February 28, 2011

Cinema Paradiso

(update of a previous post - original is here)

Title: Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
Year: 1988 (Italy), 1990 (US)
Length: 124 minutes
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Writer: Giuseppe Tornatore, with Vanna Paoli
Starring: Marco Leonardi, Agnese Nano, Leopoldo Trieste, Salvatore Cascio, Jacques Perrin, Philippe Noiret
Music: Ennio Morricone
Oscars: won for Best Foreign Language Film (1990)
I saw it: on video (rented from Greencine), two days ago
Synopsis: a childhood spent in a small town's cinema

My reaction
Concept:3/4 (Good)
Story:1/4 (Bad)
Characters:3/4 (Good)
Dialog:3/4 (Good)
Pacing:2/4 (Indifferent)
Cinematography:3/4 (Good)
Special effects/design:3/4 (Good)
Acting:3/4 (Good)
Music:3/4 (Good)
Subjective Rating: 6/10 (Okay, 2/4 (Indifferent)). It's a lot better than the director's cut (that Netflix forced me to watch because they're horrible), but not as much better as I'd hoped it would be. In that version, it's wonderful for an hour then tedious for two hours. In this version, it's wonderful for an hour then tedious for an hour. A marked improvement, but hardly ideal.
Objective Rating (Average):

February 26, 2011


Lynn’s Druthers Marathon, part 9

Title: Defiance
Year: 2008
Length: 137 minutes
Director: Edward Zwick
Writers: Clayton Frohman & Edward Zwick, based on a book by Nechama Tec
Starring: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell
Music: James Newton Howard
Oscars: nomination for Best Score
I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Synopsis: Belarussian Jews hide from Nazis in a forest

My reaction
Concept:2/4 (Indifferent)
Story:1/4 (Bad)
Characters:0/4 (Terrible) It is an amazing feat that they have accomplished: making WWII Jews unsympathetic.  Bravo.
Dialog:0/4 (Terrible)
Pacing:1/4 (Bad)
Cinematography:1/4 (Bad)
Special effects/design:3/4 (Good)
Acting:2/4 (Indifferent) Silly accents!
Music:3/4 (Good) This is weird. It's really good music, but somehow when it's paired with this movie... the juxtaposition of shit (dramatically) and pathos (musically) comes across as funny. Like this movie's a parody of Oscar bait.
Subjective Rating: 3/10 (Bad, 1/4 (Bad)). Oh, Edward Zwick. He saw Schindler's List, Braveheart and Come and See and wanted to make those movies, but he forgot that he's Edward Zwick. All the tedium of a melancholy art film, and all the craft and depth of a B-grade action flick. Poor Daniel Craig just wanted to kick some Nazi ass...
Objective Rating (Average):1.4/4 (Bad)

February 24, 2011

Star Trek: "The Devil in the Dark"

Title: Star Trek“The Devil in the Dark”
Year: 1967
Network: NBC
Episode: the twenty-fifth (of twenty-nine) from season one; 50 minutes
Creator: Gene Roddenberry
Director: Joseph Pevney
Writer: Gene L. Coon
Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, Ken Lynch
Music: Alexander Courage
I saw it: on video and TV several times, most recently yesterday (have on DVD)
Synopsis: a space monster in a space mine

My reaction
Concept:3/4 (Good) Bonus points for being the basis for about half the Doctor Who episodes made in the 70s.
Story:3/4 (Good)
Characters:2/4 (Indifferent)
Dialog:2/4 (Indifferent)
Pacing:4/4 (Great)
Cinematography:2/4 (Indifferent)
Special effects/design:4/4 (Great)
Acting:1/4 (Bad)
Music:4/4 (Great)
Subjective Rating: 9/10 (One of my favorites, 4/4 (Great)). I don't know why I love this episode, but I do.
Objective Rating (Average):2.9/4 (Good)

February 23, 2011

Lars and the Real Girl

Lynn’s Druthers Marathon, part 8

Title: Lars and the Real Girl
Year: 2007
Length: 106 minutes
Director: Craig Gillespie
Writer: Nancy Oliver
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner, Patricia Clarkson
Music: David Torn (and non-original music)
Oscars: nomination for Best Original Screenplay
I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Synopsis: a man believes his Real Doll is real

My reaction
Concept:3/4 (Good)
Story:4/4 (Great)
Characters:4/4 (Great)
Dialog:4/4 (Great)
Pacing:2/4 (Indifferent)
Cinematography:2/4 (Indifferent)
Special effects/design:3/4 (Good)
Acting:3/4 (Good)
Music:2/4 (Indifferent)
Subjective Rating: 7/10 (Good, 3/4 (Good)). I'd expected this to be the standard Quirky Indie Comedy. In a lot of ways it is - it's directed and acted like one - but the script is too good and cliche-free for it to be lumped into that category.
Objective Rating (Average):3/4 (Good)

MASH: Season Two

Lynn’s Druthers Marathon, part 7

Title: MASH: Season Two
Year: 1973-1974
Network: CBS
Episodes: 24, at 25 minutes each
Creators: Richard Hooker (novel); Larry Gelbart (developer)
Directors: Jackie Cooper (10 episodes), Don Weis (5), William Wiard (2), Gene Reynolds (2), Hy Averback (2), Norman Tokar (1), Alan Alda (1), Larry Gelbart (1)
Writers: Larry Gelbart (14 episodes), Laurence Marks (14), Sheldon Keller (3), Keith Walker (1), Jerry Mayer (1), Alan Alda (1), Robert Klane (1), Marc Mandel (1), Carl Kleinschmitt (1), McLean Stevenson (1), Richard M. Powell (1), Bernard Dilbert (1), Linda Bloodworth (1), Mary Kay Place (1), Ed Jurist (1), Paul Richards (1), Erik Tarloff (1), Gerry Renert (1), Jeff Wilhelm (1), Gene Reynolds (1), Gary Markowitz (1), John W. Regier (1)
Starring: Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, McLean Stevenson, Loretta Swit, Larry Linville, Gary Burghoff
Music: Johnny Mandel (theme); Benny Golson, Duane Tatro; Lionel Newman (music supervisor)
I saw it: on video (have on DVD), over the past few weeks
Synopsis: hijinks in an army hospital

My reaction
Concept:3/4 (Good)
Story:2/4 (Indifferent)
Characters:3/4 (Good)
Dialog:4/4 (Great)
Pacing:3/4 (Good)
Cinematography:2/4 (Indifferent)
Special effects/design:3/4 (Good)
Acting:2/4 (Indifferent)
Music:0/4 (Terrible)
Subjective Rating: 7/10 (Good, 3/4 (Good)). A little better than season one. Not funnier, but more focussed stylistically.
Objective Rating (Average):2.5/4 (Okay)