2005 log (11)

(1 Nov) Strangers on a train (1951, Alfred Hitchcock) 91
[ “Wanna hear one of my ideas for a perfect murder?” Naughty boy Bruno wants to get rid of his father, tennis player Guy needs his wife out of the picture but she won’t give him a divorce. Killing them would help, but they’d be caught right away – they have the motive. But what if they swap murders? Adapted from a Patricia Highsmith novel, this noirish Hitchcock thriller is subversively clever and darkly humorous. Particularly engrossing is how Bruno, smarmily played by Robert Walker, keeps revealing new layers of batshit insanity. The merry-go-round climax is pretty insane, too. ]

(2 Nov) South Park 9.10 (2005, Trey Parker) 79
[ MRS. GARRISON – “You can’t get married, you’re FAGGOTS!”
MR. SLAVE – “Aw, Jesus Christ!” ]

(5 Nov) L’annulaire (2005, Diane Bertrand) 53
[ Part of Voir’s Cinemania coverage ]

(7 Nov) pur♥ (2005, Jim Donovan) 70
[ Reviewed for Voir ]


(7 Nov) L’équipier (2005, Philippe Lioret) 46 (Émilie Dequenne: 100)
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(8 Nov) Lifeboat (1944, Alfred Hitchcock) 88
[ Hitch shows you he means business right from the opening shot, a long pan over the sea littered with debris and floating corpses. A ship going from New York to London has been torpedoed by a German U-boat, which was then sunk itself. Few have survived, but we eventually get to a lady sitting pretty in a big lifeboat, with her luggage (!), smoking a cigarette and pointing her camera at the surrounding dismay. She is soon joined by various other folks who swim up to or are picked up, including crew members, a nurse, a black steward, a millionaire, a woman and her baby… and the Nazi captain from the U-boat that shot them down.

“Throw the Nazi buzzard overboard!”
“That’s out of the question, it’s against the law.”
“Whose law? We’re on our own here, we can make our own law.”

The brilliant plotting, deft characterizations and sharp dialogue of “Lifeboat” come from renowned American author John Steinbeck, who crafts a survival story crossed with a morality play that can be darkly humorous or sometimes just dark, with everything from suicide, amputation, the elements, thirst, hunger and madness weighing down on the people in the boat. Add to that striking B&W cinematography and strong performances (especially from Tallulah Bankhead as the pretentious and bitchy photojournalist and John Hodiak as proletarian badass Kovac) and you’ve got another truly great picture from Hitchcock. ]

(9 Nov) South Park 9.11 (2005, Trey Parker) 71
[ Fancypants can scoff at me all they want for loving “South Park”, but Trey Parker is and remains a genius. Every goddamn episode I’m amazed at his capacity to use line delivery, music cues and the such so perfectly in service of satire or plain silliness. This fall in particular, every new episode seems to rely really heavily on warping film clichés, but with goofy twists. This episode, for instance, is like a horror movie story, except with red-haired kids – “gingers”!

CARTMAN – “Guys, don’t forget, Kyle is a daywalker. Daywalkers are half-ginger themselves. Make no mistake, ginger kids are evil. Remember who was ginger? Judas. And what did Judas do? He got Jesus killed, that’s all.” ]

(11 Nov) Paradise Now (2005, Hany Abu-Assad) 78
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(11 Nov) kiss kIss bAng banG (2005, Shane Black) [ review ] 59

(11 Nov) The Big Lebowski (1998, the Coen brothers) [ review ] 93

(14 Nov) Walk the Line (2005, James Mangold) [ review ] 67

(15 Nov) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005, Mike Newell)
[ review ] 71

(15 Nov) Casino (1995, Martin Scorsese) [ review ] 92

(16 Nov) South Park 9.12 (2005, Trey Parker) 65
[ “Dad! Tom Cruise won’t come out of the closet!” ]

(17 Nov) Grizzly Man (2005, Werner Herzog) [ review ] 90

(19 Nov) The Beautiful Country (2005, Hans Petter Moland) 34
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(20 Nov) Les fautes d’orthographe (2005, Jean-Jacques Zilbermann)
[ Fat kid gets picked on in boarding school, does les 400 coups, etc. I didn’t hate the film, didn’t love it. I saw it, I won’t remember it in a week. Can’t even find the will to grade it. Moving on. ]

(21 Nov) Match Point (2005, Woody Allen) [ review ] 78

(21 Nov) Yours, Mine & Ours (2005, Raja Gosnell) 13
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(22 Nov) No Direction Home (2005, Martin Scorsese) 85
[ Part of the Directors Series ]

(24 Nov) Cake (2005, Nisha Ganatra) 61
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(28 Nov) RENT (2005, Chris Columbus) [ review ] 83

(29 Nov) Désobéir (2005, Patricio Henriquez) 62
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(29 Nov) Madagascar (2005, Eric Darnell & Tom McGrath) Madagascar 26
[ This is smug and shrill and little more than a showcase for bad celebrity voice-overs: Ben Stiller’s witless lion, Chris Rock’s unfunny zebra, David Schwimmer’s annoying giraffe, Jada Pinkett Smith’s boring hippo… The animation’s pretty good, but so what? This should have lasted 10 minutes, with the lion eating all his friends as soon as they hit the wild. That woulda been cool. ]

October / December