Wednesday, 7 October 2009

(500) Films Of Empire - Day 22

In preparation for my upcoming holiday I spent the day doing some washing, packing and catching up on movies since I won't have a lot of time to watch any over the week I'm away.

276 - Layer Cake - 3 stars
A very slick crime thriller by Matthew Vaughn.  Mr Schiffer produced Lock, Stock and Snatch before taking a seat in the director's chair, which leads me to believe that he was the brains behind Ritchie's brawn.  Daniel Craig, displaying the steely eyed charm that would lead him to becoming 007, is the drug dealer looking to retire but is dragged into "one last job".  Great 80's inspired soundtrack and Sienna Miller in her pants - bonus.

326 - Out Of Sight - 4 stars
Steven Soderbergh left the arthouse behind and broke into the mainstream with this pulp crime film that is as cool as a cucumber and twice as smooth. It allowed George Clooney to break away from ER and established him as a movie star with old school charm and sex appeal a la Cary Grant. Shame Jennifer Lopez has never been able to live up to the promise she showed here. Features one of the sexiest scenes ever committed to film. Soderbergh has even admitted to copying Don't Look Now, but why not when the results are this good.

After a break for dinner (chilli con carne with nachos and sour cream, if you were wondering), I decided to have an evening dedicated to female filmmakers:

463 - Juno - 3 stars
First up was for re-evaluation was Diablo Cody and her Oscar winning screenplay about a sassy young girl having to deal with an unexpected pregnancy.  This Oscar is normally given to the little film that could, or "this year's Little Miss Sunshine", so does Juno deserve all the acclaim? There will be a Cody backlash, starting with the upcoming Jennifer's Body, and sure some the "Junoisms" and teen dialogue does become annoying (and probably make little to sense to people much older than me), but there is some great writing here and at its heart is a great central performance from Ellen Page (who was brilliant in Hard Candy).  Jason Reitman is developing into a great director and one who knows how to get the best from his actors (I can recommend that you seek out Thank You For Smoking), and I can't wait to see what he does with George Clooney in 'Up In The Air' out in January.

262 - The Virgin Suicides - 2 stars
Sofia Coppola's first film behind the camera (of course she appeared in front of the camera for daddy in The Godfather Part 3, and how can we forget that?!), proved she is a better director than an actor, just like Ben Affleck!  This is a gorgeous film to look at, with a beautiful soundtrack by Air, and before the time I started to find Kirsten Dunst really annoying.  But I felt kid of empty after watching the film, not really connecting with the story, hence the low score.

128 - Lost In Translation - 4 stars
Starts with one of the greatest opening shots in cinematic history (up there with the star destroyer in A New Hope), and ends with that magical moment that sparked so much debate, "ooh, what do you think he whispers to her?".  But sandwiched inbetween them is Bill Murray's finest performance, combining the improv comedy skills and the pathos tinged sadness he has shown in working with Wes Anderson.  Bill had every right to look pissed off when Sean Penn beat him to the Oscar... at least he got a BAFTA though.  Having said all that, this film is misleading as I've never met anyone who looks like Scarlett Johansson while staying in a hotel :( 

Top 5 films set in hotels:

1. The Shining
2. Psycho
3. Lost In Translation
4. Barton Fink
5. 1408

Days remaining - 343.  Films remaining - 457

1 comment:

  1. Never saw The Virgin Suicides but I read the book, and it really annoyed me. Lux is a really stupid name.