Monday, February 13, 2012

Movie Update 39

You know the drill.


A comedy/thriller/romance thing starring an aging Cary Grant and a still young looking Audrey Hepburn, who try to track down some money her husband stole before his death before they get killed themselves. It's sort of like an Alfred Hitchcock movie that doesn't take itself quite as seriously, with plenty of twists and turns in its mystery and plenty of murders getting dramatically discovered. The script is really fun and never stops adding new elements, though by the end I was really wondering if so much deception by certain characters was really necessary or advisible. An entertaining movie nonetheless.

The Game

One of David Fincher's earlier films, and another one with a script that packs plenty of memorable moments and surprises but doesn't quite end up telling a believable story. Michael Douglas is a wealthy businessman who perhaps takes his job too seriously, and whose life is turned upside down when his brother (played by Sean Penn in a small but interesting part) gives him the birthday gift of a "game" from a company that promises to make his life exciting and unpredictable in the spirit of fun. Things start to go horribly wrong, and you're left to wonder whether it's all part of the game or if the company is actually out to get him and the money he controls. I couldn't really take the premise seriously because it was just too elaborate for anyone to really pull off, but I still enjoyed the movie for Douglas' increasingly perplexed and unhinged performance and Fincher's direction, which was already distinctly in his own style.

The Motorcycle Diaries

A movie about a bike trip that Che Guevara took around South America with his friend and wrote about himself, one that turned him from a normal upper class Argentinian into a political revolutionary who would eventually become one of the world's most notorious radical communists. The movie doesn't go too far into what he would eventually become, but inequality is definitely a bit part of the story, and Guevara is portrayed very sympathetically, almost saintlike in his devotion to honesty and helping people when he can. Ignoring any thoughts you might have about the movie politically, I thought it was a well shot and beautiful movie, if sometimes a boring or tedious one. Not great, but it was certainly interesting to see the perspective.

OSS 117: Cario, Nest of Spies

Before director Michel Hazanavicius and stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo made this year's Best Picture frontrunner (I'm guessing) The Artist, they collaborated on this, another tribute to older cinema, though in this case it's 50s and 60s spy movies rather than silent film, and more overtly parodic. Dujardin stars as 117 a suave and talented French secret agent who is sent to clean up a mess in Cairo after his old buddy and partner gets killed while undercover. He meets a local played by Bejo who acts as his liaison in Egypt, and then proceeds to uncover or stumble into a complex web of betrayals and conspiracies that make up the secret underground of the city. 117 is at times both the perfect agent and a joke of one, sometimes effortly dispatching an assailant or slipping into bed with an exotic beauty, sometimes being obnoxiously sexist or intolerant of Islam or missing an obvious clue. The movie slips up with a sour moment now and then, but it's most a very entertaining spoof, and Dujardin is a great leading man, meaningless comparisons to George Clooney aside. They made a sequel, and I'd like to see it soon.

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