Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Film Week

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

THE BOOK OF LIFE (2014)
Beautifully rendered, extremely enjoyable animated film about two men in love with the same woman in a Mexican village beset by bandits. Manolo (Diego Luna) wants to be a singer but is being pushed by his father to follow in the family bullfighting tradition. Joaquin (Channing Tatum) is a great soldier. They both love the mayor's daughter, Maria (Zoe Saldana), who is caught between her heart's desire and her duty to the town. And the whole thing is a bet between two Mayan death gods. There's an amazing journey into the Land of the Dead that serves as the center of the movie. It's like nothing I've ever seen in animation; it has a unique look and it's very colorful, but it has the cheek and irreverence of modern cartoons. I particularly like that the film showcases death as a part of life, and has the courage to explore that. Just a whimsical, fun, gorgeous movie. ****

CARRY ON CLEO (1964)
Cute movie, but occasionally tedious. Beautiful sets, beautiful costumes, beautiful Amanda Barrie as Cleopatra. This is the third Carry On movie I've seen, and a lot of the humor is regional in a way that I recognize, but don't have the reference points to find genuinely funny. Kenneth Williams is hysterical as Julius Caesar. **1/2

IT'S ALIVE (1974)
Larry Cohen-directed flick about a couple who have a baby that is a literal monster. It's supposed to be about the impurities in our food and water (there's an early conversation about pesticides), and there are some decent scare moments. But the uneven pacing kills the tension, despite a good lead performance by John P. Ryan. **

2 comments:

Tallulah Morehead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tallulah Morehead said...

I love Carry On Cleo. Silly and delightful. Unpretentious and gleefully lowbrow.

"Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in fa' me!"