Friday, December 16, 2016
The Amazing Spider-Man: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Denis Leary. Peter Parker becomes a costumed vigilante and dates the cool girl. Decent job from Leary. Stone was better in Easy A. The villain was silly. Okay movie, but that's about it.
The Loves of Hercules: Mickey Hargitay, Jayne Mansfield, Massimo Serato. Hercules travels to Ecalia to avenge the murder of his wife. He then is smitten by Queen Dianira. Adventures ensue. Mediocre acting, lame script. Hargitay was the 1955 Mr. Universe, so he at least looks the part. Mansfield's acting was really bad here, and her sex appeal was downplayed, so I have to wonder why she was cast in the part. Serato's decent as the primary villain.
Clash of the Titans: Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson. Perseus must find a way to defeat the Kraken or Argos is doomed. This could have been better than it was. There should have been fewer, but better-developed characters. It could also have been longer. Good job by Arterton as Io.
Knife in the Water: Leon Niemczyk, Jolanta Umecka, Zygmunt Malanowicz. A married couple encounter a hitchhiker and take him along on their sailing trip. Director Roman Polanski's first and only Polish feature film. Niemczyk reminded me of Jerry Orbach. Umecka was a hot one. It's mostly three people on a boat, so some viewers might be bored. I think it's worth watching, as long as you don't send any money Polanski's way.
Batman: Adam West, Lee Meriwether, Burgess Meredith. This is in the style of the TV show. So it's campy and light, not the serious, dark Batman of the recent films. The Penguin, The Catwoman, The Joker, and The Riddler team up to take over the world. Plenty of funny bits. Meriwether's excellent as Catwoman. West, Meredith, and Cesar Romero (Joker) do decent work. The Riddler (Frank Gorshin) seems kind of superfluous. Not impressed by Burt Ward as Robin.
Dog Days: Maria Hofstatter, Christine Jirku, Viktor Hennemann. The lives (mostly problems) of residents of suburban Vienna. Some brutal stuff, so not for the faint of heart. It's a bit uneven. I wish some of the stories had been developed more, and others had received less focus. I can't recommend it, though I won't say it's worthless.
Rachel Getting Married: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Debra Winger. A young woman who has been in and out of rehab for the past 10 years returns home for the weekend for her sister's wedding. I think the first half or so was better than the second half. It tried too hard to be p.c. There's a drawn-out dance sequence that almost had me hitting the fast forward button. But Hathaway is excellent as Kym, the MC.
Casino Royale (1967): David Niven, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress. With Barbara Bouchet, Deborah Kerr, Orson Welles, Joanna Pettet, Woody Allen. A James Bond spoof, with emphasis on the title story. There were five different directors. Sellers quit before his part was finished. Some good acting and attractive women, but it should have been better.
However, this does mean I've seen all the Bond films. Including the short shown during the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony and the 1954 TV version of Casino Royale.
Under the Tuscan Sun: Diane Lane, Sandra Oh. American writer gets divorced and moves to Tuscany. It's a fun little movie. Good for Lane fans. Nit-pickers might not like it.
Hannah and Her Sisters: Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey, Dianne Wiest, Woody Allen. Written and directed by Allen. The personal and professional lives of New Yorkers, with emphasis on Hannah, her two sisters, her husband, and her ex-husband. I liked the film more when Hannah's sister Lee (Hershey) was in it. I found Hannah (Mia Farrow) to be kind of annoying. I didn't like the ending. So it's not Allen's best work, but it's a decent film.