Saturday, January 17, 2009

My 2008 Movie Odyssey - Part XXIII

Fear(s) of the Dark (2007)
This series of animated black and white horror stories is a wonderful feast for the eyes. Each story is creepy in its own way. It is not for the faint of heart since a couple segments get pretty scary, and since it is a French film, it occasionally descends into weird, sexual stuff.

Trouble in Paradise (1932)
This Ernst Lubitsch comedy set the tone for many of the screwball comedies of the 1930s. While the first couple acts come fast and humorous, the third act wades a little too deep into melodrama for me to fully endorse as anything other than an important step in the evolution of the romantic comedy.

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
The film has some interesting things to say about guilt, but I was ultimately dissatisfied by the whole. I did like that Woody Allen's character was enamored with watching Singin' In the Rain.

Meet John Doe (1941)
Frank Capra continues his theme of taking an ordinary American and thrusting him into the limelight (see also: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town). It's Gary Cooper again as the honorable American, pretending to be a fictional person dreamed up by a newspaper writer. His sidekick is Walter Brennan who plays a cranky old drifter who lives a crusade against "heelots." Few directors do it better than Capra.

The City of Ember (2008)
The film is full of art direction and creates a fairly believable world. The story works pretty well but unfortunately turns into a theme park ride at the end. This is a minor quibble, however, and most of the film is a lot of fun, especially for those looking for family friendly viewing.

Coming up next: a couple comedies, one of which is funny. Only three more entries to go, and then I can unveil my top and bottom 10 of the year. I know everyone is looking forward to it.

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