Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fool's Views (1/28 – 2/18)

Howdy, folks,

Well, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll see that I’ve not be idle even if the Fool’s Views themselves have been absent. Clearing out the Doc’s closet of reviews from the past 5-6 years and airing them out in the fresh cyberspace has taken time but it’s been both a gratifying walk down memory lane as well as the opportunity to spark conversation regarding films that I had seen prior to kicking off this current iteration of my mad-brained blithering blather. Hope you’ve been enjoying the ride thus far.

However, to get caught up with current events after a three-week hiatus, here are the latest flicks for clicking. Hope you like. (Films with a longer review can be accessed through the title link.)

As always, feel free to leave your two cents worth – we’ll make sure you get some change back.



Beast Beneath (2011) (1st viewing) d. Higgins, Julian (USA)

Cherry Tree Lane (2010) (1st viewing) d. Williams, Paul Andrew (UK)

Possession, The (2012) (1st viewing) d. Bornedal, Ole (USA)

President's Day (2010) (1st viewing) d. LaMartina, Chris (USA)


Duplicity (2009) (1st viewing) d. Gilroy, Tony (USA)

Clive Owen and Julia Roberts headline as a pair of corporate espionage operatives who fall for one another but are so deeply distrustful of the world at large and each other in particular that both their long-term romantic prospects and their scheme to steal a top secret formula from cosmetics mogul are fraught with suspense and over-the-shoulder glances. As their employer and Wilkinson’s rival, Paul Giamatti tears into his every scene like a ravenous rabid Rottweiler, and writer/director Gilroy’s thorny script keeps us on our toes. The leads are fine, but it’s Gilroy who’s the star.

Looper (2012) (1st viewing) d. Johnson, Rian (USA)

Tattoo (1981) (3rd viewing) d. Brooks, Bob (USA)

X, Y and Zee (1972) (1st viewing) d. Hutton, Brian G. (UK)

Thoroughly disappointing display of established actors rendering caricatures of themselves rather than genuine characters. As the harridan wife of eternal philanderer Michael Caine, Elizabeth Taylor is content to put forth a generic version of her Martha from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Caine, meanwhile, appears to have been saving his energy for his face-off with Laurence Olivier in Sleuth later that year, doing not-bad impression of…Michael Caine. Susannah York, she of the dewy skin and faraway eyes (who would also lodge a much better performance in 1972 with Robert Altman’s Images) does her best as a quietly suffering widower who falls under Caine’s spell, but she’s such a doormat that it’s hard to dredge up any empathy for her. Not sure how this ended up in my queue, but it definitely belongs at the end of the alphabet and near the bottom of anyone’s to-see list.


Searching for Sugar Man (2012) (1st viewing) d. Bendjelloul, Malik (Sweden/UK)

In the early 70s, a talented Detroit singer/songwriter named Rodriguez released two albums, both of which were non-starters, and he faded from public consciousness. Unbeknownst to anyone, these LPs made their way to South Africa and, in bootleg form and later through legit releases, proceeded to serve as a soundtrack for the anti-apartheid movement. One of those “you wouldn’t believe it if it weren’t true” stories that capture the imagination and the heart…which is why it will probably be this year’s Oscar winner.

56 Up! (2012) (1st viewing) d. Apted, Michael (UK)

Religulous (2008) (1st viewing) d. Charles, Larry (USA)

Comedian and professional shit disturber Bill Maher takes to the road and skies to skewer religions the world over, poking fun at (and holes in) faith and sacred beliefs. Maher’s point to be made is that it’s all silly, that living one’s life according to age-old dogma and traditions that were primarily designed to a) control the masses through fear and b) give mankind some comfort in times of confusion and despair is short-sighted and nothing less than delusional. He may have a point and some of his targets receive a well-deserved skewering, but the pervasive tone of snarky nastiness (a brand trademark) offers few insights—his only suggestion being that we cut loose our moorings and bump around each other until we recognize our similarities as opposed to our differences—smacks of cursing the darkness rather than lighting a candle.


(These are adult films - Reader Discretion is Hereby Advised)

Serena: An Adult Fairy Tale (1980) (1st viewing) d. Lincoln, Fred J. (USA)

Same Time Every Year (1981)
(1st viewing) d. Lincoln, Fred J. (USA)

2013 Totals to date: 41 films, 39 1st time views, 12 horror, 8 cinema

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