Here are my Twitter posts on some of the movies I caught in the past year:
District 9: Bracing as a quasi-documentary on alien immigrants, and as a horror film on unwanted transformations; opaque as an action flick.
Double Indemnity: I just don’t get classic actresses playing hysterics. c.f. Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire, Hepburn in Long Day’s Journey into Night
Fighting: A formula film without the formula’s best parts: the sweat-soaked anticipation, the thrill of the win, or, y’know, the actual fighting.
Funny Girl: Nearly a revue meant to showcase Streisand’s talents at belting and rapid-fire line delivery; Streisand redefines stardom.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Potter fatigue has caught up to me; all of J.K. Rowling’s missed dramatic opportunities keep thwacking me in the face.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Sturdy pulp movie, with stars (Ford, Connery, Phoenix) that knew they were stars, and how to act as stars.
Katong Fugue: How is it that celluloid pianos so readily channel their player’s inner desires? (c.f. The Piano)
Moon: “Thoughtful scifi” for beginners: promising premise, predictable plotting.
Paper Heart: Shades of When Harry Met Sally, with clever, disciplined use of the handheld trope.
Paranormal Activity: Oscillates like Julie & Julia between its annoying and gratifying plots, but with demons (actual v boyfriend) not cooks
Public Enemies: Retreads Bonnie and Clyde, laced with the irony that even America’s Most Wanted doesn’t beat its citizens’ self-absorption.
Ratatouille: Anyone (who can reconstruct whole recipes from scratch with just a whiff) can cook.
Silkwood proves that horror movies are scarier when they feel like a part of life, especially one you haven’t the means to escape.
Taken: dooming teenagers worldwide to clampdowns on travel by their paranoid parents, who believe that kidnappers lie at every foreign turn.
There Will Be Blood score is such a keeper: each track is flavorful and distinctive! If it didn’t fit the images, that’s the movie’s fault.
Up: Apart from the vignettes of lifelong marriage… eurgh. Eurgh. Pixar at its most infantile.
The Wedding Banquet: Queer domesticity warms my soft heart.
West Side Story: (Romeo + Juliet’s plot) – (Shakespeare’s poetry) = Awful book scenes. Rita Moreno sets her scene ablaze; other songs nowhere as fiery.
You Can Count on Me: Exactly what the title says.