Archive for the ‘Friday Movies’ Category

Friday Movies:
Ghost Town

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008


When I wasn’t laughing, I was crying, but mostly I was laughing. Laughing a lot more than the five other people in the theatre, from what I could tell. But Ghost Town is very funny, and I am nothing if not gelastic (a word I learned from Reading the OED).

Friday Movies:
The Women

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008


Kathleen wanted to see this — and she liked it for what it was, an evening away from the office. A few “cute” laughs. With its fundamental belief in the strength of women’s friendships, the new version appealed much more to her than George Cukor’s 1939 classic.

Friday Movies:
Burn After Reading

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008


Just wait till you see what Harry Pfarrer’s making in his basement! Don’t miss it!

Friday Movies:

Saturday, September 6th, 2008


This is one of the great movies. Like the Hitchcock films of which it reminds me, Transsiberian manages to look detailed even when it’s sketchy. The balance of great script and great cast is peculiarly witchy.

Since this is only a blog, I can say, “Woody Harrelson. What an actor.” Zero as criticism but more than that, I hope, as a bit of flag waving. The man is magnificent. On top of everything else, he has the decency to be a co-star, almost a supporting actor. It took my breath away, every time I saw that battered nose.

Friday Movies:

Saturday, August 30th, 2008


Although I say, at Portico, that I’m no real hurry to see Elegy again, that’s not really true. The sound at the Angelika was so weirdly off that members of the audience spent a good ten minutes arguing with the management about how to proceed. We were all given those cheap red general admission tickets from ancient childhood as rain-check passes. I’ve never heard anything like what came out of the speakers. The dialogue was intelligible, more or less, but it was filtered into a flat, science-fiction-robot sound, and everybody’s voice came out at the same pitche.

Elegy is a beautifully sophisticated film, one whose marvels ripen in the mind as a haunting aftertaste.

Friday Movies:
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008


Woody Allen reigns in Spain. The poster is another example of egregious Hollywood “billing.” The actress playing Vicky (the first name in the title, after all) has at least as big a part as Scarlett Johansson’s, but Rebecca Hall has yet to make herself known to anything like the same extent.

Daily Office:

Friday, August 22nd, 2008



Bar Code: In typical Times fashion, John Schwartz’s story doesn’t spell out what two graduates of a private school here actually did in connection with their “freelance science project” to expose the mislabeling of fish in New York markets and restaurants — beyond shopping, dining, and marinating morsels of fish in alcohol — but Harriets the Spy everywhere are in for a technology upgrade.


Friday Movies:
Tropic Thunder

Saturday, August 16th, 2008


The salt to Zoolander‘s pepper. To the advocates who have protested on behalf of the allegedly offended intellectually challenged, this film shouts, “Take a number!” 

Friday Movies:
Pineapple Express

Saturday, August 9th, 2008


It’s just possible that Pineapple Express requires a special pair of glasses — like 3D glasses, only, in this case, the kind that comes naturally with being totally wasted. Not that it hasn’t got plenty of laughs for the cold stone sober. Only if you’re stoned yourself, however, will it seem to make sense.

Friday Movies:
Brick Lane

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008


Tannishtha Chatterjee goes straight to the top: Brick Lane.

Friday Movies:
Brideshead Revisited

Saturday, July 26th, 2008


What I really intended to see yesterday was Transsiberian. But the first showing didn’t start until 12:30, which is rather too late in the day.

I wanted to see Brideshead Revisited too, of course, but I’d thought of waiting to see it with Kathleen. But it will be awhile before the movie arrives in this neighborhood (if indeed it ever is).

This version is going to make some people very unhappy, because the character with whom you naturally identify (Charles Ryder, played beautifully by Matthew Goode) is not the character with whom, in the end, you sympathize — or ought to.

Friday Movies:
Mamma Mia!

Saturday, July 19th, 2008


I got to the theatre before almost everybody else, including the box office clerk. Standing there would have been insufferably hot without the scaffolding mounted to protect us from the adjacent building site (the Brompton), not to mention the deeply cool draft that seeped through the cracks from the foundations.

Mamma Mia! is impudent, but likeable, rubbish.

Friday Movies:
Ne le dis à personne

Saturday, July 12th, 2008


Kathleen doesn’t remember reading Harlen Coben’s book, Tell No One, but it was in the house at one point, and I tried to read it. But I had to quit at the fourth page. The prose was just awful. So I can’t compare the adaptation to the original, which is disappointing, as that’s one of my favorite things to do.

Saturday Note:

Saturday, July 5th, 2008


Although I went to the movies yesterday, and saw most of Trumbo, I’m not counting it as a Friday Movie; at any rate, I’m not writing it up. I wanted to see Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne), but was shut out both times, not factoring in the (by me unguessed-at) popularity of this recently-opened film, which happens to be showing only in two rather smallish New York theatres.

Trumbo is a good picture, and anyone unfamiliar with the blacklisted screenwriter’s story ought to see it. I did not much care for the extreme close-ups of very shaggy faces belonging to a few of the famous actors who gave dramatic readings of Trumbo’s letters — but Joan Allen quivering at the edge of tears broke me down as well, and Nathan Lane did a predictably dandy job with what’s got to be the best father-to-son letter on the subject of masturbation ever. Perhaps it’s just that I’m not crazy about seeing documentaries in theatres.

What I did in between attempts to see Tell No One can be seen here.

Friday Movies:

Saturday, June 28th, 2008


WALL-E is smart and engaging — charming, even. It’s also, at least so far as this sentient adult is concerned — devastating.

But: PS: I love WALL-E. I mean the character. He’s the new Charlie Chaplin, and I can vouch that the theatre full of kids that I saw the movie with didn’t need a primer in silent film. Not that WALL-E is silent, technically — it’s anything but. But there’s no intelligible dialogue for most of the interesting characters. It’s R2-D2 without C-3PO to interpret.

Friday Movies:

Saturday, June 14th, 2008


Mongol isn’t my kind of movie at all, but it’s an impressive film, in a D W Griffith sort of way, and I’m glad that I saw it.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a better representation of the miseries of hangover.

Friday Movies:
And When Did You Last See Your Father?

Saturday, June 7th, 2008


This is not a shot from the film. Jim Broadbent is telling us how proud his character is of his son, played here by Matthew Beard. That’s something that Arthur Morrison couldn’t quite manage whenever Blake Morrison was in the vicinity.

I loved this film — but then Blake Morrison (whose story this is) is only two years younger than I am. My own father was a sweetheart who was either working, golfing, or napping. (I do believe that eating was a form of napping for him.) But I was terrified of dads like Arthur. Come to think of it, my mother had more than a little Arthur in her.

Friday Movies:
Iron Man

Saturday, May 31st, 2008


John Favreau & Company have turned out a must-see film. When you get around to it.

Friday Movies:
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Saturday, May 24th, 2008


The most glorious reunion in film history — and a hell of a lot of fun, too!

Kathleen took yesterday off (no one has ever needed a four-day weekend more), and asked me to take her to the new blockbuster as my Friday movie. I didn’t even think of saying ‘no.’ We were warned by the ticket-seller that there were two groups of schoolkids in the theatre, but that sounded more like a draw than a detraction, and indeed they made the movie-going experience just about perfect. The low cricket of chitchat that accompanied the expository passages dropped to dead silence whenever the movie got quiet (ie menacing), while the more alarming narrative developments were met with giddy shrieks and squeals.

Friday Movies:

Saturday, May 17th, 2008


Erik watches Phillip. We should be watching Erik. Joachim Trier’s Reprise feels like the last chapter of a Bildungsroman, but one written today, not a century ago: Woody Allen has worked his way into the germ stream.