Sunday, November 30, 2008

"Kabluey" (2007/8, Dir: Scott Prendergast)

A funny, endearing indie comedy that never oversteps its limits but manages to be a nice diversion nonetheless. Lisa Kudrow brings gravitas to a wisp of a role, Scott Prendergast is quite good (especially near the middle, where his character is allowed to show more depth) and the supporting cast is full of talented comedians (Conchata Ferrell and hypnotic Angela Sarafyan, especially good) doing their thing.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Cactus Flower" (1969, Dir: Gene Saks)

A piece of pure fluff that I enjoyed despite myself. The entire cast is very funny (Ingrid Bergman is a highlight, showing a great sense of comic timing!) and I enjoyed the subtle spoofing of crazy '60s dancing styles.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Rachel Getting Married" (2008, Dir: Jonathan Demme)

An organic film that grows like a vine - the year's best film so far and probably one of the highlights of the decade. A pitch-perfect script allows for incredibly full characters and powerful emotional conceits that never threaten to grandstand. Acting is fantastic all around, especially Hathaway, Irwin and Winger.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Changeling" (2008, Dir: Clint Eastwood)

A big, lumbering, elephantine movie that is often rather embarrassing and cheesy. Angelina Jolie is stiff and artificial, trying and failing to create a character by stringing together a bunch of Big Scenes. The supporting cast is unusually rich considering the film's quality - Jason Butler Harner stands out by having an absolute ball with his character. He earns major points for trying to kiss Angelina Jolie during the prison showdown scene (Jolie does her best work of the film in this scene, as well) and for singing "Silent Night" on his way to the gallows. Amy Ryan does very well with an incredibly corny role, and Jeffrey Donovan brings presence to a thin role as the head of the police investigation into Jolie's son's case. Eddie Alderson and Michael Kelly are also quite good. The makeup work is ridiculously good but completely inappropriate for the story - I find it hard to believe that with all the blubbering Jolie does in this film, her makeup never, ever, ever smears.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

"Love Songs" (2007, Dir: Christophe Honore)

A film so retarded that it can't walk without assistance, film suffers from a severely convoluted plot and some incredibly odd acting (by a cast of, admittedly, very good-looking people) and the songs are so bad that it seems almost as if they were thrown in as an afterthought. Not worth it, but Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet is a cutie.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

"Zack and Miri Make a Porno" (2008, Dir: Kevin Smith)

A sweet but stagy romcom that is often very funny but just as often very stilted. Good acting and witty script but none of it feels spontaneous or organic - the emotional payoff is completely calculated but, fortunately, it works. Banks shows her comic chops as a lead player, but it's still a disappointingly rote performance. Jason Mewes and especially Justin Long are hilarious in supporting roles. There's one joke in here that is too crude for words; I wish they had left it out. Nice to see Traci Lords making fun of herself - she's not a bad actress, to be honest. Very good soundtrack, as well.