Monday, October 8, 2012

Movie Mondays

A recap of this weeks screenings.  Proof in writing that I watch too many movies.

Fire Ants (2011): A lower budget but well done documentary on the invasive species of fire ants.  They are a remarkable insect.  As a girl I spent my summers in Alabama... so I've had plenty of encounters with fire ants- and they suck!  Man and beast learn that the hard way.  Bonus childhood memory: a young calf licking a fire ant mound and bucking around the pasture in pain.

Fire Ants
Yup.. he's throwing a ball of fireants

Monarchy (2006): British series about the monarchs of England.  Of course, by telling the story of the monarchs, you also tell the story of England, so it is more of a 'life and times' thing.  I love this documentary!  I've seen it at least two times through.  I like that the episodes are divided more by eras than by bloodline or centuries.  There are very little re-enactments, but instead lots of well written commentary and shots of art, manuscripts, and locations where key events played out.  Well done!

W.E. (2011): Drama that overlays the story of an unhappy wife in the late 1990s and Wallis Simpson (later Duchess of Windsor).  This was another movie that pleasantly surprised me.  I thought I wouldn't like it very much, but it had me hooked from the first shot.  Things I loved: the mood and sets and costumes, all worked well (though I don't remember the 90s looking so classy).  I also loved the great sense of a woman's touch on this film (it was co-written and directed by Madonna).  I can always tell when a woman directs a film.  With an overwhelming majority of films being directed by men, it's pretty easy to tell when scenes aren't driven by a male's fantasy or ego!

Wallis Simpson cutting a rug

...And God Spoke (1993): Mockumentary about the making of a biblical epic movie.  This movie worked sometimes and didn't other times.  If you want to, give it a watch I guess.  (That was my generation x attitude)

Arabian Nights (2000): TV miniseries about.. yup- the Arabian Nights!  It's a solid job all around.  Nicely filmed and a pretty good pace throughout, though it loses steam a few times.

Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan (1982) --and--
Start Trek III Search for Spock (1984):
The second and third of the Star Trek movies. I guess I'm a purist, but there's nothing like tight young 1960s Spock. These movies were good, but don't expect the fun and sometimes silly sci-fi goodness of TOS.

Our Hospitality (1923): An early Buster Keaton movie.  He finds himself (unwillingly) in the middle of an old southern feud.  Gags ensue.  It's not my favorite Buster Keaton film, but I love everything he does.  There are some great great scenes in this one, but if you're new to Keaton, I would recommend The General or Steamboat Bill Jr.

Our Hospitality
Buster Keaton!!

Chaplin, The Movie (1992):  Biopic about the great Charlie Chaplin, starring Robert Downey Jr.  I'd seen this years ago, but it had been a while.  Entertaining movie... but even at 2 1/2 hours it seems rushed to cover Chaplin's long and eventful life.  Plus Chaplin was never my favorite (I'm a Buster Keaton girl; see above).

Mill and the Cross (2011):  A painting comes to life.  This imaginary period piece puts the viewer in the world of Breugel's painting, The Procession to Calvary.  I love being surprised by a movie- I put this one on thinking I probably wouldn't like it, or that it would be slow, but I couldn't take my eyes off it from the first shot.  With some very well done digital effects, it looks unreal

Mill and the Cross
The whole movie is gorgeous

Raw (1987):  Eddie Murphy's stand up special.  This was funny stuff; a lot of good parts.  Apparently, it set some record for the number of times the word f*** is used.  What does it say about me that I barely noticed?  What have I learned?  Eddie Murphy's looked real good in leather pants.

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