Tuesday 18 February 2020
So far February has been light viewing for new-to-me movies, but I still have quite the backlog from January.
7. (1661.) The Juggler (1953)
This is the last Kirk Douglas movie I saw before he died. He plays a German who survived the Holocaust with severe mental trauma trying to hide from authorities by playing a juggling clown in a post-war Israeli settlement. I missed the start of the film and went looking for it with a Google search on "Kirk Douglas juggler." The title might have been a little too on-the-nose, but Douglas' commitment to the part was noteworthy. What a great actor.
8. (1662.) Knives Out (2019)
There's not much I can say about this murder mystery without spoiling the experience except that it is both keenly aware and deserving of its reflection of the best the mystery genre has to offer. Very enjoyable. (I'd love to see more of Daniel Craig's Detective Benoit Blanc.)
9. (1663.) Despicable Me 3 (2017)
I smiled at this movie several times but didn't laugh once until the "Spy vs Spy"-inspired end credits sequence. I admire the craftsmanship, but I think there are some fundamental problems with the all-over-the-place plotting and stock characterizations. (An '80s villain? Incompetent Millennial bureaucrats? Pig-farming millionaires? Who was the target audience for this thing?)
10. (1664.) Aurora Teagarden Mystery: A Bone to Pick (2015)
This is the first of the Aurora Teagarden series (which I am seeing last because that's how I roll!). To it's credit, it does some good world-building and lays groundwork for character relationships to come. I still don't like the main character, though. I'm still hoping she gets murdered.
11. (1665.) Making Mr. Right (1987)
Leave it to John Malkovich plays both a genius roboticist and his android in a bizarre twist on the standard romcom formula. It's simultaneously silly and charming. As a bonus, everyone in it is drinking either Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray or Coca-Cola.
12. (1666.) Farewell, My Lovely (1975)
I've seen hard-boiled detective Phillip Marlowe played by Dick Powell (Murder, My Sweet), Humphrey Bogart (The Big Sleep), Robert Montgomery (Lady in the Lake), and Elliott Gould (The Long Goodbye). This movie was Robert Mitchum's turn. I love Mitchum as a street-smart tough guy (a la Out of the Past), but I don't really buy him "deducing" the solution to this sort of convoluted mystery plots.
More to come.