Monday, July 28, 2003

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) - 6.5/10

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) - Gregory Peck, Ruth White. Dir by Robert Mulligan. Bright, nostalgic southern small town moments are the most memorable. Very good performances. Gregory Peck is at his gracious best except in some courtroom scenes, where he tends slightly towards the ham-osphere. One can also see where Dev Anand (often called Gregory Peck of Indian films) got some of his popular mannerisms from. The girl who has played "Scout" is amazingly charming in some scenes. I especially liked the one where Gregory Peck reads a story to her at bedtime. The chemistry of the characters and the casualness of the scene is rare.

Narrator (older Scout Finch): Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon after their three o'clock naps. And by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There's no hurry, for there's nowhere to go and nothing to buy...and no money to buy it with. Although Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself...That summer, I was six years old.

Narrator (older Scout Finch): Neighbors bring food with death, and flowers with sickness, and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a knife, and our lives.

Narrator (older Scout Finch): There just didn't seem to be anyone or anything Atticus couldn't explain. Though it wasn't a talent that would arouse the admiration of any of our friends, Jem and I had to admit he was very good at that, but that was all he was good at, we thought.

DVD - the accompanying documentary on the DVD about the making of the movie is wonderful. No less enjoyable than the movie itself. B/W. 130 mins. 8/10.

Narc (2002) - Dir by Joe Carnahan. DVD. 6/10.

Analyze That (2002) - DVD. 7/10.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Two Weeks Notice (2002) - Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock. Dir by Marc Lawrence.

Helen Wade: Would you like anything?
George Wade: I could really go for some Milk Duds.
Helen Wade: We don't have any, I could send out for one.
George Wade: Oh no, don't be ridiculous. If you're going to send out, get a whole box.

DVD. 8/10.

The Devil's Backbone (2001) Spanish - Dir by Guillermo del Toro. DVD - subtitles in English. 6/10.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Movies in May 2003

Singin' in the Rain (1952) - 7/10
The Truth About Charlie (2002) - 5.5/10
Unfaithful (2002) - 6.5/10
Frailty (2002) - 7.5/10
Primal Fear (1996) - 8/10
Shallow Hal (2001) - 8/10
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - 8/10
White Oleander (2002) - 6.5/10
The Ring (2002) - 5.5/10

Friday, July 18, 2003

The Hours (2002) - I think the movie tries to look more intelligent that what it is. Nicole is good (but again not an awardable stuff, IMO). The idea of running three stories together is interestingly done (not new of course) and works. It is the stories themselves and the characters which make little sense. The expressions of Julianne are even confusing at times. The character also looks trying to say a lot while saying nothing. I think it works better in a book (the movie is adopted from a novel by Michael Cunningham) than it does in a movie. Plot Outline: The story revolves around three women in different eras who are all profoundly affected by the works of Virginia Woolf.

DVD - includes Lifesketch of Virginia Woolf. 114 mins. 6.5/10. imdb

The Pianist (2002) - The film has recreated some extraordinary visuals of the Hitler-era but often is cliched and even melodramatic in its narrative of the period. A very fundamental problem of the movie lies in the fact that though it makes you drop your jaw at some times, it fails to touch the sensitivity in any striking way, which the director seems to striving for and for which the movie had more than enough scope too. I am not sure if the performace by Adrien Brody was good enough, certainly not enough to be awarded. The music score is wonderful. Directed by Roman Polanski.

DVD. 150 mins. 7/10.

About Schmidt (2002) - Not much to say about. Some good lines, good performances and a lazy casual pace. Okay for a lazy afternoon.

DVD. 125 mins. 6.5/10. imdb

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Talk to Her (2002) - Spanish (Hoble Con Ella) - subtitled in English. Sensitive, fascinating, thoughtful, introspective. Plot Outline: Two men share an odd friendship while they care for their girlfriends who are both in deep comas. Directed by Pedro Almodovar.

DVD. 112 min. Rated R for nudity, sexual content and some language. 8.5/10.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Gangs of New York (2002) - 6/10
Spirited Away (2002) - 8.5/10