, but I liked it fine.

To Catch a Thief. Caught this one recent evening on TCM; an overlooked Hitchcock for me. I knew I'd seen it, but couldn't remember the way it ends. So we watched it for the stylish Grant and Kelly and the Riviera, and had a great time. Light as a feather and just as ticklish. Was watching for the float scene, the picnic scene, and the fireworks scene, and stayed on through to the end.

Nine Queens. Really enjoyable little con/heist/caper flick from Argentina. Funny. Highly recommended.

I see from the TV listings that both Rio Bravo and The Princess Bride, two of the most re-watchable movies ever, are on tonight, but I'll be watching the MLB All Star Game. We have them both on DVD, but there's still something special about coming across something you love on broadcast.

Ghost Town. Really enjoyable little film in the screwball tradition with great Gervais, Leoni, and Kinnear. Leoni reminds of Grant in Bringing Up Baby.

Cadillac Records. Some great performances and period detail, but still comes across as a pretty standard Hollywood musical biopic kind of dealie. Great music, of course.

In Bruges. Dark, funny, twisted, over the top. Two hit men hiding in Bruges after a botched job, waiting for orders from the boss. Great work from the three mains.

So there you go, a few capsuley reviews from a sporadic movie watcher.

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