Critical MeMe

Time spent watching films, even crappy ones, is time well-spent.

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Location: Missouri, United States
    These aren't comments on ALL of the movies through which I've cried, yawned, laughed, and rolled my eyes, but just about everything I've seen since early 2002 is here plus a few from earlier. Post dates reflect my screening & parenthetical dates are the year of US release (aka Oscar eligibility).
    Yeah, a movie review blog isn't very original. But originality is overrated. Just ask Michael Bay.

2/27/2013

One Hour With You (1932)

A mild musical farce about a happily married man who, nevertheless, can’t help but succumb to the wiles of his wife’s best friend. But it’s OK! Because he’s charming! Plus his best friend kissed his wife!

Oh, and some of the dialogue rhymes...not sure why.

C+

2/22/2013

The Master (2012)

I would’ve been much more interested in this story of a svengali and his followers if the Joaquin Phoenix character was completely absent from the story. He was a weird distraction -- a loose cannon stealing the spotlight from a truly intriguing story.

C

Amour (2012)

There's not much of a story here, just a woman deteriorating while her husband impotently watches it happen.

The fact that I didn’t know the people before tragedy struck meant that I wasn’t invested in their struggle. Neither of them was likable and I didn’t have history to help me see past their current lack of personality.

C-

2/20/2013

The Sessions (2012)

This had a surprisingly upbeat vibe.  I genuinely liked the polio-affected man at the heart of the story and the woman who helps him achieve sexual intimacy for the first time. I appreciated the delicacy and humor in the situation and felt that it was probably pretty close to how things felt at the time.

Helen Hunt should really stop with the accent attempts, though. She's not good at it.

B

2/12/2013

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

I was so invested in this film -- and I don’t think it’s just because I was premenstrual.

I was in love with everyone. I felt everything. My heart soared and crashed.  My eyes leaked.  Most of all, I remembered how it felt to be a teen and briefly part of something even when, through most of high school, I felt utterly alone.

How marvelous it was.  I’m starting the book tomorrow.

A

2/08/2013

Flight (2012)

The plane crash scene is amazing.  And the rest of it?  Well, it's alright, I guess.  It is, at least, good fodder for discussion (e.g. doesn’t quick-thinking heroism trump an arbitrary measurement for sobriety?). But, wow, was it ham-fisted.

The three most absolutely ridiculous scenes were (spoileriffic here):

  • Wedding day memories - Whip reminisces while holding a photo of a happier time: his terribly photo-shopped wedding day.  What?  There wasn't an elementary school kid available to touch that mess up for them?
  • The night in the hotel - they've cleared out his minibar.  But, uh-oh.  The adjoining room's door is ajar.  And he realizes it because the adjoining room's window is open (huh??) and the wind is blowing the door against the jamb.  And next door's minifridge has so much booze in it that I'm sure it was made by the same dude who designed the TARDIS. Come on.
  • The “hearing” scene - everyone's informed that the cause of the accident was a bad screw but, for some reason, they want to go ahead and crucify Whip for having a drink.  No one denies his handling of the plane was anything short of amazing, but he's still GOTTA PAY.  And he caves.  Why?  Just sit there and deny, deny, deny...but instead he completely changes his personality and decides to come clean.  At the most stupid moment.
For all of that, it was still pretty entertaining.

B-

2/06/2013

Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983 (2010)

It probably would’ve been better to watch this a little sooner after I saw the first two installments as I couldn’t quite remember what I was supposed to already know about the linked cases of missing girls and wings and police corruption. 

None of the three movies is easy-to-take, but this one veers into “way too sordid to count as entertainment” territory.  It also has a lot of flashbacks that aren’t clearly delineated as such. A spell was  certainly cast, but not in a good way. 

C-

2/04/2013

The Seventh Cross (1944)

Seven prisoners break out of a German concentration camp in pre-WWII Germany.  The head guard has seven crosses built, declaring that each will soon bear one of the escapees.

It’s a weirdly mannered movie with Spencer Tracy as one of the escapees having almost no dialogue for the first half. It’s a bit too stagey to be truly effective, but it picks up steam once Tracy falls in with his old friends, played delightfully by Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy.

B