Movie Diary 10/18/2010

The Old Dark House (James Whale, 1932). “Have a potato?” First viewing in many years. Buncha great people – Gloria Stuart, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Karloff, Eva Moore, and Ernest Thesiger. Truly odd, with a peculiar tone that shouldn’t hang together but somehow does, and Whale seems to be having a fine time.

Hereafter (Clint Eastwood, 2010). Inquiries into the moments after death, rendered with the director’s usual calm. The tsunami that opens the show has a rare sense of the power of water – seemingly a hard thing to get right, using special effects, but holy crap, is it ever right. (full review 10/22)

Client-9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer (Alex Gibney, 2010). The hyphen is in the opening credits; I just report these things. Spitzer’s big scandal, given context and some eyebrow-raising connections to very powerful people who had reasons to bring him down. (full review 11/12)

The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963). Hitchcock’s Antonioni-Bergman movie, with our feathered friends mere externalizations of interior terrors. Or so it increasingly seems.

Douchebag (Drake Doremus, 2010). Great title, and some interesting people onscreen in this mumble-worthy low-budget tale of a man’s panic on the eve of his wedding. (full review 10/29)

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