Movie Diary 5/19/2014

Blended (Frank Coraci, 2014). Once again Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are (sorry, folks) rather nice together, in a mostly silly but carefully plotted comedy. The backdrop is South Africa, unthinkingly. (full review 5/23)

GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990). A pleasurable re-visit to an energetic picture. Geez, De Niro really looks young in this.

Once Upon a Time in America (Sergio Leone, 1984). All those large interior spaces – are they actually all supposed to be the same place? You have time to think about these things during this movie, which is impressive and often evocative, but still a film I find difficult to like. Among other things, the casting gods that smile on film masterpieces just seemed to be napping during Leone’s assembly of this dream project. Strange film.

Cold in July (Jim Mickle, 2014). The director of Stake Land and We Are What We Are makes another interesting genre variation – not horror this time, but a Southern suspense piece that gets an oddball treatment. (full review 5/23)

The Double (Richard Ayoade, 2013). Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska do nicely, although the vision of the future dystopia looks a lot like old future dystopias – think Brazil circa 1984. (full review 5/23)

Words and Pictures (Fred Schepisi, 2013). Why doesn’t Clive Owen make more movies? We could use him, because even in the conventional confines of this well-meaning thing, he’s pretty awesome. Juliette Binoche remains outside her comfort zone in English, although her casting is interesting. They play rival high-school teachers whose debate over whether literary or visual art is the superior form captures the imagination of the school.


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