Saturday, January 1, 2011

Film Tweets- 2010

Pinocchio (1940)- Walt Disney's masterpiece. More sophisticated than Snow White. The high point of the entire animated film genre. *****/5

The Sound of Music
(1965)- How do you solve a problem like a sugar sweet screenplay? Fantastic direction and amazing music. ****1/2 of 5

Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Suss
(2010)- Fascinating doc about a family's Nazi filmmaker patriarch & shame of Nazi descendants. **** of 5

Peeping Tom
(1960)- Macabre and unsettling look at the logical extremes of voyeurism. There's a lot of today in this film. ****1/2 of 5

The Fighter
(2010)- Story about as generic as the film's title. Russel's direction doesn't live up to the talent on screen. Good film. ***/5

127 Hours (2010)- Pretty damn amazing. Maybe the most intense film I've seen in the last few years. ***** out of 5

The King's Speech
(2010)- Flawed, but a refreshingly humble telling of importance & accomplishment. Solid acting. **** out of 5

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
(1962)- Two lead performances make this B-level trash fest worth seeing. Sunset Blvd-lite. *** out of 5

Paris 36
(2009)- A wonderfully rich story with likable characters. Visually stunning. Historical metaphor doesn't quite work though. ****/5

A Christmas Carol (2009)- Classic story told well, but technology still washes out emotions. Too many chase sequences for Dickens. *** of 5

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010)- Nothing too novel, but Rivers is a fascinating genius/circus freak. Smart film making. ***1/2 out of 5

Black Swan (2010)- Not as much burrowing under the surface as under Ms Portman's skin. Impressive telling of a preposterous tale ***1/2 of 5

(Untitled) (2009)- Well-acted with some great laughs, but it never really rises above the intellectual-lite that it parodies. *** out of 5

Afterschool (2009)- Despite jejune moments and a cynical naivety, there are enough thought provoking questions to carry this film. ***/5

Walt & El Grupo (2009)- Should have been a short doc. This story showcasing three months is languidly stretched out. **1/2 out of 5

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One (2010)- As an autonomous entity, this unpleasant film's narrative is bankrupt. ** out of 5

My Son My Son What Have Ye Done?
(2009)- Parodies of Herzog cliches aside, this is a fascinating meditation on paranoia. ***1/2 of 5

Carlos (2010)- Epic, bloody and fascinating look at an insecure man's rise and fall as a terrorist. Ramirez=brilliant. 330 minutes fly by. *****/5

The Red Shoes
(1948)- Good story. Transcendent ballet sequence. Visually one of the richest films I've seen. ****1/2 out of 5

Black Narcissus (1947)- A bit rushed and unfocused, but it's gorgeous, well-acted and truly disturbing. Burrows under the skin. **** of 5

Inception (2010)- (second viewing) Harder to follow when you don't exert much effort. DiCaprio's perf. even more impressive. ****1/2 of 5

How to Train Your Dragon (2010)- What a disappointment! Voice acting is stiff & the character animation is less than mediocre. **1/2 of 5

Me and Orson Welles
(2009)- Pleasant enough and McKay's outstanding, but Efron's awful and the script lacks depth. *** out of 5

Never Let Me Go
(2010)- Logan's Run meets Jane Austin... powerful, wonderfully acted philosophical cautionary tale. **** out of 5

The Town
(2010)- Affleck's penchant for directing smart though totally predictable mainstream thrillers is fine by me. ***1/2 out of 5

A Matter of Life and Death
(1946)- Beautiful and bizarre one of a kind look at law, love and England as only Powell/Press. can. ****1/2 of 5

Iron Man 2
(2010)- Slick, wise-cracking action romp...entertaining enough though overstuffed. Downey Jr's great as always. ***1/2 out of 5

The Killer Inside Me
(2010)- Way too on the nose to really register, though Casey Affleck's performance is worth seeing. *** out of 5

The Social Network
(2010)- of the most satisfying and entertaining movies I've seen. Brilliant script. ***** out of 5

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
(2010)- Dear Oliver Stone, Either calm down w/ the over-directing or make more substantial films. **1/2 of 5

That Evening Sun
(2009)- Sentimental melodrama suffocates genuine moments of truth and insight. Good perfs. give it a pass. *** out of 5

Date Night
(2010)- Has its moments, but this formula action-comedy is just a little too dumb to be considered successful. **1/2 out of 5

New York, I Love You (2009)- One good short does not make a good shorts collection. New York has never been so underutilized. ** out of 5

Breathless (1960)- Brilliant and effervescent glimpse at young people living in a grand city during a grand period of history ***** out of 5

Gigante (2009)- Red Road dealt with this material in a much darker and more interesting way. Still, this film is passable and moody. ***/5

True Grit (1969)- Wayne is just terrific in a wonderfully entertaining formula western. **** out of 5

Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)- Keeps up its energy until the end. Clever & fun but Cera's shtick hurts the film. ***1/2 of 5

The Square (2010)- Engaging and interesting Double Indemnity/Fargo knockoff. Perhaps a bit too serious for its own good. *** out of 5

(2010)- Unsettling, suspenseful mystery/thriller that honors the turmoils of motherhood. Great opening & closing scenes. ****1/2 of 5

The Beaches of Agnes
(2009)- Eclectic, eccentric & entertaining self-meditation of a cinema legend & creative genius. ****1/2 of 5

Beeswax (2009)- Funny, frustrating and dark, Bujalski's intriguing look at two passive twin sisters is solid mumblecore. **** out of 5

The Runaways (2010)- Adequate look at an explosive all-girl punk band that's not willing to get as down and dirty as it needs to. ***/5

High Plains Drifter (1973)- Savior for a town not worth saving--dark deconstructed Western dealing with familiar Eastwood themes. **** of 5

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)- You name it, this wonderful film deals w/ it--love, friendship, war, history, mortality. *****/5

A Face in the Crowd
(1957)- Dark look at power corrupting a decent man. Solid performances. ****1/2 out of 5

The Passion of Joan of Arc
(1928)- Rarely a wasted image in this most devastatingly beautiful treasure. Falconetti is perfect. ***** of 5

Edge of Darkness
(2010)- a. gov't conspiracy thriller b. grieving father's descent into madness c. Ridiculous pablum --Answer- C. **1/2 of 5

Kick-Ass (2010)- I'm all about the fun, but this fanboy magnet is maybe the most mindless thing I've seen all year. ** out of 5

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)- Taut gangster epic leads into final act full of dull melodrama & overblown self-importance. ***1/2 of 5

Irma la Douce (1963)- Ending made me chuckle, but plot is preposterous & Lemmon's completely miscast--a mess of a film. **1/2 out of 5

Life During Wartime (2010)- Though a bit busy & too tethered to the logic of Happiness, this is an interesting look at guilt. ***1/2 of 5

Green Zone
(2010)- Greengrass' direction is slick, but a comment on Iraq through an action flick? Stupid idea, stupid film. ** out of 5

Witness for the Prosecution
(1957)- Charles Laughton is truly amazing in this fun, convoluted courtroom mystery. **** out of 5

(1954)- Enjoyable enough, but I'm still waiting for Bogart's transformation to be believable. *** out of 5

The Kids Are All Right
(2010)- Great performances in an astute look at the complexities of marriage. **** out of 5

Burma VJ
(2009)- Impeccably well-crafted look at Burmese injustice as well as the reporters who risk their lives to show it ****1/2 out of 5

The Yes Men Fix the World
(2009)- Call to action doc that's painfully uncomfortable. Unfocused activism but admirable intentions ***1/2 of 5

Pirate Radio
(2009)- Interesting concept but executed poorly--cartoonish and not at all funny. Songs are too on the nose. **1/2 out of 5

Tokyo Sonata
(2009)- Strange and beautiful look at a family/country that's not quite dealing with these difficult times. **** out of 5

A Town Called Panic
(2009)- Plastic barnyard animals holding a mirror up to humanity's destruction. Hilarious yet brutally cynical. ****/5

The Song of Sparrows
(2009)- Majidi's storytelling is naive and cheap. He's best with arresting visuals which are lacking here. ** out of 5

(2010)- A wonderfully slick bit of entertainment not catering to stupid people, though it's far from perfect. ****1/2 out of 5

(2010)- All the laugh out loud moments are at the service of a false, lazy and empty movie. **1/2 out of 5

The Maid
(2009)- Fascinating oddity. Rich character study based on how the judgments of the viewer can be so wrong. ***** out of 5

Stalag 17
(1953)- Even with its annoying goofiness, Wilder's POW drama is a truly sad and great achievement. ****1/2 out of 5

Winter's Bone (2010)- Sense of place and the people living within is gold. The overly sensational plot doesn't quite match up. **** out of 5

(2009)- Well-judged, brave exploration into modern anti-Semitism and what's provoking it. ***1/2 out of 5

Everlasting Moments
(2009)- Heiskanen is amazing as Maria in a compelling yet somewhat flimsily textured feminist tale. ***1/2 out of 5

Floating Weeds
(1959)- Beautiful, simple story of tradition vs. modernization and what it means to belong to a family. ***** out of 5

American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein
(2010)- Taut look at how a relevant voice can devolve into radicalism. **** out of 5

The Apartment
(1960)- (second viewing) One of the great movies about loneliness ever made. ***** out of 5

(2009)- I'll keep embracing these poverty line neo-realist films as long as they hold onto their intimacy and humility. ***** of 5

Best Worst Movie
(2010)- Surprisingly sweet, if a bit meandering, look at a modern cult classic. *** out of 5

Some Like It Hot
(1959)- (second viewing) Even better than I remember. So tightly constructed, well-acted and hilarious. ***** out of 5

We Live in Public
(2009)- I came to hate Joshua Harris. This film panders to the whim of a terrible person. Disturbing and infuriating. **/5

Flame and Citron
(2009)- Gritty and compelling, though a bit overstuffed and self-serious. ***1/2 out of 5

(2009)- Painfully clunky dialogue in this predictable sapfest which isn't quite saved by some good performances. **1/2 out of 5

William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe
(2009)- Justice is complex and so is Kunstler, a great and terrible man. Insightful. **** of 5

A Hard Day's Night
(1964)- The Marx Brothers should have been proud of a cheeky self-effacing look at a cultural phenomenon. ***** out of 5

Toy Story 3
(2010)- Though it relies on too many jokes and sequences from the first two, this is still a wonderful movie! ****1/2 out of 5

Where the Wild Things Are (2009) (second viewing)- Holds up for multiple viewings. Brilliant, quirky look into coping methods of an angry young boy. ***** out of 5

The Book of Eli
(2010)- What a pleasant surprise! One of the more satisfying popcorn movies I've seen. **** out of 5

Shutter Island
(2010)- Saw the twist coming, but still I was satisfied by this atmospheric mystery/thriller. **** out of 5

Alice in Wonderland
(2010)- Stale and technologically dull. Depp needs to calm down & Wasikowska needs to cheer up. **1/2 out of 5

Kiss Me Deadly
(1955)- Slick, dark, entertaining noir with one of the trashiest and most audacious endings in all film. ***1/2 out of 5

Exit Through the Gift Shop
(2010)- Works on every single level. Frustrating, funny, fascinating. Blows the mind. ***** out of 5

Please Give
(2010)- Baumbach-lite...too often devoid of truth. Just barely enough genuine moments to make it watchable. *** out of 5

(2009)-Coppola's earned the right to be indulgent--sadly, he's not as clever and interesting as he thinks he is. **1/2 out of 5

Pressure Cooker
(2009)- Simmers a bit but then comes to a boil when true talent becomes the main course. Inspiring. ***1/2 of 5

The Lady Eve
(1941)- Convoluted and uneven, but Stanwick's amazing acting and some huge laughs make this comedy a classic. **** out of 5

Double Indemnity
(1944)- The perfect film noir... sleazy, smokey and so very sexy. One of my all-time favorites. ***** out of 5

A Fistful of Dynamite
(1971)- Kaboom!!! Then some crap about a revolution. Then more Kaboom!!! **1/2 out of 5

Blue Velvet
(1986)-It's important every once in a while to pull back the perfect facade of this world to find a rotting severed ear. *****

The Princess Bride
(1987)- One of those rare movies that gets funnier as it goes along. By the end, I was totally with it. ****1/2 of 5

The General
(1926)- It's awe inspiring to see one of the true geniuses of cinema at his best. Among the greatest movies ever made.***** of 5

(2001)- A truly original life affirming gem with just the right amount of sadness to balance the idealism and joy within. ***** of 5

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
(1966)- Finally, a Sergio Leone western with a story as good as its style. Immensely satisfying. ***** of 5

His Girl Friday
(1940)- Nonstop energy along with Rosalind Russell's brilliant acting help make this dark screwball comedy work. **** of 5

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
(2010)- Novels take hours/days to read. Why inflexibly stuff EVERY DETAIL into 150 minutes? Absurd. ** of 5

Life of Brian
(1979)- Anarchy of Monty Python doesn't fit well into a conventional narrative--still moments of pure genius. ***1/2 of 5

The Lost Weekend
(1945)- I applaud its intentions and its unflinching commitment, but Reefer Madness-like camp weighs heavy. *** out of 5

The Secret in their Eyes
- A film about a story within a novel. Novel's story is cheesy, but the film about it is sly and smart. ****1/2 of 5

Advise and Consent
(1962)- Absorbing & intelligent. Perfectly captures what's (still) wrong with our government. ***** out of 5

For a Few Dollars More
(1965)- Final act disappoints, but Leone's style is solidified. The result is slick and entertaining. ***1/2 of 5

The Good Heart
- What the hell? Forget 3D. Here comes the 1D revolution. *1/2 out of 5

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
(2009)- Clunky & underwhelming...sorry to say, those words also apply to Ledger's performance **1/2 of 5

The Big Lebowski
(1998)- Perfect blend of fully baked cinema with a peppering of acid flashbacks. Coens at their most audacious ****1/2 of 5

Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh
(2009)- Amazing, well told story of a dynamic heroine. **** out of 5

A Fistful of Dollars
(1964)- Solid practice run for a director that has better things in store. Simple & shallow yet cinematic. ***1/2 of 5

(1931)- Someone better protect the children for sure, but we must be protected from the systemic flaws of the state. Amazing! ***** of 5

Black Dynamite
(2009)- First ten minutes & last ten minutes are hilarious. Rest is hit & miss. All involved not on the same page ***1/2 of 5

The Damned United
(2009)- A tricky film. Both too serious & surprisingly compelling at once. Love/hate relationship w/ Clough works. ****/5

The Twilight Saga: New Moon
(2009)- Dug Weitz's style, but mopey plot is short on action & tall on a romance I don't care about at all **1/2

The Secret of Kells
- A fuzzy story and a blend of mostly 2D animation w/ a peppering of computer generated 3D make for an okay movie. ***/5

The Ghost Writer
- A well-crafted beach read of a movie that's fun despite how shallow and at times ridiculous its plot is. *** of 5

Afghan Star
(2009)- Putting aside its desire to be a competition show itself, this doc showcases a country's struggles w/ transition. ***/5

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
(2009)- What a pretentious, overdirected, overwritten, sloppy mess of a film. Blech. *1/2 out of 5

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)- Overstuffed, sure, but I can't recall too many films that are so damn entertaining. ****1/2 out of 5

Greenberg- Brutally honest meditation on being 40. Baumbach's not afraid to be unlikable in his successful quest for truth. ****1/2 of 5

The Way We Get By
(2009)-Honoring those who honor the troops. Potential for pulled focus never materializes. Solid & inspiring. ****1/2 of 5

(2009)- Few loose threads are forgivable in one of the most beautifully tragic movies of the year. Moreau is amazing. ****1/2 of 5

(1944)- Fun mystery. All the noir ingredients are there--convoluted plot, dangerous woman, conflicted protagonist. Classic. **** of 5

(2009)- Dares you not to look away. I didn't look away. I wish all the depravity actually added up to something. **1/2 out of 5

(2009)- No reason for animation other than gimmick. Occasionally insightful but ultimately muddled. *** out of 5

The September Issue
(2009)- Cutler's doc perfectly matches the self-serious/joyous vibe of the fashion industry. Refreshing. **** of 5

Anatomy of a Murder
(1959)- Impeccably well-acted, fascinating courtroom drama. 160 minutes absolutely fly by. So entertaining. ****1/2 of 5

Heaven Can Wait
(1943)- Found the final bookend a real letdown to an absolutely charming story imbued with the Lubitsch touch. **** out of 5

- Fatal Attraction meets Skin-a-max. I could write a better script after a lobotomy. Yet, Moore saves it from train wreck status. **/5

The Informant!
(2009)- Well acted and sporadically entertaining, but this cynical look at one man's greed is tepid at best. *** out of 5

To Be or Not to Be
(1942)- Convoluted and contrived, but the comedy is sublime and so is Carole Lombard. **** out of 5

Capitalism: A Love Story
(2009)- Moore is a gifted filmmaker. Argument made well, which makes me beg Moore to stop the gimmicks. ***1/2 of 5

Everybody's Fine
(2009)- Bit schmaltzy, fractured & self-serious, but I was ultimately won over by its heart and DeNiro's perf. ***1/2 of 5

The Boys Are Back
(2009)- Not bad, though unseemly pangs of self-loathing in this simplistic drama based on a memoir. *** out of 5

A Prophet
- The prison yard is a brutal place. Is the real world any easier? Unflinching, gritty tale of survival. Magical film. ***** of 5

The Shop Around the Corner
(1940)- Stewart's stiff. Sullavan's shrill. Matuschek plot line works better than romance. *** out of 5

Jay McCarroll: Eleven Minutes
(2009)- Hilarious Jay from Project Runway has turned into a dull, type-A automaton. Insightful but dull. **1/2

(2006)- Compelling story & stellar direction, yet I'm not exactly sure what everything's supposed to add up to. ***1/2 out of 5

My Neighbor Totoro
(1988)- Cute, sweet and imaginative. A bit timid exploring sadness in the world. ***1/2 out of 5

Porco Rosso
(1992)- Not bad though Miyazaki's ode to old Hollywood contains muddled messages and a lazy ending. *** out of 5

Coco Before Chanel
(2009)- One would think there's not a movie to be made from this woman's early life. Wrong. Wonderful. ****1/2 out of 5

The Last Station
(2009)- Simplistic look at Tolstoy which ends up as little more than an excuse for excessive histrionics. **1/2 of 5

The Hurt Locker
(2009) (Second viewing)- Such a good film w/ standout sequences. Still believe contrivances hold it back a bit. ****1/2 of 5

Y Tu Mama Tambien
(2002)- Devastatingly tender. Offers nostalgia that few movies can match. Nearly perfect. ***** out of 5

Cold Souls
(2009)- Giamatti's fun to watch, but this is dull Charlie Kaufman-lite. **1/2 out of 5

Whip It
(2009)- This is how I like my feel-good formulaic films--light, witty, charming and extremely well-acted. ***1/2 out of 5

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
- Cool special effects, but film gets very obnoxious and downright ludicrous. **1/2 of 5

Fish Tank
- Though too sensational at times, Arnold's neo-realistic character study is effective and unsettling. ****1/2 out of 5

Princess Mononoke
(1997)- A darker and more sincere Miyazaki. This is easily his most focused narrative. A wonderful film! ***** out of 5

Burden of Dreams
(1982)- One of the great filmmaking documentaries showcasing one of the great filmmakers. ****1/2 out of 5

(1939)- The Lubitsch touch slightly dampened by tone shifts and political commentary that's just a bit heavy. ***1/2 out of 5

Loren Cass
(2009)- Brutal experimental look at the sort of anger and meaninglessness that could lead to race riots. ****1/2 out of 5

(2009)- Heart in the right place. Screenplay riddled with cliches. Too simplistic and predictable. **1/2 out of 5

No Impact Man
(2009)- Self-serving? Who cares? One of the most inspirational and compelling docs of the year. ****1/2 out of 5

Brothers at War
(2009)- Impressive troop access by a vain, insecure filmmaker. Doc is equally interesting and disappointing. **1/2 out of 5

Bright Star
(2009)- Though buttoned-up and plodding, this historical romance proves that poetry can be cinematic. **** out of 5

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
(1994)- Not too much beyond its considerable camp value. *** out of 5

The Cove
(2009)- Sincere & graphic activist doc which won me over despite its presentation of only one side of an argument. **** out of 5

The Seven Samurai
(1954)- One of the purest examples of what movies are capable of--a complete masterpiece. ***** out of 5

Trouble in Paradise
(1932)- Brutally smart and funny farce. Fantastic introduction to Lubitsch's dynamic direction. ***** out of 5

In the Mood for Love
(2001)-Kar Wai's hypnotic direction elevates this steamy yet chaste noir to near perfection. ***** out of 5

(2009)- With its feet planted firmly in the teen music film genre, this overlooked winner may be the best one yet. ***1/2 of 5

Medicine for Melancholy
(2009)- Tedious hipster racial trope. Way too self-conscious & self-important for its own good. **1/2 out of 5

The Young Victoria
(2009)- A modest and lovely look at a fascinating historical couple. Admittedly simple but satisfying. **** out of 5

Kiki's Delivery Service
(1989)-Wonderfully magical and surprisingly inspirational without getting too treacly. ****1/2 out of 5

Sherlock Holmes
(2009)- Downey Jr. & Law are the best of all else, especially Ritchie's bloated, literal, fratboyish direction. ** out of 5

It's Complicated
(2009)- No, it's actually a bit simplistic, but that doesn't mean it's not really entertaining and satisfying. ***1/2 of 5

Crazy Heart
(2009)- Bridges' performance overcomes a lackluster script and a subpar Maggie Gyllenhaal to offer a solid drama. ***1/2 of 5

It Might Get Loud
(2009)- Disorganized, slightly self-important doc that showcases three random guitarists. Why these three? *** out of 5

Lorna's Silence
(2009)- A dark, twisted, beautiful celebration of womanhood. ****1/2 out of 5

(2009)- Passable blend of Double Indemnity and Days of Our Lives. *** out of 5

Play It Again, Sam
(1972)- Here's looking at a great script, Kid. Here's also looking at an actor whose reach exceeds his grasp. ***1/2 of 5

(2009)- Great visual effects blah blah blah stupid story blah blah blah. *** out of 5

Big Fan
(2009)-Such a smart, sad character study that's slightly hampered by an over-the-top plot. ***1/2

Somers Town
(2009)- Too short, too sappy, but undeniably sweet & quite funny. Huge step backwards for Meadows after This is England *** of 5

You, the Living
(2009)- Never knew hopeless misanthropy could be this amusing. Nihilism, you crack me up! ***** out of 5

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
(2009)- Take some Ritalin & Pepto and watch. Might just have some mindless fun. *** out of 5

Laila's Birthday
(2009)-A slow taxi ride from one manufactured occurrence to another thankfully ends sweetly. *** out of 5

(2009)- The sky is falling! Did I say the sky, I meant the clouds... no wait, the sun. WHY WON'T YOU BELIEVE ME? ***1/2 of 5

(2009)- Convention & a weak subplot are forgivable in a touching and respectful look at Aspergers. Pitch-perfect ending. **** out of 5

(2009)-Amazing women and poor people exploited to make a bad documentary. Cruel to play with grief and poverty. ** out of 5

Fifty Dead Men Walking
(2009)- Well made, moderately interesting thriller that's wildly uneven. Trying to be another The Departed. *** of 5

Still Walking
(2009)-Despite a heedless change of tone halfway, this family drama about grief is so very sad and so very beautiful **** of 5

Of Time and the City
(2009)-Though some overlong sequences, Davies' doc is singularly poetic and meticulously well-crafted. **** out of 5

Red Road
(2007)- Can't stress enough how chilling Arnold's thriller is...worth it though for its insight into grief. ****1/2 out of 5

This Gun for Hire
(1942)- Alan Ladd is a revelation, but plot requires more than suspension... slaughter of disbelief. **1/2 out of 5

The Lovely Bones
(2009)- Good. Should have been great but gets bogged down in eye-rolling logic and an overbearing soundtrack. *** out of 5

(2009)- Total misfire. Other than Cotillard & Cruz, the other women join Day Lewis by giving empty performances in a pretty empty film. **1/2

My Man Godfrey
(1936)- The silly rich get what's coming to them through kindness. A few great laugh-out-loud moments. **** out of 5