Sunday, December 28, 2003

What We're Watching

Movie watching is always a pleasant holiday activity and this year's holiday season is no exception. A few highlights from this years viewing, with comments...

Woody Allen's Anything Else: Not his funniest, but definitely his best written and most intelligent movie in years. Jason Biggs is a good Allen surrogate and Christina Ricci is extremely unlikeable as the girlfriend from hell, but she is definitely written that way, so kudos to Miss Ricci for daring to play her for all of her despicableness. Allen is excellent playing a scary version of himself. This is an interesting update on Manhattan, but with age appropriate romance. Not for everyone, but for fans of Allen's best work, worth viewing.

Robert Duval's Assassination Tango: A slow and methodical political thriller with dance. Go figure. But it works. Duval is just so good and so fun to watch.

Seabiscuit: Great performances by all 3 of the leads (Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper and Toby Maguire) as well as a horse. Too many inspirational moments for my taste, but season appropriate and not boring.

Freaky Friday:Why remake this seventies teen movie, originally starring Babara Harris and Jodie Foster? I can't answer the why, but I can say that if you have to remake a silly little movie like this, by all means get Jamie Lee Curtis. She turns in a delightful performance and shows her comic chops. Aimed at tweens, but if you have one of those hanging around or plan on borrowing one for the evening, this is a lot better than sitting through most movies geared towards that audience.

Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion: The seminal POW escape movie. No Steve McQueen, but all of the elements are there, and Jean Gabin is wonderful. A movie that inspires and aspires. If you haven't seen it, rent it. The Criterion Collection transfer is perfect, as usual.


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