The Strange Love of Martha Ivers: first thoughts

Barbara Stanwyck is my new idol. Really, cool, smart, fierce, if it wasn't for the murderous instincts she has in the two movies I've recently seen her in (this one and Double Indemnity) she'd be a perfect role model. I'm hoping to get a hold of "The Lady Eve" soon, I can't wait to see how she does comedy.

Also, does Lizabeth Scott look like Lauren Bacall or what? Slightly more wholesome, slightly less cunning maybe, but wow. And an impressive actress, too.

And that leaves...the men. Who are definitely less impressive than the women in this film, at least character-wise. This is Kirk Douglas' debut, but he doesn't register so much, really (admittedly, it might have been the part). As for Van Heflin, I don't know if it's because standards of attractiveness have changed so much, but I had a hard time buying him as a ladies man, and his flirting seemed WAY too over the top.

All in all though, a nice little noir. I like the twist that the blackmail is called into life by the people who fear it. There's a nice undercurrent of class tensions. And whaddaya know, there's even a sort-of happy ending.

Which just leaves one question: why is it that when I feel crappy a nice and cynical film noir is exactly what I need, while a feel good comedy will leave me feeling crappier even than before?


The Departed: first thoughts

Great music. Great use of diegetic/nondiegetic sound and music. Nice parallels (grocery bags)

Shot of the rat at the end felt a bit obvious.

So why can I only make technical comments on this movie? There was one tense scene, and I felt bad for one character at a certain point, but it's -despite the irish roots- a fairly heartless movie. You don't really mind who kills who, or why. At least I didn't.

Also, wasn't the point of this movie that you would root equally for both doubles? I only cared for Leo's character, and not even that much.

Still, I shouldn't be too harsch. It's a well made movie about doubles. It has some pretty good performanced. Alec Baldwin and Mark Wahlberg should form some kind of comic duo. I'd definitely go see it. And Jack? Well, he's just...Jack. I have to say, I expected more from the "waving around a pink dildo part". As it was, I didn't even notice the color. But well, you can't really blame him, after all, "being Jack" provides most of his income.

I wish I could swear with a (sometimes somewhat inconsistent) Irish accent.



Thank you for smoking - first thoughts

"Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk. Everyone has a talent. "

Not much to say about this movie, really, except a vigorous "cool.". I like it when a movie can be so refreshingly cynical, and nobody would've been better as Nick Naylor than Aaron Eckhart. The guy could probably get me to smoke. Well, not smoke, probably, me being asthmatic and hating the smell'n all, but I get the feeling he's selling: basically, there's so much in life that's bad for you, we might as well resign ourselves to the risks we're taking as long as it feels good.

So, nothing much to criticize. The movie's not particularly deep, but it achieves what it wants to do: it makes you laugh, and it lands some digs. It might not get anyone to smoke (hopefully it won't) but it might incite someone out there to join a debate club. And I did adore the credits. And JK Simmons, who should always play acrimonious bosses (see the Spider-Man films and "the Closer" if you need more evidence), rules. And I love to look at Adam Brody in almost anything. Rob Lowe is hilarious. And I'd love to criticize Katie Holmes at this point, just for balance sake, but she's fine, not great, replaceable, but fine.

Jeff Megall: Sony has a futuristic sci-fi movie they're looking to make.
Nick Naylor: Cigarettes in space?
Jeff Megall: It's the final frontier, Nick.
Nick Naylor: But wouldn't they blow up in an all oxygen environment?
Jeff Megall: Probably. But it's an easy fix. One line of dialogue. 'Thank God we invented the... you know, whatever device.'