Monday, May 6, 2013

Movies I Saw in April

We take a quick break from Happiness Week or Month or whatever this is to sum up the 16 new movies I saw in April. From best to worst, here's what I watched.

Kolya (1996) - Usually I'm not much for "kid warms old man's heart" movies, but I was impressed by how non-sappy this one was.

Diabolique (1955) - Great mystery/thriller story, almost Hitchcockian in its feel and its slow build. Glad I finally got around to watching this one.

Divided We Fall (2000) - A wonderful Czech film with a fascinating cast of characters.

Hitchcock (2012) - As far as biopics go, this one is fun. It does a good job of really making Hitchcock a person rather than just a figure.

Premium Rush (2012) - Totally silly, totally fun.

Blow Out (1981) - Pretty typical 80s thriller, but well done and fun.

Videodrome (1983) - Fascinating concept and some great visuals, but the ending didn't really do anything for me.

Lincoln (2012) - For all the great people involved in this movie, it was surprisingly... monotone. There was absolutely nothing exciting in it at all. And there should have been.

Life of Pi (2012) - Meh. It's fine, and it looks lovely, but I'm irrationally bored by movies with animals in them.

Persona (1966) - I was far too frustrated by the fact that I couldn't tell what was physically happening in this movie to have any actual opinion on it.

The Conversation (1974) - I don't understand Francis Ford Coppola's directing style at all, but I have to admit it had a pretty cool ending.

Django Unchained (2012) - Not nearly as much Tarantino-esque dialogue as I like. I never realized how much I really count on that to mellow out the violence in his other films. This isn't as violent as Inglourious Basterds, but it felt more so.

Burn After Reading (2008) - The only reason to see this is for Brad Pitt.


Hotel Transylvania (2012) - A thoroughly uninspired and unfunny kids' flick. Not worth it.

The Long Goodbye (1973) - I think it might be time for me to give up on detective noirs. I haven't liked one since... ever.


  1. I think it's hilarious how much taste we seem to share (musicals in general, Diabolique, Divided We Fall, Premium Rush from this post), and then how much I love some of the movies you hate. Persona is easily my favorite Bergman, and I love how it captures the fragmentation of going mad. The Long Goodbye took me two tries (I didn't care for it the first time either), but now it's hovering right outside my Flickchart Top 100. Great update to the detective film through the goggles of the jaded '70s. Of course, if you don't like detective films at all, then, yeah.

    I liked Burn After Reading, but I can see why people don't. I haven't seen Hotel Transylvania, but I don't think I'd like it. And I haven't seen Stalker, but I think I'd like it. :)

    1. I do want to give Persona another shot someday. I feel like it's just beyond my grasp, and if I rewatched it not expecting a linear (or entirely coherent) timeline, I would be less frustrated with it.

      The Long Goodbye, I think, just hits an unfortunate bias. Detective-based film noir, for some reason, always bores me. I haven't yet figured out *why*, as I like non-noir detective stories, and I like non-detective noir. Somehow the two together are unappealing. Is weird.

      I think you would probably like Stalker, too. I was fascinated by the concept but extremely put off by the very, very contemplative nature of the filming. (I felt the same way about Solaris - I far prefer Soderbergh's remake, which removes the meandering and lets the great plot shine through). I may be a bit spoiled by fast-paced sci-fi flicks, though. Or, well, at least sci-fi flicks where they don't have 5-minute-long shots of people just staring into a tunnel, with no dialogue or sound.

    2. Yeah, Persona is definitely a multiple viewings kind of film, and it would help to know what you were getting into.

      I watched Solaris last year and it took me like three days to get through it, but I'd still say I liked it. I even liked its pacing - it just lulled me a bit too much for my pregnant-and-tired self to stay awake. I look forward to a rewatch.