Saturday, October 07, 2006

10-Second Film Reviews #8

More forgiving than Andre Gurode, less compelling than the Padres' playoff chances and just as forgotten as the NHL: it's my 10-second film reviews!

Movies I've seen this past week, along with my Netflix ratings:

Grandma's Boy: A funny film about an overgrown video game tester, his co-workers and the "Golden Girls" he lives with. There's consistent humor that's smart and quick, although the comedy does droop into sophomoric territory from time to time. Characters are likable, even though the plot doesn't have them doing much. The last third of the movie is predictable and stale. (***)

The Killers: The film begins with a murder, and the tension never relents; it racquets up as more of the truth is revealed, and more people are put in harm's way. A great-looking noir in more ways than one; Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner look luscious, even when distorted by the stark Expressionist shadows in this excellent suspense thriller. (****)

Rebel Without a Cause: A 50's classic revolving around three teenagers full of angst and searching for love. The characters played by James Dean, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo are the stuff of legends. Superb cast, written and directed. There's plenty of drama, action, romance and even a little comedy; it's everything a movie should be. (*****)

Now, Voyager: Bette Davis plays a suffocated woman who yearns for freedom and love. Another dazzling performance by the great Davis (earning Bette her seventh Oscar nomination for Best Actress). Parts of the second half feel sluggish, and there's an long slapstick scene earlier in the movie that's neither funny nor interesting. (****)

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