Movie Diary 6/22/2009

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Michael Bay, 2009). Giant robots, living on Earth, unable to arrange themselves in a visually coherent series of cuts. This movie has possibly the worst reaction-shot one-liners since the Roger Moore era of James Bond. (full review 6/24)

The Three Musketeers and The Four Musketeers (Richard Lester, 1973/74). After not seeing these movies for 25 years, the thing that stands out amidst the swordplay and glancing, muttered jokes: the depiction of the aristocracy’s cruelty and absurdity. The guy who stands chest-deep in water as he releases the birds for the royals to shoot — the movies are full of things like that.

Cheri (Stephen Frears, 2009). Michelle Pfeiffer as an aging courtesan, battling the realities of time and giant robots come to Earth. (full review 6/26)

Frisco Jenny (William Wellman, 1932). Ruth Chatterton as a madame and bootlegger, charting a successful business plan through earthquake, jail time, and Prohibition. Weird,  soap-sudsy storyline expertly done — and that looked like Wellman in a telephone-booth cameo.