Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's Movie Catch-Up Time

I've experienced a slight downtick in my movie-watching this month, and a less-than-slight downtick in my blogging about movies (oh, sidebar, I'll update you one day). So in an effort to keep you, the reader, better informed, here's how my last month or so of movie-watching (including DVDs and IFC and stuff) has gone:

Best Movie (current): The Strangers. Unbelievably tense and terrifying. You think you won't give a shit if Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman are killed by masked home invaders, but the movie puts you right in there with him. Simple, but not in a self-consciously ethereal way. "Is Tamara home" is my new calling card. For real.

Best Movie (classic): The Sixth Sense. Seriously, I'd always liked this, but seeing it again a few weeks ago, it is a phenomenal movie, both from an emotional and a craft perspective. Toni Collette kills me dead every time, and the Haley Joel Osment performance holds up too.

Best 3/5 of a Movie: I'm Not There, parts of which were mesmerizing and parts of which were either stultifying (lookin' at you, Billy the Kid) or irritating (Christian Bale).

Best Performance: everyone in The Talented Mr. Ripley, another movie that leaped in my estimation upon rewatching. Matt Damon really digs into the role -- if this was released this year, after all the Bourne success and his popularity being so high, he'd win an Oscar for it -- and Paltrow, Law, Blanchett, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, plus a gallery of Hey! It's That Guys (James Rebhorn! Phillip Baker Hall!) are all at the top of their games.

Most Overrated Performance: Shia LaBeouf in Indiana Jones. And that's not just because I watched him call someone a faggot not five minutes ago. He's the most ridiculous part of the movie, and while most of that's not his fault, he doesn't exactly make up for it either.

Worst Performance: Richard Gere in I'm Not There. What the F, dude?

Worst Character: Not even Emily Blunt could pull off the joyless, humorless, superior, jittery basket case she's asked to play in The Jane Austen Book Club. In a film full of joyless (Maria Bello), humorless (Amy Brenneman), superior (Kathy Baker), jittery (Hugh Dancey) basket cases, Blunt's character manages to be too neurotic for the lot of them. Why the fuck do they put up with her? THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW HER!

Worst Movie (current): You Don't Mess With the Zohan. Nobody seems to think "it was 100 degrees and we needed a/c" is a good enough excuse for seeing this movie. I absolutely agree with them.

Worst Movie (of this or any era): You Don't Mess With The Zohan.


Jeff Hansen said...

Ouch. I actually just watched Zohan last night, and enjoyed it quite a bit. Zohan himself, not that funny, but everything around him was actually pretty funny.

Rinaldo said...

Thanks for the kind words for The Talented Mr. Ripley, one of the most underappreciated film masterpieces I know of. (I remember some blogs getting all teen-snotty about it, as in "Geez, we get it, he's gay!" Well, if you think it's all that simple, you don't really get it.)

It knocked me out when I saw it, and in great part because of the fine acting -- it made me immediately revise my opinion of Matt Damon upwards, by about 20 levels at once. What a heartbreaking picture of someone who's always felt he was on the outside, finds himself accepted briefly by the Golden People, then gets thrown out, and in desperation keeps sinking lower and lower hoping he won't get found out. Wonderful. Thanks for noticing it.

"Lady" Bea said...

Oh MAN. Scarred for life by "The Strangers." I was actually nauseous about halfway through because I was so tense and anxious and scared. I keep reading reviews about how "not scary" it was. Who ARE these people? I was terrified!

And ditto about "The Sixth Sense," especially Toni Collette's performance. She brings me to tears every time I watch.

"Is Tamara there? Are you sure?"


jessica said...

Kung Fu Panda, Joe. Much more enjoyable way to get a/c.

Dominique L. said...

Disagree completely about Blunt and "Jane Austen..." in general. The movie, I thought anyway, was a refreshing take on the chick flick: smart, featuring women that feel far more real than other more famous characters (*cough* Carrie Bradshaw *cough*). Blunt was absolutely the best thing about "Austen". Yes, her character is unlikable, but when she breaks down after her mother's funeral and again at the end of the film, you start to understand why. Prudie is an emotional wreck and Blunt makes the audience feel this completely. Really, a tour de force performance if you ask me.

Oh and right on about Ripley :)