This sticker is dangerous and inconvenient but I do love Fig Newtons

Monday, April 7, 2008

Movies recently watched

Pretty Good, but suffers from cloying, unnecessary-pulling-of-heartstrings flashback syndrome and would have been much creepier if we never knew what happened to his family, call it the Val Lewton principle, What We Can Imagine Happened to His Family Is Always Scarier Than What You Show Us:
I Am Legend

I love Will Ferrell, okay? Lay off:

The MASTERPIECE that most people will think is too long and boring, but I could easily watch twelve more hours of Deakins's pictures and Casey Affleck's cold, cold eyes and never get bored:
The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

A little too stagy, and feels so slight for a Hollywood "classic", but Hepburn is wonderful in the party scene doing Shakespeare:
Morning Glory

Thinks it's a Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell/Ralph Bellamy screwball, when it should really be a Jean Arthur (or Barbara Stanwyck)/Gary Cooper/Walter Brennan (or Thomas Mitchell) screwball, and John Krasinski is Gary Cooper (so, guess who that makes Clooney?):
Leatherheads. To be fair, I thought the first half was good, and I loved the old Universal logo at the beginning -- perfect mood setter! -- but it got way too serious in the second half, and watching the third act revealed just how badly the first act did of setting it up (we should have seen those trick plays in the first act, just so we could actually know what we were missing in the third act once the rules came in -- the "no rules" vs "rules" thing seemed tacked on), and Zellweger's character became totally unlikable once she decided to not feel bad about tricking John K's character.

If this is 1936 and Capra's directing, reporter gal Jean Arthur feels bad about tricking the nice guy for a story, and she ends up falling for him in the end and they fight the real corrupt liars (like the sports agent and the commissioner who knows there's too much money involved to let a scandal happen). But it's 2008, so apparently using someone's affections and trust and then betraying those affections and trust is a perfectly acceptable move, as long as you get the story and expose the "lie." And of course you have to fall in love with The Clooney, since his name is above the marquee, since he's the "Last Movie Star", even though you have no chemistry with him and actual sparks with Jim from the Office, but whatevs -- this movie is just another in an ever-growing long line that prove that the traditional screwball comedy is the only major movie genre that couldn't survive into a post-1960 world. Which totally bums me out, because I really wanted to love this movie, and if someone who better understood the genre traditions of screwball had script-doctored this thing, it could have been a minor classic.

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