Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Film Week

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

A SECRET (2007)
Well-made French film about a son who uncovers his family's tragic pre-World War II past and how the dynamics of his family were altered forever. Excellent cast, touching, but not much to say about it. ***1/2

SEXUAL CHRONICLES OF A FRENCH FAMILY (2012)
After the youngest son of a well-off family is suspended for masturbating in class, the family matriarch (Valerie Maes, who is very good and very pragmatic in this film) realizes that she hasn't really talked about sex with her children, and the film sort of... well, just watches them have sex. That's pretty much it. We just look at what their sex lives are like, they have conversations about it, and there is literally no tension in the film at all. But I did find it sort of refreshing and nice that the film thinks of sex as neither shameful nor sensational. It's just a nice movie with lots of explicit sex scenes and regular conversation. Not remarkable, but grounded and enjoyable somehow. ***

I CONFESS (1953)
I always want to love every Hitchcock film, but I found this one about a priest who is accused of murdering a local businessman (he didn't, but he's holding on to a secret revealed to him in the confession booth) rather tedious. Montgomery Clift is pretty good in the lead, but not good enough to elevate the film from mostly a morality potboiler. **1/2

PUMPKINHEAD (1988)
Lance Henriksen unleashes a monster to get revenge on a bunch of 80s movie teenagers. It does. And that's pretty much it. Stan Winston seems to have thought of and designed a neat monster and then just given it a film to star in without giving much thought to whether it was a story worth telling. Neat monster, though, but what a boring movie. 80's horror also-ran. *1/2

IRON MAN 3 (2013)
I liked this one a lot more than I liked the disappointing Iron Man 2. Great twists, which you've doubtless already read about, but I think they really worked. I was very interested in what they've done with Tony Stark as a character, giving him a sort of PTSD after the events of The Avengers. I know there was a lot of talk among fans when the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe starting coming together about how to blend magical characters with the harder science fiction elements of the Iron Man movies, and I like how here we see that Tony's experience with aliens and a level of technology he can't easily understand has really shaken him. I looked at a lot of this through the prism of my own current problems with agoraphobia and panic disorder. I dug it. ***1/2 After this, I think I'm pretty much done speculating on what's going to happen in these movies; I'm firmly along for the ride and if they want to mess with the characters or do whatever, I don't really care as long as it's in an interesting/entertaining way.

1 comment:

Kal said...

I thought Iron Man 3 was the best Superhero movie experience I ever had. The Avengers was great but it had me asking too many questions throughout...none of which I asked myself while watching Iron Man 3. I hope it will lead to a great bridge with the Guardians of the Galaxy film like it is currently doing in the comic books.