Sully Spock Bosch (This Week’s Movies)


Tom Hanks: Sully

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

Sully. “About just one thing: How experience, expertise, and human judgment trump committee reports or computerized projections.”

Mia Madre. “It’s a pleasure to see a movie about people in their 50s, assessing their lives as they deal with the long farewell of a parent.”

For the Love of Spock. “The whole thing has the air of a home movie made for fans.”

Hieronymous Bosch: Touched by the Devil. “Curiously incomplete.”

And a little fall preview thingie.

Tonight at 7, join Framing Pictures as we meet for another free monthly session of conversation about movies. We’ll be at Scarecrow Video, sorting through topics that include Clint Eastwood’s Sully, David Mackenzie’s Hell or High Water, and Gus Van Sant’s much maligned Sea of Trees; a new blu-ray of John Ford’s Three Bad Men; and other items. Check our Facebook page, here.

Movie Diary 9/8/2016

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (Ron Howard, 2016). The title suggests the confused focus of this excuse for vintage footage. Still it’s the Fabs, so great stuff abounds. The feature is followed by the Beatles’ Shea Stadium performance, newly remastered (two songs from that set that were always missing from the footage are still missing, but I don’t want to get too deep in the weeds). In terms of touch, Howard is no Scorsese when it comes to this kind of thing. (full review 9/16)

Disorder (Alice Winocour, 2016). Matthias Schoenaerts plays a soldier with PTSD, currently employed as bodyguard to the wife (Diane Kruger) of a shiftily-wealthy official. A strange film, at times as woozy  as the protagonist’s nervous system. The soundtrack sounds exactly like what tinnitus really sounds like. (full review 9/16)

Movie Diary 9/7/2016

La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016). A musical from the Whiplash guy, and not his first, either – I recall Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench as a spirited mess. This one’s really fortunate to have Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (in case you’re wondering why they get all the good roles, you will see why). (full review 12/?)

Queen of Katwe (Mira Nair, 2016). An inspirational true-life tale from Disney, about an adolescent Ugandan girl who rises from the slums thanks to her talent for chess. Very skillfully turned by Mira Nair, and brawny in the adult leads, thanks to David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o. (full review 9/23)

Movie Diary 9/6/2016

Mia Madre (Nanni Moretti, 2015). Moretti leavens his melancholy viewpoint with humor and telling detail. It’s about a film director (Margherita Buy) whose mother is dying; her leading man (John Turturro) is a Hollywood jackass who can’t remember his lines. Moretti plays the director’s brother, a character imbued with real mystery. (full review 9/9)

For Love of Spock (Adam Nimoy, 2016). The actor’s son directs an inside view of the man who once wrote a book called I Am Not Spock, and later took it back. A friendly movie, built for fans. (full review 9/9)

Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil (Pieter Van Huystee, 2016). Documentary look at how museums go about the delicate business of trying to get paintings loaned for exhibitions, and etc. Plenty of good material, including the close-ups of grotesque Boschian details, although the movie as a whole seems to end before the end. (full review 9/9)

Lost in America (Albert Brooks, 1985). I have never quite gotten over the way this movie seems to end before the end, either. But its funny moments are still funny.

O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman, 2016). Well this brought back some sour memories. But it certainly is a big-canvas attempt to make sense of a murder, and to suggest how this incident is a turning point, or tipping point, or maybe crystal ball in which the future is seen.

The Light Unknown (This Week’s Links)


Alicia Vikander, Michael Fassbender: The Light Between Oceans

Links to my reviews published this week in the Herald and Seattle Weekly, and etc.

The Light Between Oceans. “Rich potential to be the kind of insane project that might possibly turn into something great.”

Morgan. “Like its title character, cold around the heart. But that’s what makes it work.”

Complete Unknown. “A long anticlimax.”

The 9th Life of Louis Drax. “You may wonder whether this lucky kid is ‘touched by an angel’ or ‘touched by fate’ or touched by some other bad screenwriting cliché.”

The August Framing Pictures is online, and watchable at the Seattle Channel website. In this installment, Richard T. Jameson, Bruce Reid, and I talk about Warren Oates, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Our Little Sister, the new Kino Classics box set of “Pioneers of African-American Cinema,” and other things. Watch here.


Movie Diary 9/1/2016

Mandalay (Michael Curtiz, 1934). Watching some pre-Code pictures; this one has Kay Francis as a woman abandoned in Rangoon by Ricardo Cortez and forced to work in Warner Oland’s nightclub. A lot gets packed into 65 minutes – sex, songs, bottles of poison – and the last part takes place on a boat to Mandalay, where noble but alcoholic doctor Lyle Talbot meets Francis. Curtiz makes the thing look great.

The Wet Parade (Victor Fleming, 1932). An extremely weird Pre-Code picture based on a Prohibition-themed novel by Upton Sinclair. Two family patriarchs (Lewis Stone and Walter Huston) are ruined by alcohol; the dry crusaders include Robert Young and Dorothy Jordan. At one point Young joins forces with the law, and his G-Man partner is Jimmy Durante, because the movie wasn’t quite bizarre enough. But if the film paints alcoholism as destructive (Huston’s initially comical character ends up committing a truly brutal act), it also knows its audience. So there’s a lot of ambivalence about booze. Prohibition wouldn’t last much longer anyway.

Downstairs (Monta Bell [uncredited], 1932). Another one, and another doozy. John Gilbert plays a rakish-to-the-point-of-creepy chauffeur, newly arrived for work at a mansion where the head butler (Paul Lukas) runs a tight ship. Gilbert wrote the original story. The whole thing seems to take place in another world.

Movie Diary 8/31/2016

Sully (Clint Eastwood, 2016). The immediate aftermath of the Hudson River plane landing, as the pilot (Tom Hanks) makes his way through an investigation – and, of course, has a long flashback of the incident itself. Eastwood’s touch is trim and lively, and it doesn’t take long to sense that he sees an autobiographical element to this story of an old pro who lets experience guide him in doing his job. (full review 9/9)