Sunday, August 4, 2013

Weekly Round-Up (7/28/13 - 8/3/13)

I Married a Witch (Rene Clair) ***1/2 - This predates Bewitched by a few decades. This is a rather funny fantasy-screwball comedy about a politician who falls in love with the resurrected witch who his Puritan descendant burned at the stake. I've only known Fredric March in dramatic roles before now. As it turns out, he's a great comic actor too and Veronica Lake, who would NOT fall in love with her? The film is still funny after all these years and the special effects are still pretty good too.

Gojira (Ishiro Honda) **** - Pacific Rim got me in the mood to finally catch up to this film. I've only seen the Raymond Burr Americanized version and of course the ridiculous Roland Emmerich one. This original Godzilla movie, despite the crude effects (yes, it does look like a guy in a suit stomping on cardboard miniatures) is somehow more compelling and gripping than most CGI behemoths being released in Hollywood today. One thing that surprised me, quite pleasantly I might add, is that this film has as much in common with Shohei Imamura's Black Rain as it does the original King Kong. It's a monster movie for sure but also a thought-provoking, poetic anti-nuclear drama as well.

Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr) ***1/2 - Bela Tarr is one of the handful of major filmmakers I still haven't seen a single film from...until now. I had no idea what to expect since I had very little idea of the plot. Basically, it's about a young man running around doing favors and errands and in his town a giant stuffed whale shows up as a freak show attraction and causes chaos in small Hungarian town. This film features some very elaborate long takes that's impressively directed and visually stunning. I don't know how much I'm missing in terms of the Hungarian history and culture and the many implications and subtexts of the story but what I saw was definitely something. It's not for all tastes, for sure but it's a fascinating piece of film.


YeamieWaffles said...

Do you think it'd be fair to say that the first film is what Bewitched would have been? If so I've learned something new today. All of these films sound good to me buddy, thanks for the round-up as usual.

Adam said...

I remember seeing the Americanized Godzilla original. It was awful.