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Monday Movies

Moving and getting settled into a new neighborhood have continued to eat into our movie time. This week, we only got to two:

  • City Lights — I’ve seen a couple other Chaplin films and enjoyed them, but this was just awesome. We were laughing throughout, but I also felt genuinely tense when it seemed like the Little Tramp was going to experience a major injustice. Highly recommended.
  • Arsenic and Old Lace — in theory, this should’ve been good. In reality, it was just tedious. Cary Grant was obnoxious in his “perpetually shocked” mode, and the pacing was too slow to carry the twists and near misses in the plot. We were both thinking this sounded great, and it was a major disappointment.

I’ve got the Marx Bros. A Day at the Races at home currently, and Animal House (part of my “what, you’ve never watched that?!” series) is caught in the shuffle of mail forwarding. I’m planning on starting season 1 of The Larry Sanders Show soon, or at least it’s next on my queue.

My goal of reducing my queue down to around 50 has been achieved, but I think I’d like to get it down to around 40 before I really start adding anything. Now I’m starting to wonder if there’s a level that’s too low for your queue as well — where instead of being intimidated by the opaque list of films that you know you added for a reason but can’t remember why, you are effectively faced with the vertigo of being able to watch “anything.”

In somewhat related news, we went with Richard and some friends from Olivet to The Farnsworth Invention, Aaron Sorkin’s play about the invention of television. It was amazing to me how the dialogue was exactly like West Wing — but also how his techniques still work, even after you know them intimately. The pacing, the witty rejoinders, the occasional earnestness: it makes for good entertainment.


June 7, 2010 - Posted by | Monday Movies


  1. You are exactly right about Arsenic and Old Lace and Aaron Sorkin’s techniques.

    I have not made progress on Little Murders. But I’m excited to!

    Get Him To The Greek was diverting. I enjoy the trend in comedy of men working their way through earnest, half-baked semi-therapeutic realizations. And in a movie with otherwise haphazard, careless direction, the furry walls/Jeffrey sequence was masterfully timed.

    Comment by k-sky | June 7, 2010

  2. I watched La Moustache and Bonjour, Monsieur Shlomi”
    one is like a psychological study, not yet a thriller, b/c it never gets scary, another one is a melodrama, pretty simple
    but i enjoyed both

    Comment by read | June 7, 2010

  3. I was reading The Prestige on the plane the other day* and although I’ve never seen the movie, the casting information on imdb tells me that this question has already been answered. Basically, I guess it’s a draw.

    *This book fulfilled my single qualification for perfect plane novel, viz., from first page to last, it took me from the security checkpoint at LAX right up to the baggage carousel at JFK.

    Comment by jms | June 7, 2010

  4. Care to help us with identifying the question? The link doesn’t go to any particular comment.

    Comment by ben | June 7, 2010

  5. Oh, I meant stras’ question in 4.

    Comment by jms | June 7, 2010

  6. Just because I’ll likely forget about it next week: I watched A Day at the Races and didn’t like it. Too many SNL-esque over-long skits.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | June 8, 2010

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