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The 39 Steps (1935)
Hitchcock is awesome
The new dvd has considerably better sound quality than the old tape but this has been one of my favorites since I first saw it. The situations are funny the mystery hangs together and the direction is wonderful, make sure to check out the scene where the camera pulls out of a moving car and then pans to follow.
Forces of Nature (1999)
cleverer than its add campaign but not clever enough
Spoilers within This is 'Planes Trains, and automobiles' meets Sandra Bullock. Ben Affleck plays a groom with cold feet who is being conspired against by the universe when in sweeps the delectable Sandra. At this point we are treated to the usual combinations of thin excuses and bizarre incidents that force our principles together anyone who has seen a romantic comedy or a buddy movie is familiar with this sort of thing. The twist and this is hard to catch, and from the reviews not catching it can lead to disappointment, is that Sandra is one of the forces of nature basically she is a love goddess. The clues are: everyone she meets loves her (ben even mentions this), abusive husband aphrodite was in love with ares the jerk of Olympus, and her kid in the final scene is shown holding a bow and arrow which makes sense in no other context than he is eros. Viewed that way Sandra personifies fate getting these two together if you like a strong and blatant element of fate in your romantic comedy go with Joe vs the volcano or the wonderfully dark A life less ordinary.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
not 'the one' only a potential
Most sequels die either of overreach or too much use of the xerox during script writing. This had the curious problem of underreach (spoilers ahead). Neo demonstrates less power than in 'Matrix' while Trinity and Morpheus are both more capable than we saw before. The action has become perfunctory lacking both the visceral effectiveness (hallway shootout), sly humor (tumbleweed/newspaper), and freshness of the first film.
A futility pervades almost all the action. During the ballyhooed Neo/Smiths combat there are no visible injuries. Now I'm not a big fan of manglings but when the participants in an all out brawl are uninjured after a few minutes I have to ask myself what are they doing here? Without the action these movies don't have the legs to be satisfying and I'm afraid that this time the action looks like it was included just because they knew they had to. 6/10
The Day of the Locust (1975)
only watch this on a bet
This was the dullest experience in my entire life. The actors do a good job with their characterizations but I couldn't summon the effort to actually care about any of them and the story moves so slowly it is hard to even stay awake by the climax it is too much to late. Even if you love these actors go see one of their better films one that couples action, humor, dialogue, or at least great visuals with decent acting.
L.A. Confidential (1997)
Even in color some of the greatest film noir ever
Ambition, lust, greed, this is how to motivate heros. The central figures are never sugar coated and become the greater for it, nothing so cornball as good triumphant here just bad men stopping evil men, but you almost feel like they are good guys and we can feel hope for ourselves as well. Plus a good script, wonderful direction, and Kim Basinger in those period dresses wow. A must see movie on the order of The Big Sleep or The Maltese Falcon.