Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Week of Movie Watching

Barfly – I saw this again after quite a few years, and my reaction is very much like it was the first time. Although I have to acknowledge that Mickey Rourke does a fine job in this role, he just goes SO far into the role that it’s off-putting. Does that make any sense? I’m no fan of the way drunks are normally portrayed, but the way he slurs the end of his sentences, the way he walks like he’s going down a steep hill made me realize I was watching a performance. I also wish I’d heard a bit more of Bukowski’s poetry. I heard bit of him in the screenplay (“Surrendering to you would be like swallowing piss forever!”), but I really didn’t get a sense of his art.

The Black Stallion – Just a beautiful, beautiful film. It’s true that this one touches on all the clichés, but I loved it anyway. Mickey Rooney does a good little turn here, and the cinematography by Caleb Deschanel is astounding. If you have children at home, this is a good rental for them.

Key Largo – It had been years since I’ve seen John Huston’s great statement on heroism and personal responsibility. Edward G Robinson is terrific, as always, as the heavy. In truth, Key Largo is really HIS movie – He makes a far greater impression than does Bogarts’ slow-to-act ex army man. I also need to mention Lionel Barrymore’s turn as the wise old hotel owner. Recommended.

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