i’ve done worse…

Okay, so finally a bit more movie watching has occurred. Thanks to the removal of “big cable” from the house… With all this extra time, we were able to watch:

Small Time Crooks. Wow. Silly and boring. A strangely dumb movie for Woody… Of course, I thought that same thing about Sleeper, but at least that had a nutty bunch of ideas behind it, this was just a “dumber than average” “crime” “comedy”. Honestly, I didn’t even watch all of it. I thought it was funny to see John Lovitz in a movie and Tracey Ullman did a good job, but Woody needs to just play Woody. He comes across a bit fake and corny trying to be some other character. Really, not much to recommend this, so I don’t.

Then, inspired by Match Point, we watched Crimes & Misdemeanors. I had forgotten that I’d seen it, but once I remembered, it is probably my favorite of his films since the 70’s. The two movies follow a thematic similarity and I like both of them quite a bit. of course, this older one features Woody! Also I really like Martin Landau, though probably just because he starred in two of the greatest shows of my youth, Mission Impossible (where’re those DVD’s?) and Space:1999. He may truly seem like a bit of a jerk (I’ll always remember when he set Kennedy straight at the opening for the fake Mission Impossible… Yeah, he treated her terribly, but heck, I liked it! I never could stand her… One of the finest moments in TV…), but I do like him. Anyway, the movie. Everyone does a good job. I feel like Angelica Houston should be a much bigger star than she is, she is always great! Alan Alda and Mia Farrow, while I don’t like either one of them or their characters, they both succeed in their roles. The story-line is involving and fun, Woody plays Woody and Jack Orbach is always a convincing character. If you haven’t seen it, and you aren’t one of those unclean who dislike Woody Allen, it is highly recommended. The best parts are with the Professor Levy character, if only that movie could get made…

Manny & Lo. This was a fun little movie. A couple of girls just trying to figure out what to do with themselves and their little “issue”. It’s sort of a one gag story, but it manages to stay on track and not seem overplayed. It’s low key and not full of surprises, but the characters are played involvingly enough to make it work well. Lo, while making one bad decision after another remains very sympathetic, Manny as the smart one is the least fun of the characters, but as the years go on, I’m learning to appreciate Scarlett Johansson, and Mary Kay Place is just as charming as always.

Deliverance. Yes, to some, it’s just a movie about four city slickers who hear some kid play a banjo, canoe down a river, and squeal like a pig, but oh, like most Boorman movies, it is soo much more then that. A meditation about friendship, environmental destruction, the truth behind the veil of cultures, the difference between living and just being alive, nature & the destruction thereof and, most of all, re-evaluating ones place in society, stepping out from behind the facades that we have made for ourselves and crossing the imaginary line that lay between each of us and violence. Plus, I think that there are some really good scenes, especially the dueling banjo, but the real killer scene has to be Jon Voight’s trip up the cliff… Man. And what’s with that photography there? Some of the most interesting “nighttime” shooting I’ve ever seen. It seems that the movie was shot in Herzogian fashion, without insurance or stunt-doubles. It just feels really real and it must have been a hell of a shoot for the actors. And Ned Beatty? He should get an oscar just for playing this role.

Anyway, it seemed a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this awesome film in a theater and, though the print was a bit beat and the projection a bit shaky at times, it was great to see and it’s always great to have a beer theater that plays movies like this!

with Burt in town, who needs stuntmen…
deliverance 24:19

my kind of nighttime…
deliverance 1:14:07

Valley of the Dolls. I thought this was darn fun! I also thought that John Waters must have seen this a good number of times. There were moments that I thought that the scene could have easily included Divine in a sequined dress! It was a bit silly (the way they started throwing around the word “dolls” seems a bit much)… But it was fun to watch the three young girls on their progressions through their careers and loves and all. Sometimes, I must admit, Patty Duke was a bit overacting and it’s a bit odd to see Sharon Tate, knowing what her Not-to-far-off end would be, but Susan Hayword was great! Unlike a lot of reviewers out there, I didn’t find the film to be one of those “soo bad it’s good” movies. I didn’t really find it to be bad, really. It looks good, the roles are well cast and acted, the story-line is engaging and the script, while a bit campy, worked well with the characters and the subject matter.

valley of the dolls 48:18

and downs…
valley of the dolls 1:31:15

One Response to “i’ve done worse…”

  1. Art on August 23, 2006 07:55

    I always liked Valley Of The Dolls as well. I enjoy the camp but the score is really wonderful too. It would have been interesting to see how it would have turned out with Judy Garland in the original role played by Susan Hayward. She left the film and was replaced by Hayward.

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