Jennifer’s Bright Meatballs (Weekly Links)

brightstar

Bright Star: soothe thy lips.

Reviews I wrote for the Herald this week:

Bright Star. “Measured, murmuring.”

Jennifer’s Body. “Nothing gets in the way of the one-liners.”

Love Happens. “One watches this movie wishing for a bit of incompetence or sloppiness.”

The Burning Plain. “Just dependent clauses.”

The Informant! “His brain spinning like a gerbil on a wheel.”

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. “Nonstop monsoon of cheeseburgers and flapjacks.”

Somers Town. “Creates a glow around itself.”

Big Fan. “Some truly unexpected twists.”

Movie Diary 9/14/2009

divorcee3The Divorcee (Robert Z. Leonard, 1930) and A Free Soul (Clarence Brown, 1931). Two Pre-Code titles with Norma Shearer. She won an Oscar for The Divorcee, which has a wild swing between slaphappy comedy and melodrama; Lionel Barrymore won the award for A Free Soul, playing Shearer’s drunky lawyer father. It’s still a Shearer-centric movie, with opposing male prototypes Clark Gable and Leslie Howard moving in orbit around her. Interesting to watch Shearer’s acting, which veers between modern looseness (especially in The Divorcee) and stage-stricken overplaying. She has a tendency to pitch to the camera, favoring a glance in the middle distance that reminds the audience of the drama going on.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Phil Lord,Christopher Miller, 2009). Zippy 3D and quick Simpsons-style patter. The movie will make you hungry. (full review 9/18)

Jennifer’s Body (Karyn Kusama, 2009). But what will all those heartwarmed Juno fans think? Scribe Diablo Cody  goes all horror-as-teen-angst-metaphor on us, as though nobody’d conceived of that before. Give credit: it must take a lot of time to manufacture those one-liners. (full review 9/18)