Tuesday 22 November 2016
With the foreknowledge that if there's anything more boring than hearing other people's dreams, it's hearing their reviews of the movies they've seen, I present my take on the first four movies I've watched this month:
95. (1033.) The Unknown (1927)
This is a silent horror film in which Lon Chaney plays a sideshow freak who has no arms who starts an affair with his assistant who hates men with arms. The Shyamalan twist here is that he really does have arms! Actually, it's pretty darn good, which you would have expected if I started by telling you this was a Tod Browning film. The man was the original Tim Burton.
96. (1034.) How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
Golly, the plot of this sequel to a kid's movie felt awfully dark. It telegraphs loss and regret at every turn. Really, it wants to the the Empire Strikes Back of dragon training movies but with far less charismatic villains. Fittingly, I watched it on November 9, the First Day of the President Trump Era and felt it was thematically relevant.
97. (1035.) The Best Man (1964)
Henry Fonda made some of the best movies. Advise & Consent, Fail-Safe, The Ox-Bow Incident, 12 Angry Men, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Swarm, this. Loved it.
98. (1036.) The Great Gatsby (2013)
This is the Baz Luhrmann version. To his credit Leonardo DiCaprio makes a pretty good Gatsby, and Tobey Maguire a great Nick, but I can't say I loved the film. Luhrmann tries too hard to create a visual parallel to Fitzgerald's lyricism, and the visual effects get in the way of the story. I'm especially dissatisfied with the way the ending unfolds on the screen, which I feel saps some of the gut punch of the book's tragic finale. I recommend that you read the book instead.
More to come.