In April, it rained movies! The first of three parts begins now:
67. (814.) Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Tony Curtis plays a cad. The movie has a great cast and is surprisingly good given its laser focus on those who will do anything in pursuit of even the most meager tastes of power.
68. (815.) Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Why was this movie a box office failure? It's very engaging, even when the action gets ridiculously improbable — even more improbable than an enemy who can control time. Kinda. Sometimes — in the third act.
69. (816.) Ladies Who Do (1963)
A British comedy about cleaning ladies who commit insider trading but still fail to save their working class neighborhood from a ruthless developer. Amusing.
70. (817.) Pulp (1972)
Has any actor ever played more writers than Michael Caine? At least he's convincing, though so is Mickey Rooney as fallen Hollywood idol with mob connections. It's like a sarcastic Phillip Marlowe movie.
71. (818.) Mildred Pierce (1945)
Joan Crawford playing a devoted mother? Now, that's some great acting. (That sounds flip, but I did really enjoy this movie and Joan Crawford's performance in it. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes noir.)
72. (819.) The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)
Slow, boring, just plain not worth watching. Even Christopher Lee fans should avoid this.
73. (820.) Rango (2011)
A meta-textural, self-aware Western starring a chameleon with no name. I think if I had realized it was a Chinatown/High Noon/Leaving Las Vegas hybrid, I would have made an effort to see it sooner.
74. (821.) Madison Avenue (1961)
The protagonist (Dana Andrews) is an incredibly ambitious and egotistical ad executive. It'd be hard to cheer for him, but in Jerry Maguire style, everyone in his world is an asshole while his central character flaw is that he is incorrigibly honest. If there was one wrong note here, it was that Eddie Albert's character had the chance to be lampooned as a corrupted ladder-climber in the vein of All the King's Men. I think it would have made a stronger movie if less time was devoted to failed romances and more time given to the dog-eat-dog world of power players scheming to stab one another in the back. But that has always been my complaint about Mad Men, too.
More to come.