by Ryland Walker Knight
- The Women [George Cukor, 1939] Phelps is right about Roz: she's the woman to watch in this hissy fit of a movie. Wall to wall chatter at bird call speed, with pauses only for some sentiment; naturally, the speed's the thing. Makes language itself into an affective weapon. Again: a film/story/play about rich people who do nothing but chop each other like wood, into kindling, for the sport of it, while life complicates on by.
- Angel Face [Otto Preminger, 1952] This is a warped picture. Jean Simmons is pretty perfect as that sinister little miss thing, which means she sells all her crazy as something close to sexy by wearing a constantly demure mask. Mitchum, too, does his thing all chest-out and chin-in. But what makes all the Freud-in-neon stuff go over so well is that camera, and the ending (talk about a finish line!), and all that talk of money. Love it when money matters like that, when class is a subject without calling attention to itself, though it's pretty obvious from the get-go given that ludicrous set/home atop Los Angeles and that heights/strata figure so prominently into the interpretive circle.
- Anchorman [Adam McKay, 2004] # Maybe this is the best one they've done. So left-field. Clearly these dudes are just goofing and having a blast. No rules but the rule to be as wacky as possible. Also, Luke Wilson was in shape and Chris Parnell continues to be a secret weapon.
- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince [David Yates, 2009] # Still not so great, but I was tired and the trailer for the new one/s got me excited in that predictable (stupid) way and there really are a lot of good images in this one, despite its dumb script. So, in short, like this but a little nicer.
- A Perfect Getaway [David Twohy, 2009] Thoroughly entertaining. Nuff sed. Believe: Timothy Olyphant is a man in full.