Thursday, November 13, 2003

Movies in Oct-Nov

Deconstructing Harry, 1997 - Superb. Allen ensembles an impressive star cast - himself, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Billy Crystal, Tobey Maguire, Judy Davis, Demi Moore. Tagline: Harry Block wrote a bestseller about his best friends. Now, his best friends are about to become his worst enemies.

Harry Block: What? You have air-conditioning in Hell?
The Devil: Sure! Fucks up the ozone layer!

Doris: You have no values. With you its all nihilism, cynicism, sarcasm, and orgasm.
Harry Block: Hey, in France I could run for office with that slogan, and win!

Harry Block: Tradition is the illusion of permanence.

Harry Block: Between air conditioning and the Pope, I chose air conditioning.

Harry Block: I'm a guy who can't function well in life but can in art.

Harry Block: [to his brother-in-law Bert] I think you're the opposite of a paranoid. I think you go around with the insane delusion that people like you.


Bullets Over Broadway, 1994 - Woody Allen time again for me. In this one he is not in front of the camera. John Cussack plays a young playwright. As with almost every Allen film, this one is also filled with innumerable great moments. Not his finest but still a fine work.

Sheldon Flender: Let's say there was a burning building and you could rush in and you could save only one thing: either the last known copy of Shakespeare's plays or some anonymous human being. What would you do?

Sheldon Flender: [bragging] I have never had a play produced. That's right. And I've written one play a year for the past twenty years.
David Shayne: Yes, but that's because you're a genius! And the proof is that both common people and intellectuals find your work completely incoherent. Means you're a genius!

David Shayne: You're gonna write it?
Cheech: What am I? A fuckin' idiot? They taught me how to read and write in school before I burned it down.
David Shayne: You burned down your school?!
Cheech: Yeah, it was Lincoln's birthday. There was nobody there.


The Spanish Prisoner, 1997 - An okay suspense drama. At times becomes unconvincing but carries through. Plot Outline: An employee of a corporation with a lucrative secret process is tempted to betray it. But there's more to it than that. (**)

Miller's Crossing, 1990 - Coen brothers show their mastery over crime drama and their usual flair for interesting ideas. (****)

Flirting with Disaster, 1996 - Ben Stiller. (*)

The Cheap Detective, 1978 - A spoof on The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. Funny in parts but falls flat most of the time. (*)

The Maltese Falcon, 1941 - The film that made Bogart a star and Sam Spade a classic character. Sydney Greenstreet as Kasper Gutman is also impressive and has some good lines. This classic film noir is an interesting suspense mystery.

Kasper Gutman: "I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to talk and says the wrong things. Talking's something you can't do judiciously, unless you keep in practice. Now, sir, we'll talk if you like. I'll tell you right out, I'm a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk."


The Conversation, 1974 - Coppola made this just after his grand Godfather successes. Well made. Gene Hackman is very good. Raises some interesting and thought-provoking privacy issues. (***)

The Shining, 1980 - Kubrick's trademark long shots, visual grandeur, use of background score are very much the things that make this movie. Nicholson is brilliant. based on a Stephen King's novel. Horror. (***)

Trainspotting, 1995 - Wonderful British cult classic. Tagline: "Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that?" (****)

The Usual Suspects, 1995 - Second Viewing. Still look excellent. (*****). Directed by Bryan Singer.

Roger & Me, 1989 - Documentary. Michael Moore attempts to confront General Motors then-chief Roger Smith. It's actually about a town losing its livelihood. Not even nearly as good as his latest one (BFC) but his trademark humor is present. (**)

The Big Lebowski, 1998 - Coen brothers. Very different and original. Wonderful performances. (****)

New York Stories, 1989 - Three short films directed by New Yorkers Woody Allen, Coppola, Scorcese. Interesting. (***)