jeezum crow

Six weeks with nary an update? What have I been up to all of this time? Well, I will use my cross-country move this month as an excuse (Oregon to Vermont, for those who don’t know). But now that I am all done moving, all settled in and unemployed… It leaves me little excuse not to catch up with my movies. But one thing that I noticed… I canceled my old internet account (15 or so years seems enough), without realizing that a lot of the screen shots on this blog were actually stored there. So any posts from March 2007 or before may not have any images now! I don’t know if I will re-upload them, as I don’t know if anyone even looks at posts over a year and a half old anyway… But I did lose some Russ Meyer caps, so we’ll have to see. Anyway to things somewhat more recent, though still dating back a ways.

Some months back I watched Layer Cake. It seems odd that I hadn’t brought it up yet, but that does seem to be the case. Regardless,  I had not originally been interested as I assumed that it was just another new thing on par with those recent remakes of old British crime movies. But no, I was wrong. it’s actually pretty great. It was the first (and so far, only) movie I’d seen with Daniel Craig and it was all around enjoyable. And it makes yet another great British crime movie, this time with the always engaging story of an old pro who wants to make his last big score and go straight. Of course, there are forcing acting against our unnamed protagonist to stop him from getting straight… And they involve terrible double-crossings, Serbians, Ecstasy (with an X) some great violence and a great twist that I didn’t see coming at all. In addition to a great job by Craig, it also features great roles for Colm Meaney and Michael Gambon. Highly recommended.

We also watched one that we had queued forever, as it sounded like something that we would want to see, but didn’t know if we would ever get around to it. Well, we did. The Straight Story. I dunno. it was charming great and fun, not much else to say about it. One of those based on a true story of a man who travels hundreds of miles down the highway on a riding mower to see his estranged and dying brother. So you see lots of scenes of his nay-sayers at the beginning, and spend lots of time watching his rather slow progress. But it’s a sweet, if a little odd, story.

We also watched Once. A charming love story about musicians… I know that sounds terrible, but it actually isn’t. A street musician in Dublin meets a girl and they start an awkward relationship as he tries to put together a good demo.

And then The Diving Bell and The Butterfly. Another one based on a true story, this time about the editor of Elle who was felled by a terrible stroke that left him unable to do much of anything except for blink. Using his blinking eye, he dictated a book and this is the story of how that came about. It is filmed from his perspective and it includes interactions with visitors and therapists and his fantasies, memories and dreams. It is a fascinating story, that could seem terrible if it wasn’t so well portrayed. As is, it seems more uplifting and invigorating then depressing. His writings and thoughts are very intelligent and thoughtful and the movie is incredibly well shot. it is just a great film that is very engrossing, though-provoking and wonderful to watch.

Then in the self-biography vein, we watched 51 Birch Street. Another one of those documentaries where there was a family member who had a long history of filming the family, and then something happened. In this case, it was a son who filmed his parents. His mother who he was very close with and his father, who he was not. When his mother died suddenly, his father quickly hooks up with an old secretary of his from decades back and they decide to get married and he sells the family home. It is basically the son using his old footage and some new footage to understand how his father could move on so quickly from the death of his wife of over fifty years and leave the home that had been the family home for so long.

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