Monday, September 10, 2007

Movies I watched last week, from favorite to least.

Aside from a half-forgotten viewing of Masculin Feminin in college and a journey through Alphaville spent mostly in 2x ffwd (stick with "One Word"), this is the first Godard film I've seen. I want to see more before I can judge its relative success; for all its fourth-wall audacity and charm, I'm wondering if there are films of his I'd find more resonant.

An unsentimental, but thoroughly Canadian autumnal romance. Though Julie Christie may get an award for convincingly playing a woman with Alzheimer's, it's Gordon Pinsent's take on the conflicted and heartbroken husband that keeps us with the film whenever director Sarah Polley (who's been wise beyond her years since Baron Munchausen) flubs some attempt at visual poetry.

Both this and Brad Anderson's earlier Session 9 (the first film I bring up when people ask for a horror recommendation) are successfully creepy stories of blue collar workers driven mad, and the visuals here (the film is draped in a gray, subtly surrealizing pallor) are more ambitious, matched by a comparitvely ambigious sense of suspense. Unfortunately, the resolution is so anticlimactic and minor that it cheapens everything before it, something a BOO! film like Session 9 didn't have to worry about. Christian Bale's method emaciation has to be seen to be believed.

The Carradines have a more complicated, outgoing charm, but Walter Hill and those big-faced Keach brothers don't fuck with that Altman shit. The stunt casting (real-life brothers play the fraternal sets of robbers) is most effective when two groups are at odds, and there's some slo-mo involving horses I bet Sam Peckinpah was jealous of. Anybody know if Christopher Guest's brother Nicholas was the dad in "Janie's Got A Gun"? Google is no help.

Someone should give the first Troll a similar tribute, or at least post Michael Moriarty "dancing" to Blue Cheer.

The video box for Food Of The Gods Part 2 used to freak me out, but this movie (a late work by MST3K fave Bert I. Gordon) wouldn't have scared me at age 8. Lots of shots of cars driving onto and off a ferry. You get to make a lot of "giant cock" jokes, though.

I would watch Troll 2 ten times in a row before I'd bother finishing this ponderous valentine to the eternal beauty of Rachel Weisz. Hugh Jackman, who'd rather be dancing, evidently peaked with Wolverine. Boring, boring, boring.


1 comment:

Alfred Soto said...

Yeah, I was disappointed by "The Long Riders" too when I got it a few months ago. You put cheekbones and grins like Dennis Quaid and the Carradines and you expect more wattage. That Mario Van Peebles movie from 1993 totally bit it.