Fired Up Monkeys in Class (Weekly Links)

No advance screenings for Madea Goes to Jail, unfortunately (Tyler Perry is an interesting phenomenon, but they’ve given up on screening his movies for an irrelevant press). Some uncharacteristically good things showing up on Oscar weekend, though. Reviews I wrote for the Herald:

firedupFired Up. “A funny movie, smartly cast and played at a rapid-fire pace.”

Ballast. “A ton of bricks.”

Three Monkeys. “The buck doesn’t stop here.”

The Class. “Just a little less exciting than its reputation.”

Medicine for Melancholy. “Usually, this is called stalking.”

Movie Diary 12/17/2008

The Class (Laurent Cantet, 2008). The Cannes winner, and a definite recovery from Cantet’s Heading South. But if you haven’t seen his films Time Out and Human Resources, make those priorities. (full review 2/20)

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (John Irvin, 1980). Finished the last chapter of this one tonight. Somehow the drabness of a TV production is just right for Cold War material. Alec Guinness does a lot doing nothing; he looks like the author of a story he knows the ending to, patiently waiting for everybody else to get there.

Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson, 1992). The short film, on the Criterion BR DVD. Among other things it shows that Anderson needs the room to build longer, specifically paced scenes — in short form, his style looks hyper.