Eccentricities of Wild Salt (Weekly Links)

Eccentricities of a Blond-Hair Spy

Reviews I wrote for the Herald this week.

Eccentricities of a Blond-Hair Girl (and Cropsey). “Utterly assured, soberly whimsical.”

Salt. “Angelina Jolie seems so unreal anyway, we can accept her in this indestructible role.”

Wild Grass. “An aura of frizzy blood-red hair.”

Agora. “Does not bode well for the rationalists.”

Ramona and Beezus. “Would not be entirely out of place in an episode of ‘Leave It to Beaver.'”

And on KUOW’s “Weekday,” I talk with Steve Scher about how what we know of actors’ (and directors’) offscreen lives affects our ability to watch their movies; listen here. The film bit kicks in at the 15-minute mark.

And new issues of Rotten (and the trade paperback of the first six issues) are about to hit the streets. The new stuff just got a rave from the Ain’t It Cool News crew, here.

Movie Diary 7/19/2010

Wild Grass (Alain Resnais, 2010). It might not be the best movie Alain Resnais has created in 50+ years of making movies, but it’s a tonic anyway. Stubbornly irrational, right to the ending, or the “endings.” (full review 7/23)

The Call of the Wild (William Wellman, 1935). Not the brightest moment for anybody involved, although some of the location shooting around Mt. Baker in the North Cascades is great. Possibly most famous for Loretta Young becoming pregnant with Clark Gable’s child while on snowbound location.

Never Cry Wolf (Carroll Ballard, 1983). Seen again at a distance, a very late-Sixties, early-Seventies sort of film, not least for its appreciation of a singular actor, Charles Martin Smith. I’m working on an Alaska project here, all right?

Ramona and Beezus (Elizabeth Allen, 2010). In which Ramona comes to find a personal relationship with Beezus. Decent grown-ups on the scene: Bridget Moynahan, John Corbett, Josh Duhamel, Ginnifer Godwin. (full review 7/23)

Cropsey (Barbara Brancaccio, Joshua Zeman, 2009). Docu-creepfest about a child-killer in Staten Island, capturing some of the chill of forested areas and abandoned buildings (and the network of tunnels that run beneath the old insane asylum – oh great). (full review, or partial review, 7/23)