Thursday, March 1, 2007

March 2007 mini-reviews

3/27- The Lookout (2007, Scott Frank) [6] {I'm really digging this bearded character-actor phase that Jeff Daniels is in. Thinking about this performance and The Squid and the Whale makes me feel a little sick every time I see him in crap like RV. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt is doing work as good as anyone in his age bracket right now- can't wait to see what happens when a real big-league filmmaker gets his hands on him.}

3/25- One, Two, Three (1961, Billy Wilder) [****] {I was actually kind of unsure of my feelings about this an hour into it. But the final 45 minutes are as flawless a big-screen farce as I've ever seen. Wilder's only rival for great comic endings was Preston Sturges in his prime.}

3/24- Labyrinth (1986, Jim Henson) [**1/2] {As fantasy, it's only pretty good, but it's sort of fascinating as a fable about a young girl on the cusp of womanhood. Bowie's hypersexualized performance is campy as hell, but in this context it makes sense- his ever-bulging junk makes his sexuality undeniable, a constant reminder that he symbolizes worldly adulthood. The film's final scene sums it up nicely- Jennifer Connelly has to leave childhood behind, but the friends and memories of her youth will be there whenever she needs them.}

3/22- Culloden (1964, Peter Watkins) [***1/2] {one of the most astonishing things about Watkins' film is the way they all seem so cool and clinical in tone yet manage to be so angry if you pay attention. In the case of CULLODEN, I wouldn't have batted an eyelash had Watkins decided to play Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" under the credits.}

3/21- Flannel Pajamas (2006, Jeff Lipsky) [6] {Neither party is innocent here- Justin Kirk's character starts off as kind of a jerk, but he actually ends up investing more emotionally in the relationship as the years pass, especially after Julianne Nicholson has written it off. By the way, Nicholson is so hot. It's the freckles- something about freckly skin does it for me. It's like when I watch the scenes in WOMAN IN THE DUNES in which Kyoko Kishida's skin is covered with sand- both the sand and the freckles make looking at bare skin practially tactile in itself. I imagine running my hands across skin in a way I wouldn't with more uniformly-complected skin.}