Monday, 9 November 2009

Movies I've seen in the weeks 44-45

This is not counting the films I've seen at Night Visions Maximum Halloween 3009 -festival, as I'm doing a report on that later on.

Laughing Gravy
Directed by: James W. Horn
Starring: Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, Charlie Hall
A hilarious short film about trying to keep a dog in a flat without the landlord knowing about it. Violent and nasty, just the way I like my old comedians.

The Kid
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Jackie Coogan, Edna Purviance
Chaplin, alas, is not as funny as Laurel & Hardy. He's still searching for his style in this one, and constantly falls into overplayed melodrama. Some scenes I don't get such as the angelic vision near the end. As Hitchcock, Chaplin doesn't seem to trust the police too much.

Directed by: Shane Acker
Starring (voices): Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly
Visually a treat, but story-wise too clichéd of all things! Also feels padded with unnecessary action sequences. But this was an award-winning short until Tim Burton and Timur Veryhardrussianname came a-calling.

(500) Days of Summer
Directed by: Marc Webb
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Geoffrey Arend
This isn't the kind of movie that'll cheat you with false premises of love. Rather, it is one that'll make you feel better about relationships that don't work. It's funny and charming, but also painfully real at parts. The empty or overwhelming feelings felt inside when in a one-sided relationship are brought out especially well. The music and athmosphere is still a bit too indie for its own good. This isn't overtly analytical about relationships but if you want that, you can go watch Woody Allen instead. For us with a warmer heart this is a real treat. Even if it doesn't give us easy, simple solutions.


The 39 Steps
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Robert Donat, Madeleinen Carroll, Lucie Mannheim
A quite entertaining Wrong Man -thriller, the kind which Hitch remade several times after this. I'd have to be Mr. Memory to distinguish all these.

The Man Who Knew Too Much
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Leslie Banks, Edna Best, Peter Lorre
Surprisingly clichéd although they might have not been clichés when this was made. Yet another man-on-the-run flick by Hitchcock. His own remake was better. Although one has to admit no-one can make as good set pieces as him. Peter Lorre is a treat.

The Secret Agent
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: John Gielguld, Madeleine Carroll, Peter Lorre
Not even Hitch's usual charms or Peter Lorre can save this one. Dull espionage flick.

Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, Desmond Tester
Not too shabby. One of Hitch's more suspenseful flicks, the waiting of a ticking bomb is almost unbearable.

20 Million Miles to Earth
Directed by: Nathan Juran
Starring: William Hopper, Joan Taylor, Frank Puglia
Would be an utterly forgettable King Kong-clone if it wasn't for Ray Harryhausen's charming lead monster. Stop motion puppets can be a lot more lively than real actors.
** 1/2

The Dark Knight
A bit structurally uneven, but so damned entertaining. And not to mention the best description of American traumas in the George W. Bush era. Great acting too, from all around. Utter top of its genre.
**** 1/2

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