Sunday, October 9, 2011

Films Viewed (September 2011)

Attack the Block was a rollicking good time, a perfect film to close out the summer. A rag-tag band of British public housing toughs contend with an alien invasion. Well executed and an eerie echo of what happened in England this summer.

Cluny Brown was a return to more classic Charles theater revival fare. The films remains unavailable on DVD and was Ernst Lubitsch's last completed film. In pre-World War II London, a plumber's niece falls for a Czech refugee. Smart, sophisticated, and tonally askew. Jennifer Jones gives a memorable performance, her odd energy quite modern for a film released in 1946.

Rango was an odd duck plucked from the Netflix queue. An example of the kind of film I used to see in the movie theater when I went to the movie theater more often. Johnny Depp voices a chameleon who goes on an epic journey through the desert. As the wiki page says, a "computer-animated Western comedy-drama film." A visually stunning, smartly crafted crowdpleaser.

I was warned away from Cedar Rapids during its local bow, but I still found value in it. I think you have to have spent a lot of time around Midwest corny earnestness to really enjoy this film. A small town insurance agent loses his naivete in the big bad city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa during an insurance convention. A strong ensemble keeps the film afloat. No masterpiece, but I did not find great fault with it.

Elevator to the Gallows
was another classic finally checked off the list thanks to the Charles theater revival series. Moody and prone to almost improvisatory excursions, I found the film to be live up to its reputation. A contract killer gets stuck in an elevator following a job, but there is much more to the story. The Miles Davis score is also notable.

Good ol' Starship Troopers capped off the month thanks to the Gunky's Basement crew.. The debate continues over the film, but I continue to find it a dark satire on the dangers of Fascism (a good article on this is here).

The Charles
The Rotunda
The Senator
The Landmark Harbor East
Suburban Multiplex
Netflix Instant/ Netflix DVD
(Please note: Whenever possible, all releases are linked to their pages on the Netflix website)
Total: 6 features (4 in theaters)