October’s movies reviewed, part one

Not over yet, October already is the month I’ve seen the second most films this year, with February being the top-tier – I somehow managed to squeeze 21 movies into its 28 days. 22 if you count the audio-commentary viewing of Alle anderen.

But this is October and due to cold weather and a new-found urge to catch up with a few titles that have been on the to watch-list for way to long, I have already seen 18 movies in 22 days. (22 if you count repeat viewings.)

My brother came by for a few days at the very end of September and after Horrible Bosses on Sept 30 we watched Spaceballs (Mel Brooks, 1987) and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Jonathan Mostow, 2003). Spaceballs holds up very well and even at the n-th viewing there were a few jokes I wouldn’t have been able to get just a few years ago. And I’m not kidding when I say that it is the third best Star Wars-film. (Yes, Empire is #1.)

T3 I had not seen before. A few weeks ago I caught Jurassic Park III on TV. Those two films share a whole lot of “Hey! Remember that iconic scene from the classic first/second part? Here it is again with some slight variations! Enjoy!”-scenes. So, yeah, unnecessary is the word I’d use to describe that.

Next up one of my favourite films of 2011 that I now properly own thanks to a well-timed birthday present: Pina (Wim Wenders, 2011). I revisited the German Oscar hopeful with Wenders’ very interesting commentary and, for the first time, in 2D. Since this is the only film I’ve seen so far where 3D actually enhances the experience I will admit that it doesn’t work as well in 2D, but it’s still very beautiful and engaging.

Michael Fassbender cements his place as one of my all-time favourite actors with his great performance in Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009). But it is (then) non-actor Katie Jarvis who is the central force here – and what a force she is. Fish Tank, like last month’s Drive, is still on my mind weeks after I saw it and I’m eager to give it another spin.

Slate‘s own Dana Stevens recommended the Humphrey Bogart-starring film noir great In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950). It’s riddled with fun, quotable lines and Bogie is at the top of his game.

After Steve Jobs died earlier this month I felt inclined to rewatch a Pixar-film and quickly landed on Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich, 2003). Not much to say about that, it’s a perfect film and the end had me in tears, as usual.

And speaking of perfect films: Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977) is very much that. Diane Keaton is marvelous but that’s hardly news. So on to the next one…

… which was German post-apokalyptic thriller Hell (Tim Fehlbaum, 2011). This was a midnight screening and I’m afraid all the bright light couldn’t keep me from dozing off a few times throughout the film. So no definite judgment here, but even in my coma-like state I could see that it has its flaws.

Je vais bien, ne t’en fais pas (Philippe Lioret, 2006) is a typical modern French film in that it’s very hard to pinpoint it to a certain genre or style. Mélanie Laurent carries the sometimes shaky story quite well.

Kaboom (Gregg Araki, 2010) is either a complete mess or sheer genius disguised as, well, a complete mess. I’m really not sure.

So, seen any of those and want to add your two cents? Do so in the comments. (Not that you ever do…)


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