Replay (2003)

21 Comments I saw this under the title of ’21 Eyes’. I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a movie good, or better, what makes it likeable. It seems there are all sorts of paths into likability. The emotional engagement, the world that surrounds it, the titillation, the challenge. Sometimes it is not the… Continue reading Replay (2003)

21 (2008)

Surf Heard in the Background It is a matter of tone. No matter what a film does, it has to take us somewhere. Ideally it goes another place after it has established you, but it has to establish a place, a form, a tone. MIT is a place worth being taken to. Not the fictitious… Continue reading 21 (2008)

42nd Street (1933)

In and Out I am convinced that you cannot really understand yourself unless you understand (among other influences) the movies out of which you make the movie of your life. And you cannot understand the stuff of movies unless you’ve experienced those that invented the form, many of which were in the early 30’s. This… Continue reading 42nd Street (1933)

Jud Suss (1940)

Slippery Everyone should view a few of the Nazi propaganda films before they die. Nazis were not the ones who committed the atrocities, rather it was the mass of Germans. Whether they were manipulated or what we see as manipulative devices (like this film) is a matter for learned speculation. But there is no denying… Continue reading Jud Suss (1940)

Jubilee (1978)

The Deep, Vacuous Meditations of Angels Feeding Dogs I’m amazed that anyone would think this is similar to “Clockwork Orange.” Kubrick’s world was one of too much sense: strong minds of people and institutions creating realities that compete, even clash with each other. His worlds are reasonable — all of them — and at least… Continue reading Jubilee (1978)

Joe Dirt (2001)

Breathless Poopball These experiments are very tricky, working with irony to the extreme: making a character so helplessly clueless as to be endearing. Works easier with blond girls, but with things so exaggerated in the general area, most projects go too far. That was the case with “Freddy Got Fingered.” I think this one got… Continue reading Joe Dirt (2001)

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Dimension Common sense hits the front office at Marvel’s adventure in moviemaking. Until now, they’ve just made bad films. Bad. The basic problem, I believe, is that the rest of the world is out exploiting the third dimension and Marvel insists on making flat movies. Even Spidermen, where the character lives and fights in space… Continue reading Iron Man 2 (2010)