27 February 2009

OLR: Beerfest (2006)

Beer, boots and balloons is all you need. (8/10)

d. Jay Chandrasekhar

15 February 2009

OLR: Starship Troopers (1997)

One reason I love this movie is that it simultaneously makes me revile humanity's brutality while wanting to join the army. (8/10)

d. Paul Verhoeven

14 February 2009

OLR: My Bloody Valentine: Extended Cut (1981)

A solid '80s slasher now even better without the distracting censorship. (7/10)

d. George Mihalka

Guest OLR: Sisters (1973)

Totally neato murder set pieces in an unsatisfying narrative. (6/10)

d. Brian de Palma

12 February 2009

Hitchcock | Young and Innocent (1937)

Young and Innocent (1937)
written by Charles Bennett, Edwin Greenwood, Anthony Armstrong, Gerald Savory and an uncredited Alma Reville, based on a novel by Josephine Tey

Though there isn't any espionage in this film, it's another wrong man tale in the same vein as The Man Who Knew Too Much and The 39 Steps. As with Steps, I'm not a big fan of the main character. Robert, on the run from the police over a false murder accusation, is just too chipper about the whole thing. He's waltzes through the movie with a smirk on his face, smoothly flirting with the police captain's daughter. He was so overconfident about being able to prove his innocence, I ended up wanting to see him convicted at the end of the film out of spite.

Most of the rest of the film -- when Robert isn't the center of attention -- is quite good. The scene in the hotel club at the end, in particular, was excellent. I liked how Hitchcock turned the tables a little: the suspense in this sequence comes from the true murder's increasing nervousness at being discovered instead of the wrong man almost being captured. You almost can't help feel sorry for the murderer as he begins to screw up his drumming while his tell-tale face twitches uncontrollably.

I was surprised to read in The Alfred Hitchcock Story that this was Hitch's favorite British-era movie. I can see how the experience of making the film would've been fun. Hitch gets to shoot in some beautiful English countryside, he gets to play with toy trains again and that scene in which the car falls into a collapsing mine is quite exciting. It's often a nicely put together picture, but I'm still a The Man Who Knew Too Much fan when it comes to pre-Hollywood wrong man films. (7/10)

Watched the region 1 DVD released by Fox in 2008 as a part of the Alfred Hitchcock Premiere Collection. The transfer's excellent.

OLR: Death Wish (1974)

I don't know if it's the filth or the mutton chops, but I doubt there's a single 1970s movie set in New York City I won't enjoy. (7/10)

d. Michael Winner

08 February 2009

OLR: eXistenZ (1999)

The way it's shot, the way the actors read their lines, the locations, the lighting: there's a subtle off-ness to all of this that makes this movie fascinating to watch. (9/10)

d. David Cronenberg

OLR: Masters of Horror: "The Black Cat" (2007)

Best Poe adaptation ever. (9/10)

d. Stuart Gordon

02 February 2009

OLR: Groundhog Day (1993)

A perfect movie to cheer up dreary mid-winter. (8/10)

d. Harold Ramis

Guest OLR: Hi, Mom! (1971)

Mostly a collection of rejected bits from Greetings, and there can be no mistaking why they were rejected. (5/10)

d. Brian de Palma

01 February 2009

OLR: Electroma (2006)

Although borderline tedious at points, the look of the film was such that I couldn't take my eyes off of it. (7/10)

d. Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo

OLR: From Dusk Till Dawn (1995)

I wish more movies would take a left-turn into horror in the middle; everything is better with a green-bleedin' vampire. (8/10)

d. Robert Rodriguez

[gotta say it was so nice watching the Alliance Blu-ray after years with that crappy, non-anamorphic DVD Dimension put out]