Friday, October 31, 2008

October Movie Watching

October is a bit of an in-between month for movies, but a few gems sometimes emerge that get Oscar/critical/popular reaction.

I saw a whopping eight films theatrically this month, including some catch up. The pre-October released films I saw were: the French thriller Tell No One, the popcorner Eagle Eye, and the Ricky Gervais-starrer Ghost Town. Should have left them be (or at least waited for DVD)!

The five October releases I saw were all worthwhile. Religulous was criticized for being too "light," but I think it was smart to take that tone considering the subject matter, and I was glad that it kept that tone throughout and didn't suddenly get "serious." W. was a mixed bag. I think Oliver Stone should have just done what he clearly wanted to do and slam Bush, rather than trying to come up with a "balanced" character study-- it would have made for a better movie. Also: W. took on FAR too much in terms of its timeline and left itself open for criticism about what was left out (the actual 9/11 day, the 2000 election, his daughters, etc.) Happy-Go-Lucky had the most annoying trailer I've seen in a while and I was like "hell, no!" even though I always seem to like Mike Leigh's films. When it got 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, I knew I had to give it a try. It was imperfect, but I enjoyed it's originality. Rachel Getting Married was tough to watch at first, but ultimately I thought it was very well done, with many excellent performances (I especially liked seeing Debra Winger back on the silver screen). Changeling was solid but left me kind of "eh" in the end. SPOILER ALERT: Why did we need to see the execution? Plus: we needed to see Jolie's relationship with her child a bit more if we were to connect with her loss later. Plus, an historical gaffe: the 1934/35 Oscars were NOT broadcast. But, I kept thinking about the movie... and so I had a change of heart on it a few days later and in general would recommended it, if mildly.

On TCM, I caught quite a few films: Headin' Home (a mild silent starring Babe Ruth-- looking thin!), The Informer (a re-watch: it's been a very long time and I was worried I'd like it less, but I still think it's a great film [if a little "broad"]), Playtime (Tati's film was more Mon Oncle than M. Hulot's Holiday-- I liked a few gags [like the broken glass door bit], but ultimately found the film hard to stomach), The Night of the Iguana (pretty good; Burton interesting in it), and No Man of Her Own (Gable and Lombard's only film together has a terrific first 2/3 and the last 1/3 is just nothing-- a squandered opportunity).

No comments: