Tuesday, December 2, 2008

My 2008 Movie Odyssey - Part XIII

The Disorderly Orderly (1964)
This was my first foray into the films of Jerry Lewis and it was an interesting experience. There were some bizarre, surreal scenes that seemed out of place (at one point he goes to repair a television set with a "snowy" screen, and when he takes the cover off, copious amounts of actual snow come pouring out of it) and I was not charmed by Lewis' very broad humor. It ends with a wild chase scene that, while entertaining, falls to reach the perfection Disney achieved with the slapstick chase scene during the 60s. Overall it was mildly amusing, but I need to see at least one other Jerry Lewis film before I can say if I like him or not.

The Postman (1997)
This is not the travesty against cinema that most critics made it out to be, though it is far from flawless. It is much too long for its own good, and the main villain is too much of a broad caricature to be interesting. On the other hand, one man bringing about order and change to a chaotic world through something seemingly as innocuous as the mail is strangely compelling. Despite its faults it is still one of the better post-apocalyptic films, though with the vast majority of them being pretty wretched, that may not be saying much.

Paprika (2006)
Paprika, a therapist, fights crime by entering peoples' dreams. This opens the door for some wildly imaginative visuals that would make even Miyazaki jealous. While the rules of the world are not clearly defined (and occasionally completely ignored) the visuals alone make this film worth seeing as the audience is kept guessing while the film switches from the real world into dreams and back again. There is also a skillfully used carnival tune that, while cheery in its own right, comes to spell certain doom every time it is heard.

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
While it does have moments of brilliance (Bill and Ted playing Battleship with Death) it strayed too often into over-the-top silliness. I'm still trying to figure out if any theological significance can be gleaned from their conversation with God.

Cat Ballou (1965)
A funny, unorthodox western romp, Cat Ballou features a lovely Jane Fonda, a gleefully drunken Lee Marvin, and a surprisingly effective (and quite unexpected) Greek chorus.

Coming up next: 5 more movies.

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