Friday, October 14, 2011

After the Thin Man

After the Thin Man- 1936, Directed by W.S. Van Dyke II, Starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, Elissa Landi and James Stewart

He says- Delightful second entry in the series finds the urbane Charleses in San Francisco and, when not inordinately inebriated, investigating murder charges brought against Loy's unstable cousin (Landi).  Slightly overlong, but first rate with a truly surprising culprit.  Also shown in computer-colored version.  3 and a half stars

I say-  I really am not liking this series of movies.  Seemed like they were fun many many years ago, but now they're just EXTREMELY dated.  UGH.  1 star

The Crying Game

The Crying Game- 1992, Directed by Neil Jordan, starring Stephen Rea, Miranda Richardson, Jaye Davidson, and Forest Whitaker

He says-  Strikingly original and adult story with Rea as an IRA volunteer who helps capture a British soldier (Whitaker) only to befriend him and later become involved with his lover.  What begins as a thriller unexpectedly turns into a poignant and ironic love story, with plot twists that deepen the film's almost dreamlike power.  Stunningly acted by Rea, Richardson, and Whitaker, with an amazing debut by Davidson, as Dil.  A unique, seductive film that writer/director Jordan pulls off with poetic ease; he earned an oscar for his screenplay.  3 and a half stars

I say-  Everyone knows the twist of this movie (it's one of the least guarded secrets in film), however, it's still entertaining.  However, if I had not known the twist I would have figured it out in 2 seconds.  Waaaaay too obvious.  Good movie, but the whole thing is built around a surprise ending which never really works. (well, maybe 20 years ago it did).  2 stars

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Phantoms- 1998, Directed by Joe Chappelle, Starring Peter O'Toole, Rose McGowan, Liev Schreiber, and Ben Affleck
He says-  Sisters are frightened to find a Rocky Mountain town totally deserted, except for a few dead bodies; sheriff Affleck shows up to help, followed by scientist O'Toole.  The answer is a mysterious underground monster from the beginning of time: intelligent, deadly, and amorphus.  Not-bad thriller with good perfromances, astute use of locations, and some suspenseful scenes.  Adapted from his own novel by Dean R. Koontz.  Aka Dean Koontz's Phantoms.  2 and a half stars

I say- Points for being in Colorado and making use of the scenery.  Good movie, and the end ruins it.  The ending blew, and Ben Affleck at his age then, was very hard to believe as a sheriff.    Peter O'Toole was good.  2 stars

The Thin Man

So my next movie is After the Thin Man, so it looks like I need to do all of them in a row

The Thin Man- 1934, Directed by W.S. Van Dyke, starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Cesar Romero
He says-  Nick and Nora investigate the disappearance of an inventor in this classic blend of laughs and suspense which marked the first pairing of what was to become one of the movies' great romantic teams.  Shot in just two weeks by director Woody "One Shot" Van Dyke and cinematographer James Wong Howe,  this has gone on to become the sophisticated comedy-mystery par excellence,  inspiring five sequels as well as countless imitations.  Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett adapted Dashielle Hammet's novel.  4 stars

I say- Great writing, but still felt very old-timey.  Completely watchable, and I suspect that an inevitable remake will come sooner rather than later.  Nick has a major alcohol problem that if this movie was made today, would be considered unlikable.  2 1/2 stars

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

David and Goliath

David and Goliath- 1960, Directed by Richard Pottier, starring Orson Welles

He says-  Juvenile spectacle based on biblical tale, with wooden script, bad acting, Welles as hefty King Saul.  2 stars

I say-  He didn't have much to say about this one now did he?  Goliath was cool and that's about it.  1/2 star

Friday, October 7, 2011

After the Sunset

Netflix doesn't have After the Rehearsal, so

After the Sunset- 2004, Directed by Brett Ratner, Starring Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson, and Don Cheadle

He says-  Master thief Bronson and sexy accomplice Hayek escape to a sun-drenched paradise after pulling one final diamond heist, but FBI agent Harrelson (who's been thwarted by Brosnan before) tracks them down, seeking retribution- and hoping to prevent another theft.  Aspires to be To Catch a Thief, but can't come close; attractive cast and scenery doesn't generate enough heat.  2 stars

I say-  This movie wanted to be cooler than it actually was.  Slow, and was a ripoff of many other movies, and wanted to be a Tarantino style movie.  Salma Hayek is too old to be playing sexy.   1 star

Thursday, October 6, 2011

White Chicks

White Chicks-2004, Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, starring Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, and Terry Crews
He says-  Two male, maverick FBI agents go deep undercover, disguised as air-headed twin sisters, to flush out a criminal.  They're black but the girls are white, and that's the central joke.  Logic aside (and it certainly is), this heavy-handed comedy is a fragile excuse for the Wayans brothers to do a series of broad, silly riffs, poking fun at stereotypical white people.  Unrated version runs 7 minutes longer.  2 stars

I say-  The joke got old quick.  You can't have a white person playing a black guy, because that would be racist.  Not a great movie by any stretch, funny in a couple places, but mainly terrible.  1 star

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

After the Fox

After the Fox- 1966, Directed by Vittorio De Sica, starring Peter Sellers and Victor Mature

He says-  Not always successful comedy of Italian con man Sellers, who poses as a movie director.  A must-see for Mature's performance as a fading romantic star with tremendous ego.  Script by Neil Simon.  2 and a half stars

I say-  The theme song of this movie rocks.  Funny, but really kind of runs out of steam when the Fox becomes a director.  Good performances, but not worth a whole film.  1 and a half stars

Monday, October 3, 2011


Pinocchio- 2002, Directed by Roberto Benigni, starring Roberto Benigni

He says-  A carved wooden puppet comes to life as a mischievous boy who can't resist temptation of any kind.  Benigni's interpretation of the beloved 1885 story by Carlo Collodi emerges as a test of one's tolerance for the bombastic comic actor.  This was a big hit in Italy...but then, so was Mussolini.  U.S.  version was cut to 100m, and dubbed with Breckin Meyer (as Benigni) and a host of stars (Glenn Close, Queen Latifah, Eddie Griffin, Cheech Marin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Regis Philbin, James Belushi, Topher Grace, David Suchet).  Italian title: The Adventures of Pinocchio.  1 and a half stars

I say-  This is the first time I've ever heard Maltin compare a movie to the likes of an evil dictator.  Not sure what he was thinking there.  I hated this one.  Sets were nice, but the dubbing was so bad, and watching a 50-something year old man running around as a 6 year old became a thorn in my side for a couple hours.  Screw this one.  1/2 star

Saturday, October 1, 2011

After Midnight

Netflix doesn't have After Life, and I've already reviewed After.Life, so now

After Midnight- 1989, Directed by Ken Wheat, starring nobody

He says-  Four coeds take turns telling the scariest story they know in this weak and predictable horror anthology....with a high violence quotient.  This got limited theatrical release before heading to videoland.  1 and a half stars

I say-  Terrible horror movie.  Started with a strong intro, and quickly became boring.  I wish I could get a good horror movie soon.  BOMB