Monday, January 23, 2006

Night Editor - Reaction

Eh. A cute story centered around a cop and a high-class, haughty woman who witness a crime while having an affair. The woman is classic: flirty, warped, and disturbingly excitable. But the acting, transitions, framing, and language weren't great (to say the least). The language especially missed the traditional noir feel and sounded awkward or unintelligible at times.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Window - Reaction

An engrossing film noir inspired by "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." (A boy witnesses a murder.) Very suspenseful but not scary like a horror film. Simplistic plot.

Deadline at Dawn - Reaction

A good though hokey noir. Nice repartee, but more for comedy than for displaying toughness. Includes an earnest sailor, a beautiful and smart dame, a nice cabbie, and a further ever-expanding set of characters. Ends with a very surprising twist that, in retrospect, doesn't make that much sense with the rest of the story.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Get Shorty - Reaction

John Travolta plays a mafia man that gets into the movie business. Full of characters with great tough-man looks. Deals with the themes about how we can (and can't) control the faces we put in front of the world. (That's a theme in addition to the obvious one of the similarity between organized crime and Hollywood.) Surprisingly complex plot. Decent.

I've seen this movie previously.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dear Frankie - Reaction

Touching and interesting and intelligent. Not your typical Hollywood story.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Shopgirl - Reaction

Okay. About a Vermont girl looking for love in Los Angeles. Written by, starring, and directed by Steve Martin. Has a reasonable idea at the core but the execution is poor. e.g., an omniscient narrator that only appears three times. And is the narrator meant for comedy? For exposition on topics the actors aren't good enough to portray? An excuse to get text from the book directly into the movie? Also, the psychological change that the characters undergo is under-expressed. It's too important to be given as short shrift as it is.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Capote - Reaction

About Capote and his investigations of two criminals that killed four people in Kansas. Didn't like it very much because neither of the two main characters were likable: Capote is manipulative and self-centered; Perry Smith is, well, a murderer. Huffman does an excellent job playing Capote.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Serenity - Reaction

Pretty good sci-fi western. Includes many interesting and colorful (and well acted) characters; much better than most movies and all action movies. Involves themes relating to freedom of thought and information and the right to be one's self, however uncivilized that may be. Made by Joss Whedon (and so includes a teen-aged super-girl).

Friday, January 6, 2006

The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Reaction

Not good. Douglas Adams's dry British wit didn't translate well to screen; many good scenes were simply voice-overs. (Monty Python did manage to translate, so I know it can be done.) I think many jokes were simply included because they needed to be but were not given enough screen time to shine (or in a few cases even manage to be understandable). I entirely missed many references during the movie, only getting them later from the commentary track.