Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.


VISAGES D'ENFANTS (1925)
Beautifully shot film about a boy in the Alps who loses his mother and resents his stepmother. Melodramatic, but in the best way of silent films. Actually shot in the Alps, and the scenery is breathtaking. At one point, it basically becomes a character in the film. Excellent. **** stars.

SEXTING IN SUBURBIA (2012)
For Lifetime. So, you know. * star. Incredibly amusing how it thinks that bullying started with cell phones.

WALKING THE HALLS (2012)
Incredibly ridiculous Lifetime movie about high school students who become hookers. Takes the dumbest possible turns, but, I guess, it surprised me in doing so. Still, * star.

ANGELA (1995)
Rough, compelling movie about a young girl and her little sister growing up in a new home in the rural South while their mother (Anna Thomson at her most Marilyn) sort of mentally deteriorates. Rebecca Miller wrote and directed. Like I said, rough--so many visible boom microphones--but compelling. *** stars.

THE DESCENDANTS (2011)
One of the best movies of 2011. George Clooney plays a real estate developer who lives in Hawaii and whose wife is dying in a coma from a boating accident. While trying to keep his family together and working out a deal to sell his family's land, Clooney enlists the aid of his older daughter (Shailene Woodley, who it turns out is quite good when you get her away from that awful Secret Life show) in discovering the identity of the man his wife was preparing to leave him for. Thoroughly engrossing and well-written; Alexander Payne has a gift for characterization, and has once again made a compelling and emotional film. Probably my favorite of his so far, with About Schmidt a close second. **** stars.

THE HARDER THEY COME (1972)
Excellent Jamaican crime thriller about a reggae singer (Jimmy Cliff) who has to turn to marijuana dealing to make it. Violent as hell, with an incredible soundtrack. Another flick I feel like it took me way, way too long to see. A little hard getting into, but once you're there, damn. ***1/2 stars.

YOUNG ADULT (2011)
High school girl who thinks she's too good for her Midwestern hometown and wants to make sure everyone knows it grows up to write a movie about a high school girl who thinks she's too good for her Midwestern town and wants to make sure everyone knows it. Diablo Cody completely fails at introspection with this movie about an author of young adult romance books (Charlize Theron) who goes back to her hometown to try and steal her old boyfriend away from his new wife. Dripping with condescension and a total lack of self-awareness. Charlize Theron is a good actress, but there's no anchor for her here; the character's not funny or sympathetic, and fails at being some kind of satirical point about how there are certain people who never learn the lessons they need to learn. Patton Oswalt is nice, but this movie's a chore. ** stars.

2 comments:

bwana said...

Unrelated but you may enjoy if you haven't seen it already. http://www.behance.net/gallery/Movies-From-An-Alternate-Universe/2783319

SamuraiFrog said...

I love the Drive cast, especially.