december 2023 movies

  1. Enemies, A Love Story (1989)
    • Jewish man in America has wives and complications after World War II. The ending was not resolute.
    • The director, Paul Mazursky, has gathered a superbly balanced cast and kept the action so smooth that the viewer is carried along on a tide of mystical slyness. Pauline Kael
    • Ron Silver, Anjelica Houston, and Lena Olin. 

july 2021 movies

  1. Saving Private Ryan (1998). More violent bridge scene than I remembered.
  2. Up in the Air (2009). Rootlessness meets family and wins out.
  3. Petrified Forest (1936). Bette Davis is oddly attractive. Bogart looks wild. "Best old movie I've seen in awhile." I forgot it was about love stories.
  4. The Aviator (2004). Martin Scorcese - Leonardo DiCaprio , Cate Blancheet, Kate Beckinsale (as Ava Gardner), Alan Alda.  "The way of the future..."
  5. Ballad of a Soldier (1959). Grigory Chukhray. A young Soviet soldier goes out of his but eventually gets to hug his Mom.
  6. No Sudden Move (2021). Stephen Soderbergh - Don Cheadle, Jon Hamm, etc. including Matt Damon.  Very tense first-half then ever more complicated and less engaging. Detroit in the 1950s reminds me of seeing the Motor City in the 1960s. HBO Max. 
  7. Angels of Sex (2012). MMF. The ending was weak.
  8. The Call of the Wild (2020). Hard to believe the dog was fully animiated. Plus Harrison Ford.
  9. The Winter War (1989). A battle of attrition, with the Finnish platoon getting killed one by one and the surprisingly stupid Soviets getting killed en masse. Not particularly dramatic.
  10. Ad Astra (2019). Why do we go? Why do we keep trying [to finish the movie].  Humdrum except for the aeronautics and Brad Pitt's platitudes.
  11. Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2009). A mess of a straight-to-DVD release, it nonetheless had some reasonable plot lines, even if the ultimate re-embrace of Christianity was a surprise.
  12. Petticoat Fever (1936). Myrna Loy is appealing, Robert Montgomery is annoying and the original play must have been a farce.  But the cold of Labrador! 
  13. The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009). Sometimes tense and John Turturro was cool as the hostage negotiator, but overall, inferior to the original.
  14. Hold Back the Dawn (1941).  Mitchell Leisen - Charles Boyer, Olivia de Havilland, Paulette Goddard. Billy Wilder was one of the writers. de Havilland as the loving innocent. TCM.
  15. The Big Steal (1949). Unhappy people immersed in Mexico.
  16. The Lucky One (2012). Scott Hicks from a book by Nicholas Sparks. Zac Efron, an Iraqi vet, seems to have lost the ability to move the muscles in his face, Taylor Schilling, all gape-mouthed, hasn't yet found her bearings as an adult (and as a future prisoner in Orange Is the New Black), and Blythe Danner plays the grandmother who signals throughout the movie, all too obviously, that the romance will happen between them, you just wait and see.

movies - november 2018

  1. The Americanization of Emily (1964). A dark comedy set in World War II England, the film is a confusing blend of sentimentality, iconoclasm, and behind-the-scenes look at pre-D-Day Navy preparations. James Garner is a not completely unappealing scoundrel; Julie Andrews is a not completely-unappealing navy chauffeur and war victim. The ending is not predictable, yet not satisfying either.
  2. How to Murder Your Wife (1965). In a farce of marginal quality that is surprisingly stereotyped on gender, Jack Lemmon is an unappealing scoundrel and comic strip writer. Virna Lisi is appealing. he Neal Hefti hippity-hoppity score is maybe worth another listen.

august 2018 movies

  1. The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009). Tense but unsatisfying remake. Denzel Washington is no hero exactly just as John Travolta doesn't convey real derangement.
  2. - The Tarnished Angels (1956). Dorothy Malone, Rock Hudson, and Robert Stack.

movies - december 2017

  1. The Far Country (1954)
    • Anthony Mann. James Stewart, Walter Brennan, Ruth Roman, Henry Morgan. Wikipedia. Filmed in Jasper National Park. 7/10
  2. The Blitz (2012).
    • Rotterdam love story admidst the pending German attack. The Amazon Prime title may not match the theatrical release. Wikipedia. 6/10
  3. Girl with Green Eyes ()
    • Peter Finch, but not as old and cranky. 6/10
  4. Sunrise (1927)
    • F. W. Murnau, George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston

movies - november, 2017

  1. North by Northwest (1959). Alfred Hitchcock. Cary Grant, Eva-Marie Saint. Bernard Herrmann. Third row at the San Francisco Symphony
  2. The Lady Eve (1941). Preston Sturges. Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda. Wikipedia. Double character.
  3. One Way Passage (1932). Tay Garnett. Kay Francis, William Powell. "uncouth, brusque and implausible" Wikipedia. Pre-code romance as suggested via a TCM Backlotter via Skype. Not as romantic as I might have expected.
  4. The Lonely Man (1957). Henry Levin. Jack Palance, Anthony Perkins. Dour western.