Sunday, February 11, 2007

2007: The Year of Watching DVDs, Part V: 15 Tiny Reviews

It's Sunday, so I guess it's time to list the movies I saw this week:

Ulveson & Herngren (2005) (12 eps)
Fun and intelligent Office-inspired Swedish TV series about a doomed TV series called Herngren & Ulveson. I'm in a generous mood, so I'll give it four Keatons:

Psycho (1960) (repeat)
One of Hitchcock's relatively few actual masterpieces. Of course, Hitch is responsible for only about 20 percent of its greatness. Another 18 percent is the script and fully 40 percent is Herrmann's score.

Beerfest (2006)
Fun drinking movie. But if my ratings are to retain even a semblance of credibility, I can't give it more than a couple of Keatons:

Casino (1995) (repeat)
Trivia: I think Casino was the last feature film to be cut by the Swedish Board of Film Censors - for the vice scene. The Board still exists, but today they mostly review porn films (submitted voluntarily by the producers).

Dr Strangelove (1964) (repeat)
Kubrick made very different three science fiction films, and I'd rate them all among my 15 favorite films of all time. Thinking about it, this one's probably the least good.

The Seventh Seal (1957)
Swedish existential anxiety caught on film. Supremely cool. But some parts of it are more of a filmed play than an actual film, and it's permeated with historical inaccuracies. Fucking Bergman!

Vertigo (1958)
James Stewart plays probably the most disturbed Hitchcock protagonist ever (including Marnie).

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
I'm not a huge fan of westerns and I actively dislike long movies so that's two strikes against Mr Leone. Plus, I've never forgiven the Italians for World War II. But thinking about it, it was probably very good.

High Noon (1952)
Blacklisting allegory with the heartwarming message that people are cowardly assholes. I'm too pragmatic to be touched by stuff like this, but it's good.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (repeat)
I'll never understand why it's the second highest ranked movie on the IMDb 250 list. It's nicely done, sure, but it's also overlong and cliched. I prefer Escape from Alcatraz.

Batman Begins (2005)
Partially lovely, though it could certainly have been tighter. Everybody seems to hate Katie Holmes, but I didn't think she was bad. My score is probably inflated because I was kind of drunk when I saw this one.

Life is Beautiful (1997) (repeat)
I was even drunker when I saw this, but I remember liking it sober back in 1997. Really fucking life-affirming story about the noble art of lying to your kid. As you know, I've never forgiven the Italians for World War II, but in this case that works to the movie's advantage. What luck!

The Graduate (1967)
Quite a lot of fun.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
You know what I hate more than three-hour movies? Three-and-a-half-hour movies. Yeah, yeah, impressive, brilliant, awesome, but on a small screen it's way way way overlong. Also, much too little about T E Lawrence's sexual proclivities (masochism, etc).

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
The Wizard of Oz meets Hellraiser in fascist Spain. (And I have a feeling I would compare it to Dave McKean's Mirrormask if I'd seen it.) I would have loved this film back when I was a little girl. But I have a friend who could never watch this without puking with fear. See, he's desperately afraid of fauns. And this movie features a faun that's so disgusting it repulses even me, and I love fauns. Speaking of which, what's with the English title? It's not Pan, it's a FAUN! DAMMIT!

Twofifty update: 160.


Moocko said...

But the thing is that the faun in PAN'S LABYRINTH actually doesn't have any of the features that make me sick to my stomach. He's more of a gentle monster than a faggoty sneaky half-beast-half-man, like in NARNIA (and especially the old animated movie) who acts all cosy-schmosy while being so sinister and creepy on the inside. Plus he looks so fucking gay. Plus he plays the flute and dances like a transvestite. And so on. All the creepiness in PL was just cool.

Koala Mentala said...

Sorry, you're not the person I was referring to.

Moocko said...

That was a surprise.

Goo said...

I love movies with facists and fairies.

Uncle Sammy said...

Beerfest! was good. I incidentially saw it a few days ago. Three strong Keatons to Beerfest!

Uncle Sammy said...

There is Goo! Hello goo too.

Koala Mentala said...

Hey Uncle, would you believe right this minute I'm watching Das Boot?!? What are the odds?

Uncle Sammy said...

That totally rocks dude!!
I just watched "Facing the Giants", it's about Jesus and how he coaches a football team and wins! Nothing is impossible when God's on your side!

Koala Mentala said...

If God's so great then why the fuck can't he create a rock that's so heavy even HE can't lift it?

spidercrazy said...

It must be incredibly boring to be God, when you know the point to every joke in advance.

Koala Mentala said...

Do you mean the punchline? Or the larger philosophical point?

spidercrazy said...

Only God knows, and he doesn't tell.