27 October 2009

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

It took me 45 minutes to realize that I had already seen this movie about 10 years ago. I guess that's kind of indicative of the quality of the movie -- it's pretty dull. Think of this movie as Western-style 12 Angry Men: 3 dudes are accused of murder, and Peter Fonda defends their innocence, as the rest of the gang is pretty gung-ho about hanging them. I will say that the film's climax [whether these guys will live or die] is pretty emotional.

Oh yeah, and Anthony Quinn plays an ambiguously ethnic brown person in this.

2/5 pizzas

Uptown Saturday Night (1974)

Holy shit. Sidney Poitier directed this movie, and it stars him and Bill Cosby . . . as best friends! They make a pretty good team, and they are both lookin like babes [N.B. Bill Cosby has a beard]. Okay, here is the plot: Sidney is married to a lady and he has just started his vacation from a lame job. Cabdriver Bill suggests the pair go to a snazzy club called Zenobia's, but after they arrive they get robbed. OH NO! Sidney loses a winning lottery ticket that was in his wallet. In order to try to find the ticket, they have to pal it up with criminals, private eyes, and preachers.

As always, I am left weak in the knees from Cosby's charm and charisma. Did I mention he has a beard in this?

3/5 pizzas

The Descent (2005)

I finally watched this! Talk about excitement: an all-lady cast [except for that one glimpse of a dude], getting lost in caves, fighting Problems that exist down in the caves, and sometimes having British accents! The deal is these ladies are Adventurers and would rather explore unexplored caves than go shopping like normal women. Weird, right? Anyway, things go awry, maybe they get lost, and maybe they are being hunted by The Darkness. In any case, I've never seen a bunch of badasses like these laydees. And by the way, this was pretty scary.

4/5 pizzas

Nashville (1975)

Well, I guess I'm making my way through Mr. Altman's movies, as this is my 4th one viewed this year. After reeling from my disdain for Shortcuts and scratching my head in response to 3 Women, I was pretty surprised that I enjoyed one of Altman's longest movies. Actually, I was pretty fond of Nashville. The sweet sounds of country western tunes + Lily Tomlin + Jeff Goldblum on a tricycle + Elliott Gould playing himself + profound sadness? These are some pretty excellent ingredients for a great movie.

Okay, okay, I know Nashville's close to three hours long and I usually squirm after 90 minutes. Maybe bifurcating the movie to watch The Descent influenced my level of enjoyment a bit.

4/5 pizzas

Piccadilly (1929)

Okay, I watched this movie because some feminist blog or another mentioned it and said it was okay. Made in 1929, Piccadilly tells the story of a dishwasher-turned-dancer [Anna May Wong]. Thumbs up, movie, for having an Asian protagonist who is a lady, and two thumbs up for actually employing an Asian woman [unlike every other movie]. Netflix's description promised exciting sex, murder, and nudity [the DVD sports the image of a topless woman], but guess what? No nudity, no sex, and only the mention of a murder. This movie was intensely disappointing and felt like four hours instead of two.

2/5 pizzas

Black Dynamite (2009)

Oh shit! This movie is tight, people. It's pure fun. And I don't even love blacksploitation movies all that much. Sometimes they are boring and don't have enough nudity. Black Dynamite is the best, though -- without an egregious amount of breast exposure and zero amounts of boring. Maybe this is disrespectful to Marvin Van Peebles, but I think Black Dynamite could be in the running for my favorite b'sploitation movie.

Oh, by the way, the film is a spoof of blacksploitation films and filmmaking styles. Black Dynamite fights crime, cleans up the streets, and opens countless cans of whoop-ass. Boom!

5/5 pizzas

26 October 2009

The Furies (1950)

Look at this broad. Isn't she great? I was glad to see my lady friend in this film because I claim to love her, but maybe I've only seen about five of her movies. Well, this one is a western, and as you can tell, she dresses like a cowboy -- wearing pants a lot, not riding side saddle, etc. The main plot is that she lives on a ranch called "The Furies." Her father is a big deal wealthy man who owns everything in sight. Also, maybe he wants to do it with his daughter. Ick! Too bad, papa, because she is busy doing it with everyone else. Moral of this movie: Barbara Stanwyck wants what she wants [in her words] and fucks it [my words].

I'm not a huge fan of this movie, but it definitely picks up in the second half when shit goes down between Barbara and Judith Anderson. I guess my biggest complaint with this flick is that its title - THE FURIES! - is spoken by the characters about 10,000 times within the first 45 minutes. This is off-putting for some reason. I mean, on The Wire they only say the word "wire" like five times.

3/5 pizzas

Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon's Imagine (2000)

I'm not really sure how this was made in 2000, but the footage is definitely from the 70s. I know this mostly because John is alive, Yoko is in hot pants, and Phil Spector doesn't have scary looking hair. Also, he is not in jail because he is producing this album.

I'll love anything that has to do with John Lennon, so I'm definitely biased, but I did like this movie. It was neat to see this footage and hear John being an asshole sometimes.

4/5 pizzas

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973)

This guy is the best. I finally saw this concert movie, and it was definitely fun. Bowie sports many costumes and no eyebrows for the whole concert. Can he be any more of a babe?

I also was glad to see our friend Ringo Starr backstage with Davey.

4/5 pizzas

The Great Dictator (1940)

You guys, this movie is like so satirical. And this guy, Charlie Chaplin, he is so smart. And funny. Look how he's holding a baby!

Anyway this was my first viewing of this movie and it lived up to its reputation.

4/5 pizzas

Pierrot Le Fou (1965)

Ugh, another Godard movie? When will I get it an just put an end to this misery? Alright, that expression of intense suffering may be a small overstatement, but I really don't care for Godard. Maybe this makes me a naive, provincial student of cinema; maybe this makes me a decent human being. Anyway, I watched Pierrot with an open mind. Jean-Paul Belmondo + Anna Karina are probably the most beautiful French actors from this era, so that made the movie a bit more palatable.

The main idea of this movie is that JP and Anna team up and act as French Bonnie and Clyde and rob people [not banks] and sometimes sing songs. They are unsavory characters despite being total babes. That's probably the only thing they have in common besides being pricks.

2/5 pizzas

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Uh yes hello. We've all been waiting for this movie forever, just like we have been waiting for some other movies. I am pleased to say the wait was worth it, and I actually really really enjoyed this movie. Even though it starred a child [ick, right?], I totally dug this story. While some people thought it was lacking, I really thought WTWTA was gorgeous, fun, and just the right amount of melancholy. Thank you, Spike Jonze, for making this movie and for allowing my two favorite HBO characters to interact with each other.

And yes, I will go on the record and say I don't hate when Karen O sings songs. She's from NJ, after all.

4/5 pizzas