Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Movie Watching

I saw four feature films theatrically this month. '09 is off to a slow start but there were two gems in February: Fanboys and Coraline. Fanboys is struggling critically and commercially-- I think the "we've had it with Star Wars" contingent is the majority among critics these days, evidenced last year by the unnecessarily lambasted Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Although I liked Fanboys I can accept the notion that we seriously have to move on. Coraline was the best of the contemporary stop-action animation movies I've seen. I don't think that great classic has happened yet (Nightmare Before Christmas is holding that slot until the real one comes along), but it'll come: and it'll be the first Pixar-buster for the Animation Oscar. I also saw New in Town and She's Just not that Into You and my only excuse is that both were free screenings.

On TCM, I watch the odd The Human Comedy. It was this strange bird... just sketches from the life of an idyllic town meant to boost moral during WWII. It was long and a bit boring but had this unusual dreamlike quality about it, and therefore is impossible to dismiss. I'd recommend a look, but I know it's not a great classic. It was nominated for Best Picture in 1943 and I would have probably put it on my ballot then too. I noticed when I looked it up that I have now seen all of the Best Picture nominees of 1943. On a side note, the 1943 radio broadcast of the Oscars has been posted on the Internet Archive (link). It's less than an hour and really wild to listen to, especially since Casablanca was the surprise (!) winner and Jack Benny had to scramble to find someone to accept the award.

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