2/28: Broken Lizard's Club Dread (2004): 5/10
Club Dread was okay. It was a slightly better movie than
Super Troopers, but didn't have a lot of the great comedic
moments. There were some funny lines and a few laughs here
and there, but even for a guilty pleasure it was somewhat
disappointing. I give it a 5, and that's generous.
2/28: The Dreamers (2004): 5/10
In a word, messy. As much as I disliked the film, I have
to admit that I loved the soundtrack, which seemed to be
more of an homage to the time than anything else in the
film. The sex and incestual bits didn't really bother me
too much, but the problems were really in the character
development and messy plot.
2/27: Seven Samurai (1954): 10/10
Another film who many others have raved about before me.
Still, this was probably the quickest 3.5 hours I've spent
in a film, and that includes the Lord of the Rings experience.
Toshiro Mifune really was fantastic.
2/26: The 400 Blows (1959): 10/10
It's hard to say much about films that have already been
written about endlessly. This film definitely deserves its
masterpiece status, and Antoine is one of the more interesting
characters I've seen in film.
2/25: I am Trying to Break Your Heart (2002): 7/10
This is the Wilco movie about their troubles recording
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. It's a well-done film, probably more
oriented towards fans of the band. I didn't care for the
pot shots they took on former guitarist Jay Bennett, or
for the David Fricke insights, but it was still a good film.
2/24: Vertigo (1958): 10/10 - second viewing
Many consider this to be Hitchcock's masterpiece. I still
think that Rebecca deserves that title, but this is definitely
2/23: Once Upon a Time in the West (1968): 10/10 - second
Cheyenne's (Jason Robards) comment about the hero late
in the film seems to sum up Leone's directorial style. "He's
whittlin' on a piece of wood. I've got a feeling when he
stops whittlin'... Somethin's gonna happen." Something
does indeed happen, but the pacing is very deliberate, almost
as if Leone were whittling some wood with his characters,
as the story worked itself to the final conflict. This film,
simply put, is a masterpiece.
2/22: The Twilight Samurai (2004): 8/10
Instead of a sweeping epic with momentous battles, this
is a character-driven film set during the beginning of the
Meiji Restoration. It's a little melodramatic, obvious,
and a bit tugging, but I found it to be a wonderful tale
about complicated people living during a period of transition.
2/19: The Graduate (1967): 9/10
2/18: Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972): 7/10
2/17: Glory (1989): 10/10 - second viewing
One of the greatest war epics ever. It's as simple as that.
2/17: Lucia, Lucia (2003): 3/10
Pretty poor writing really dragged this film down. Towards
the end, I really didn't care anymore what happened to any
of the characters.
2/16: Waiting for Guffman (1996): 7/10
Probably the weakest of all the Guest films, but still
extremely funny with some classic dialog. "We consider
ourselves bi-coastal if you consider the Mississippi River
one of the coasts."
2/16: Tokyo Godfathers (2004): 6/10
After seeing the brilliance of Kon's last film, Millennium
Actress, this was a little disappointing. The story chugged
along, and at times it was quite dull, but the end was strong
enough to warrant a positive rating.
2/15: Under the Tuscan Sun (2003): 5/10
This movie really looked good, and had some terrific elements.
I haven't read the book, but I think it suffers from too
faithful of an adaptation, when the boo isn't fiction to
begin with. The story was not very interesting, and there
wasn't much else to keep one's attention. I was disappointed
that there weren't very many shots of scenic Tuscany, which
in itself would have made the film much more visually interesting.
2/15: Secondhand Lions (2003): 3/10
Robert Duvall was the only thing that made this film even
watchable. Michael Caine was disappointingly hideous, and
the writing was some of the worst of the year. If you're
thinking about watching this film, go see Big Fish instead.
Similar story, but 10 times better.
2/14: Lost in Translation (2003): 10/10 - third
This film just gets better every time.
2/13: The Triplets of Belleville (2003): 8/10
Everything about this film is unique, from the animation
style, to the plot, and it is the only film I have ever
seen that has a steady narrative without dialog. About halfway
through the movie, I noticed that I had a constant smile
on my face, which is very surprising for me. Maybe it's
because this was so unique and visually impressive. Maybe
it was the constant train barking, which never got old.
2/12: Intolerable Cruelty (2003): 8/10 - second
This isn't the Coen's greatest film, but any stretch. It
does still have a lot going for it, such as some of their
best dialog (of course that is always a strength) and some