You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger Considering Woody Allen, 74, makes a film a year, the question to be asked is not why so many of his movies are uneven, but why so many are to be treasured. Even in this past decade, there's been Vicki Cristina Barcelona (2008), Match Point (2005), Hollywood Ending (2002), and Small Time Crooks (2000). Although none achieve the magic, wit, or depth of Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), or Annie Hall (1977), they all are embraceable entertainments, worthy of numerous viewings.
Would it be a better musical experience if when Gene Kelly splashed about in Singin' in the Rain, you saw each drop of water bouncing towards you? Or if while viewing Week-End in Havana, you felt you could pluck a berry from Carmen Miranda's turban? And what if it seemed you could almost look up Julie Andrews' skirt as she twirled about the hills that were alive with music?
Step Up 3D, with its relentless kaleidoscopic imagery, begs these questions as its youthful dancers burst off the screen in a nonstop bustle of gymnastic twirls, head spins, and rock 'em-sock 'em gesturing. With the slightest of storylines, even less character development, numerous actors who wouldn't be out of place in the C-movies of the 1950s, and choreography that's more Olympian than Fosse-esque, the third dimension supplied here often seems more gimmicky than artful.
True love seldom runs smoothly, especially in Denmark. Just ask Hamlet. And in Nicolo Donato's discerning Brotherhood, an exploration of the rebirth of the Danish National Socialist Movement, romance has an especially difficult path to tread.
The film begins late at night by a water tower. A gent in a hoodie is wooing a young homosexual man, who quickly discovers, when his pants are down, that he's been set up to be brutally attacked by a group of neo-Nazi thugs.
Dear Reader, I regretfully must inform you that Christopher Nolan's bombastic Inception has enough startling footage with which to edit 30 exquisitely enticing trailers, but not enough to compose one comprehensible movie from.
So what is the most anticipated film of the summer like? If you recall the scene in Dahmer (2002) where Jeremy Renner as the deranged killer drills holes into his victims' heads, you'll know what watching this Freudian claptrap of a thriller is like.
Adrian Brody as an action hero? Yup. The Pianist who survived King Kong only to become Rickity the Field Mouse in The Fantastic Mr. Fox does a star turn here as the mercenary Royce. Especially when Mr. Brody starts running about bare-chested near the finale -- you'll want to applaud his exquisitely chiseled torso. Sadly, a six-pack does not a movie make.
This latest in the Predator enterprise (begun in 1987 with Arnold Schwarzenegger when he still had hero status) is barely a film. An unimaginative plot line, a stilted script, nil character development, and paltry special effects add up to . . . . Well, they don’t add up to much.
An early realization of my intellectual inferiority occurred sitting in a San Francisco revival house in the '70s. There, perched on an achingly springy seat, I was unable to comprehend, let alone sit through, Alain Resnais's Last Year at Marienbad (1961).
I have always promised to give myself a second viewing of this groundbreaking, nonlinear classic, even though some critics like David Thomson argue against such an action, citing the film's "enervating High Vogue solemnity" and Resnais's inability "to make a communicative contact with audiences."
Having had a virgin or two in my day and having been one once, I'm not quite sure why this state of inexperience is so prized in our society and, for that matter, the world over. I surmise some folks want to be the first, whether it's for an iPhone purchase, the initial screening of a Star Wars entry, or just saying hello to a clitoris.
I've always felt being second or third or tenth is much wiser, whether it's walking on ice, being on a conga line, or having intimate relations. Technique can improve over the years. Just take a second and ask yourself whether you'd want your gall bladder removed by a newbie or an experienced M.D.