Friday, December 21, 2012

Lady and the Tramp * * *

I find myself making excuses for Lady and the Tramp.  The plot is thin, but it is very cute and ideal for kids.  Some adults that I spoke to liked the movie as well.   It is enjoyable for the kids film that it is.

There are a couple of interesting songs like He's a Tramp and Bella Notte.

The Amazing Spider-Man (***); Total Recall (***)

For me it seems like a bit of an education to recently watch both The Amazing Spider-Man and Total Recall.  Since both these movies are remakes, I find myself asking what do they bring to the experience that did not already exist the original films?   The answer is not a whole lot.  Both films represent a different vision and different back story that is darker and gloomier. Both movies lack some of the charm of the originals.  The characters aren't as interesting to me but the action is more intense and there is more eye candy to look at.

If you hadn't seen either of the original movies then both films stand on their own pretty much fine.  The problem is when you compare them with the original films then you wonder why did they bother doing a remake?  (The answer is DVD sales.)

You could take all my comments and also apply them to the 2001 version of "The Planet of the Apes."  This particular remake was O.K. but now has been mostly forgotten.  On the other hand, the 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a triumph of film making because it wasn't so much a remake as it was a prequel that gave us a new and original story.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dogville :: :: Reviews

His dislike of the United States (which he has never visited, since he is afraid of airplanes) is so palpable that it flies beyond criticism into the realm of derangement. When the film premiered at Cannes 2003, he was accused of not portraying Americans accurately...

What von Trier is determined to show is that Americans are not friendly, we are suspicious of outsiders, we cave in to authority, we are inherently violent, etc. All of these things are true, and all of these things are untrue. It's a big country, and it has a lot of different kinds of people. Without stepping too far out on a limb, however, I doubt that we have any villages where the helpless visitor would eventually be chained to a bed and raped by every man in town.

"Killing Them Softly" continues as a dismal, dreary series of cruel and painful murders, mostly by men who know one another, in a barren city where it's usually night, often rainy and is never identifiable as New Orleans — not even by the restaurants.

Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" is a miraculous achievement of storytelling and a landmark of visual mastery. Inspired by a worldwide best-seller that many readers must have assumed was unfilmable, it is a triumph over its difficulties. It is also a moving spiritual achievement, a movie whose title could have been shortened to "life."

In this 50th year of the James Bond series, with the dismal "Quantum of Solace" (2008) still in our minds, "Skyfall" triumphantly reinvents 007 in one of the best Bonds ever. 

I've rarely been more aware than during Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" that Abraham Lincoln was a plain-spoken, practical, down-to-earth man from the farmlands of Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.