Tuesday 24 January 2023
Let's finally tie-off 2022 movies.
150/2159. A Nous la Liberte (1931)
Another French film comedy. This one I liked immensely, in large part because the friendship demonstrated between the two leads who worked together to escape from prison. Funny and heartening is a good combination.
151/2160. The Automat (2021)
I've been fascinated by Automat restaurants since I first learned of their existence in the 90s, by which time they were all but completely gone from the world. Automated cafeteria food delivery still sounds like heaven to me (especially since this documentary fills in the hows and whys behind my imagination), yet somehow McDonald's touchscreen cashiers don't quite replicate the dream.
152/2161. Thoroughbreds (2017)
This is the equivalent of Heathers for modern teenaged audiences, and I liked it about as much. Which, for the record, means I'll probably never watch it again. I'm uncomfortable enough with people as it is that I don't want to spend any more time than I have to with fictional sociopaths.
154/2163. Barely Legal (2003)
You'll often hear film critics deride voiceover narration, and this film is a perfect example of the worst faults of the device: flowery bullshit compensating for a weak script and missing scenes. The only bits actually worth watching feature SNL alumni, presumably all improvising their funny lines.
155/2164. Idiot's Delight (1939)
Reportedly contains Clark Gable's only song-and-dance performance — "Putting on the Ritz," just like Frankenstein! — and's he fine. The real problem is that the entirely unnecessary (and too long) prologue in the first act steals most of the romantic tension from the rest of the film. A good example that less is often more in stoytelling.
156/2165. The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973)
The script gives poor Jacqueline Bisset nothing to do other than be arm candy for too-pretty cat burglar Ryan O'Neal, who is also criminally underwritten. (He steals because... his job is boring? His wife left him? Because the plot demands it?) Frankly, the highlight of the film is the setting: early 1970s Houston. It has more character than the people.
More to come.