Friday, January 01, 2010

My Week of Movie Watching

Compulsion – The case of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb is very thinly veiled and presented as a screed against capital punishment. Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman play the killers, and they're good, but Compulsion really belongs to E G Marshall (as prosecutor Harold Horn), and especially Orson Welles as defense attorney Jonathon Wilk, who is based on Clarence Darrow. Welles’ marvelous closing summation is the centerpiece of the film, and will eventually appear here as a “Dialogue I Love” post. Recommended.

The Hangover – I’m normally not one for dumb male comedies, but this one is just a bit smarter than the norm. Three friends try to piece together how their buddy disappeared during a drunken night out in Vegas. Among the clues they have are: A live Tiger in their room, a nude Japanese man in the trunk of their car, and Mike Tyson riffing to Phil Collins. The scene where the three are forced to participate in a tasering demonstration is alone worth the price of the rental.

Up – Yet another winner from Disney/Pixar. I love the little winks that go into these films, like how Carl Fredrickson looks an awful lot like Spencer Tracy, or how villain Charles Muntz looks like Errol Flynn as a young man and Kirk Douglas as an old man (Hell, he even has a chin dimple!) The opening story of Fredrickson’s life with his wife is brief, but I was stunned at how beautifully poignant it is. Recommended.

1 comment:

phil said...

I thought of the Kirk Douglas resemblance too. And Up was smartly written with no throw away gags. Finely detailed right down to the slobbery tennis balls.