Persona - While this film didn't quite click with me, it was still a powerful experience. Beautifully shot, I quite like Bergman's somewhat still and tightly composed shots, and with two great performances, this one sits somewhere in the middle of the Bergman films I've seen.
Volver - Another knock-out from Pedro Almodovar; has this guy ever made a dud? His films have many similarities (they are vibrant, often amusing and always affecting, melodramas) but always avoids retreading the same ground. Penelope Cruz is absolutely smokin', in all categories, in this.
Frozen River - A great little film this one. A tale of two women who, due to hardships, form an unlikely partneship smuggling immigrants, tt sort of reminded me of The Lookout. Although visually it is more gritty than that stylish little number, it is similarly a tightly plotted story focused on a small group of characters in a somewhat isloated environment. Despite being quite bleak at times and completely uncomprimising it's never gets too weighty and plot moves briskly, creating plenty of tension in the closing scenes. Highly recommended.
Personally I like the classics Hitchcocks but Spellbound will always be my favourite, partly as the movie that introduced me to Ingrid Bergman, but also simply because it's a very good story.
I watched The Dam Busters this week-end, excellent war movie. I can see where Lucas got his inspirations now. I loved it. Plus they filmed it in the fifties when there were still quite a few Avro Lancasters in flying condition and so it's the real deal, and god the roar of these engines is glorious. To think they flew these monsters at a bare 60 ft... !
I hear Peter Jackson is working on a remake, I'm not so sure what to think about it...
I also saw Flyboys (the one with James Franco), and for all the inaccuracies it's got, it puts a good show, I quite liked it.
Pleasantly surprised, knew pretty much nothing of it before hand other than the subject matter and it featured much to my surprise, not only Bill Nighy but Eddie Izzard too, who just gets better and better.
Tom Cruise was in it. He is also a scientlogist but not in the film so it was all good
Valkyrie is a very well done film - so much so, one can forgive that Tom Cruise is in it - and was quite possibly the best film I've seen recently. Still, you can't beat Downfall for a good Hitler film.
Who says it wouldn't be funny if Cruise played a scientologist?
I've never been much of a fan of The Birds though. It's certainly well made and has great scenes of building tension but the attacks themselves are muted somewhat by the dated effects and poor acting from the 'attacked'. The film is also saddled with flat, unconvincing melodrama and two awful lead performances. Tippi Hedren, who was better in the somewhat underrated Marnie, shows her inexperience and Rod Taylor redefines bland.
Valkyrie was very good and I thought Tom was very good in it. The mark of someone being good in a film, for me, is that I forget I'm watching the actor and only think of them as the character. I think he pulled it off. Another memorable performance of this ilk was Denzel in Training Day. I've never liked him but in that he was great. I think more actors should play roles you wouldn't imagine the in (up til then he was always a "goodie"). This is part of my rational for wanting Eddie Murphy as the next Bond baddie. He would be sinster as hell.
To be honest, I think Tom Cruise gets a lot more flak for his acting than he deserves. He's not the actor with the widest range in the world, but with a good director and script he does very good work (e.g. Collateral, Magnolia, Interview with a Vampire (I don't particularly like the film, but he does a great job in it)). Yes, he's probably a dick and a kook, but if we dismissed the work of all dicks and kooks because that's what they are, we wouldn't be left with much to enjoy.
Speaking of monsters, I just watched the original 1910 version of Frankenstein produced by Edison.
...and who ever said special effects didn't make a film fantastic?
I love silent films, gunsmoke. BTW- Have you seen the 1984 Moroder version of Metroplois?
I really liked the old-style special effects in Coppola's Dracula. More so than the snippets of digital effects.
SFX belong to fantastic cinema like a baby to a tit, but it's always the sensibility of the filmmakers which makes them look good or bad. New wonderful technologies can temporarily create a wave of distasteful uses of SFXs, until the filmmakers and audience accustomize to them, then comes then time when they are used sensitively and show true aesthetic potential.
Having said that, though, I do appreciate a well done CGI effect, especially if it's seamlessly integrated and invisible as an effect or if it shows us something that simply wouldn't be possible otherwise.
Blade Runner(The Final Cut)
Watched it for the first time, Harrison Ford is awesome in it and I love his gun
Roy(or whatever the name of the replicant leader is) was my second favorite character, he was pretty eccentric.
Currently watching the second half of House M.D. season 5. It's still enjoyable, but I definitely think that before long I'll get tired with the writers' laziness. The show has always been one of the most formulaic shows on TV, but it's starting to grate. Hugh Laurie is still fun, though.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
I'd been waiting to see this for years and I finally got it on a Blu-Ray deal. Loved every bit of it, and the slightly anachronistic touch makes it even better. And Redford and Newman are excellent.
3:10 to Yuma
The remake, with Bale and Crowe. I never saw the original, but this one is very good. Hard and cynical, no sugar coating. Highly recommended if you're a fan of the genre.