Monday, January 18, 2010

Very much encapsulated movie reviews

Too busy to write much, so:

The Reckless Moment: Unusual film noir in having the hard-bitten dame as the hero, moreso when the dame in question is a suburban housewife doing everything possible to keep her daughter out of trouble. Guest starring a very, very young James Mason.

The Deer Hunter: Not sure which is more nightmarish, life in a 1970s steel-working town, or Vietnam; certainly all three of the central characters seem to choose a slow, elaborate form of suicide, and only Christopher Walken actually succeeding seems to bring them out of it. Unusual to see a Russian-American community depicted fairly unproblematically-- the existence of the Cold War is only even hinted at briefly, despite the context.

Catch-22: Valiant attempt to film an unfilmable novel. Partly successful. Co-stars Art Garfunkel as you've never seen him before.

The History of Mr Polly: The message is that you can change your life, whatever it happens to be. Which is ironic since this film isn't sure if it wants to be a kitchen-sink drama or a slapstick comedy. Stars John Mills, who was contractually required to appear in every film from 1945 to 1960.

Journey Into Fear: Would have been a film-noir classic with a bit more money and a better soundtrack; as it is, it's worth watching for the witty dialogue, occasionally enchanting set-pieces (the monologue of the French Communist who only joined the party to piss off his wife, for instance) traces of brilliant acting and Orson Welles as the Head of the Turkish Secret Police, in a hat which renders subtlety impossible.

Movie Count for 2010: 9