Saturday, August 23, 2003

I have seen an unbelievable amount of movies lately. They are:

THE EYE: Has scary moments, but is bogged down by an ending that is like MOTHMAN PROPHECIES and it refuses to live up to the scary moments in the first half. Overall worth watching but may leave you disappointed.

OWNING MAHONEY: A good one about a compulsive gambler (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who swipes millions from a bank where he works and pisses it all away. John Hurt plays a casino boss and is great. As with most titles with character names, it's a character study, and while good it may feel a little stale because we've seen the compulsive gambler studied many times.

CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS: It's everything you've heard: One of the best documentaries you'll ever see. And the style of the film is incredible. You have two sides of the story told back and forth in such a manner that you wonder what could have happened to make everyone contradict each other so much. In case you don't know, it's about a man and his son who get charged with molesting boys in their home. What is not in doubt is that the man, Arnold Friedman owned child pornography. What is in doubt is whether he extended those fantasies in real life. One kid (grown up) will say, "Oh yeah, I got molested several times in their bathroom and bedroom," and then the next guy will say, "It was just some boring computer class." Must be seen.

THE MEDALLION: I'll tell you several movies that MUST NOT be seen and this is one, where Jackie Chan has to find a boy and a medallion that gives a person superpowers and immortality. Well, Chan gets the superpowers, but why he needs them is beyond me. Chan had some inventive movies ported from Hong Kong that made him a star, and they were extremely more inventive than the American productions, and it's no longer fun anymore.

MY BOSS'S DAUGHTER: David Zucker is one of my childhood/adolescent heroes, who made movies that had comedy that especially called to me. The co-director of AIRPLANE!, TOP SECRET!, and THE NAKED GUN has made a fairly straight comedy here, and it sucks horribly, and should be embarassing for all those who were involved, especially Terence Stamp.

LE DIVORCE: Kate Hudson has starred in two movies this year I would consider among the worst of 2003, and HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN TEN DAYS would join this one (and some may even include ALEX & EMMA). This movie makes no sense whatsoever, is boring, contains too many name actors trying to find screen time. Matthew Modine, in 5 minutes, easily steals the movie away from everyone. Now THAT'S a sign.

DIRTY PRETTY THINGS: A very good one about an African man in London who makes a grisly discovery in a hotel in which he works and tries to figure it all out. Audrey Tautou, who still has my heart from AMELIE and the earlier movie this year called HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT, plays a Turkish immigrant, and knowing that she's a French actress, pulls off an amazing performance.

FREDDY VS. JASON: Well, I think I side with Jim Ridley on this one, where he describes how the movie begins with needless bloodshed and demeaning shower scenes, and is unable to live up to that early promise. Some (unintentionally?) funny scenes in here, and I have no doubt it's better with a crowd, but man is this stupid.

UPTOWN GIRLS: A time-waster, in the best sense possible, but certainly not a great film or anything. Not much worth to report other than it's likable here and there.

So there you go, there's the update.