Waiting for ‘Superman’ (2010), Davis Guggenheim ★★★★
The New York rubber room, where under discipline teachers awaiting their verdicts sit around all day playing cards or sleeping, while being paid their full salary for weeks, was especially disturbing. When watching a documentary on the plight of our children and schools, you can’t help but look for someone to blame, and the unions certainly stick their head up out of the hole for a whack.
Superman III (1983), Richard Lester ★★★★
After watching this I started it again – just to see the opening sequence chain reaction scenes. The first frames start out with Richard Pryor standing in line, flipping a yoyo, and progress outside in a worth the price of admission follow the action slapstick opening credits – which includes an uncredited Bill Murray walking his dog, or was it the other way around?
The Shallows (2016)
So I’m sitting there, hating this movie, already writing off my $8.60, when the movie cuts off. Loss of power. Everyone is still sitting there as I stand up, walk out and turn into the walkway to the entrance and one by one people are coming out of their theaters – all movies cut off! Got my money and was out of there. Watched maybe 40 minutes of the 87 minute film – would not recommend it. I’m not going back.
Journey to the West (2014), Tsai Ming Liang ★★★★★
The Day of the Jackal (1973), Fred Zinnemann ★★★★★ rewatch
One of the best Police procedural films. The lead detective, who first shows maybe a third into the film, is played by Michel Lonsdale (who was the samurai figurine painting GSW surgeon in Ronin).
The Conjuring 2 (2016), James Wan ★★★★★
There’s the usual horror films, then there’s James Wan – of which I’ve seen Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2, and The Conjuring. Patrick Wilson once again continues his collaboration with Wan (Insidious, The Conjuring, Insidious: Chapter 2), as well as Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring). You’ll be planted in your seat through the first 1/4 of the credit roll.
The Nice Guys (2016), Shane Black ★
I actually thought this would be good. I was excited and hopeful when the opening bars to The Temptation’s Papa Was A Rolling Stone started at the beginning – but like leading a horse to water that turns out to be salty, they didn’t even cough up for some vocals and they cut out the singing. Not – one – 70s – song – in – the – whole – film. What a gyp. How can this compete with Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice (2014), or David O. Russell’s American Hustle (2013)? Dialog was a jumbled mess. Plot all over the whole creation. I would’ve passed on the dvd, let alone pay money to see this. Live and learn.
Stray Dogs (2013), Tsai Ming-liang ★★★★★ movie of the week
My second Tsai Ming-liang film, following Goodbye, Dragon Inn. Nick Pinkerton in Reverse Shot says if interviews surrounding Stray Dogs’ premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival are to be believed, it’s very possibly the last film that Tsai will make for cinemas. That would be a shame.
Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003), Tsai Ming-liang ★★★★★
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2015), Roy Andersson ★★★★★ rewatch
The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942), Henri-Georges Clouzot ★★★
Benny’s Video (1992), Michael Haneke ★★★★★
The Science of Sleep (2006), Michel Gondry
Since I didn’t finish watching this and hit eject, I can’t rate this meandering, jumbled up tangled stream of celluloid. The little I did see of this reminded me of Mood Indigo (2014), which I also ejected.
The French Connection (1971), William Friedkin ★★★★★ rewatch
A Tale of Springtime (1990), Eric Rohmer ★★★★★
Autumn Tale (1998), Eric Rohmer ★★★★★
Black Coal, Thin Ice (2014), Diao Yinan ★★★