The Love Parade (Ernst Lubitsch) **** - A womanizing military attache finds himself married to the Queen of his country and a battle of the sexes ensues. This is another classic pre-code musical courtesy of Ernst Lubitsch and Maurice Chevalier. The film will be viewed as rather sexist today and the songs are not that memorable but the wit, charm and filmmaking artistry will definitely win most people over (yours truly included). Oh, and it's also quite funny.
30 Minutes or Less (Ruben Fleischer) **1/2 - An unambitious pizza delivery boy finds himself forced to rob a bank after a couple of n'er-do-wells decide to off the rich dad of one of them so they can get their inheritance to fund their prostitution scheme. This film is from the makers of Zombieland. It's not quite as good as that movie. The film feels like a Coen Brothers script as directed by Judd Apatow and the result is a mix of good and meh. The cast is funny though Jesse Eisenberg, I feel, is just teeny-smudge miscast (though he's still great in it).
Pixote (Hector Babenco) **** - A young street urchin who after escaping from a brutal reform school with a bunch of young hoodlums enter a life of pretty crime involving robbery, drug dealing and prostitution in the streets of Brazil. This film predates City of God by more than 20 years. Although it has less violence and no flashy editing, it is somewhat more harrowing and disturbing even after all these years. The lead child actor in the film, Fernando Ramos da Silva, who plays the title character is a real-life street criminal whose brief fame with this film was shortlived due to his illiteracy and turned back into a life of crime, ending in a police shoot-out which killed him at age 19. Knowing this fact lends a bit of poignancy to certain scenes. It's often tough to watch but still a great film no less.
Woodstock (Michael Wadleigh) **** - I got this as a present for my dad because he loves classic rock music. Since I've only seen parts of it, I might as well catch up on my classic documentaries (one of the few genres of film which I'm dreadfully behind) and my music at the same time. This is an extraordinary documentary. The breathtaking editing and cinematography are matched only by the amazing musical performances captured forever, thankfully, on celluloid. The historic event has very much a "it's-as-if-you-were-there" feel to it.