At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Consumed in April

The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)--The quibbles I have with this fade further into insignificance each time I see it. The best of the trilogy.A

After the Thin Man (1936)--A typical installment in the series: William Powell cracks jokes in between cocktails, Myrna Loy arches her eyebrows, and the unlikeliest person turns out to be guilty of murder.B

b420 (2005)--Maybe I'm overrating this because it was the only in-flight movie that was worth watching, but this did seem to be like an entertaining version of Last Life in the Universe: subtropical Asian setting (Macau, not Thailand), relationship between free-spirited girl and Nice Boy, color-saturated cinematography, gang violence subplot. Miki Yeung is appealing as the tousled, gangly, google-eyed heroine.B

The Great Ziegfeld (1936)--Long biopic of the titular Broadway producer. The musical numbers are kitschy but impressive.B

Spaceballs (1987)--Corny, as Brooks himself admits on the commentary track, but fun nonetheless. I still love the double allusion to Alien and Looney Tunes.B

Temptress Moon (1996)--Member of a Shanghai crime syndicate is sent by his boss on a mission of theft to the mansion where he was taken in as an orphan; when he meets his childhood sweetheart grown into a beautiful woman, his loyalty is tested. It's understandable that Kaige Chen, after the worldwide success of Farewell My Concubine, would attempt to replicate that success by incorporating many of the same elements: historical setting, a love triangle involving Gong Li and Leslie Cheung, opium abuse, a homosexual subplot. But the formula doesn't work as well here, maybe because the characters were too selfish for me to sympathize with.C

The Producers (2005)--Boring, not very well acted by Broderick and Thurman (though Nathan Lane has some energy). C

Rumor Has It (2005)--D