Sunday, August 7, 2016

#579 The Heiress

The Heiress is about a young woman who falls in love with a man who only wants her for her money. It's very clear from the beginning that this is the case, considering how persistent he is about pursuing her. It is understandable how she falls in love with him so easily. He is very handsome and sweet, and she is not used to being an object of affection, especially considering that her father sees her as nothing but a disappointment. Even though I should have been agreeing with her father and wanting her to stay away from Morris, I ended up agreeing with her aunt and wanting everything to work out even though I knew he didn't love her. After she tells him that her father will disinherit her, it is really no surprise that he doesn't show up that night to elope with her, but it is still heartbreaking. I really wanted to believe that he did care for her even though he so obviously did not.
At the end of the movie, however, Catherine gets her revenge. Morris comes back a few years after her father dies and asks her to marry him. Catherine is no longer meek and shy, but has hardened after the harsh realities she has faced from realizing that neither her father nor the man she loved cared for her at all. She agrees to marry him, but when he shows up with the carriage like she thought he would years before, she bolts the door and goes upstairs while he is pounding on the door. Haha! Fuck you Morris!

#578 The Killer

The Killer is about an assassin with a soft spot for women and children, and a cop who has a soft spot for the assassin. The assassin accidentally blinds a singer during a shoot out and then accepts another job so that he can pay for an eye operation for her. Meanwhile he is being hunted down by men hired by his boss as well as a police officer who starts to respect him after he goes out of his way to save a little girl. The assassin and the cop spend the movie pointing guns at each other until they team up for a final shootout at a church with a bunch of doves flying around.
I'm not a big fan of shoot-em-up action movies, but I actually liked this movie. I liked all of the scenes of the assassin, cop, and singer together. Like the scene where they spend the whole time pointing guns and each other and subtly threatening each other while talking about soccer so that the singer didn't know what was going on.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

#577 Beau Travail

While there are some visually interesting parts in this movie, I have to admit that I found this movie boring. A lot of it is shots of the legionnaires training, and there's not a lot of dialogue. This was also probably the most normal character that I've seen Denis Lavant play. I've previously seen him in a few Leos Carax films, which have all been pretty strange (especially Holy Motors), as well as A Very Long Engagement and that movie where he played a Charlie Chaplin impersonator. Here he plays an ex-officer in the French Foreign Legion who looks back on his time in Africa. This film doesn't really have a story, which is probably why it didn't keep my interest. I also wasn't interested in any of the characters.

#576 All That Heaven Allows

I loved both "Written on the Wind" and "Imitation of Life," which were also directed by Douglas Sirk, so that is the main reason for wanting to see this film. While I like the other two better, I did like this film as well. It is about a widow with two grown kids who falls in love with the much younger man who trims her trees. She comes from a very gossipy, snobbish world, and while she pretends that she doesn't care what people think, she lets the people around her convince her to break off her engagement with the man she loves. I found myself getting very angry at her children, especially her son. He makes a big deal about how she must only like him for his muscles and how dare she want to give up their home that's been in their family for years. Then, after she breaks up with Rock Hudson, he tells her that the house is too big for one person and that she should sell it. Eventually, she realizes that her kids are a bunch of selfish jerks, and gets back together with him, but since this is a Douglas Sirk melodrama, he, of course, has to get in an accident first.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

#575 Caravaggio

I didn't know anything about Caravaggio before I saw this movie, and now that I've watched it, I still don't know anything, except that he was an Italian painter. This movie is about Caravaggio (obviously) who is dying and looking back on his life, and the man he loved (played by a sexy young Sean Bean). I thought that since an image of Dexter Fletcher as young Caravaggio is used in all of the posters I've seen for this film, it would be switching back and forth between young Caravaggio and older Caravaggio. That, however, was not the case, and Dexter Fletcher was only in one scene.
I thought that the look of this film was very cool, and that the use of lighting and colors made it look like an Italian painting from that time period. I'm guessing it was the director's intent to make the film look like a Caravaggio painting. Since the only Caravaggio paintings I've seen are in this film, I can't really say if that is the case or not.
My one major criticism about this movie is that I don't think it spent enough time on the relationships between Caravaggio and Sean Bean as well as Caravaggio and Lena. At the end when he is extremely upset about her death, and when Sean Bean's character reveals that he killed her in the name of love, both events seem out of nowhere. Up until that moment, I didn't think that Sean Bean's character even cared about Caravaggio. I thought that he was just pretending to be interested to make Lena jealous. I also want to mention how damn good looking Sean Bean is in this movie. Every time he was on screen I couldn't take my eyes off of him.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

#574 Zero For Conduct

Naughty kids! This movie is about a group of kids at an all-boys school who make a plan to rebel against their strict teachers, who are always giving them "zero for conduct" and Sunday detentions. One of their teachers is also a total creep who seems like a pedophile. It was very controversial when it was originally released, and was apparently banned for over ten years, but I thought that this film was a little anti-climactic. There's all of this build-up, where the boys are talking about their plans, and the night before, one of the boys makes this big speech, and all they really do is go on the roof and throw a bunch of stuff at their teachers. Then, the boys run to the edge of the roof and....jump? Fly away? I'm not really sure. There's definitely some surrealist influence in this movie, like in a scene when one of the teachers (the one the boys actually like) finishes a drawing and it suddenly becomes animated.

#573 L'atalante

I didn't know anything about this movie before I started watching it, so I had no idea what to expect. I ended up really liking it! It is about this young couple who gets married, he is a boat captain and she wants to get away from her tiny village and see Paris. When they get to Paris, however, the ship's first mate uses this time to see a fortune teller and steal parts for his gramophone, so she never gets to see the sights. So, at their next stop, she leaves the boat to see Paris, and her husband gets so upset that he decides to take off and leave her behind. He immediately regrets this decision, and becomes so depressed that his first mate leaves to find her. This movie has a lot of great scenes, including the scene with the street peddler who pays so much attention to the wife that the husband gets jealous, and a scene that is surprisingly sexy, considering the time period, where the husband and wife are apart, yet clearly thinking of each other when they are in their beds. I also really liked the nutty first mate character. He was like an overgrown child, with all of his cats and his cabin filled with toys, including his super creepy puppet. He also has a jar with his dead friend's hands in it, and his body is covered with these poorly drawn tattoos. Every scene with him was great to watch.