Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My 2008 Movie Odyssey - Part XXII

Child’s Play (1988)
Nothing is quite as freaky as a doll that may or may not be alive, and while Chucky is mostly inanimate the film is very effective. However, once Chucky starts running around attacking big people the film loses a lot of its believability.

Scarface (1932)
I had a hard time getting into this film, though it is probably because Cagney in White Heat was so fresh on my mind that Paul Muni just seemed tame by comparison. It did have some surprisingly funny scenes in it.

A Night in Casablanca (1946)
Another Marx Brothers film, and as always, the plot is rather superfluous. The first half moves a little slow, taking too much time with story, but the second half really picks up. A scene towards the end featuring the brothers hiding in a hotel room while its villainous resident is trying to pack had me in stitches.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
This is the fourth bank heist movie of the year for me. This time the heist is engineered by Al Pacino who orchestrates a media circus when he and his accomplice get trapped inside the bank. This is more of a character piece and it is interesting to watch Pacino's relationships grow and change with his partner, the hostages, and the police surrounding the bank. But two-thirds of the way though the film a homosexual angle comes out of left field and derails the film until the inevitable conclusion. And does John Cazale ever play anyone other than a loser?

Videodrome (1983)
If you like gross films with disturbing, sexual images, this is the film for you. The rest of us should probably stay away. I do think it is interesting that James Woods' television producer tries to air a program that features a combination of pornography and torture. Did David Cronenberg predict today's torture porn?

Coming up next: fear, trouble, and crime.

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