Finishing up the year
Ending the year with a frenzy because December is a great month for movie-watching.
- 12/31: Petulia (Richard Lester, 1968) 4.5 ~ Lester’s savage indictment on the state of American marriage set in turbulent 1960’s San Francisco. The underlying desperation and entrapment of the two leads (George C. Scott and Julie Christie) is imaginitively filmed through quick-cut flash forwards. Beautiful, strange and haunting.
- 12/30: Corpse Bride (Tim Burton, Mike Johnson, 2005) 2.5 ~ Never really got into this. Wonderful animation, mediocre songs, thin plot.
- 12/29: In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950) 4.0 ~ Bogie gets crazy/jealous/violent with mixed results.
- 12/28: The Break-Up (Peyton Reed, 2006) 3.0 ~ Not bad, once you get past the fact that it’s a big downer.
- 12/27: Hustle & Flow (Craig Brewer, 2005) 3.5 ~ Pimpz with Attitude.
- 12/27: Little Caesar (Mervyn LeRoy, 1931) 2.5 ~ Edward G. Robinson’s leap to stardom, but awfully dated.
- 12/22: Foreign Correspondent (Alfred Hitchcock, 1940) 4.0 ~ Formula for Hitchcock success: Man-in-trouble with a thrilling climax.
- 12/21: Beerfest (Jay Chandrasekhar, 2006) 0.5 ~ Sorry, but it ain’t Old School.
- 12/20: The Comedians of Comedy (Michael Blieden, 2005) 2.5 ~ Barely a movie, but still funny. Zach Galifianakis stands out as a talent to watch.
- 12/19: Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (Michel Gondry, 2005) 3.0 ~ Great performance scenes and an overall hometown spirit make this pic special.
- 12/15: Blue Car (Karen Moncrieff, 2002) 3.0 ~ Coming-of-age drama about a teen girl who forms a bond with her high school English teacher. Better than average, because it never feels exploitative or sappy.
- 12/14: The Beat That My Heart Skipped (Jacques Audiard, 2005) 3.5 ~ The French Fingers.
- 12/13: Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Adam McKay, 2006) 2.0 ~ Features a stellar comedic performance from John C. Reilly, but overall, it’s overlong and more silly than funny.
- 12/11: Brewster McCloud (Robert Altman, 1970) 3.0 ~ So, this is what Altman did after MASH. Uneven and out there, baby. Bird fetishists, however, will rejoice.
- 12/10: Brick (Rian Johnson, 2005) 3.0 ~ Hard-bitten high schoolers.
- 12/8: Diabolique (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955) 4.5 ~ Classic shocker.