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Monday Movies:

This week, I watched the following films:

  • The American — this marked the first time I’ve watched a movie during the week in a while. I was swamped with work for the last few weeks, but now things have slowed down to the point where I felt I could indulge and watch a movie in the morning. This was the most relaxing thriller I’ve ever seen in my life, showcasing George Clooney’s skill in portraying a socially isolated low-level functionary who does terrible things and yet still gets you to root for him.
  • Unforgiven — continuing our Western kick, The Girlfriend and I went for the late-career Clint Eastwood and found him to be even better. The ambivalent treatment of the Western myth, neither fully debunking nor fully embracing it, was masterfully done, as was the gradual unfolding of Gene Hackman’s character. The Girlfriend thought the kid’s character was overly annoying, but I pointed out that it might be realistic that a person like that would become anxious in the face of Clint Eastwood’s taciturn bearing and thus be overly chatty. Overall, a triumph.
  • Heathers — we watched part of this at E. Bolden’s, and wow was it ever bizarre. The popular girls are the ones who dress like the Golden Girls?! There were so many great lines that I’m surprised “what’s your damage” became the catchphrase. My personal favorite when Christian Slater said that a jock’s only likely future contribution to society would be “date-rapes and AIDS jokes.”
  • The Brothers Grimm — another partial viewing, this time concluded because we were frankly bored. The Terry Gilliam formula can be great, but it can also be labored and dull.

January 31, 2011 - Posted by | Monday Movies


  1. i watched _Blame it on Fidel_, 5 stars, nostalgic and recognizable , i too wore demiseason coats and plead skirts and took care of my younger sister and wished for a more settled life for my pretty chaotic always at work busy parents, i too remember worrying about chilean junta, chinese gang of four, indonesia, cambodia, vietnam war, remember echoes of Salvador Aliende and Victor Hara assassinations, then when we grew a bit 1985, perestroika, glasnost, all horrors of stalinism revealed so i lost all interest in global politics and just studied at the medschool, and struggled with economical meltdown of the country like everybody else, so i enjoyed the movie to learn that things were not that different on the other side too
    else_1981_also evoked the same feelings, _A handful of dust_, five stars too
    _The bothersome man_ a pretty disturbing movie, recognizable at times too, the detachment of one in a new city, how he sniffs everything, a very that, like surreal, movie, slow though, crude physiology, gruesome injuries, the final throwing him out into the snow blizzard as a dissident is reminiscent of gulags i guess, and that’s how death must look like i always thought
    _American_was the only movie i watched in the movie theater last yr, beautiful i thought, just kinda like not very well thought through that, plotwise

    Comment by read | January 31, 2011

  2. plead=plaid, the girl in the movie is a few years older than me, i was politically actively conscious from ’76-77 to ’85, i guess
    and i just regretted that _The American_ wouldn’t become like a masterpiece for JC to be remembered by it, so great visually movie but that’s all that it is and felt like such a waste of his talent

    Comment by read | January 31, 2011

  3. We put in The Other Guys to test out our new TV and ended up just watching it. I love how many different recurring jokes there are in that movie.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | January 31, 2011

  4. I saw The King’s Speech, which was totally entertaining and great. Adam’s summary here is accurate, except that the premise of the film — the king’s attempt to overcome his speech impediment — really is kind of compelling. Or at least, by virtue of being the premise of the film, it is necessarily the most compelling thing happening on the screen. I know that doesn’t sound promising, but it’s hilarious at the climax of the film, when the war has broken out and air raids on London have begun, and the English people are all huddled around their radio sets, terrified and listening tensely to the king’s speech. And I swear to god, it takes effort to realize that what they’re actually worried about is the war. I mean, it is an extremely tense moment, for the audience as well, but the only thing on our minds is, dear God, is he going to stutter?

    I also saw Suspense, a 1946 ice skating mystery-suspense melodrama starring the Olympic ice skater Belita, which film I learned about and obtained through the generosity of snarkout. It was completely insane. I can’t think of any other film I’ve seen that has combined the genres of mystery/suspense and sports/dance movie. It was not entirely successful, but it had some great moments. Also, some great ice dancing.

    Comment by jms | January 31, 2011

  5. Wait — I can’t believe Adam never saw Heathers until now.

    Comment by jms | January 31, 2011

  6. When I first heard the premise of King’s Speech, I thought that 25 or 30 years ago, it would have been a Mel Brooks comedy rather than an Oscar favorite.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | January 31, 2011

  7. I myself have only seen parts of Heathers.

    I have seen no movies, nor no films neither, in the past week, but I have the opportunity to watch The Social Network tonight. So I ask you all, ought I?

    OH I just remembered, I actually did see a movie this week, to wit, The Good Old Naughty Days, which was screening at the Red Vic but which I viewed in the privacy of my own home. It was not all that erotic.

    Comment by ben | January 31, 2011

  8. To be fair to Terry Gilliam, he didn’t actually write The Brothers Grimm; that was another in a long line of more mercenary mainstream projects he picked up while trying to finance his more personal, smaller-budget films. Grimm belongs with 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King and Fear and Loathing in that respect; his recent Dr. Parnassus is the closest thing he’s done to the classic Gilliam stuff of the eighties.

    Comment by stras | January 31, 2011

  9. Ben, qualified yes to The Social Network. It has great performances, snappy Sorkin-y dialogue, and clips along entertainingly. It has much less to say about The Way We Live Now than advertised, and though it thinks it is critiquing sexism it is just sexist.

    Comment by k-sky | January 31, 2011

  10. a pro argument for free

    Comment by read | January 31, 2011

  11. people may feel free to friend me there too

    Comment by read | January 31, 2011

  12. forget the hint: i’m among the liking people

    Comment by read | January 31, 2011

  13. I just watched Salt, in which Angelina Jolie plays the MacGyver of Death. She uses an unconscious body as a silencer. She uses a taser to turn the police officer driving the car she’s hijacked into a marionette. She even uses her lips as a lasso!

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | January 31, 2011

  14. Turned off Green Zone and Parnassus very early. Watched some of Pandora’s Box again last night.

    Three Sisters with Maiden Hearts – Naruse 35
    Harakari – Kobayashi 62
    Gion Bayashi – Mizoguchi 52
    Double Suicide – Shinoda 69
    Floating Weeds – Ozu 59

    Comment by bob mcmanus | January 31, 2011

  15. Last night I watched The French Connection. I think I put it on my list a super long time ago when I was on a Gene Hackman kick. It was reasonably entertaining, particularly the car-train chase scene highlighted by the Netflix envelope — but basically nothing to write home about.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | February 3, 2011

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