Movie Diary 2/22/2023

X (Ti West, 2022). Well-executed 70s-style horror, except that the acting is generally better than anything you’d find in the originals. Especially nice use of the geography of the setting – two houses set across an empty space in the middle of nowhere, just right for weirdos to roam in the middle of the night.

The Last of Sheila (Herbert Ross, 1973). This was fun to see again. An elaborate game set on a yacht in the Mediterranean, script by Steven Sondheim and Anthony Perkins, a game cast (although surely James Coburn, as lively as he is, is the wrong actor for his role as written). The bonus is a commentary track with Dyan Cannon and Richard Benjamin sitting and talking showbiz – she suggests they should do a sitcom together, which probably would’ve been a good idea.

Stardust Memories (Woody Allen, 1980). It was a letdown when it came out, on the heels of Manhattan, and it’s still a letdown. Allen moves on from parodying Fellini movies to executing one, and the tone comes off sour in a way Fellini never was. And Allen’s casting acumen feels wrong; it probably sounded cool to cast interesting European actors such as Charlotte Rampling and Marie-Christine Barrault, but the chemistry never happens – you feel relief when good ol’ Tony Roberts comes along.


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