amedia: (Boris)
A very sweet and funny Christmas movie starring a very young Alan Cumming. We got this one from the public television station.

I can understand why some people watch this every year! It has a wonderfully irreverent flavor and still manages to endorse the real meaning of Christmas - in its own anti-establishment way. Alan Cumming (Bernard) is adorable, Lenny Henry (the genie) is superb, the two of them have great chemistry together, and Rowan Atkinson is deliciously evil as the villain. The minor characters are also terrific; my favorite was the elevator-operator in Bernard's apartment building, who is constantly trying to cheer him up with whopping lies.



Here's 25-year-old Alan Cumming in 1991, looking rather like a Beatle circa 1964.
Lots more screencaps posted here. There are also some spoilers, but honestly, the joy of the movie isn't in the plot, it's in the wonderful interactions and the sheer glee of it all. And there are still some major plot points unrevealed.
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Default)
When Father Was Away on Business, Pusher, Weirdsville, Black, Pusher 2, Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind, Six Against the Rock, and Surfwise.Read more... )
amedia: (lightning fractal)
We saw Ten Nights of Dream (Yume jû-ya) listed among the new & featured movies on the Jaman listings on the Tivo one day, and thought it looked intriguing. Then, whaddaya know, Jaman put it up as their free movie of the week! So we downloaded it.

no spoilers )
amedia: (Halloween Kitty)
Free from Jaman as a Hallowe'en movie, Woh Kaun Tih? ("Who was she?") is an eerie ghost story/murder mystery from 1964 about a doctor haunted by a mysterious woman. It moved very slowly; TODS and I worked out the twist long before it was revealed. Beautiful settings and costumes and a very atmospheric filming style, although it was sometimes just way too dark for too long. They seemed to be playing with putting an Indian twist on conventional Hollywood ghost cliches--the beautiful woman who vanishes into the graveyard, the deserted house with the dying woman who isn't there when the doctor comes back with the police--but the most surreal moment, in my opinion, was when the action stopped so that the hospital staff could put on a musical show that looked an awful lot like American Bandstand: Tiki-Tiki-Tiki-Takori.
amedia: (wild pink fractal)
Somehow I had gotten the impression--perhaps from Sleepless in Seattle--that An Affair to Remember was a syrupy melodrama through and through, but figured it was pretty much a necessity to watch, having seen Sleepless, so we got it from Netflix. What a pleasant surprise! It started out very witty and gradually became more serious, but never lost its sparkle. I quite enjoyed it.
amedia: (Halloween Kitty)
Free movies from Jaman that I wasn't interested in, but that TODS watched. Read more... )
amedia: Curlicue of butterflies on black background (Default)
We watched Igor a week or so ago, actually; I'm just behind on posting. Loved it. Both TODS and I have a thing for Frankenstein and have seen a lot of variations - this one was playful and entertaining, with a delightfully gruesome sense of humor. Got it from Netflix.

Chameli was a Bollywood flick we got free from Jaman. Shorter than most (less than two hours) and very serious, although I think there were some scenes that would be very funny to a more knowledgeable audience. The plot is very simple; a businessman stranded in the rain is drawn into the dark world of a fascinating prostitute. Very interesting, lots of layers. more observations, some spoilery )
amedia: (TiVo)
We get a free movie from Jaman nearly every week, and we watched a couple of them fairly close together. I was pretty sure I knew which of the two we'd like better. One was a French suspense film involving computer-company espionage, supposed to be like a Hitchcock thriller; the other was a drama about people gathering for a funeral. Give me a thriller over a soap opera any day, right? Boy, was I wrong!

cut for length, not spoilers )
amedia: (colorful fractal)
Much, much fun. We got this movie because it was free from Jaman and we like Bollywood - careful to avoid spoilers, we didn't read up on it beforehand, and thus had no idea we were watching THE UR-BOLLYWOOD FILM, a hugely popular classic of the 1970's. It'd be like watching Gone With the Wind without any buildup, y'know?

Anyway, it was a tremendously fun movie. It had way more comedy than I expected (though it got more serious near the end), romance, adventure, musical numbers, you name it. But what really took me by surprise was the look-and-feel. Aside from the wonderful musical numbers - I highly recommend Holi Ke Din - it looks like ... a Western. No kidding. Bandits ride down on horseback from the rocky hills into the dusty scrublands and have showdowns with the heroes (hired to protect the town), including the obligatory angle through the wheel of an overturned wagon. That sort of thing.

When it was over, I looked it up on the IMDB and learned that the director was heavily influenced by Shichinin no Samurai/The Magnificent Seven (you could probably tell that from the brief description in the previous paragraph) and by Sergio Leone's spaghetti Westerns, to such an extent that the movie is often described as - I LOVE this! - a "curry Western."
amedia: (Airofday Prisoner)
There are a few different movies with this title; this was the one from 1993 (according to the credits) or 1994 (on the IMDB). We got it free from Jaman. It's a sort of murder mystery that takes place in an alternate 19th century. And before you go, "WAY COOL!" let me say that while I desperately wanted to love this movie, I couldn't even bring myself to like it. :-(
Non-spoilery comments )
amedia: (The Boy Who Lived)
We went to see the movie last night with a friend from work, his daughter and one of her friends, and we all enjoyed it. I had started rereading the book earlier in the week, and hurried to get through as much as possible, though I didn't quite finish (I finished this morning - I had about 80 pages left). spoilers )
amedia: (UFO - Fishnet)
Both TODS and I had seen this movie many years ago (separately, before we met). We wanted to see the new one, but also wanted to rewatch the old one since neither of us remembered it very distinctly.Read more... )
amedia: (kookie)
Finally watched the other movie on the Sherlock Holmes DVD that we found! I think I might have seen it before a long time ago, but I didn't remember most of it, so it might as well have been new. Basil Rathbone delightful; ridiculous but entertaining plot. Watson more bumbling than usual, very disappointing. Filmed in London during WWII, which lent an interesting atmosphere of bravado and uncertainty.

Also found and watched a movie we had rented, dubbed onto videotape, watched about half of, then lost track of ... an amusing parody of the porn industry by the guys who created South Park, called Orgazmo. The scenes with the hero (a Mormon missionary who stumbles into becoming a porn star) and his wholesome girlfriend were very reminiscent of the early scenes with the hero and his girl in Reefer Madness: The Musical.
amedia: (geek)
We got Tales of the Black Freighter from Netflix and the sleeve said it was an hour and forty minutes. TODS, who has read The Watchmen (the story of the Black Freighter is a comic book that someone reads within the novel, that reflects the main plot and themes in interesting ways), was wondering how they were going to make it that long. Well, they didn't! It was twenty-some minutes long; the IMDB says 26 but I think it was actually more like 21. It was very well done, not for the squeamish, and it really did add to my enjoyment of The Watchmen to talk with TODS about how different characters in the Watchmen echo the events of the Black Freighter. The disc also comes with a twenty-five-minute quasi-animated comic book version of the first part of the Watchmen and a sort of mockumentary interview about the first Nite Owl's autobiography, Under the Hood. Really some nifty meta-media. There was also a documentary about an upcoming movie on the Green Lantern.

The Cooler was another free movie from Jaman. It was touching, funny, frightening, sweet, cynical - all by turns. Very enjoyable. Plus we got to see William Macy's butt (and an awful lot of Maria Bello). Maria Bello was really good in this (she was the ersatz Evelyn O'Connell in the third Mummy movie); so were William Macy and Alec Baldwin. Like Finding Amanda, it took place in Las Vegas, but we enjoyed it so much more. The characters were older and more world-weary, and their relationships, adventures, and outcomes were generally very satisfying.
amedia: (lightning fractal)
TODS watched Manoushe: A Gypsy Love Story online from Netflix. It turned out to be in Italian without subtitles! However, an attentive audience can well appreciate the film without a translation of the dialogue.

The movie is divided into a number of sequences of widely varying quality; the opening and closing segments, which serve as a framing device for the central segments, are sumptuously photographed with exquisite music and choreography. In contrast, the central parts, while not without clever moments, were far more pedestrian and less than inspired in their use of surrealistic elements.

Reservoir Dogs was another free movie from Jaman, much appreciated since it is considered a very fine movie. TODS would compare it to a painting from Picasso's blue period: a deliberately limited palette, but excellent in execution. Because of its self-imposed restrictions, he probably would not rate it as highly as others do, but he nevertheless enjoyed it.
amedia: (UFO - Ellis)
We got Flawless free from Jaman on our TiVo.

This movie starts out rather drab and dull, then gets very interesting. Unfortunately it's got plot holes you can drive a truck through, and while it pretends to address gender issues, it really whiffs on the chance to explore them meaningfully.

As an aside, one of the important secondary characters is played by Derren Nesbitt, who was in a memorable episode of UFO called "The Man Who Came Back," which also starred a post-Rat Patrol Gary Raymond.

spoilers )

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