Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I did a bunch of quick reviews/blurbs on Facebook awhile ago, so I thought I'd include them on here. They're mainly films I love, actually some of my all-time favorites (hence all the 5-star ratings), but they're also ones I probably won't review in depth on here. I just want to prove that I can stop babbling sometimes and write succinctly. :) All my ratings are out of 5 stars.

Roman Holiday: Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar for her first major starring role, and it's easy to see why. She's heartbreaking. And I think every woman falls a little bit in love with Gregory Peck upon watching it. Fabulous. *****

Holiday (1938): Grant and Hepburn are a perfect team. Cukor was great with actors, and it shows. Marvelous and tragically forgotten. *****

Stage Door: Quite shocking subtext for those who look deep enough. Rogers and Hepburn are phenomenal. *****

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?: Oh, how I love Tony Randall. Mansfield is also wonderful. A rather scathing, brilliantly self-reflexive satire. And hilarious. Tashlin is comedic gold. *****

Auntie Mame: Rosalind Russell is exquisite. One of the great performances of all time. The pitiful musical 1970s version with Lucille Ball should have taken notes. One of my favorite films of all time - a true classic. *****

Some Like It Hot: This film is considered by AFI to be the funniest film of all time, and after finally seeing it, I totally get it. Lemmon is hilarious, a total ham, but Curtis brings real pathos to his performance. By far, Monroe at her best and most beautiful. Anyone who says she can't act is insane. Wilder does it again! *****

The Heiress: Olivia de Havilland won an Oscar for her performance, and justly so. This is one of my favorite performances in cinema history. She's simply brilliant - a chameleon. Clift at his most dashing. Another astonishing achievement by the great William Wyler. *****

Sunset Boulevard: One of the best film noirs there is. Wilder can do anything. Swanson delivers a towering, iconic performance, and this is William Holden at his best. Haunting. *****

The Apartment: I was apprehensive about seeing this film, because I inherently resented the film that stole the Best Picture Oscar away from Psycho. But after seeing it, I think it deserved it. Wilder is one of the greatest of all the masters. Lemmon is painfully and endearingly human, and MacLaine is adorable. *****

Batman Begins: Finally! They got it absolutely right. Christian Bale, Christopher Nolan, and all those other phenomenal actors. The performances are terrific - like the Harry Potter films, they never condescend to the material. I saw this at a midnight screening, and the energy was infectiously palpable, more so than any other screening I've ever attended. *****

Shoot 'Em Up: I loved it! It's not supposed to be realistic - that's the genius of it. People need to lay off. I happen to think it's a brilliant parody of the genre. Giamatti is hilarious, and Owen is such a badass! ****1/2

Garden State: Zach Braff is a genius. Wonderfully written, acted, and directed. I bawled like a baby. It touched me deeply. *****

Lost in Translation: A lot of people hate this film, but I love it. I think Sofia Coppola is a national treasure. It's so nice to see a quality feminine touch in contemporary cinema. The ending is perfect. Murray should have won the Oscar. Johansson complements him wonderfully. *****

His Girl Friday: The fastest-talking film in the history of cinema. Rosalind Russell is a force to be reckoned with, and Grant is the best leading man Hollywood ever saw - period. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. *****

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Jim Carrey's best performance, and Winslet proves she can do anything. A great love story - poignant and so daring. Gondry and Kaufman make a formidable pair. *****

The Philadelphia Story: For my money, it doesn't get any better than Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and Jimmy Stewart in one film. Very sophisticated and funny - quite daring for the time. Hepburn's triumphant return to Hollywood's good graces. *****

All About Eve: In my opinion, Davis' best performance - honest and unflinchingly human. Mankiewicz is a genius - the writing is impeccable. This is such a bitchy, delicious film. *****

It Happened One Night: This is what Gable should have been like in Gone with the Wind. The prototype for all romantic comedies. Genius. *****

Gone with the Wind: I'm a sucker for the grandeur of GWTW. Its production was ludicrous, but to me, it was worth it. Gable doesn't quite do it for me, but Leigh and de Havilland shine. *****

Two for the Road: Audrey Hepburn's best, most mature, and most human peformance. A hilarious, moving gem that anyone who's been in a relationship can relate to.

Requiem for a Dream: Powerful, devastating, and unforgettable. An unparalelled work of cinematic art. *****

Office Space: One of the funniest and most quotable movies ever. I can't get enough of it. *****

Brokeback Mountain: Who knew Heath Ledger could act like this?? He's amazing, the true heart of the film. A love story for the ages. It touched me more than I can say. *****

Sunrise: Everyone who loves film should see Sunrise. It is a masterpiece - truly revolutionary. The visuals still astound. What Murnau achieves with the most minimal use of intertitles is mind-boggling. It is so fresh and modern today. One of the greatest love stories of all time. Its esteemed place in film history is totally justified. *****

Children of Men: Alfonso Cuaron can truly do no wrong. The cinematography is seriously astounding - should have won the Oscar. Owen is a compelling hero, and Caine is a blast to watch. Terrifying and hopeful at the same time. *****

Pan's Labyrinth: Moving and beautiful. I was speechless after seeing it. It just blew me away. The music still haunts me. Fantastic all the way around. *****

Notorious: One of Hitchcock's best. Grant and Bergman sizzle - in fact, this is one of Grant's best performances. Claude Rains is one of Hitchcock's most sympathetic and complex villains. Great story, great acting, great everything. *****

Magnolia: This used to be my favorite PTA film, but Punch-Drunk Love is fighting hard for that title. I can't make that call. Still, Magnolia is brilliant, and one of the reasons I came to film school in the first place. The first time I saw it, I broke down into sobs, because it was so beautiful. *****

Strangers on a Train: Hitchcock at his most entertaining and suspenseful. Possibly my favorite film of all time - at least in the top three. It's still technically mindblowing today. Robert Walker is fantastic beyond words - one of Hitchcock's best villains, second maybe only to Norman Bates. Fun and deep - very rare indeed. *****

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: I've seen it three times so far, and I've liked it more each time. Yates and his DP bring a unique visual flair to the series. The acting is superb. Rupert Grint has finally mastered subtlety, and Daniel Radcliffe is exquisitely angst-ridden. Staunton should get an Oscar nomination for her unforgettable Umbridge. Gambon is a commanding Dumblebore, Fiennes is having the time of his life, Isaacs is icy perfection, Watson is wonderful as always, Oldman is heartbreakingly nuanced, and Bonham Carter is delicious. However, my favorite is Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood - she IS Luna. It's a wonderful film, and it's phenomenal in 3D. What more can I say? *****

A Mighty Heart: The movie gets bogged down in politics. There's not enough story, which is a shame since it's such a compelling and inspiring one. Jolie is adequate, but not as good as everyone seems to think. *1/2

Ratatouille: This is Pixar's most sophisticated effort, maybe too much so for kids. I own two rats, and they're the cutest things you'll ever see, so maybe I'm biased. But people need to get over the rat thing. They get a raw deal. The animation is breathtaking, and there's a lot of smart commentary on the field of criticism. *****

Evan Almighty: Better than most people say, and I'm as cynical as they come. Carell is by far one of the most talented and funniest actors working today. Predictable, but very sweet. **1/2

Punch-Drunk Love: This film is more rewarding with each viewing. Possibly my favorite PTA film, and that's saying a lot. Sandler is brilliant - never better. One of the most oddly romantic movies I've ever seen. It's a masterpiece - the acting, story, music, colors scheme, cinematography, sound design - perfection. *****

Superbad: The perfect blend of raunch and emotion - hilarious and true to life. Cera is the king of awkward, Hill proves he can hold his own, and Mintz-Plasse is a revelation. *****


astrogalaxy said...

I love Ratatouille.
One of the best from Pixar !

Lisa Draski said...

I totally agree, and that's saying a lot since Pixar is always so great. :) Thanks for visiting!