Posted by: tuulenhaiven | May 12, 2010

Movie Mayhem: April 15th-30th

I watched a couple of really interesting movies towards the end of last month, as well as some old favorites, and some brand new rubbish.

Marisa TomeiMy Cousin Vinny – Johnathan Lynn – USA – 1992
Every time I watch this movie I am struck all over again by how awesome it is. When you mix the mad passion of Joe Pesci as a hot shot but completely bumbling NYC lawyer, and add the exquisite snarkiness of Marisa Tomei as his long suffering girlfriend, stir in a little criminal court trial in small town Alabama, and top it off with some outrageous costumes, you’ve got a movie that is absolutely entertaining.

Grosse Pointe Blank – George Armitage – USA – 1997
Another endlessly entertaining movie with a great cast – featuring John Cusack in probably my favorite roll of his, as well as a particularly hilarious turn by Joan Cusack. Full of smooth talking, romance, and random bursts of violence, as well as a somewhat poignant commentary on revisiting the past, this is a movie that has all its eggs in its basket – even if none of its characters could say the same thing!

spanish prisonerThe Spanish Prisoner – David Mamet – USA – 1997
This is a pleasant little thriller, and a weird one. Campbell Scott plays a really nice man who invents a mysterious process that is worth a lot of money. Steve Martin plays a fellow who seems to befriend him, but of course as the intrigue piles up, it’s hard to tell friend from foe. What is really peculiar about this movie is the script – or rather, the way the actors speak their lines. They talk really oddly! Across the board they all use very little variation in voice or tone, speaking almost bluntly, but at the same time almost sing-song-ish. It both jarred against my ears, and totally fascinated me. It was definitely intentional, but I’m still trying to figure out why it was done. I’ll have to watch more David Mamet movies I guess. Anyway, I really liked this movie, in spite of (or because of) this distinction!

Clash of the Titans – Louis Leterrier – USA – 2010
*sigh* I like action packed visually stimulating block buster type movies in general – guilty pleasure, you know. But for all it’s modern day special effects, this movie doesn’t even remotely compare to the 1981 original. For one thing, it lacks Bubo the mechanical owl – my favorite character in the Desmond Davis flick. And instead of being laughably bad in a creative and interesting way, it is merely mediocre in every aspect. The script is terrible, the acting is terrible (in spite of a truly fun cast…!), and it is visually ho-hum. Compare the Medusa scenes in both movies, and you will see that the 1981 version is edge-of-your-seat intense, while the 2010 version is in-your-face absurd. I hate being this right about things – I thought it was a terrible idea to remake this movie, and it appears that I wasn’t far wrong. I will admit that I liked Liam Neeson as Zeus over Laurence Olivier, and Ralph Fiennes was quite creepy as Hades. I didn’t think there could be anything blander than Harry Hamlin’s Perseus, but Sam Worthington wins the prize – and don’t get me started about the roll he played in exorcising Bubo! Uncool, Sam, very uncool.

white ribbonThe White Ribbon – Michael Haneke – Germany – 2009
This is a weird, weird, spooky movie. Set in a small German town just prior to the start of WWI, it is about a series of sinister occurrences that interrupt the quiet lives of the town folk. Who strings a wire that causes the doctor to be thrown from his horse? Who beats the Baron’s son and leaves him hanging in a barn? Narrated by the village school teacher who is looking back on that summer as an old man, and filmed in striking black and white, the movie lays out the events, but offers little explanation or resolution. I really liked that about it. Not sure I really liked the movie, but it was definitely interesting.

Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same – Peter Clifton and Joe Massot – UK – 1976
I’ve been told that in order to count myself as a Led Zeppelin fan, I had to see this documentary. I liked all the live music parts – the fantasy sequences were a little trippy… – but I could watch almost anything if I got to see Jimmy Page absolutely losing his crap on the guitar. When he pulls the violin bow out…man, there is some sweet, sweet music in the making. 🙂


Responses

  1. Yeah, My Cousin Vinny! Love that flick.

    I am very intrigued about The White Ribbon – like, intrigued enough to actually search it out in theaters, which is very uncommon for me. Spooky & weird is right up my street. Plus, the cinematography looks beautiful.

    • I hope you can find it Emily. I wouldn’t recommend The White Ribbon to just anyone, but I would definitely highly recommend it to you! Let me know what you think when you see it. 🙂

  2. I felt quite certain the Clash of the Titans remake would be a disaster for many of the reasons you list! I mean, no Bubo? That’s unforgivable!

    • What’s really unforgivable is Sam Worthington’s hate for Bubo – he said in an Entertainment Weekly interview that he was afraid the owl would ruin his career, and that he threatened to break the little mechanical owl that they built for the movie. It is a blip in one scene… *sigh* I was still on the fence about Mr. Worthington, but now I officially can’t stand him. What a tool.

      🙂

  3. I bet I’ve seen My Cousin Vinny 8,000 times and it stays good every time! And I can’t say that about too many movies!

    • It’s pretty amazing. I could watch that movie every day for a week and still laugh at it. So good! 🙂

  4. I watched Clash of the Titans a few weeks ago and it’s probably my biggest movie disappointment of the year. Old style FX which looked like low budget production, horrible cheesy dialogue. Argh, my gosh the dialogue! I haven’t watched the old one though, so I don’t know how they compare.

    • Yeah, even without having something to compare it too, it’s terrible. Okay, not the worst movie ever, or even the worst movie I’ve seen this year, but annoyingly disappointing for sure. You should watch the original, just for a laugh if for nothing else! 🙂

  5. The owl is not in it at all? That is just wrong.

    • Sam Worthington as Perseus picks up a mechanical owl while puttering about in an armory and says, “What’s this?” and another soldier says something like, “Oh, just leave that,” so he tosses it aside and that’s it. Pathetic. And even that blip of an appearance by Bubo was enough to RUIN his CAREER?? Wrong indeed.

  6. […] It’s slightly strange, but effective. I was reminded of the bizarre delivery of lines in The Spanish Prisoner, which incidentally stars Campbell Scott, who co-directed and played a small role in Big Night. […]


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