Wed May 02 2018 21:56 March/April Film Roundup:
I skipped a month of roundups because I was head-down finishing Mine, but now the novel is done! Yay. Even so, I had to pad this roundup with a couple of movies I saw earlier, even last year, but forgot to review. Roll film!
- Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2017): This was a nice slow-paced thriller. For decades other countries have been adapting the themes of the American western, and this movie does it really well; you get the loneliness, the lawlessness, plus the human connection you get in the better westerns.
- Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015): Cute and fun. Not complaining about this per se, but one of the things I love about the Wallace and Gromit animations is the buddy relationship, and the relationship between Shaun and the farmer amped up the part of that relationship I dislike (Wallace being really helpless and Gromit having to do all the work).
- Legally Blonde (2001): A fun movie with a satisfying wish-fulfillment twist you rarely see: the main character's incredibly smart but didn't know it because it's just kinda never come up. Less enjoyable: a crucial plot point relies on bisexual erasure. A mixed bag, I guess I'm saying. Clueless remains the champion of this mega-femme subgenre IMO.
- The Death of Stalin (2017): For so long I've been waiting for this to come to the US, because Steve Buscemi as Khrushchev is my dream role. And it delivers—he's the Buscemiest! The Mr. Pink of the postwar Soviet era. I'm not a big fan of The Thick of It, but that's partly because the stakes are so low. Ramping it way up makes the cynicism more sit-throughable, I think. Recommended overall. In my review of Muppets Most Wanted when I said "I don't think massive human rights violations are totally off-limits for humor," this is more what I was thinking of.
- The Court Jester (1955): Recommended by Cheryl, who said this and The Princess Bride were the movies she watched over and over again as a kid. We saw it with Sumana's mom during a visit and... a huge hit! Great songs, great physical comedy, good verbal sparring, decent actual sparring. Danny Kaye's split-personality bit puts The Nutty Professor to shame. My favorite film of 2018 so far, not that that's saying much.
- The Inspector General (1949): We doubled down on Danny, but this film wasn't nearly as good as The Court Jester. "Good bones", as they say in real estate, but a lot of the humor probably originates from the sparkling pen of Nikolai Gogol. I'll just check Wikipedia... "The great originality of [The Government Inspector's] plan consisted in the absence of all love interest and of sympathetic characters." Huh, okay, I guess the movie did come up with its own jokes, and it has some good ones. But the musical numbers are not fun, and way too long. That really drags.
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