Friday, August 23, 2013

378. Sasom i en Spegel

Sasom i en Spegel
Through a Glass Darkly
Directed by Ingmar Bergman

I have been sitting in front of the computer for about fifteen minutes now, trying to figure out what to write.  On the one hand, I am not a Bergman fan and always find his films dull.  On the other hand, the acting was fantastic and the cinematography was beautiful.  On a third, mutant hand, I have a lot to do today and cannot take too long with this review.

A family visits a home in Sweden.  All seems well, except for the fact that the daughter is slowly losing her mind.  Sounds like my family visits (BAZING-just kidding, Dad).

So like I said, the acting is wonderful and I actually felt as though I was watching someone lose their mind.  Still, I have never felt riveted by anything Bergman shows me.  The movies should either be shorter or have more excitement.  We are simply not a good fit.  This would be acceptable, except I have to keep writing about them and repeating the same thing over and over again.  Did I mention the camera work is beautiful?

Glad I saw it, but I will never watch it again.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Filmed on the island of Faro.  Even the trivia isn't that interesting.

377. The Ladies Man

The Ladies Man
Directed by Jerry Lewis

God, I hate Jerry Lewis.  That is probably a very obvious statement, since I have never met anyone who actually liked him.  Still, it feels good to write that after spending two hours watching his stupid antics.  I HATE YOU JERRY!

Aw, much better.  Herbert Heebert (hahahahaha those are funny sounding words!) decides to give up women but then proceeds to move into an all women's boarding house.  OY!

I am not going to dwell on this movie too long.  I mean, how many times can I say "Jerry Lewis annoys the hell out of me and I will never be able to stand him."  I am guessing several more times, since we aren't going to be done with him for awhile.

Acting like a retarded man is not funny, Jerry, and never will be.

RATING: -----

Interesting Facts:

Lewis pioneered the "video assist" method during this film that is a standard practice for most modern films.

Jerry Lewis brought a gun on set.  Fucking lunatic.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

376. Viridiana

Directed by Luis Bunuel

Well, that was gross.

I just moved into my new place and instead of doing any traditional moving duties, I decided to pop this bad boy in and get some movie reviewing done.  And by "popping this bad boy in" I mean watch in a less than reputable website because I no longer get Netflix DVDs.

Unfortunately, less than reputable websites rarely have subtitles and this movie is in Spanish.  Now since I only know English and a made up language that sort of resembles French, I was sort of stuck with film.  I decided to just follow along with a plot synopsis and come up with my own ideas for what they were saying.  On a separate note, I would be a kick ass screenwriter.

Anyway, this is the story of a nun who goes to visit her uncle.  Her uncle takes her to be his deceased wife and some sick stuff goes down.  Eventually, the nun inherits his money and decides to spend the money on a charity that goes horribly, horribly wrong.

Luis Bunuel is a very strange guy who likes to fill our heads with pretty disgusting and disturbing images.  Now, if these images or ideas made me feel anything other than revulsion, I would be all for continuing to watch his movies. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

But I will give credit when credit is due.  This film is not boring in the slightest and I never had any idea what to expect.  Except when I read ahead on the Wikipedia page.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

The Vatican and Spain both denounced and banned the film.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

375. Jules et Jim

Jules et Jim
Jules and Jim
Directed by Francois Truffaut

I remember watching this film a long time ago, back when my sister and I would have themed movie nights.  The theme of the night was French night (granted, it was not the most creative concept) and we watched French Kiss and this film while eating eclairs and french fries.   That was a good night…

Damn, now I really want eclairs.

Anyway, this is one of the movies that I really, really, really want to like, but I simply can't.  I am sure if there are any intellectuals out there reading this they are cringing.  Stop being so dramatic, intellectuals.

For one thing, I cannot stand the psycho bitch in this movie.  For those who don't know, this film is about the love triangle between Jules, his wife Catherine, and his best friend, Jim.  Now, I don't want to spoil the film for anybody, but suffice to say by the end of the film you will hate Catherine too.  Yes, we get it Truffaut, you hate women and we ruin men's lives.

The interesting part about this film is that Jules and Jim are both soldiers during World War II but are serving on different sides.  I wish that had been explored more rather than their relationship with cuckoo bird.

So overall I found the characters to be too annoying to give this film a good rating.  Of course, Catherine is nuts but what about the behavior between Jules and Jim.  Bros before hoes, man.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Jean Renoir wrote a letter to Truffaut telling him how much he enjoyed the movie.  Truffaut kept the letter with him for many years.

Jeanne Moreau funded a lot of the project.

374. La Notte

La Notte
The Night
Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

Well, that was kind of dull.  Everyone seems to agree that the middle is pretty boring but I wasn't exactly blown away by the beginning and by the end of the movie, I was counting down the seconds.

This is the story of Giovanni and Lidia, a married couple who are slowly drifting apart. Throughout the film, they see other people and slowly realize that they are not right for each other any more.  Of course, this is a depressing Italian film, nothing can be resolved and life will forever be dull and gray.

There is an interesting scene in the film when a mental patient at the hospital the couple is visiting attempts to seduce Giovanni.  The woman who plays Crazy McSlutbag was quite beautiful and a great actress.

There, that is really the only good thing I can say about this.  Usually I like films that explore the boring and unfulfilling side of a rich person's life.  However, this movie just did not do it for me.  I mean, just because you are bored doesn't mean we all have to be.

People that stand in the way of their own happiness are one of my pet peeves so I am giving this film a thumbs down.  However, I can see why this might be some people's cup of tea; maybe I am just not artsy enough.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Referenced in Life of Brian.

Second part of Antonioni's unofficial trilogy.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

373. Breakfast At Tiffany's

Breakfast At Tiffany's
Directed by Blake Edwards

Earlier today I went skydiving and it has a been a bit difficult focusing on anything after jumping out of a airborne plane.  Anyway, I thought I would catch up on some reviews since I seem to be incapable of any other movement.

I have forced to watch this film many times in my life.  Usually, women in my life force me to watch it every once in awhile for reasons ranging from birthdays to getting stood up by crushes.  I really can't talk, though, because I am constantly forcing people I know to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  This is certainly an iconic movie that everyone should see at some point.  Let's proceed to rip it apart.

First of all, I have never been a huge Audrey Hepburn fan.  In my opinion, she just doesn't have that great of a screen presence.  I think a lot of people adore her for her gentleness and style but compared to other actresses, she just isn't as talented.  That being said, the "Moon River" scene is enchanting.  But don't even get me started on the Mickey Rooney scenes.  Yikes.

I read Breakfast at Tiffany's in high school and I have to say, the book was much better.  I think Holly's character translated better on paper than on screen: I found her really annoying at times in the movie.

Wow, I was harsher than I meant to be.  Actually, it is not a terrible movie, but it will never be one that I watch again and again.  Oh wait, I already have.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Marilyn Monroe was originally going to play the lead role but her publicist thought that playing a prostitute would be bad for her image.

Hepburn's black dress was sold for $807,000.

Get ready to fall in love:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

372. Lola

Directed by Jacques Demy

I have to confess that I watched this one while cleaning my chinchilla's cage and picking bedding out of my hair.  I was not really in the mood for such an artsy film, particularly when it failed to impress me.

This is the story of Lola, who hopes that her baby daddy's son will one day return to her.  Meanwhile, another man falls in love with her.  Ah, the perils of being a beautiful woman.

Jacques Demy described this movie as "a musical without music."  Maybe giving yourself a bit too much credit there.  Although the dialogue is quite rhythmic, the plot is too dull to be described in such a pleasing way.

Wow, that was a sucky review.  I am going skydiving tomorrow so I am trying to take my mind off my potential doom.  If writing crappy pieces is a good distraction, than how does Nora Roberts get any work done?  Zing!

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

A tribute to Max Ophuls.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

371. One Eyed Jacks

One Eyed Jacks
Directed by Marlon Brando

Before I started this journey, I either pictured Marlon Brando with cotton balls in his cheeks or wearing a white t-shirt and yelling Stella.  It came as a great shock for me then to see him singing and dancing in Guys and Dolls.  Now, with this film, I had to once again shift gears and picture Marlon Brando, the director.  Adjusting mental image….Okay we are good.

This is a pretty classic revenge tale.  We have Rio, who goes to jail for robbing banks (which is a perfectly legitimate reason).  However, he is pissed that his friend betrayed and didn't go too.  While Marlon Brando is on the path of revenge, he manages to make time to pull a Woody Allen.  Gross.

Let's get with what I liked first. The opening scene is one of the most badass moments in the history of cinema.  I myself have never eaten fruit with that much charisma.  Additionally, because it is Brando, the acting is amazing.  As for his directing, while the shots weren't John Ford fantastic, they were quite beautiful.

However, I found that the plot tended to lag a bit, particularly in the middle.  Of course, this may be because I am not a huge western fan, but I think they could have afforded to cut out a few scenes.

Unfortunately, this review is short and sweet because I have dinner reservations.  Good, not great.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Brando shot six times the amount of footage than is usually filmed.

Original cut was five hours long.

370. La Jetee

La Jetee
The Pier
Directed by Chris Marker

And I thought the last movie was weird.

All right, so maybe this one wasn't so much a film as a 28 minute powerpoint presentation that inspired 12 Monkeys.

Surprisingly, I will not rag on it too much.  Actually, it was a pretty enjoyable half hour and probably the most fun I have ever had with an experimental film before (although that bar is not particularly high).

This is a story of a man who is sent back in time after the apocalyptic Third World War.  He is forever haunted by a woman he saw on a pier as a boy.  There is romance, action, and a very cool twist.  It actually sounds like a pretty standard sci fi movie, except for the fact that almost the entire movie is told in camera stills.

If the film didn't have such a brilliant plot, I would think the format was pretentious and tedious.  However, the whole movie was quite beautiful and before you know it, you don't even notice the style.

A risky but excellent film.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

References Vertigo.

369. L'Annee Derniere a Marienbad

L'Annee Derniere a Marienbad
Last Year at Marienbad
Directed by Alain Resnais

Well, that was a weird one.  No one seems to have any idea what really happened in this movie.  I think the fun comes from forming your own theory and yelling at other people via the internet who have a different opinion.  At least, that is what my research yielded.  In any case, I found it to be confusing to the point of annoying.

So this guy, X, (real names are so passé) tells this woman that they met a year ago and agreed to meet up in a year.  A, the woman, says this never happened.  Then, M, her husband, denies it as well.  And then, that's kind of it.  After that I, as in Amanda, kind of zoned out.

I am sorry people, I could not get into this one.  To me, it just came across as pretentious and dull.  This was very disappointed, because I have loved all of Resnais' other work.

I had no idea what was going on and what's worse, I didn't care.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

Included in "The Fifty Worst Films of All Time".  Are intellectuals actually on my side for this?  Very shocking.

See for yourself: