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Monday Movies: Nothing

I didn’t watch a single movie this week. I did finish the first two seasons of Homicide: Life on the Street, but this weekend we were too busy moving The Girlfriend into the new apartment.

Did you watch any movies this week, dear readers? If so, which ones? How did you assess their quality?


May 31, 2010 - Posted by | Monday Movies


  1. i watched two movies on netflix and two on youtube
    Silk, i watched it pretty skeptically, first, he travels through the whole Europe, Russia and Siberia too quickly for the 19th century, just 2-3 sentences and cadres, then reaches Japan which is very beautiful of course and kinda shown pretty detailed, but not enough and falls in love with a geisha, though left home a beautiful wife Keira Knightley etc
    but I liked Lorna’s silence, a good actress there, very believable acting, it’s about illegal immigration, guilt and fictional pregnancy
    on youtube i watched two Russian movies from the 70-ies, An almost funny story it translates like that i guess, another one Sueta suet , very funny too

    Comment by read | May 31, 2010

  2. We got halfway into Andrew Bujalski’s Beeswax and stopped. It’s more boring than his Funny Ha-Ha and Mutual Appreciation, both of which I rather liked. I’ll have to figure out why, since his bag of tricks doesn’t seem greatly changed.

    Comment by k-sky | May 31, 2010

  3. I watched Belgium’s submission for 2010 Oscar consideration, De Helaasheid der Dingen (The Shittiness of Things), and then Compulsion. The former was really very good. I liked it a lot more than I expected I might. Thoughtful, and even poetic, w/out being pretentiously showy about it — quintessentially Belgian in that respect, I suppose.

    The latter was fine — notable really, though, only for Orson Welles’ climactic speech.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | May 31, 2010

  4. Is that the translation of ‘De Helaasheid der Dingen’? That is a really shitty translaton then. Better: “The Bummerness of Stuff”. But I guess ‘shit’ sells better, even if it does not have a whole lot to do with ‘Helaas’.

    Comment by Earnest O'Nest | June 1, 2010

  5. That is the informal translation of the movie — though its official English title is the “Misfortunates.” My wife, who is Flemish, had no problem w/ the translation. Probably because “Bummerness” is such a shitty word.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | June 1, 2010

  6. I just finished Double Indemnity this morning — really phenomenal. Totally worth getting again after it was mysteriously returned without my involvement.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | June 1, 2010

  7. i watched a lot because i was on a plane:

    delicatessen – finally. i liked this a lot, probably because it combined a form of cutsey-ness with cannibalism successfully. enjoyed the beginning more than the ending. the parts focussing on the underground people was kind of boring to me.

    bodyguards & assassins – i liked it mostly for it’s hong kong ness than anything else. enjoyable.

    brothers – could have had the potential to go awry given the plot (2 brothers: one just out of prison and the other a marine. the latter dies) but treated very well. perhaps its non-formulaity can be attributed to being an adaptation of a danish film (which i assume was an independent one).

    there’s something about mary – light entertainment on the plane to contrast with previous 2 movies listed. i hadn’t seen it besides a few scenes here and there. pretty standard. i liked in the final scene when ben stiller walks away he cries all ‘nerdily’.

    lebanon – well worth watching. stylistcally very interesting use of army tank periscope/crosshair technology; set inside an army tank which makes me think of stuff like 12 angry men etc. although in terms of plot and resolution (or lackthereof) i can understand why it ended when it did (and the final scene was great aesthetically), the pacing wasn’t quite right in the latter half of the film. (i suspect overall i like films more for their ‘setting up’ of the movie – ie the beginning – rather than endings though).

    shit, today is tuesday.

    Comment by sarah expletive | June 1, 2010

  8. I couldn’t actually follow what the underground people were all about in Delicatessen.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | June 1, 2010

  9. I watched Speed in honor of Dennis Hopper’s passing. I know, I should probably have watched something like Easy Rider or Apocalypse now but they weren’t offered for free through my cable company’s DVR. I don’t think I need to say much about the quality of the movie.

    I did think it was funny that after the bus runs into the plane and blows both up, they felt the need to show the guy who was in the vehicle towing the plane jump out and run away. Very GI Joe.

    I’m embarrassed that the only movie I’ve seen of the ones mentioned above is There’s Something About Mary. I can say that when I saw the cast for Brothers, I told my wife that casting agents had tired of deciding between Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire so they obviously petitioned to have both in the same film.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | June 1, 2010

  10. a form of cutsey-ness with cannibalism successfully

    Further research: Eating Raoul

    (Who dare call Paul Bartel ‘cutesy’? None dare call. A form of something, though.)

    Comment by k-sky | June 1, 2010

  11. Watched “Transformers 2” last night. It was fantastic despite the fact that I didn’t understand the plot and couldn’t the robots apart.

    Comment by Craig | June 1, 2010

  12. Bummerness ís no doubt a shitty word but shitty misses some key elements of ‘helaas’. Anyway – glad to hear your wife & I have something in common.

    ‘Misfortunates’ though ugly seems to a better job of mixing a glance of something positive with lots of negative.

    Comment by Earnest O'Nest | June 2, 2010

  13. Re: “Misfortunates”: that’s true, and something I’d not actually considered. Certainly fits w/ the movie itself. Have you seen it?

    Comment by Brad Johnson | June 2, 2010

  14. Well, no, the author of the inspiring book took the liberty of writing about real people using their real names and I’m having serious problems with that concept. The author is as well too close for my comfort to L.P. Boon (whom is so dear to my heart that people should, in my view, keep respectful distance).

    Comment by Earnest O'Nest | June 2, 2010

  15. Interesting. Both are from Aalst, so you may be on to something there. Boon looks interesting. I will track down some of his stuff when I’m in Belgium this summer.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | June 2, 2010

  16. I happened upon the Tom Cruise comedy Risky Business this weekend (it’s streaming on Netflix) and was, by pop-culture standards, thoroughly pleased with the movie. In ways, it’s a precursor to the ‘Teen Sex-Comedy’ genre that blew up in the 90s; but it’s arguably the best Teen Sex-Comedy ever made, in large part because it succeeds at being a satire. Not only is the dialogue spot on, but it’s repeated use of the moving handheld camera gives it an unexpected authenticity. It’s satirical and more-or-less honest handling of subjects (first-time sex, consumerism, coming-of-age, and teenage angst, insecurity and fantasy) is very reminiscent of The Graduate, and the almost entirely Tangerine Dream-based soundtrack recalls Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack to The Graduate. Tom Cruise plays the role perfectly as well. It’s also a Chicago movie, and all Chicagoans will be able to appreciate the infamous sex-on-the-CTA scene even more. All of this to say, I highly recommend it.

    Comment by Timothy Sommer | June 2, 2010

  17. Brad, I vote for Abel Gholaerts; not the most popular one – and enjoy Belgium, while it lasts ;-)

    But I’m sure you will particularly enjoy “Daens” of which a movie was made as well.

    Comment by Earnest O'Nest | June 3, 2010

  18. Thanks. My spoken Dutch is still pretty piss poor, which gets me out of a lot of conversations w/ the in-laws, but I have enough patience to deal w/ it in written form. I always enjoy my trips to Belgium.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | June 3, 2010

  19. If your spoken Dutch is piss poor, you would normally blend in nicely in the fields of Flanders. (Just kidding.)

    Comment by Earnest O'Nest | June 4, 2010

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