A lot more movie watching this month due to a heat wave and knitting.
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (13,15 06 2012) – Had some decent action sequences, but didn’t seem to have the impact of the first film. I do like the chemistry between RDJ and Jude Law though. I am not a huge JL fan, but I feel he is a great Watson. I love his and Martin Freeman’s the best, and he slightly edges over the latter by being a tad more badass. It was also surprising to see Lane Pryce as Moraiarity and to watch Lisebth Salander as a gypsy. All in all, an ok sequel, but I will keep watching.
Black Swan (15 06 2012) – Yes, I finally saw this. What a trip. This movie was creepy and messed up. There is a reason why I haven’t watched Darren Aronofsky movies until now. I don’t watch horror films in general and this borders on that with psychological thriller. I found this movie was a tad too long. As a ballerina movie, I prefer The Red Shoes. I think it was worthwhile to see BS because it seemed everyone I knew had seen it. Why are there two major film works about the nature of ballerinas and self-destruction? I guess it is a harsh art form. The dance sequences were good. I liked the Black Swan stage dance the most. Good casting with all the females. I’ve watched Natalie Portman in a number of roles. She has been an ingenue for a long time. Since The Professional, her role as the innocent beauty has been cemented. She is the most innocent and fragile in this movie and also the reverse. It’s not really a surprise she won the Oscar for this role. I’ve liked Mila Kunis since “That 70s Show” and am glad she got this role to elevate her career. I do think some images from the film are memorable enough and it does stay with you.
Shame (20 06 2012) – Ahh, Michael Fassbender, how I adore thee. This movie lives up to its hype, it was well shot, had great acting, emotionally difficult to watch, and had a fantastic soundtrack. It was also very realistic in its awkwardness and depressing tone. Most of the sex scenes in this movie are very unsexy. The more you watched the film, the sadder it became. Like Ebert, I found this movie great, but I doubt I will watch it a second time because of how real it was.
Cleopatra (21-22 06 2012) – The most expensive film ever made. Epic, lush, and with a star studded cast, this was probably one of the last epic films of the pre-1970s film era. It’s always fascinating to watch such films before computer generated graphics. Rex Harrison was the right Caesar. Richard Burton was over the top, but Elizabeth Taylor looked fantastic. She was gorgeous and had such an amazing wardrobe. I believed the Cleopatra romance with Caesar but, I didn’t see how Cleopatra fell in love with Mark Anthony. I guess it was just love at first sight for both of them. Octavian is an ass through this whole film and oddly flamboyant for a general. This movie flopped at the box office and no surprise because while extremely well done, it was too long. I had to fast forward through some of the second half. It was dragging. Unlike say “Ben-Hur” or “The Ten Commandments”, this movie doesn’t have the Christian connection which probably made audiences less likely to watch it all the way through. I’m glad I watched it, but I don’t think I could rewatch it just because it really wore on.
Beginners (25 06 2012) – A sweet, slow and reflective film with a great cast. How can Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor ever be wrong? It was also lovely to see Mélanie Laurent again after “Inglorious Basterds”. Plummer is lovely, but Ewan is so quiet in this role. I rarely have seen him so vulnerable. Also, I liked the Jack Russell terrier.
Death on the Nile (25 06 2012) – This should have been called Deaths on the Nile. This was a bloody one. I don’t remember much of prequel Murder on the Orient Express, but I think I saw it. I any case, I know I have seen this Poirot before. It’s an amusing film like most Christie adaptations are. They shot it on location in Egypt and it looks good. The costumes and the cast are the best parts. Angela Lansbury’s character spends the whole thing drunk. David Niven looks only about ten years older than he did in he 1930s; I do like the Niven. I found Mia Farrow believably English in this too. I also like Poirot pops up everywhere and randomly eavesdropping on everywhere.