Sunday, December 2, 2012

RECENTLY BEHELD: NOVEMBER 2012, PART 2


(1923)


About time I caught up with this Buster Keaton classic. At first it seems to playing things surprisingly straight, but the physical comedy starts rolling in and Keaton heads west to claim his inheritance only to find himself smack dab in the middle of senseless family feud. The last 20 minutes might as well be called cinema's greatest moments. "Sherlock Jr." and "The General," two of my favorite films, sprouted with this earlier work.

★★★★★
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(1965)


Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" is widely considered a horror classic, but this earlier film of his has just overtaken it in my book. Carol is a Belgian beauty who works at a salon, but she is deeply disturbed by something we cannot see. Her sexual repulsion has an alluded history and when left alone for a weekend she falls deeper and deeper into madness. I bet Luis Bunuel loved this one. I do too.

★★★★★
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(2012)


When someone like Scorsese makes a love letter to cinema he does a great film like "Hugo." French auteur Leos Carax? He deploys "Holy Motors" upon the human race. Oscar is driven around Paris in his limo, dropped off for various "appointments" each splendidly different than the one before it and each inviting interpretations. It's a wild drive, one many will beg to be dropped off from, but one that blew me away.

★★★★★
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Jackie Brown 
(1996)



Quentin Tarantino's follow-up to "Pulp Fiction" has Pam Grier playing a flight attendent mixed up with both sides of the law. Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton and an unforgettable performance by Robert Forster add to this one's ensemble cast. Tarantino, only slightly playing with time here, delivers yet another engrossing chronicle of criminals, cops, and maybe some room for late-found love.

★★★★½
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(2012)


It appears director Matt Piedmont and team were attempting to make a movie that looked like a low budget B-movie. Well, they succeeded with flying colors. There's a few laughs to be had in a film shooting for hundreds. Will Ferral speaks Spanish throughout, sings guitar ballads, and is mentored by a stuffed tiger. I thought "Casa de mi Padre" was a waste of resources and yet I love "Kung Pow: Enter the Fist." Go figure.


★½
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(1998)



George Clooney is a cop and Jennifer Lopez is a US Marshall in "Out of Sight." They sizzle across from each other in this early Steven Soderbergh crime film (before he took on the "Ocean's" trilogy). The two share one of the most sensual scenes I've ever seen in film. The rest is cool as ice with fun supporting performances from Albert Brooks and Don Cheadle. 

★★★★
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(2012)


The terribly talented likes of Anthony Hopkins and Hellen Mirren are not enough to save this film about the master of suspense's films, specifically the making of "Psycho." It feels like a made for TV special feature with none of the genuine emotions I was hoping for. It's far too on the nose and should probably have been called "Hitchcock's Wife." Mark this as one of the biggest disappointments of the year.

★★½

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