Friday, February 19, 2010
I’m tellin’ ya, I half expected those kids to try and seek refuge in the cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
OK, look, you already know that Robert Mitchum’s Harry Powell ranks among the great screen villains. I knew that, and I hadn’t even seen the movie yet. What I didn’t know, and what THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER showed me, is that Robert Mitchum would have made a first-rate silent film actor. Even without the power of his distinctive voice, Mitchum’s face and frame carry so much weight, convey so much menace behind such a friendly façade, that I can picture him holding his own not only against the great Lillian Gish in this picture, but opposite her in the heyday of her silent career. Put this guy in an unreal world of portentious nature and avenging motherhood, and it’s no surprise that THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER became a classic.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
IN THE LOOP is a dialogue-based comedy about the runup to the Iraq War. Well, the movie never specifically calls the war in question the Iraq War, but it leaves little room for doubt. It centers on a hapless, minor British cabinet minister who, by saying the wrong thing in a radio interview, becomes a pawn of forces in London and DC. I’d say he’s a pawn of forces he can’t imagine, but they’re right there in his face, calling him a twit (British) and an idiot (American).
Hey, I hear ya: you’ve had it with witty, dialogue-based political comedies. I know the market’s swamped with ‘em, but I’m here to convince you to pluck this one out of the deluge. If you’ve ever wanted to hear “Love, Actually” used as a pejorative, here’s your movie. If you’ve ever wanted to hear someone accused of sounding like the Nazi Julie Andrews, here you go. If you’ve always known, in your heart, that opera music is really just subsidized … foreign … vowels, haul your tail down to the video store and pick up this movie.
Now, I’m done with typing. I need to spin this film again.