Kannathil Muthamittal (A Peck on the Cheek). Really really liked it. A child is orphaned by war and later seeks out her birth family. Took a couple turns I wasn’t expecting. I was a puddle. Soundtrack has some bangers, too.
Sahara. Really dumb, but also kinda subversive! There’s some, uh, provincialism and casual violence that doesn’t age well, but it’s fun overall. Love the big reveal moment. Normally in these sorts of adventure movies it’s a room full of treasure. Here, it’s toxic waste.
Twilight. Hoo boy. Yeah. It’s not great. There’s a lot of hopeful staring and stewing in the tension, which I imagine (hope) comes across better in the books. Here it’s just kind of stagnant. No flame, no heat.
Nobody Walks in L.A.. It’s uneven. I wish our heroes were more evenly matched, but she nobly spends a lot of time and effort dragging around a mopey dude. It picks up, though. I love a good walk-and-talk (e.g. Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, Before Midnight, Top Five, Certified Copy, Midnight in Paris).
Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father. At some point last year I polled friends for movies that most reliably make them cry. They were right on this one. It’s completely gutting. Interesting how often documentaries can become their own subject, the creator becoming aware of and changing/reacting to the story in front of them as it goes along.
Lady Bird. I like the momentum. Great in its cuts and edits and how it skips through time. Like our heroine, it refuses to get stuck.
Murder on the Orient Express. I think my favorite part was the extended opening, gathering up all the players before the journey starts. Mostly entertaining. The final act/resolution seems a bit over-cooked. I wonder if it comes across better in the book, though.
Uptown Girls. It’s not great but I love that it makes the effort to be better than it strictly needs to be to get the job done. Like the high-energy opening setpiece, around the room and out the building to grab a taxi. Small touches like the quick cut when looking at the mirror in horror; the Road Runner cartoon playing during the break-up scene; the use of mirrors and blocking during the ballet practice; the cuts between street fights; the train reaction shot transitioning to Coney Island; the spin of the teacup echoing the spin at the beginning of the movie. It all adds up. Brittany Murphy is completely charming.
Source Code. It’s good clean fun!
Angel Heart. Love the mood and atmosphere. A nice blend of noir and horror, sort of ambling along as our PI reluctantly goes where the clues take him. Mickey Rourke was super charismatic. Haven’t seen much with him aside from the recent stuff (Iron Man 2, The Wrestler, and the small bit in Man on Fire).