Montreal Film Journal

2010 LOG (3)

(4 Mar) Lucidité passagère (2010, Fabrice Barrilliet, Nicolas Bolduc, Julien Knafo & Marie Hélène Panisset) 49
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(6 Mar) Sissi (1955, Ernst Marischka) 91
[ Here's a simple, schmaltzy but utterly charming boy-meets-girl story... In which the boy is the Emperor of Austria and the girl is the perky teenage sister of the Bavarian princess he's supposed to be engaged, then married to. What follows is a classic series of misunderstandings and romantic twists, with some dorky comic relief thrown in. But the magnificent 19th century period recreation, the gorgeous Austrian scenery and the timeless beauty of Romy Schneider, as shot in glorious Technicolor, make this one of the most ravishing old-fashioned movie delights this side of "Gone with the Wind". ]

(9 Mar) She's Out of My League (2010, Jim Field Smith) 12
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(11 Mar) The Runaways (2010, Floria Sigismondi) [ review ] 69

(17 Mar) Kick-Ass (2010, Matthew Vaughn) [ review ] 82

(17 Mar) Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010, Thor Freudenthal) 3
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(19 Mar) Le chômeur de la mort (2010, Pierre Luc Gouin & Benjamin Hogue)
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(19 Mar) Showgirls (1995, Paul Verhoeven) [ review ] 34

(20 Mar) Rocky IV (1985, Sylvester Stallone) [ review ] 78

(22 Mar) Reel Injun (2010, Neil Diamond)
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(23 Mar) Les porteurs d'espoir (2010, Fernand Dansereau)
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(24 Mar) La Variole: anatomie d'un fléau (2010, Jefferson Lewis)
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(26 Mar) Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970, Russ Meyer) [ review ] 75

(30 Mar) Ninja Assassin (2009, James McTeigue) 53
[ Right from the opening, pre-title sequence, I was hooked. Not so much by the extremely gory action (though that is its own reward) than for the tone of the piece, which carefully straddles the line between taking itself too seriously and becoming a farce. "Ninja Assassin" cleverly falls right in the middle, acknowledging that ninjas are kinda ridiculous and having some fun with the concept, while still playing it mostly straight. Ninjas can be silly, sure, but they're also badass, alright? This is like an updated version of those martial arts B-movies from the 1980s, with all the things you'd want from it: the cruel but wise master, the training sequences, the hiding in the shadows, the surprise attacks, the katanas, chain and sickle, throwing stars, etc. The plot is inconsequential, the characters are dull and Rain isn't the most charismatic leading man in the world, but James McTeigue ("V for Vendetta") directs some pretty damn brutal (if sometimes unintelligible) action scenes and, again, the ninja stuff is wonderfully silly/cool. No classic, but worth a rental if you're into this kind of thing. ]

(31 Mar) Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933, Mervyn LeRoy) 62
[ As is often the case with these old dusty musicals, the story seems like an afterthought, some silliness about getting money for putting on a show, romantic foibles, misunderstandings, etc. All of which is neither very fun, interesting or anything, on top of being staged as if this was a play. Thank God for actresses Ruby Keeler, Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon and Ginger Rogers, who manage to keep us somewhat entertained... Still, for all purposes, you're better off skipping straight through to the four show-stopping musical numbers designed, choreographed and directed by Busby Berkeley, which have nothing to do with the plot and characters anyway and which display infinitely more wit ("We're in the Money"), sexiness ("Pettin' in the Park"), visual inspiration ("The Shadow Waltz") and unexpected depth ("Remember My Forgotten Man") than the rest of the film. ]

February / April