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Anchors Aweigh (1945)
Goes on...and on...and on...and on...
I like those old MGM musicals - Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, and the gang - but this was not one of them. At a bloated 2 hours and 23 minutes, it goes on long after it should have ended. It seemed like every three minutes, there was some excuse for a musical number. People would just up and sing. Jose Iturbi is a fantastic pianist, but there are so many times that the plot takes a back seat for him to play the piano. Interminable dance routines. All of this gets distracting. Kathryn Grayson is extremely tolerant of these strange sailors who barge in and out of her house, lie to her, and interfere in her private affairs.
The only parts that are worth tuning in for is the wonderful cartoon sequence with Tom & Jerry, as well as Iturbi's performance at the Hollywood Bowl accompanied by a group of teenage virtuosos.
Un conte de Noël (2008)
A movie that has its moments, but so very long-winded
A long drawn-out tale of a father bringing his dysfunctional family together at Christmas after Mom is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The actors are in fine form, and the situations are realistic, but there is scene after scene of bones to pick, icy silence, and family members constantly telling each other (over and over) how much they like don't them. In addition, all of the characters have individual scenes with each other: mother and son, mother and daughter, mother and son's girlfriend, father and cousin, father and daughter, grandson and.... etc., etc., etc. I had some head-scratching moments too where major insults and fights in which I expected a full dramatic blow-up were met with a smirk or complete indifference. If it were slashed in half, (well, at least by a third), this film could have been just as effective.
The American (2010)
Not the suspenseful nail-biter it was described to be
I've liked a lot of George Clooney's movies, but this is not one of them. My wife and I found it very dull. If you enjoy watching endless scenes of him brood, stare off into space, and look away pensively, then you'll like this. That's about all he does throughout the entire movie. Several scenes ended with someone asking him a pointed question, and he just looks away and stares, camera cuts. However, camera lingers endlessly on him having sex with a prostitute and watching a woman walk up a hill and plant a metal rifle practice target into the ground. We know he is an assassin who has other assassins trailing him. However, those assassins had ample time to kill him, but instead just wait around, giving George (Jack) the edge. The opening scene describes this to a "T." Even when he is shot in the stomach, he walks to his car and drives to a remote location without even realizing he is bleeding profusely from the stomach. It's during his drive that he looks down and sees blood. He then begins "the dying process" only after seeing his own blood.