The Ones I Liked (I think I've decided I'm done with grades and ratings, since I'm not a professional critic, and don't much care to be one. Just like to analyze and discuss and act all cinema-crazy, no need for elaborate grades and such. Plus, I'm too soft-hearted and easy-to-please to give out grades that would mean anything to anyone anyway.):
Again, The Ones I Liked:
Ride the High Country
Miss Austen Regrets (PBS, 2008)
Northanger Abbey (PBS, 2008)
Raisin in the Sun (ABC, 2008)
The Goodbye Girl
The Ones I Didn't Much Care For:
Persuasion (PBS, 2008)
Mansfield Park (PBS, 2008)
Is it needless to say that these are all first-time viewings for me? Well, consider it said. These are first-time viewings. (And that goes for any future "Movies recently watched" as well, which, of course, might not ever get written, as it is my way these days to be reckless and absentminded and totally random about the blog, but just in case, this here is my explanation). And if I ever do mention a movie on one of these posts that I have seen before, I will specify and possibly explain my multiple-viewing reaction in *slight* detail. Such as: "This was my reaction the first time I saw it. This is my reaction now." Etc. etc.
And now I'm laughing because this post, which was intended to be a short and sweet little list of movies to fill some blog space and make it seem like I had something to say about film, has turned into something bigger, and in fact, is less concerned about the actual topic (you know, "Movies recently watched") and more concerned with explanations and minutiae and unfocused ramblings as to the hows and whys and whats of the thing. The previous sentence is a perfect example of what I mean: unrelated to the main intent of the post (the movie list) except in that it makes mention of it by way of complaint. I gotta work on ordering my thoughts a little better. I should re-title this post: "Explanations on grading, aversions to said grading, and the uselessness thereof as it relates to the author, and first-time viewing assumptions that should be made by readers, including a self-referential complaint about content, with a list of movies liked and disliked mentioned briefly but unspectacularly, which can be avoided if wished, you wouldn't be missing anything."
I want to remedy this. So:
I was pleasantly surprised by Ride the High Country and Vacancy. I've always told myself I wasn't a Westerns girl, and yet every Western I've watched recently has been highly enjoyable. I think I might actually like Westerns, and it'll be getting close to love territory if this keeps up. All those horses and American mythmaking and strong, tough, good men. Vacancy was tense and scary and surprisingly touching. Not sure it would work on a second go 'round because the plot is mostly "Will they make it?!" and once you know how it ends, there's nothing to go back for. Except for maybe that surprising tenderness I mentioned, so maybe it would be okay on second viewing. Stay tuned. . .
I can't give a good justification for Semi-Pro to those who consider themselves discerning movie watchers. It's stupid, poorly written, minor league movie making. But Will Ferrell makes me laugh, a lot, in everything he does really, and this movie made me laugh, and when I'm watching a comedy, if it makes me laugh, then I'm gonna like it. That's my formula (see above: my not being equipped to review movies in any intelligent way). I laughed at Semi-Pro. Helluva lot, actually. But I would probably laugh at Will Ferrell reading a blank piece of paper, so that's where my taste level and sense of humor are.
I feel a little better about this post. Got a few limp scraps of meat and rubbery pieces of fat hanging off it now. And with that delightful image, I finish.