Movie Diary 6/13/2011

Yellow Sea (Na Hong-jin, 2011). There’s something to be said for sheer old-fashioned plot, which this movie has in abundance; it’s wild and supercharged in a Paul Greengrassian way for the first half, and then it gets really berserk.

The Time Machine (George Pal, 1960). Hey, it holds up good. Made with real care, plus it really moves at a clip. The early scenes of Rod Taylor and his Victorian homies surrounded by timepieces indicate a special place for this film in Christian Marclay’s 24-hour installation montage, The Clock.

RoboCop (Paul Verhoeven, 1987). Not quite the blast it was back then, maybe because lots of people have come along since to rip it off – and the overall jaundiced mood feels very familiar.

Gattaca (Andrew Niccol, 1997). Not great, but a pretty good combination of pretty good things: the impressive early look at Jude Law, Michael Nyman’s music, fitting deployment of the colored filters of DP Slawomir Idziak (who has only made three pictures since 2001’s Black Hawk Down, for some reason). And a great idea.

Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop (Rodman Flender, 2011). This guy is really a maniac – had not quite realized that his showbiz cravings were quite so authentic. (full review 6/24)

At my other website, What a Feeling!, we travel back for The Hit, a film that brought Terence Stamp and Stephen Frears back into high-profile business.