Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I'm gotten behind on writing about movies that I've seen, but I will not fail to write about every single one that I do see. That's my promise for 2009 and I'm sticking to it. Here are four of the five movies that I've seen since my last post. A post about Up should be coming soon. We saw it last week, but I'm going to wait to write about it to see if I can get some good quotes from my daughters.

When a literal carnival shows up, I gave up on all of the doubts that I'd been having about Ace in the Hole's supposed greatness. It is as good as everyone says it is. Maybe better. As Spike Lee points out in his segment on the disc, Ace in the Hole paired with A Face in the Crowd makes for a devastating double feature. I still prefer Face, but Ace easily earns a spot beside it. The following song is simply magic.
Vocalist: [singing] We're coming, we're coming Leo/Oh Leo don't despair/While you are in the cave-in hopin'/We are up above you gropin'/And we soon will make an openin' Leo./We're closer, we're closer Leo/And soon you'll breathe fresh air/While you are in the devil's prison/Keep the spark of life a fizzin'/We'll soon have you out of prison, Leo./Oh Leo, Leo, Leo, Leo.

Iron Man continues to stand up, after my third viewing, as a nearly perfect piece of entertainment. The writing and performances continue to impress, but I was particularly impressed this viewing by how well the film is put together visually. It's nice to notice little touches like the reflection of the ferris wheel lights on the armor. And I don't think I can quibble over any editing choices. I really do love this movie, easily the greatest superhero film we have so far.

Three Monkeys is like rolling around underground in a steaming pile of shit after soaring the skies with Iron Man. Miserable people do miserable things to one another. There are a few magic surreal moments and the sadness and despair were earned. It's not a bad film at all. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood to be bummed about bad people and bad decisions.

Enemy at the Gates is enjoyable enough. My brother-in-law Eli let me borrow it after I was telling him about a wargame I had recently played. The main cat and mouse plot left me alternately engaged and bored and the love interest/friendly rivalry subplot was sort of standard. Still, the film managed to succeed in creating a pretty chilling representation of life as a soldier in Stalingrad and I liked it for the ways in which it does succeed as a window into a certain time and place.

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