Movie Diary 4/21/2009

Fighting (Dito Montiel, 2009). An improvement over Montiel’s first film, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, and another thought-out performance by Terrence Howard. Story logic is something else. (full review 4/24)

The Soloist (Joe Wright, 2009). Kind of exactly what you think it’s going to be, even if Joe Wright is a director with some visual ideas in his head. Downey and Foxx are also as expected. (full review 4/24)

Murder at the Vanities (Mitchell Leisen, 1934). Crazy enough as these things go: Kitty Carlisle trilling about the parade of dames in Earl Carroll’s “Vanities,” Victor McLaglen as a suave/roguish detective, Duke Ellington coming out for a number, and songs that include “Cocktails for Two” and “Sweet Marijuana.” The hell? Yep, that’s the name of the song. The movie is just a little too labored to be as much fun as it sounds in synopsis.

Adam’s Rib (George Cukor, 1949). Tracy and Hepburn, setting up Judy Holliday, David Wayne, et al. I always had a soft spot for “Farewell, Amanda.”