Movie Diary 11/2/2010

The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010). A rather good true story, of King George VI (Colin Firth), his lifelong stutter, and a speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) of unorthodox methods. And so the movies take a crack at it. (full review 12/10)

Due Date (Todd Phillips, 2010). Downey and Galifianakis, a good visual duo, road-tripping it through set-pieces and impossible slapstick. (full review 11/5)

The Invisible Man (James Whale, 1933). Halloween viewing. A little crueler and less humorous than memory had it, although the movie definitely has humor, and a lot of Whale’s Englishness shining through. And the special effects still delight.

The Puppet Master (David Schmoeller, 1989). Guess which new horror box set I get to review for Amazon.com. This one, a weirdly insistent series from producer Charles Band, featuring some awful acting and puppets that kill, obviously.

Vampyr (Carl-Theodor Dreyer, 1932). The movie gets cooler and stranger each time you watch it. It might contain a collection of horror trappings, but Dreyer wants to travel into another realm, one that has little to do with genre.

And: No KUOW appearance Wednesday morning. Something about the President addressing the nation.

Movie Diary 6/24/2010

Haxan (Benjamin Christensen, 1921). Kicking around some ideas for Frye Museum presentations in the fall. Haven’t seen this since a campus screening many years ago, which was undoubtedly with the William S. Burroughs narration – something the purer version of course lacks. (Though you miss Burroughs, somehow.) Plenty of hot interest in depravity here.

Vampyr (Carl-Theodore Dreyer, 1932). Thanks to Criterion’s DVD, a movie that seems like you’re seeing it anew. One thing about Dreyer, he takes about 30 seconds at the beginning of his movies to establish that a real film director is in charge.

Grown Ups (Dennis Dugan, 2010). Adam Sandler’s niceness coming through as usual, Rob Schneider in an intentionally bad toupee, Kevin James demolishing a backyard pool. Not much else beyond that. (full review 6/25)

Daddy Longlegs (Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie, 2009). An unusual act of empathy and imagination, as an irresponsible father is depicted without judgment. Amazing performance in the central role by Ronald Bronstein, the guy who directed the very fine Frownland, which had a similar kind of integrity as this film. (full review 6/25)