1945 romantic drama
Plot: A woman tries desperately to get to an island so that she can marry a rich guy. A guy in a skirt invades her personal space, and ugly people sing loudly.
This starts whimsically, suffering from too much 1940's scoring, but it gradually turns into a wonderful love story thick with symbolism. The imagery is the real star of the show, all these silhouettes against foggy or watery backdrops. A chaotic trip in a boat where Roger Livesey smokes his pipe upside down dates things, but I loved the discombobulation and the perverse angles. Deprived of chances to see nudity both in real life or on the screen, I kept halfway expecting Wendy Hiller to disrobe and had to remind myself that I was watching a movie from 1945 and would therefore be disappointed.
Plot: Young runaways stumble upon a cop car and decide to take it for a spin. The sheriff tries to find it.
This feels like Coen Brothers lite, but here, that's not necessarily a bad thing at all. I think what I liked best, other than the sneaky humor, is how much space it gives the story to breathe. Honestly, there's not a great deal of story here. You've got a handful of characters, all with unclear motivations, and not much happens until it all happens at once. It's a narrative that neither starts or finishes, just a collection of happenings that capture this Coen-esque off-kilter conflict that feels tragic in a way that is distinctly American. I suppose the final five minutes won't satisfy a lot of people who check this out, but I loved it.
I also loved Kevin Bacon here. There's this odd physicality to the character and combined with a pervy mustache, you just know there's something off about the character from the start. Like all the other characters, there's not really enough development to make the character really stick, but it's an antagonist who's fun to watch because it seems like Bacon's having fun playing him.
I also liked the music in this and the atmosphere created by the imagery. It felt a lot like Breaking Bad at times, especially a key scene with a windmill sound effect. The dialogue's fine when it's there, but it's the extended moments of silence where this really shines.
Plot: Rick fights for Texas' independence.
This movie isn't funny, and its budget limitations give it an amateurish haze that makes the mockumentary format hard to believe in. I lost interest very quickly and was never able to regain it.
1981 crime drama
Plot: A safecracker longs to live a normal life with a normal family.
Gritty, stylized 70's crime drama made in the early 80's. I like my heist movies that really dig into the job with visual details. Mann's camera sneaks into the dark innards of these safes, and watching Caan go to work, you're almost fooled into thinking he's not a professional actor but an actual safecracker hired to do a movie. It's a great performance because he manages to make his character an Everyman, and the movie, which is more of a character study than any actual crime story, works better because of what he does with the character.
The great Tangerine Dream provides the score, all synth and robot percussion, and it perfectly compliments all these shots of urban loneliness with those gorgeous washed-out 80's film colors that feel like home to me, a person who was a kid in the 80s.
There's a great monologue by Caan when he's talking to Tuesday Weld in a restaurant that shows off acting that is as good as you'll ever see.
2000 romantic time-travel movie
Plot: Ruby, a gal who's had problems finding a nice man to sleep with, finally meets a guy who may or may not be from Dubuque who seems almost too perfect to be true. However, warning signs start popping up which suggest he's not being entirely honest. Finally, he drops a bombshell--that he's from around 400 years in the future. He's a horny future man.
No, the Time Travel Movie Fest is not happening again. What happened was I went back in time to last year when the Time Travel Movie Fest was happening, watched this movie that I couldn't find at the time, and then came back to the present to write about it. I should have time-traveled myself to a time when I was writing on this blog consistently because now I've forgotten the finer details of this movie and will have to dust off the old time machine to go back in time and have a conversation with myself about the movie right after I've seen it. And then I'll have to have sex with my own grandma while I'm at it.
I have a thing for Marisa Tomei because I'm secretly George Costanza, only not portly or bald. And my wife knows I have a thing for Marisa Tomei which is why I had to watch this in secret, too bad since she has a thing for Vincent D'Onofrio. I think he's a weird-looking guy, but she's also attracted to Lyle Lovett. And me. So I guess she's into weird-looking guys. D'Onofrio's performance as that horny future man is really wacky, like he's hopped up on amphetamines or something. He's very difficult to take seriously, those wide eyes just a little too much. Tomei is in her cuteness prime, and I was distracted during the movie because I couldn't stop thinking about how much I'd like to bite her on the butt. I think that's why I was able to ignore the plot holes and more illogical moments. Their love story is predictable and splashed with too much Hollywood, but it's never not likable and a fine addition to the genre of time-travel love stories.
This movie starts with a Tom Ze song that is just wonderful.