Thursday, May 05, 2011

What I Watched In April

A really mixed bag in April. It included more than the normal number of below 5 ratings and although several of those were awful films (I’m looking at you, GREEN HORNET) I actually got a kick out a couple of the ‘bad’ ones. ADVENTURE AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is not in any way a good film but it was fun in the way a kiddie matinee movie can be. GAMER turned out to be a cluster and show that the filmmakers involved cannot handle a serious narrative.

I checked a couple of classics off my ‘need to watch’ list with the brilliant ALL ABOUT EVE and CAPE FEAR. Both are flawless films of very different types but they share a tight, controlled construction that even decades after their release shines from the screen. The sharp often mean spirited dialog of ALL ABOUT EVE is so good I actually backed the film up a few times just to hear sections of it again. And if there has ever been a more frightening force of pure screen evil than Max Cady I can’t imagine where. The only character that seems even in the same range of viciousness was played by the same great actor in THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER. You rarely go wrong when you cast Robert Mitchum as your heavy.

In the theaters I was happy with both the romantic THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU and the tense SOURCE CODE. With THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU it has to be said that if 20 years ago someone had said that eventually Philip K. Dick stories would regularly be adapted into smart, entertaining films I would have laughed but that is what happens almost every time. Bizarre! And SOURCE CODE is a great, exciting Twilight Zone style puzzle with some fantastic performances and a clever way of keeping us engaged.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK (1973)- 6 (good, creepy TV movie)
THE GREEN ARCHER (1961)- 6 (fun krimi)
SOURCE CODE (2011)- 8 (excellent SF)
EMBODIMENT OF EVIL (2008)- 7 (Coffin Joe returns for one last time)
THE CREMATORS (1972)- 3 (low budget SF monster film)
LET ME IN (2010)- 7 (not bad but marred by some terrible CGI)
ADVENTURE AT THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (1965)- 3 (pretty tedious Mexican kiddie movie)
INSIDIOUS (2011)- 9 (an amazing and very scary movie- really got under my skin)
GAMER (2009)- 3 (silly, dumb and fairly dull- wastes some good character actors too)
THE GREEN HORNET (2011)- 2 (stupid and boring – I nearly fell asleep twice)
ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)- 10 (great dialog and performances)
THE INTRUDER (1962)- 8 (excellent serious Corman film)
WILD CAMP (2005)- 7 (tragic French drama)
NIGHT OF THE SEAGULLS (1975)- 7 (rewatch)
HANNA (2011)- 7 (well directed action movie)
ETOILE (1990)- 6 (flawed but interesting ghostly ballet tale)
SCREAM 4 (2011)- 5 (starts off well but ultimately hobbles itself)
CAPE FEAR (1961)- 10 (amazing crime film with a great cast)
FIND THE BLACKMAILER (1943)- 6 (fun B-mystery)
HUMAN BEASTS (1980)- 6 (nasty Naschy crime tale)
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (2011)- 8 (romantic sc-fi)
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974)- 4 (rewatch)
CRUISING (1980)- 5 (considering the director and cast I was expecting better)
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (2009) – 6 (rewatch)
THE FURIES (1950)- 6 (Anthony Mann Western melodrama)


Richard of DM said...

How close did they get to something really good with Let Me In? It's a great remake (more for making something that translated very well for American audiences). I was really impressed until the baaaad CGI happened. A stunt double and some wire-work could have saved that one for me.

Rod Barnett said...

I completely agree. I was watching it with a group of friends and there was an audible groan in the room at the first terrible bit of CGI and each that followed. Not the only complaint I have with the remake but the only major one.