Dear Cinema Diary - Vol 3 E2 - February 2012
Sort by: Showing 34 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
Jules and Jim (1962)
Happy 80 Years With Truffaut
Yes, it is true eighty years ago on Feb 6th Mr Truffaut was born. Personally, it had been about 20 years since I had watched "Jules and Jim". I forgot the epic scope of the film and the complexity of the relationships.
I posted my rambling thoughts for this film earlier and they can be found here...
Thoughts by Jaytoast
Before Sunrise (1995)
This years V-Day's movie picks where "Before Sunrise" and "Before Sunset".
A love story for a more intellectual audience but yes... still need to be a bit of a romantic to appreciate the film.
Before Sunset (2004)
The Debt (2011)
If your looking for hard hitting, action heavy spy thriller... you should skip this film.
The story is pretty simple but done very well.
The Walker (2007)
While it was nice to see Woody Harrelson break from his typical roll. He doesn't quite pull off a gay genteel southerner. Still, I'll watch anything with Lily Tomlin or Moritz Bleibtreu. Alas the supporting cast only seemed to highlight the flaws in Mr Harrelson's performance.
The Invisible (2007)
Not a very popular film as it fits somewhere between teen-fluff and dramatic thriller. However, I really liked the film there was a nice mix of 'beat the clock thriller' and tear-jerker elements to keep me fully engaged. The ending... could have been a bit better but you can't have everything.
I very glad that I watched "My Winnipeg" (2007) before I watched this film as it works well as a prologue to this film. So, if you have seen "My Winnipeg" this film is done in very much the same surrealist grainy film footage style. However, this film has a linear, if somewhat strange, storyline.
While I liked the idea of a full feature semi-surrealist work, so far I still prefer Guy Maddin's shorter features.
Keane (2004) (2005)
If your familiar with Lodge Kerrigan and his first film "Clean, Shaven" (1993), this is another film diving into madness but of a different sort. This is the film of one man's mental illness combined with the despair over his missing daughter as he wanders the streets in various manic states. So... if your up for 100 min of a man wandering around lost and confused then you might be ready for this film. Still, *really* recommend watching "Clean, Shaven" first so you know what your getting yourself into.
I'm not sure that many people outside of a psychology class room will find this film very interesting. Still, I was prepared for the rambling confusing and glad I got to spend time with the film.
Even the Rain (2011)
Intertwining the story of a film crew making a movie about the first imperialist conquest of the the Americas and a faceless multinational corporation owning all the water rights in a country, made a very effective film.
If you don't know much about the water issues in South America. It would be good to learn a thing or two after all when you can own the rain that falls from the sky the air you breath isn't that far off.
High Heels (1991)
Ah... my love. It has been far too long since I have spent time with Almodóvar. This was a great film to get reacquainted with him as a director. Who else can create a murder mystery where the actual 'who did it' becomes almost inconsequential by the end.
The Wave (2008)
A class room experiment goes horribly wrong.
I really enjoyed the film but I think many people might miss the minor social conditioning exercises that happen early in the film.
This could be any class room in any country. Organizational unity with empty messages and standing for nothing beyond 'we stand together' is a dangerous trend seen in many different places.
Miss Bala (2011)
External Review @
Unlike some of the more notable films to come out about the drug trade south of the American border, this film seems less exploitative. It isn't action heavy nor is it emotionally heavy.
The camera works to keep the viewer constantly following the main character, Laura. Yet, there is an emotional detachment created by keeping her face out of view for large portions of time. This lends to an almost documentary feeling throughout much of the film. We learn only what is necessary to keep the story cohesive. Yet in the end it is all these moments of detachment that makes Laura easier to identify with and ultimately feel a sense of understanding.
I don't know if I would put this film at the top of any list... except for films specifically dealing with the drug trade. The action heavy films with a clear moral message are too common and too easy to digest. If nothing else this film was gave us a refreshing moral ambiguity without sacrifice any integrity.
This was quite different from other films dealing with husbands who head off to war. Susanne Bier doesn't do the typical over-emotional romantic drama and I'm glad I avoided reading any reviews for this film or the remake. It is quiet film that unfolds in unexpected and thought provoking ways.
The Crime of Father Amaro (2002)
This film was up for quite a few awards and clearly focuses on the issues of corruption and immorality within the Catholic church. Which since I'm not Catholic I hardly needed my faith rocked to the core nor did I need a morality tale. Personally, I think the film went a little over the top with demonizing the leaders of the church and found the story to be predictable.
Still, if you want to watch a film sure to offend any one of the Catholic faith, this would be the film to watch.
Movie Exchange Program
So, I had some issues getting through my first pick "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly". The film takes a turn with the characters established in the second film that I found confusing and annoying. I ended up turning it off three times... so... figure I'll wait until next month to give it forth chance.
In the Line of Fire (1993)
Empire of the Sun (1987)
Yay! It is about time that I watched this film. Spielberg has always done a great job of being able to show the world through the eyes of a child. So, I truly enjoyed how Jamie's understanding of the war and his shifting admiration for various nationalities was portrayed.
My god what a depressing film and one that never lets up. It was strange to see an American film told from the German side during WWI.
In this case the Oscars got it right.
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Review by PvtCaboose91
Personally I think of the film as "An Irreverent Masterpiece"
Play Misty for Me (1971)
While I didn't make it to watching "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly". The films phillydude sent helped keep this is pretty heavy Eastwood film month.
Have to say this is an odd little film from the 70's. The style is very reminiscent of The American New Wave movement but managed to not fully indulge in the self importance boredom found in that niche of film making.
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
OK, I'm not a fan of westerns but I have always wanted to watch the whole "Man With No Name" trilogy. Actually this worked out well with some of my other cinematic choices for the month.
First the film has been beautifully restored and was worth it just for the vibrant film stock. The story is pretty brutal and moves quickly from one twist to another. There is a choice that the our anti-hero makes regarding one of the female characters that surprised me and isn't something you see in most films.
If you have been putting off the film for some fear of it being some type of "Dirty Harry Western" you might be surprised by the film.
For a Few Dollars More (1965)
Well, not quite as good as the first and as far as I can tell the main reason to watch the film is that it sets up the characters for the third film.
The Green (2011)
This was a very powerful film that had me near tears a few times. Any teacher can tell you that a simple pat on a student's back can end your carrier. In this film you add the fact that the teacher is a gay... well break out the lynch mob and pitch forks.
I really enjoyed the film because there was quite a lot of issues happening at the same time. While the central story is about if the teacher had an inappropriate relationship with one of his students. The main character is in a long term committed relationship with his partner and still struggles with the idea of gay marriage. After all that political issue got thrown into the arena by fear mongering conservatives. It was left to the various GLBT organizations to figure out how to politically respond. So, I think the main characters reluctance to get married is very valid after all, job security and not getting killed take a higher priority then register wedding gifts at Target.
Great story, very good acting and wonderful cast.
Stake Land (2011)
Dead Silence (2007)
Monkey Shines (1988)
Thanks for all the recent votes on my Eco-Terror Films list. Reminded me that this might be worth a re-watch.
OMG, I had forgotten how much I loved this film. What might seem tacky or outdated... is just hysterical. I found it difficult to not burst out laughing several times.
But seriously, psychotic killing monkey... where can I get one!
Spain makes a remake of "The Strangers"??? Home invasion turns into a blood bath. This has been done before. Sadly the artistic use of the split screen does little on the standard large screen home tv. So, perhaps it was more interesting in a theater.
Well, for a horror film that all the action takes place inside a radio station... it isn't bad and I did actually manage to find some interest in the film. Ah but your time might be better spent else where and NO this is NOT a zombie film. Gah... do people even know what zombies are anymore or have they gone the way of sparkly vampires? :P
Well it was fun to watch a Belgian horror film and it was sort of interesting. However, I still think I could have found better ways to spend my time.
My Bodyguard (1980)
Ah, the 'innocent 80's' when we used to dream of having a bodyguard at school. This was before the various school shootings that makes this film seem almost insulting in its trite handling of the bully situation.
Ah, but the 'not so innocent 80's' when teen suicides where at an all time high and my generation helped coin the phrase 'suicide pact' while the band Wham pranced around the stage with "Choose Life" t-shirts. It was a horrible era.
So, this is very much a 'family film' bordering on fantasy. Still, it is so sweet and endering. I loved this film when it came out. So, not only did it give me a dream to hold onto durring the horrors of school but I also
Fell in love with Joan Cusack
Wanted Ruth Gordon as my grandmother
Planted the seeds for my future crush Adam Baldwin
and could identify with Chris Makepeace's need for good hair products.
Yes, Matt Dillion was in the film but I hated him from his previous roll in "Little Darlings" so it would be some years before I could enjoy him as an actor.
As a "Family Film" I think it has held up over the years and is absolutely worth watching for the delightful cast.
The Romantics (2010)
Ah... well it has a lot of great actors... playing the same roll they always play in everything they do. My love for Katie Holmes just wasn't enough to make this film worth the time. Oh, and Josh Duhamel never takes his shirt off so... you can forget about that little bit of eye candy.
Cinema Diary for 2012
The Year of The Dragon
This is a scrapbook of ideas, impressions and information about the movies I watch. It is basic, rough and raw in an effort to expand my personal viewing experiences. This is a creative exercise not a critical one. I hope you enjoy.
Other Diary Entires:
Dear Cinema Diary - Jan 2012
Diary Entries for 2011
October thru December | September | August | July | January
Diary Entries for 2010
December | November | October | September | August | July
People who voted for this also voted for
Watched in 2012
My Top French Language Films
2009 by star rating
My favorite Horror movies by decade
Kami's 'Watched in 2012'
Movies Viewed In 2012
2012 Movie Diary... by Kris
Movie Journal - August 2011
Take This Job (And Shove It!)
Cinema viewings 2012