Celluloid Junkie - 2890 Film Ratings
Member Since: Jun 21, 2008
Location: New York, NY, USA
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|47 42%||Perry Mason (2020) - Mar 21, 2023
"There's something compelling about 1930s L.A.--and that's the main reason to watch this. The big problem is the writing...it's just not very good. Clearly, they wanted Perry Mason's back story to be REALLY messy (success!), but there are so many strange choices along the way (an Aimee Semple McPherson knock-off?...making Paul Drake black??), and unconvincing dialogue with too many modern turns of phrase. Even so, watchable enough, thanks to good actors and great production design."
|82 85%||Port of Shadows (1938) - Mar 16, 2023
"One of the most famous examples of what now is called "poetic realism"--though it's more poetic than realistic. Pauline Kael describes Jean as "the hopelessly rebellious hero, the decent man trapped by society; it was the beginning of the Jean Gabin era." Thank god...it paved the way for the much better "Le jour se lève" the next year. Kael: "[It's] gloomy and shallow, but at the time the defeatism of the film was like a breath of fresh air to American filmgoers saturated with empty optimism.""
|93 98%||Le Jour se lève (1939) - Mar 15, 2023
"Pauline Kael: "Perhaps the finest of the French poetic melodramas, it's a definitive example of sensuous, atmospheric moviemaking - you feel that you're breathing the air that Gabin breathes." The film belongs to the great Jean Gabin, and he carries it seemingly effortlessly."
|87 92%||Pépé le Moko (1937) - Mar 14, 2023
"As usual, Pauline Kael nailed it when she wrote, " "Superb entertainment [...} One of the most compelling of all the fatalistic French screen romances." And it has a special visual magic--the "Casbah" has so much atmosphere that, although you know the sets were constructed in a studio, you just don't care. Jean Gabin is marvelous, and there's a touching cameo by the great chanson singer Fréhel."
|95 99%||The World of Apu (1959) - Mar 13, 2023|
|95 99%||Aparajito (1956) - Mar 12, 2023|
|95 99%||Pather Panchali (1955) - Mar 10, 2023|
|49 45%||Love in the Afternoon (1957) - Mar 09, 2023
"As the music student with daddy (more like granddaddy) issues, Audrey Hepburn's charm is misused--even wasted. Gary Cooper, as Pauline Kael wrote, looks "as if he knows how unappealing he is in the role." Kael, again: "It's all meant to be airy and bubbly, but it's obvious, overextended (2 hours plus), and overproduced." And that's about the kindest way to put it....there's practically a groan a minute. It was likely quite daringly frank for its time, but now its mostly just painful."
|87 92%||Chloe in the Afternoon (1972) - Mar 09, 2023
"Pauline Kael: "Will the squeamish, married hero (Verley) break down and go to bed with bohemian Chloé (Zouzou), or won't he? The author-director, Eric Rohmer, a specialist in the eroticism of non-sexual affairs, is a lapidary craftsman who works on a very small scale. This movie is, in its way, just about perfect, but it's minor, and so polished that it practically evaporates a half hour after it's over." I agree with all but the last bit. It's memorable BECAUSE of its "lapidary craftsmanship"."
|26 13%||Grand Piano (2013) - Mar 06, 2023
"There seems to be some strange connection between Catalunya and utterly ridiculous movies about pianists--see (or, rather, don't see) Ventura Pons's "Food of Love". If you know anything about classical music--and, clearly, no one involved with this flick did--much of this is hilarious. Presumably this was unintentional, but god knows."