miscellaneous commentary

Movie binge 4/15 – 4/22

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Last Friday I was at work for nearly ten hours. It was gray and cold and breezy and I didn’t get much sleep the night before and I didn’t want to do anything after work besides eating dinner and going to sleep. I finally left work, drove in the rain, went straight to Hy-Vee, picked up some Chinese, returned home, changed into my sweatpants, pulled the blanket over me on the couch and put in “3 Women”. An unsettling story about a seemingly naïve young woman (Sissy Spacek) who moves to California, takes a job at a spa and instantly idolizes her co-worker (Shelly Duvall). The ladies frequent a bar run by a mute artist (Janice Rule). I don’t think Robert Altman intended the movie to be viewed as a horror film, at times it does feel like one, in a psychological sense.

I was tempted to follow up with “Death Proof”, another film with a predominantly female cast, but it was late and I went to bed.

Over the past weekend I watched:

“Fat Man & Little Boy” – Paul Newman as the military general in charge of the Manhattan Project.
“Breaking Away” – entertaining 70s movie about four local boys who take on the affluent students at Indiana U. I love Paul Dooley as the father character.
“Hanna” – a pretty good action film. Saoirse Ronan as a young female Jason Bourne. Eric Bana really should be given more leading roles in these types of films. He costs less than Russell Crowe and is more serious than Jason Statham.
“Crumb” – one of my all-time favorite documentaries. I did a bit of digging online and found out Don Donahue died of cancer less then a year ago. He published the early issues of Zap Comix for Crumb. And one of Crumb’s sisters was somewhat willing to be interviewed but Terry Zwigoff, the director, never followed through. I would like to know her perspective on her family.

On Monday I watched “The Pride of the Yankees”. Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig. I recognized the scene where he promises the kid in the hospital two homes runs – I think that was parodied in an episode of “Seinfeld”. The film ends with his iconic speech before a packed Yankee Stadium.

On Wednesday I watched “Doctor Zhivago”. It had been maybe ten years since I had seen this movie and I remembered very little – Alec Guiness opening the film, standing in front of a large window at night; Omar Sharif as the protagonist, the family estate in Siberia covered in snow and ice. It’s worth watching for the beautiful scenery alone. Still takes a back seat to “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Bridge on the River Kwai”.

I also watched “Somewhere”, the latest film by Sofia Coppola. It’s similar to “Lost in Translation” with Stephen Dorff in the Bill Murray role but it’s nowhere near as good. Too many times it felt like it was going nowhere. And Dorff just doesn’t have the charisma of either Murray or Scarlett Johanssen.

And last night I watched “Inception”. It doesn’t feel as long on the second viewing. But good lord, there’s more than enough exposition. Yakitty yak yak. Get on with it already!


Written by camcarlson

April 23, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Posted in Cinema

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