It’s delightful, it’s de-lovely, it’s de-struction!

I’ve got three more flicks under my belt.

Cloverfield
8/10

I cruised by the local multiplex this afternoon for some good old-fashion Monster Smackdown, and I think I need to change my underwear.

In a word: Stunning.

In two words: Adrenalin City.

In three words: Really f**king amazing.

I’m knocked out by this film’s execution of concept. The budget on this thing must have been astounding, yet the decidedly lo-fi look makes it seem far more real than any other special effects extravaganza in recent years. The characters were far better developed than I expected, while the action set pieces were exhilarating without being intrusive. The 9/11 metaphor is driven home perhaps a bit too forcefully, and the prologue is a hair too long, but neither flaw is substantial.

It’s a shame Toho Studios never thought to make a Godzilla movie this way.

De-Lovely
5/10

This stylish, avant-garde bio-pic about bisexual composer Cole Porter is slow to start and at least half an hour too long, but contains strong acting and some spirited performances of many beloved tunes, with cameo appearances by Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello, and more. The frame story involves an eldery Porter watching the dress rehearsal of a stageshow based on his life, and one of the better gags involves the commentary from the old Cole, continuously criticizing the actions of his younger self. Kevin Kline plays both roles.

There’s so much style on display here (the final shot in particular is haunting, if vaguely reminiscent of Titanic), and yet the film never quite gels. De-Lovely is an ambitious failure, but it gets points for trying something different with one of the most tired of cinematic sub-genres.

(Doctor Who fans, look for John “Captain Jack” Barrowman in a small role.)

Girl 27
8/10

An absolutely chilling documentary about the rape of an aspiring actress named Patricia Douglas by an MGM studio executive in the 1930s, and the skillful way in which the studio and its lawyers destroyed her when she reported the incident. The filmmakers have ample evidence to support their claims, and Ms. Douglas herself grants her first interview on the subject in over fifty years to discuss the case and the effect it had on her life. Revolting yet fascinating viewing.

-CSJ

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