[January 09]

On with 2009!

* Doubt. I did not realize until JUST NOW that John Patrick Shanley also wrote and directed Joe Versus the Volcano. That is hilarious. Now I am really sad that SPL doesn’t have a copy. I might have to reactivate my Netflix account now. As for the actual movie, I quite dug it. I haven’t seen the play to compare, however.

* Amarcord. Gorgeous & raunchy & touching. Love!

* Easy Rider. Not the first time I’d seen it, but the first time on the big screen. Deservedly a classic.

* Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of my favorite movies of all time, and so it was such a treat to be able to see it on the big screen.

* Let the Right One In. Second time. Still cold, still sweet, still too good to even be mentioned in the same sentence as That Other Vampire Story That Is All Popular Right Now.

* Elevator to the Gallows was the only title in SIFF’s French Crime Wave series that I made it to, but at least I made it to one! Which is good, as it is fantastic, beautiful & tragic, totally tense and engaging.

* Alice’s Restaurant. This movie makes me so glad I bought a 69 series pass. Would I have managed to drag myself over to the Film Forum & pay $10 to see it Thursday night? No. But as it was already paid for, I had no trouble at all. It’s a time capsule of a movie, strange and funny and sad. I’m glad I went.

* Che. (Part one, part two.)  Seattle’s one of ten or so cities to get the roadshow edition of this film, and we are so lucky. I have been following it since Cannes, through the struggle to get distribution without having to chop it up, and finally the decision to release it in two parts, but roadshow it as a four-and-a-half hour film. To see it that way was a gift.

* Synedoche, New York. I am sorry I did my best of 08 before I saw this movie. I am sorry I saw it on its last day at the second run theater. I am sorry I did not turn around immediately and see it again, even though I have no idea how I would have gotten home. I can’t stop thinking about it.

On a mostly unrelated note, the tshirt I made this avatar from has been reprinted at Threadless. Finally I was able to buy one! Yay.

[Last of 2008]

* Let the Right One In. Fantastic. Seriously. Go see it.

* Angel. I hated it. I went because of the director & because it was free, but I could not stand the lead character. Nor could I stand everyone else’s adoration of her. See 8 Women instead.

* Quantum of Solace. The crap reviews are all crap. It rocks. Also, Mathieu Amalric is the villain. How is that not awesome?

* Slumdog Millionaire. I have to be honest — I am not quite getting the showers of awards on this. It’s a formula film. A formula by Danny Boyle, and therefore formula with quite a twist & gorgeously filmed, but a formula just the same. It’s good, but in danger of acquiring the label “overrated”.

* Milk. This was actually more effective the second time. The first was a rough cut, though, so.

* Wild Child. Fascinating film about the wild boy of Aveyron, though it made me grateful for the Internet so I could learn What Happened Next.

* Frost/Nixon. I keep forgetting this was a Ron Howard film, because its Peter Morgan screenplay (adapted from Morgan’s play) is such a strong voice. (He wrote The Queen & The Deal, both of which also starred Michael Sheen, there as Tony Blair.) It’s excellent.

* The Godfather Part II. I hadn’t seen it before, so getting to see the restoration in the theater was amazing. I might almost like it better than Part I, thanks in no small part to the flashbacks with De Niro’s Vito, but I need to see both of them many, many more times to be sure.

… and I think that’s 67 in the theater this year, which is not as good as last year, but still Not Bad. I’ll probably want to see a few more of the end-of-year award contenders before I do my wrap-up. I am sure you are all waiting with bated breath.