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quick shot roundup

Posted by martinteller on September 26, 2014

Got a bunch of quickies lately, let’s do this.

The Awakening is a decent ghost flick.  The big estate and the atmosphere often made it feel like The Shining, which is never a bad thing.  The bit with the dollhouse was truly exceptional.  However, there’s a dumb Sixth Sense-style reveal (nice try, but no, I’m not watching it again to see how you fooled me) and the climax involves some implausible backstory.  Also the overwhelmingly grey color palette just makes me feel sleepy.  Rebecca Hall was pretty good, though.  Rating: Fair (66)

Appropriate Adult isn’t exactly a movie, and isn’t exactly a mini-series.  It’s a show that was on for two episodes, dramatizing the odd relationship between British serial killer Fred West (Dominic West) and his assigned “appropriate adult” Janet Leach (Emily Watson).  Somewhat slow and repetitive at times, but an interesting new slant on serial killer stories.  Watson and West are both terrific.  I read up on the real story afterwards, and although they got a lot of the details right (Monica Dolan is a dead ringer for Rosemary West) apparently Leach was a bit more of a shady and troubled character in real life.  Rating: Good (77)

My recent John Waters binge made me especially interested in the documentary I Am Divine.  The anecdotes and interviews are quite entertaining.  Most of it is pretty much what you’d expect, but I didn’t know anything about Divine’s theatrical work.  It was also something of a revelation that Glen Milstead had no desire to be a woman or felt like one… although a homosexual, the “Divine” persona was just drag.  And eventually a burden on him.  This movie kind of comes off like an A&E biography, but it’s enjoyable.  Rating: Very Good (80)

Fools Rush In is a perfectly fine movie.  Any problems I had with it are pretty minor… overly montage-y, a misunderstanding/misrepresentation of how childbirth works, a lot of Snapple product placement.  But nothing major.  I never felt like “oh man, I hate this.”  I never got that thrilled about it either.  It just isn’t my kind of film.  I like Matthew Perry as a comic actor, but unfortunately there isn’t as much comedy here as you might expect.  I really have almost nothing to say about this, let’s move on.  Rating: Fair (66)

Finally got around to watching Herzog’s texting-and-driving public service announcement, From One Second to the Next.  Very sad stories, of course, but what do you expect?  It doesn’t feel very Herzogian, but I guess it’s meant to reach a broad audience.  But as tragic as these tales are, it all feels kinda pointless.  Isn’t it obvious that you shouldn’t try to type while driving a car?  What’s next, a movie about running with scissors?  But I dunno, maybe it did some good.  I hope so.  Rating: Good (73)

My recent viewing of Princess from the Moon put me in the mood to watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind for the billionth time.  Plus my lady had never seen it before.  I can’t imagine seeing it with fresh eyes, it’s so attached to my childhood nostalgia.  But very few movies are so wondrous about sci-fi these days.  I would like to see more of this kind of earnest awe in modern movies.  We just take aliens and UFOs for granted now, the cinema is jaded about the fantastic.  Rating: Great (91)

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