Thursday, July 29, 2010


Lizabeth Scott

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Marquee

My Week of Movie Watching

Shutter Island – Read the book, then saw the movie. I love movies that fuck with my head, and this one is a champ. This is a case where the film benefited from omitting some of the info from the book, because SI the Novel makes things smell fishy throughout. SI the Movie drops hints about its big twist, but they would only really be noticed in a second viewing. Director Martin Scorcese does a good job in creating visuals that dovetail nicely with the nightmarish world of the Dennis Lehane novel. Highly recommended.

Office Space– This film is the whimsical cousin of the Up in the Air in that it skewers the cold, uncaring world of big business. Ron Livingston plays an office drone who accidentally gets hypnotized and ends up not caring about work…And ends up getting promoted for it. This film is a bit of a muddle, with a few hits and a few misses. My main problem is that the corporate types are such overblown straw man types that it took me out of the movie. The highlight for me is Stephen Root as the beleaguered Milton, who finds himself banished to the basement and has to fight to retain his beloved red Swingline stapler.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Friday, July 09, 2010

On Location

Francois Truffaut ponders. The film is The Soft Skin, from 1964

Sunday, July 04, 2010

My Week of Movie Watching

Night at the Museum – Battle of the Smithsonian – Cluttered title, cluttered movie. All the main characters are back from the original, plus a bunch of new ones – Al Capone, Napoleon, Ivan the Terrible, General Custer, Amelia Earhart, and a nasty Pharaoh (Hank Azaria). The problem is, it seems like there’s not enough time to get everyone on the screen. A couple of decent laughs, but overall, a disappointment.

Innocents with Dirty Hands – Claude Chabrols’ 1975 take on Double Indemnity, with Rod Steiger as the cuckolded husband and Romy Schneider as his unfaithful wife. This one is very well done, with a couple of major twists in plot. Perhaps one too many. Chabrol being Chabrol, IwDH is a pretty sexy little piece of work. If you are a red-blooded male type, I defy you to watch Schneiders’ first two minutes in this film, and not feel a major fire in your loins.

I Confess – My first viewing of this lesser-known Hitchcock. Montgomery Clift plays a priest who hears a murderer’s confession, then finds himself accused of the murder. Clift is a bit wooden in this film, and the circumstantial evidence that leads to his accusal is contrived, but I recommend it anyway. It’s a great rendering of the common Hitchcockian theme of the man falsely accused. In this case, the actual murderer doesn’t seem to harbour much guilt, but his wife certainly does, and the film builds some good tension around her. Karl Malden stars as the investigating detective. An added note is that the film is set in Quebec City, and contains some great visuals of that beautiful town.