Saturday 1 August 2020
I'm currently rewatching The Rocky Horror Picture Show as I type this, and it's really hard not to type the dialogue I'm hearing. Damn it, Janet.
114. (1768.) The Women (1939)
This will be remade in the 50s as a musical called The Opposite Sex (which I did not care for). Talk about a time warp! The sexual politics involved here are practically paleolithic, but by taking all the men off screen, the film makes a more subtle — and frankly unflattering — commentary about the patriarchy's domination of American society. Much, much better than the musical.
115. (1769.) The Hustle (2019)
A gender-swapped remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which was itself also a remake). I generally think con/heist movies work best when they play bait-and-switch with "reality," building the antici-pation before the reveal. Sadly, here you see the ending coming almost from the beginning. The spy training montage is the highlight. That Rebel Wilson really goes for it.
116. (1770.) Peeper (1975)
From the beginning, this movie presents itself as a parody of noir detective films from decades past. That ain't no crime. What is a crime is that it then proceeds to take itself far too seriously, as though it forgot it was supposed to be in on the joke. (I have to admit that my bias against Natalie Wood, here in the role of the femme fatale, may have played some part in my dissatisfaction. I just don't believe her.)
117. (1771.) The Swimmer (1968)
Burt Lancaster often *acts* too hard here, often calling attention to the very unreality of events. But as this existential nightmare of a warped American Dream gets more surreal, that works to its favor. I liked it a lot.
Dynamic tension must be hard work. Cool off with Coke!
118. (1772.) Hardcore (1979)
Written by the writer of Taxi Driver, this somehow fails to have any of that movie's depth, which I'd say owes more to Martin Scorsese's true talent as a director than any comparative value between George C. Scott and Robert DeNiro. Other than a very funny scene with Hal Williams as angry pornstar Big Dick Blaque (and a brief cameo by Reb Brown!), I'd say the rest should be avoided when possible.
There's no crime in giving yourself over to pleasure. And yes, I'm talking about Coke.
119. (1773.) The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977)
When Eddie said he didn't like his teddy, you knew he was a no-good kid. Equal parts salacious and sympathetic, I suspect your enjoyment of this movie will be based largely on your preconceived notion of Hoover and his manipulations to maintain his place in — and his conception of — history. What a guy. Makes you cry. And I did.
Planet, Schmanet, Janet.