Friday, December 16, 2005

December, week 2 - mini reviews

Dry week for movies this week, I am afraid. As I mentioned in the previous post, I watched Ghostbusters last weekend and now I have been so busy getting ready for this road trip I am on to Omaha, NE, and then for another trip next week to Vegas, that I haven't had hardly any time to devote to my usual movie watching. So, this week's reviews are few and brief.

Trainspotting (Boyle, 1996)
Ewan McGregor and friends live on a merry-go-round of drug use. Sometimes fun, sometimes vomit-inducing. --What a beautiful metaphor, eh?-- Will any of them ever be able to get off the ride?
I was surprised at how much I liked this one. I had heard about it for years, but it's been hovering around the middle of my netflix queue (which for me is about #130) for a year. I only moved it up so I would have more interesting selections for my guests on movie night Sunday. Thank goodness for movie night! It definitely inspires me to up my caliber of viewing. I thought this film was engaging and quite imaginative in its telling. But I must warn the squeamish amoung you that there are, I believe, at least two, maybe three scenes that involve human feces, and also two deaths. (One slightly horrific for the innocence of the deceased.) Even more than the shock of my enjoyment of the film was my new found lust for Ewan. I have always found him mildy attractive at best, in a sort of cheeseball, flash-a-grin-that-goes-BING sort of way. But for that reason I haven't ever really cared for him as more than a lovable guy. But now, phew! He became real, and gritty, and imperfect. And I have a huge crush. The hubby doesn't get it of course. He only saw this scrawny actor sporting a heroine-not-so-chic look. But I see it. I hope he does more 'real' films in the future.

Dial 'M' for Murder (Hitchcock, 1954)
A so-so looking, middle-aged husband is so shocked and dismayed that his sugar-mamma wife, the unbearably gorgeous and refined Grace Kelly, is cheating on him, that he blackmails an old college buddy to off her.
Another great Hitchcock flick with a questionable ending. Always one to exploit any limit or technique to his advantage in an unexpected way, it is easy to see Hitchcock's unusual use of space, that he used to heighten the effect of the 3-D film, as that is how this film was originally shot. Unfortunately, by the time of the film's release, 3-d movies were no longer en vogue so it is almost never shown in 3-d. I had the opportunity to see a portion of it in 3-d when I saw a Hitchock exhibit at Universal Studios years ago. I wish I could remember it well. And now that my eye is trained enough to notice his use of space, I would give anything to see the whole thing as it was originally shot. The film itself, aside from visual gimmicks, is quite suspenseful. It is a testement to the reputed "Master of Suspense", and his ability to have his audience gripping our armrests with anticipation. This film (until the usual hokey ending) even plays well to spectators with more modern tastes, so he must have done something pretty good here. How funny that, right when we were thoroughly awash with anxiety over whether or not the killer would be successful, our power went out and we were in complete darkness. It was almost unbearable to wait the next few ours to see how the movie would conclude.

Ghostbusters (Reitman, 1984)
Three former 'scientists' and a newhire set about their lucrative plan to rid the world of ghosts when, coincidentally, an ancient god and his minions decide to come back to pay Manhattan a little visit.
How can you not love this movie? It's just fun! The first scene alone, with the librarian getting the shock of her life as she puts away books in the New York Public Library is classic, and it is immediately followed, of course, by the awesome theme-song. I love the goofy humor of this movie. It still works for me every time. And who doesn't love the scene where Rick Moranis gets attacked by the demon dog as the backdrop to some refined dining at an up-scale restaurant? And so quotable: "Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown."

Well, sadly that's it for this week. And good thing too. I am starting to see that my run-on sentences get worse when I am exhausted from travel. Tune back in next week for (I suspect) even fewer reviews (but hopefully better writing.) Busy times.

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