not a beautiful or unique snowflake (nothings) wrote,
not a beautiful or unique snowflake
nothings

movie log

  • A Streetcar Named Desire: 1
  • All the President's Men: 2 [re-view, sorta]
  • Lost in La Mancha: 2
  • Barton Fink: 1
  • Reservoir Dogs: 2

Ratings on a bell curve from -4 to 4

A Streetcar Named Desire

Blanche Dubois stays with her sister in New York, getting on the nerves of Stanley Kowalski. Well-acted--I found Brando particularly mesmerizing, although he's the one who didn't get an Oscar here. The story is a little too trivial for me to get excited about, and the direction--well, the action is still rather play-like. So acting yay, everything else so-so. Rating (-4 to 4): 1

All the President's Men

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein investigate the Watergate break-in. I saw this movie in theaters when I was young; could it actually have been when it came out? I would have been awfully young then. Anyway, the story is gripping, even if it the plot eventually plays out rather Deep-Throat-ex-machina (sure, that's how it actually happened, but it kind of takes the dramatic oomph out of it--they try to salvage it by stressing that their lives might be in dange at that point). But the plot dominates totally; I didn't get much sense of Woordward and Bernstein as distinct characters; in fact, there are bits where they're proposing how to psych out people to get them to confirm something, and one time it's Woodward suggesting it, and much later it's Bernstein suggesting essentially the same idea (and not in a "see, I've learned this idea from you" way). Still, it's supposed to be plot-driven, and I think the actors consciously chose to not overdo the characterization, to keep things focused. Rating (-4 to 4): 2

Lost in La Mancha

Filmmakers who were going to make an hour-long 'making of' documentary about Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote movie instead make a 'failing-at-making-of' documentary feature. That's not actually the plot, that's the backstory. The plot is Terry GIlliam, who's made numerous movies about protagonists with an active fantasy life, sets out to make a protagonist-with-fantasy-life movie to end them all: a Don Quixote movie; but fate, in the form of ill actors, roaring F-15s, and flash floods, has other things planned. Other than some really lame Python-era-Gilliam-esque animations--lame more in concept than in execution--this is just a documentary that shows what happened; it seems really quite objective. Gilliam gave the filmmakers full access, and didn't make them turn off the cameras when things went wrong; the filmmakers are there when Gilliam defends the first assistant director, and then later when the first assistant director decides the only thing for him to do is quit. It's really an astonishing look at how precarious filmmaking is; it makes it seem extremely unlikely that any film could get completed on budget, since it's so easy for things to go wrong. Also, the look at the tiny bits of the Don Quixote movie that were shot are quite nice; it made me rather hopeful that Gilliam will in fact manage to get another chance to make it. Rating (-4 to 4): 2

Barton Fink

Playwrite John Turturro goes to Hollywood to write screenplays for the man. Oh those wacky Coen brothers. It's funny here and there, it's crazy here and there, it's over the top here and there, and you get a good sense of Turturro's characters trials and tribulations. But it kind of goes nowhere other than the obvious (once you get to the big reveal, anyway), and it suffers from a rather anti-climactic denouement--I had a similar complain about Big Lebowski, I think. Rating (-4 to 4): 1

Reservoir Dogs

Five men retreat to a warehouse after an attempted jewel robbery goes wrong. Man, I just can't think of anything to say about this. Tarantino dialogue, wacky setup, well-constructed finale; you know the drill. Rating (-4 to 4): 2
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