Movie Diary 1/1/2018

The 39 Steps (Alfred Hitchcock, 1935). On the one hand it’s unbelievable that a 35-year-old director could be this authoritative and confident. On the other hand, the guy had found the thing he was born to do, and he inhaled and exhaled cinema like air.

The Mummy’s Shroud (John Gilling, 1967). Some very jumbled storytelling, including a prologue that sets up a reasonably intriguing backstory (Egyptian slave buries the body of a boy king, steals the sacred royal amulet) and then is barely referred to again. It’s a Hammer film, with Andre Morell, John Phillips, Michael Ripper, and a very Sixties supermodel type named Maggie Kimberley. Mostly pretty bad, although the genre beats are delivered in reliable fashion.

It (Andy Muschietti, 2017). Catching up with this one. Not terrible, but dammit, it could’ve been better. There’s not much largeness to it, not much feel for a world around the kids. Bill Skarsgård has a terrific first scene as the evil clown, but doesn’t get a chance to build on that; I would love to have seen him do the character without digital enhancements.