Saturday, March 28, 2020

Wait Until Dark

I remember seeing Wait Until Dark on the midnight movies on TV back in my teen babysitting days. Sitting alone in a dark house, with sleeping children, I found this story of home invasion to be pretty scary. Watching this film as an adult, I appreciate the story of crime, manipulation, strength and cunning. There is a lot going on and the fact that the perceived victim is blind makes for great drama. I'm glad I re-visited this classic.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Fresh Dressed

I love documentaries about fashion. In the film Fresh Dressed I got a wonderful education on the history of hip-hop fashion. I had no idea that the looks and the style was such a big part of the culture.This is a fun, well done doc I appreciaated. My favorite quotes?
"Fashion is about authentic expression."  ~ Damon Dash
"To be fresh is to be recognized." ~ Pusha T

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Birdcage

My affection for Robin Williams' film work is well known. In The Birdcage he portrays a nightclub owner whose son wants his fiance to meet his family. There are things about his family the young man would like to keep under wraps. His fiance's family has their own issues and it lends itself to a series of funny circumstances. There is a man on the run and mistaken identity are both played well for comedy. There is also a very sweet emotional underlying tone. It's a crazy ride with outstanding performances all around. This film really holds up.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A Quiet Passion

The life and works of Emily Dickinson are explored in A Quiet Passion. Her life, work and tenacity are portrayed nicely. My favorite quote in the film is, "I hope you live for 100 years." with a response of, "What a repellent idea." I agree. If you like literary history this is a good rental.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

I don't know why I had never seen the movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. I was certainly aware of it, and had seen bits and pieces of it on TV, but never sat down to watch the whole thing. When I learned that Diane Ladd was in this my curiosity was peaked enough to rent it. What a gem! This movie moves along a a good clip, the story is everyone's worst nightmare and Chevy Chase delivers a complicated line like no other. The Star Spangled Banner and Pledge of Allegiance have all new meaning for me, I may giggle the next time someone says grace before dinner. I have never seen a swat team in a Christmas movie. This iconic cast pulls off every scene like a master class in comedy. This movie was such a pleasure.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Black Christmas (2019)

When Black Christmas came out in theaters I did not have time to get to the theater. Sadly it didn't play long enough for me to catch it on a big screen. The benefit here, is that by renting, I could watch the film a few times...and I did. This stalker / slasher horror story is well told. The intricacies of the story were all made clear. I liked the performances and the way it was shot. Lindsey as a snow angel a pretty cool visual. This was a good rental for me.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Gimme Danger

I am familiar with The Stooges nd their music through pop culture references, but I'm not that familiar with their music. In an interview with Jim Jarmusch, the documentary Gimme Danger was recommended. The story of the band is interesting and has all the drama and joy you would expect from this popular band.  It is told with great photos and archival footage. A lot of time is spent with Iggy Pop as well. I found it interesting that Ron Asheton actually called Moe Howard to get the OK to use the name The Stooges. This is a documentary I really enjoyed.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Girl Interrupted

The question of who belongs in a mental institution is explored in Girl Interrupted. This is so well written, with wonderful performances from excellent young actors. My favorite line is when Valerie says, "Do not drop your anchor here." Good rental.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Very Bad Things

In the course of a bachelor party weekend Very Bad Things tells the story of  one awful event after another. The trail of terrible events leads right up to the wedding. Though this could be viewed as a comedy, the events are so horrible, after a while you don't feel like laughing. This is an outrageous story. A decent rental.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

A romance builds in Portrait of a Lady on Fire with a quiet intensity. A painter is commissioned to paint the portrait of a woman with the intention of her family sending the painting to a potential husband. The woman being painted is resistant to the whole project, so the artist must use subtle techniques to produce an accurate likeness without having her sit. A relationship develops and it shows in the art. This is a layered story with genuine, intense emotions. This film is beautifully shot. I really liked this film.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

The Invisible Man (2020)

A new take on domestic abuse is explored in The Invisible Man. I liked the use of technology in unraveling the mystery. The struggle for survival provides some great fight scenes. This is a solid thriller with some strong performances. I really liked this film.

Queen & Slim

Two young people on the run after an unwitting crime makes Queen & Slim a tense watch. The writing, performances and direction in the film is outstanding. It is tough to watch because of the subject matter. Good rental.

Friday, March 06, 2020

A Wake in Providence

The awkward premise of meeting your boyfriend's family is exacerbated in A Wake in Providence by race and culture. This film was originally recommended to me because it was shot in RI. It is fun to watch a film with local familiarity. The story is an interesting examination of a relationship that is challenged by this trip home. This is a decent film with a satisfying resolution. On a set design note, the cars are great! An OK rental.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Mean Girls

After seeing Mean Girls the musical on Broadway, it only made sense to re-watch Mean Girls the movie. I really enjoyed this the first time around and was impressed with how it holds up. The high school drama of clicks, crushes, classes, status and growth are all well represented in this story. It is well written and the performances are very genuine. An excellent movie.

Monday, March 02, 2020

The Circus

The brilliance of Charlie Chaplin's films is on full blast in the film The Circus. The Little Tramp tries to get a job with the circus and helps out in more ways than one. This is a very entertaining film with a sweet heart. Great rental.