Thursday, December 9, 2010

Films Viewed (November 2010)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest was the "oh, okay" last installment of the Millennium Trilogy. The narratives were seen through to the end dutifully. Not as absorbing as the first two films, but still engaging. I saw a special-edition hardcover set at the chain bookstore yesterday that makes the books look more literary. Sure, fine. But you should really buy them here.

Hereafter was a Clint Eastwood directorial effort. Sad real-deal psychic retires, but they keep pulling him back in. I feel Eastwood's films are hit or miss and will watch his avowed masterpiece one of these days. He is an old man who makes movies in the old style. Sometimes there is a comfort in this.

Hot Bubblegum is a Hebrew-language sex farce from 1981 in the style of American Graffiti and Porky's. One night, Netflix Instant was throwing some crazy suggestions my way. Who am I to say no the gods of random?

Bill Murray Life Lessons 2009 was another filmic effort from local upstart Ann Everton, who once cut my hair on the stage of the Senator theater. Watch her take on Meatballs here. Read her interview on the City Paper here.

Logorama won the 2010 Oscar for Best Animated Short and can be seen right here. Worth your time.

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill has been the subject of inside jokes between my girlfriend and myself for some time. The ending truly had us soaring out of the living room. No, he doesn't eat the parrots.

Tropical Malady shows the promise of director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, but I prefer his later films. One that sends you running to the Internet for assistance. With help, I figured out what in the heck happened in the second part.

Dogtooth remains the talk of the Baltimore arthouse circuit. Perhaps better the second time around, as you can put things together more thoroughly. No matter how hard a helicopter parent will try, the outside world will eventually seep in to even the most hermetically sealed household.

The Secret in Their Eyes as just fine. The one the spoiled all the Oscar betting pools earlier this year. I am with those who feel it was essentially an episode of Law & Order, but a really good episode of Law & Order.

Possession has been the talk of the Baltimore arthouse rental circuit in recent times. A couple's relationship deteriorates due to adultery in 1980s Berlin, but hoo boy, there is more to it than that! Let us just say that Isabelle Adjani's character is having one monster of an affair. A psycho-sexual blend brought to boil. If enough people add it on Netflix, maybe someone somewhere will get the message that this needs a proper re-release.

House (1977) is me playing catch-up to the movie-going talk of the town this past spring, after a new print had a limited engagement run at the Senator. A group of young girls visit a ghost house in the country. Wonderful lunacy, highly stylized and very Japanese, ensues. Not scary, still gory.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One was the first film seen at the newly re-opened Senator theater. The theater has been stripped to the bone by the prior tenant, but it is good to have it opened. I have a feeling this little film that is mostly about some teenagers camping in the woods and being angsty and sad is going to go far!

Bright Leaves chronicles documentary filmmaker Ross McElwee's family's involvement with the tobacco trade in North Carolina, but is much more than that. I am very forgiving of his films with their many side-trips and rambles. Not a good as Sherman's March, but I found it very absorbing.

Hideaway (Le Refuge) was a "one week wonder" at the Charles. A woman addicted to drugs discovers she is pregnant with her lover's child after she and her lover overdose, resulting in the death of said lover. And that is just the first ten minutes or so! Suprising throghout, there was a plot twist that had the audience reacting like they caught something I didn't. Clearly, I need to see more Ozon.

Heart of Glass is a prime Werner Herzog film that I have been meaning to give my viewing attention to for some time. The secret of making ruby glass is lost in a Bavarian village, a shepherd has visions of the future, and things slowly go horribly awry, descending into madness. Herzog hypnotized the majority of the cast before each take. You know, because he's like that.

American Grindhouse was a thorough and informative overview of the different types of films that played the grindhouse circuit in the American heyday of such movie houses. Of the "DVD supplement" school, but not terribly so. I would love a doc on the actually movie theaters and what it was like to go to them, perhaps focusing on the more infamous ones.

The Charles
The Rotunda
The Senator
The Landmark Harbor East
Suburban Mulltiplex/ Video Americain/ DVD/ Online
Netflix Instant/ Netflix DVD
(Please note: All releases are now linked to their pages on the Netflix website)
Total: 14 features, 1 short film, 1 anthology collection of short films (5 in theaters)