Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Priceless

Shades of Jacques Tati, but far, far less boring.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0482088/ (Original title: Hors de Prix)

The Fall

I see no harm in building a plot around filming (and thereby preserving) gorgeous sites from around the world. (I counted three I've seen myself, and feel damn lucky for that.)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460791/

24: Redemption

Interesting what popular opinion (and Senate discussions) can do to a TV series.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0813980/

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Milk

About two minutes into the film, I completely forgot that Sean Penn actually wasn't Harvey Milk.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1013753/

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Under the Same Moon

The song about Superman being an illegal alien says it all. (If you can ignore the crappy subtitles.)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796307/ (Original title: La Misma Luna)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tropic Thunder

Yes, Mr. Cruise, your best part was in Magnolia. Glad to see you figured that out again.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0942385/

Monday, December 15, 2008

Water

I tried to keep track-- is there actually some form of water in every gorgeously choreographed scene?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0240200/

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Matewan

If for no other reason (and there are plenty of others), watch and remember why unions were created in the first place.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093509/

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Year of Living Dangerously

To me Billy Kwan's character seems a know-it-all. Pride goeth, and all that, or in this case maybe the veil has simply lifted.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086617/

The Spiderwick Chronicles

Five books squished into one movie? Never a good idea-- will always feel rushed.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0416236/

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Heroes: Season 2

Every time Sylar looks directly at the camera and utters some trite line, I curse the serial format that keeps me watching.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0813715/

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Night of the Living Dead

Romero makes you care about the characters and then takes it all away from you. Result: first heartbreaking horror film.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063350/

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wanted

Slick, slick, slick. Bullets as swords, a nice riff on Matrix styling.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493464/

Monday, November 10, 2008

MI-5: Season 2

Could the last two episodes be more out of character? We get it, Macfayden wants to move on.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0160904 (Original title: Spooks)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Changeling

The critics are wrong. A detached narrative means viewing many amoral types and deciding for yourself which you dislike more.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0824747/

Lars and the Real Girl

Too precious for me. Does it really make sense for a community to seriously accept a plastic doll as a real girl?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0805564/

Friday, November 7, 2008

Night on Earth

A favorite, and finally on Criterion. My favorite vignette: Paris. Yes, it trumps Rome.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0102536/

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

North & South

The usual boy-meets-girl-loses-girl-gets-girl-back plot, but why a story that is so similar to Pride & Prejudice? (Although, the industry vs. union plot is quite educational.)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417349/

Monday, November 3, 2008

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 5

Spike better be in every episode in Season 6. No one else better suited to patrol while Buffy is, um, away.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118276/

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

In Bruges

Bruges as a physical manifestation of purgatory. And Farrell released from his (self-made) hell.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780536/

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Knocked Up

Gender-specific views of parenting and marriage? Yup, hits the nail squarely, I'd say.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478311/

The X Files: Season 6

Best episode, so far: Dreamland II-- McKean and Duchovny doing the mirror scene from Duck Soup.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106179/

Saturday Night Fever

A poor man's Rocky or Mean Streets, with sappy music and silly dancing. (Did we really like this stuff back then?)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076666/

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Oh, who cares if it's obvious what will happen-- this is one smartly shot, scripted and acted film.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0970468/

MASH: Season 8

Radar leaving is kinda depressing, but it's not like they're bereft of good characters.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068098/

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Sopranos: Season 4

In future seasons, I would much prefer fewer boring episodes in the middle of the run. Why does this show have to be so inconsistent?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0141842/

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Faintly ridiculous watching blinked letters being translated into English (e.g., M=D). The rest of this--phenomenal, and in case you were wondering, not boring.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401383/ (Original title: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Simpsons: Season 5

Yes, we recognize how funny this show is, but we can't sit through more than 2 episodes without falling asleep.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096697/

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Burn After Reading

Y'know, the acting is stellar, but how funny should murdering people really be?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0887883/

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Counterfeiters

Moral ambiguity is de rigueur with Holocaust films. Bit of a twist (to state it mildly) in this one.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0813547/ (Original title: Die Fälscher)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Be Kind Rewind

Another in Michel Gondry's takes on the power of moving images. Only, more overtly clever.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0799934/

Friday, September 12, 2008

Quantum Leap: Seasons 4 & 5

Man, I'm going to miss this show. OK, I'll be honest-- I'm going to miss their every opportunity to make Scott Bakula take off his shirt.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096684/

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

American Gangster

And the point of trying a remake of The Godfather (when you're not Scorsese) is to show the extent of "progress" in our beloved nation.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0765429/

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Friday Night Lights: Season 1

The only problem with watching this show is that I talk like a Texan for an hour afterwards.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758745/

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Man on Wire

You think Phelps can concentrate? Check the focus on Philippe Petit's high-wire acts.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1155592/

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Fifth Element

Only Luc Besson can craft an enjoyable film that includes abysmal (the president) and phenomenal (the guy with that great hat) acting.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119116/

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Caramel

Romantic dramas are a bit more interesting when set in a country and city you will likely never visit.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0825236/ (Original title: Sukkar Banat)

Friday, August 22, 2008

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

A completely coherent film, incoherently told. Now go see it.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1032846/ (Original title: 4 Luni, 3 Saptamâni si 2 Zile)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rough Science: Season 4

Even better than Season 3 (the limewater/carbon dioxide filter is keen). Perfect 2-disc set for a pre-teen or teenager interested in science.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363367/

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Derivative in parts, but scripted very nicely: plot, character development and action happen all at the same time.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411477/

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Gold Rush

How many times have I heard about the fork-roll dance? There's a reason people talk about it. (Don't watch the 1942 talkie, watch the 1925 original.)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0015864/

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Most unpolished major film ever made. Still, everyone's clearly having a blast and Streep, as the hippie chick I never became, is a joy to behold.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0795421/

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rough Science: Season 3

When you can build a kiln from scratch in less than a day, or determine that cinnabar contains mercury, I consider you a genius.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363367/

Monday, August 11, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Orphanage

So easily could have been basic horror. The pace, as well as the satisfying ending, save it.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0464141/ (Original title: El Orfanato)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Quantum Leap: Season 3

Ever so slightly boring, especially when they didn't tie the episode to something historically pertinent.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096684/

Monday, July 21, 2008

MI-5: Season 1

Fast-paced, but oh so British. There's something about the poker faces that rubs me the wrong way.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0160904/ (Original title: Spooks)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Friends: Season 5

C'mon, what other show could contrive to put a massive raw turkey on someone's head and not make it seem forced?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108778/

Sunday, June 29, 2008

WALL·E

My husband said it best: "We're going to film the first 45 minutes without any speaking. Nyah, nyah, nyah."
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0910970/

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Doctor Who: Season 1

As engaging as William Hartnell is in the only remaining episodes of the first season (despite his inability to remember lines), I get easily distracted. The novelty of cheesiness wears off fast.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056751/

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing

Despite the idiot plot, I both discover new meaning in the lines and shed a tear or two every time I watch it.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107616/

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Lookout

Gordon-Levitt says he did his homework on closed head trauma victims, and I'm inclined to believe him.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427470/

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Maurice

Merchant Ivory and their subtle innuendos-- the interactions between Simcox, the valet, and Hall, the "gentleman", are what the film's all about.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093512/

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The King of Kong

Question: How many moral lessons can you fit into a very funny, very engaging documentary about video-game-aholics? Answer: As many as you want.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0923752/

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hopscotch

Screenwriter's goal: an action-adventure film with no violence. Succeeded. Result: a bit boring.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080889/

Friday, June 13, 2008

In the Valley of Elah

Is the Iraq experience really that different from the Vietnam experience? You decide.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478134/

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sex and the City

Yes, if you liked the TV characters (and you enjoy looking at fashionable people), you'll find this smartly-scripted film well worth your time.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1000774/

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Goldfinger

1964, what a fun time for women. "Dink, say goodbye to Felix. Man talk."
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058150/

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gloomy Sunday

A unique experience-- a German film with French sensibilities, but set in Hungary.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0155722/ (Original title: Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod)

Divided We Fall

Astounding when anyone can pull off a humorous Nazi-era film.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0234288/ (Original title: Musíme si Pomáhat)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Lost: Season 4

Setup city. The final reveal apart, I'm sure hoping all the people who look like they died, didn't really. (But of course, they'll be back anyway.)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0411008/

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Not a worthy successor to the other three. Since when has Indy smiled that much? (And I don't mean a smirk or a snark.)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367882/

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cloverfield

An effective homage to pretty much every sci-fi creature film made, with the added bonus of feeling like it was made for YouTube.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1060277/

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Iron Man

The plot, actor, and special effects align. (Why not open this puppy on Memorial Day weekend and make a bigger bundle?)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371746/

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lilja 4-ever

Despite the somewhat unbelievable set-up, quite powerful. Makes you understand how lucky you really are.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0300140/

Earth 2

Really not at all like Firefly, but engaging in its own sense. 22 episodes, what do you have to lose?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108758/

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Heart in Winter

The French are so exhausting to watch. Nothing is overt, all subtle facial tics and large swoony eyes.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105682/ (Original title: Un Coeur en Hiver)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Kid

Is there anything more heartbreaking than Jackie Coogan pleading with the social workers not to take him away? Chaplin's own life story.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0012349/

Enchanted

It's the songs (and Patrick Dempsey, natch) that make this film so enjoyable. Did you know the pigeons and rats are for real?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0461770/

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Battlestar Galactica: Razor

A pity this "special event" wasn't better thought out. Cain and Shaw are bad people, hands down, why should I care about them?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0991178/

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Bear

Despite the unbearably (heh) cute little one, my first stop was Wikipedia to see how to repel an attack.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095800/ (Original title: L'Ours)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Aliens: Special Edition

Mostly extraneous scenes, but just for the opportunity to see more of the cool crap Cameron built, it's worth it.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090605/

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Paris Je T'aime

The short with the Spanish worker bee commuting to her job is still with me.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0401711/

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

No Country for Old Men

This film made me feel stupid. Now I see, Bardem is Death. The movie has many impressive elements, but I shouldn't have to search for post-viewing commentary.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0477348/

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Eh. Blanchett shines in any role in which she can be sarcastic, but the film doesn't gel as a whole.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0414055/

Helvetica

Not sure why some folks think this was boring. Obsessed folks are the most interesting, I think.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0847817/

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Superbad

So filthy! There's something about it, though, that just tickles me pink.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0829482/

Friday, February 1, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Fanny and Alexander

Incredibly, for a 3-hour film, this is far from dull and will keep you entertained, entranced and wondering the entire time.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083922/ (Original title: Fanny och Alexander)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Paprika

Hmm. A lot of crazy, a little bit of understandable. Watch Tokyo Godfathers instead.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0851578/