Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Film Week

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

ICE CREAM (1993) ****
THE LETTER V (1998) ***
THE LEGEND OF WILLIE BROWN (1998) ***
UGLY REVENGE (1998) ***
HIGHJACKER (1998) ***
HELLO THERE (1998) ****
BRUNCH (1998) ***
SEARCHING FOR NIXON (1999)
PERSONE NELL'AQUA (1999)
A bunch of short films by Louis CK. They're all worth seeing--they really got across his surreal sense of humor and wonder, but the real standouts to me were Ice Cream and Hello There, which are skewed looks at societal situations. I don't feel comfortable rating the last two, as by CK's own admission they were merely experiments in film exposure. Still, all of them are worth seeing if you're a fan, and especially Ice Cream and Hello There.

PURPLE NOON (1960)
Excellent, gorgeous-looking adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley, starring beautiful Alain Delon. This story is really engrossing, and I love that director Rene Clement approaches it as a character study rather than a thriller. ****

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (2013)
I was going to write a whole thing, but just judging by all of the extremely annoying posts and reviews I'm seeing, it is apparently impossible to talk about it rationally. Suffice to say that I loved it, I enjoyed it more and had a better time than I did at the previous film, and leave it at that. ****

7 comments:

Tallulah Morehead said...

I watched Purple Noon late last night myself. Here's what I posted about it on my Facebook page, over a gorgeous photo of Alain Delon lying in bed naked with either one knee up under the blanket or an erection the size of a leg.

"I just watched Purple Noon, the 1960 French film version of The Talented Mr. Ripley. It was pretty good, and starred the divinely sexy French film legend, Alain Delon as Tom Ripley, and directed by Rene Clement. It had the two American antagonists, Tom Ripley and "Phillippe" Greenleaf (I have no idea why Dickie Greenleaf's name is changed to Phillippe Greenleaf. None of the other characters' names are altered) speaking French to each other even when alone.

It begins deep into the story (If you know he Matt Damon film, it starts about 40 minutes into that movie), so a lot of what we should have seen we have to be told as backstory. This sort of screws the actor playing Greenleaf, Maurice Ronet, who, though receiving equal billing with Delon, is actually dispatched and gone far earlier in the film than Jude Law was. The first murder is far less violent and scary than the one in the Matt Damon movie.

And they did not know then that Patricia Highsmith was going to go on and write four more books on Tom Ripley, so they don't let him get away with it in this one. The final twist by which he's caught was a pretty clever and cool one, but the twists in the actual story where, when each time it seems there is no escape for Tom, a sudden twist gets his butt out of trouble via the very people who should most want him caught, are more fun.

And while both Tom and Phillippe go to bed with Marge, the smoldering undercurrent of homosexual attraction between them is still very much there, stoking the heat of their collission. The smarmy cop investigating Freddy's murder also seems to be flirting with Tom as he quietly tries to mind-screw him. Good film. 53 years on, it holds up. Score by Nino Rota and the credits were done by then-future-Bond-movie-titler Maurice Binder.

PS. I have no freakin' idea what the title means or refers to. It's one of those 'We had to call it something' titles."

SamuraiFrog said...

I had never seen the Matt Damon movie until a year or two ago, but I liked it quite a bit. I loved the story again here. I think I should just go ahead and read the book at this point.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Very good book, first of a series of five Ripley books. There are two good films of RIPLEY'S GAME also.

Nik said...

Definitely check out the Ripley series, Patricia Highsmith is amazing.

UeckersEats said...

How on earth you can see so many movies in a given week is a source of much jealousy on my part. I'm lucky if I can see ONE film a week. You lucky, lucky bastard.

SamuraiFrog said...

Well, grain of salt on this one, since those Louis CK films were all about five minutes long.

Tallulah Morehead said...

A movie a day keeps the boredom away, though I'm usually given to seeing at least two movies in any given day unless I'm very, very busy, or on vacation, or out with friends (If I'm at home with friends, we watch movies), or at Disneyland, etc. If I'm home, at least two movies. After all, the DVR only holds so much, so I have to keep current as much as possible.