Friday 20 May 2022
Wednesday 18 May 2022
I bought my last set of frames in 2014 when I'd had my previous frames for about 8 years. I loved those frames so much, I bought a second pair to use as sunglasses. But it's been 8 years, so....
These new frames are slightly larger to accomodate bifocals. I'm now *officially* old.
Monday 16 May 2022
So you say you want to be in show business, kid?
60/2069. Varisty Show (1937)
If you watch the whole sequence, you'll realize these dancers are actually turning counter-clockwise and the film is running backwards. I don't have the first clue how choreographer Busby Berkeley came up with such an idea — it took some incredible crane shots to make the long takes work seamlessly — but the final result is such a show-stopping spectacle that it makes you think these kids just might get away with stonewalling the National Guard. (Seriously, that's what's going on in the plot when this number rolls out. Realism is an unwanted intrusion in any good musical.)
Saturday 14 May 2022
May the fourteenth be with you!
(Did I do that right?)
Thursday 12 May 2022
In hindsight, do I watch a lot of movies about death?
39/2048. Death on the Nile (2022)
There's a lot in this that sequel to The Orient Express that will feel not quite right to hardcore Christie fans, but I was more bothered by the CGI used to replicate 1930s Cairo than the anachronistic cultural mores or addition of Poirot's backstory. Don't get me wrong, I still liked it and would definitely keep watching Kenneth Branagh Poirot movies.
40/2049. The End (1978)
In this blackest of comedies, Burt Reynolds plays a man so afraid of pain that he is determined to kill himself before his terminal disease can. When this film works, it's usually because of Burt's natural charm, though it does squeeze some good comedy bits from very real human situations. (I found the third act slapstick to be too broad given the dark matter that preceded it. Your mileage — and tolerance of Dom DeLuise's over-the-top antics — may vary.)
Drink Coke and die!
41/2050. The Green Knight (2021)
The classic legend is about a knight on a quest to have his head chopped off, but this modern telling is more acid trip than road trip. Every line of dialog only makes the story more confusing. It might be more tolerable if it wasn't all filmed in a dark forest without lighting. Blech.
42/2051. The New Mutants (2020)
Whenever someone wonders what "studio interference" is, point them to this movie. The writer and director were very clearly using trying to make a horror film about adolescence and sexual awakening, but the studio wanted more traditional superhero fare. The actors seem completely confused (disinterested?) about what they're supposed to be doing, and the result *is* a nightmare, just not one that anyone would want to see.
43/2052. Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off (2022)
The old footage and glowing interviews about Hawk's early days are cool. Unfortunately, Hawk is unable or unwilling to examine his adult life outside of the world of skating, so in the end, he seems almost a victim rather than a champion, especially as the story ends wallowing on his inevitable physical decline. Was the intention of this documentary to make him a martyr?
44/2053. Closed for Storm (2020)
Another documentary, this time about the doomed New Orleans Jazzland theme park, from its conception to its destruction by Katrina to its abandonment by Six Flags to New Orleans' continued inability to do anything with it's remains. Honestly, it's the last part that I found most interesting because that was when the film veered from mere morbid nostalgia to something bordering on political activism against corrupt governance. Rage against the dying of the light, indeed. Of course I liked it.
More to come.
Tuesday 10 May 2022