On this occasion of Good Friday, I’m reminded of all the great Fridays I enjoyed as a kid. Because that’s the day the new movies come out. Which, when I was younger, meant Arthur Treachers, or gyros, or some other fast food joint for dinner. Then a movie. Back when it was easy to get in the first day.
I’m also reminded I’ve actually been catching up on a bunch of movies lately. Thanks to Netflix and cable, that is. Alas, going out to the movies is a rare occasion now. Not really sure why. My daughter doesn’t like to go for some reason, and the widescreen TV and nice (but modest) sound system make it cheaper and more relaxing to watch movies at home. But here are my short takes on a bunch of flicks I’ve seen recently. Why? Why the hell not!
LET ME IN
Revenge of the Hat Room was right on the vampire tooth on this one. It was terrific. The Swedish original, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, is great also but I preferred the kid performances here, maybe because I loved Chloe Moretz in KICK-ASS (a must-see) and Kodi Smit-McPhee in THE ROAD (a real feel-good film…um, no). And it had an awesome 70s feel to it (always a plus in my book), even though it’s set in the early 80s. Maybe Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD, which had its moments) is a director to watch? Well, he’s doing the new Godzilla movie so it seems. That’ll be the real litmus test.
THE SOCIAL NETWORK
I will say David Fincher is one of my favorite modern directors. I loved loved loved ZODIAC, which to me fell way under the radar. And this one the critics loved, for good reason. It was super well directed. Liked the screenplay also, and most of the performances. Very well done all around. My only quibble would be the obvious CGI-d “winter breath” in a lot of outdoor scenes. I mean, I could be wrong (without looking it up), but boy did it look fake. Distractingly so.
This one was good. I wasn’t knocked out like ROTHR, but that could be because Mrs. Von Luger made me shut the movie off halfway through. She simply hated the Melissa Leo and Christian Bale characters so much (not the acting, the characters), she couldn’t watch it any more. I of course finished it after she went to sleep and liked it. Bale was terrific no doubt, but honestly Amy Adams was a hundred times better than Leo.
Ah, a throwback to my beloved 70s….How could it miss? Clooney is great, the supporting cast of foreign no-names is quite good, the prostitute (played by Violante Placido, the daughter of the actress who played Apollonia in THE GODFATHER) is incredibly gorgeous and nekkid throughout, there’s not a lot of dialogue, there’s not a lot of “hey look at the scenery” shots, it’s not very uplifting, it’s directed by Anton Corbjin who directed the very good CONTROL….All in all, highly recommended. Right up my alley.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS Season 5
I seriously doubt most of the people reading this actually watch this show, but season 5 is the final season. For whatever reason, they released the DVDs before it started to air on NBC, but after it aired on DirectTV. Great, great show that really concentrated more on the characters than the football. It’ll be missed. And thanks to Netflix, Mrs. Von Luger and I already watched the entire season, commercial free, in three days.
“Watched” this last night. I put that in quotes because, while it wasn’t a complete and utter disaster, it was close. Just so boring and unorganized and poorly edited and poorly directed, I found myself surfing the web and reading the newspaper while the movie was on. You can easily skip this one. Or give it a shot just for the heck of it since it seemed like it was only about an hour long.
THE KARATE KID
Watched the remake with the family tonight. I was never a big fan of the original, but it had its moments. Which have become cliché by now of course. But the remake, while loaded with clichés, was not bad. Jackie Chan gives a damn good performance actually. Check out the alternate ending on YouTube if you can, where he gets to kinda sorta kick some ass in a Chan-esque fight with the bad guy master.
P.S. As I post this, I’m watching John Carpenter’s classic THE FOG. Sure I’m one day late, since yesterday was the 21st of April, when the Elizabeth Dane was lost near Spivey Point some 130-odd years ago, but better late than never. One of the coolest horror flicks around, it still holds up nicely. Could have sworn I had this on laserdisc, but thanks to the Netflix Watch Instantly option, I’m watching it, um, instantly….