Movie Diary 4/23/2013

Pain & Gain (Michael Bay, 2013). If directed by a genius, this queasy black comedy about a tru-crime murder might’ve become something transgressive and original. Directed by Michael Bay, it becomes a test in how offended an unsuspecting multiplex audience can get – especially with their expectations soothed by those pleasant musclemen, Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson. (full review 4/26)

The Incredible Shrinking Man (Jack Arnold, 1957). A mist, some insecticide, a housecat: still a terrific premise for measuring how short the distance is between the infinite and the infinitesimal.

Twilight’s Last Gleaming (Robert Aldrich, 1977). The newish DVD of this neglected movie is a significant achievement, and maybe it’ll get the appreciation it merits. It’s one of the great Vietnam-hangover pictures, boasts a juicy cast of male actors (Charles Durning in particularly standout form), and deploys lots of splitscreen that actually works.

I Am Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964). Delirious revolutionary zeal and moviemaking inspiration, in equal proportions.

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