Movie Diary 9/27/2010

Buried (Rodrigo Cortés, 2010). Ryan Reynolds inside a wooden coffin, alone but for a cell phone. You had me at “the whole movie is set inside a coffin.” Somewhere Larry Cohen smiles approvingly. Even the opening credits are cool. (full review 10/1)

The Last of Sheila (Herbert Ross, 1973.) A larky script by Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim, enacted by some quintessential Seventies people in good form. A couple of the long, slow, talky denouement scenes look like something from a different century, in a good way.

The Anderson Tapes (Sidney Lumet, 1971). Lumet looks like he’s practicing for NYC movies to come; a heist movie with some rather sizable plot puzzlers.

Invaders from Mars (William Cameron Menzies, 1953). One’s memory dims how much stock footage and repeated scenes of “muTANTs” running through subterranean caverns there is in this picture, but the stuff that’s good is truly good, and memorable, with Menzies’ eye creating a convincingly nightmarish small town out of a few constricted sets.

The Sicilian Girl (Marco Amenta, 2009). A startling ending and an offbeat leading lady go quite a way toward lifting this TV-style exposé of a Mafia whistle-blower, based on a true story. (full review 9/24)