_shmoo (_shmoo) wrote,

Time for another update!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - This was better than I expected, but it had about 3 more endings than it needed. First, he beats Elektro, then he beats Green Goblin (at a terrible price), then a funeral, then Rhino. Too much, especially given that they were likely expecting another sequel. Perhaps at least the last ending could have been the beginning of the next movie. However, I quite like Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker. If he's dumped for future Spider-Man films, I'll be a bit disappointed.

In A Lonely Place - 1950 Humphrey Bogart film, in which his neighbor (played by Gloria Grahame) clears him of a murder but then begins to have her own doubts (as do we, the viewers). Decent.

The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann - Classic novel from the German author, somewhat similar to his famous short story "Death in Venice." I think I enjoyed the other novel of his I've read, Buddenbrooks, more.

The Imitation Game - Recent film about Alan Turing. Quite good.

Marathon Man - 1976 film starring Laurence Olivier as an old Nazi and Dustin Hoffman as a young man unwittingly caught in the web of conspiracy involving stolen diamonds. The best part was the tense scene in New York's jewelry district, when Olivier's character has some diamonds appraised, and is recognized. Strangely, in that scene, I found Olivier's character sympathetic.

Dark Victory - Really good 1939 film in which Bette Davis is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. Gnaw had told me a while back it was one of her faves, and I can see why. Also features a young Humphrey Bogart and... Ronald Reagan!

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - The last of the overextended trilogy. It was alright.

The Red and the Black by Stendhal - The story of a young man who tries to rise in French society, but ultimately fails. I quite liked it.

Show Boat - This is the 1936 film version of the famous stage musical, also filmed in 1951 (additionally, there was a non-musical version of the story in 1929). I quite enjoyed Irene Dunne acting as a bad actress, and Hattie McDaniel and Paul Robeson were quite good together. The latter sings "Ol' Man River" which is a great performance of an amazing song.

Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies by Hilary Mantel - Mantel's two Booker Prize-winning novels focusing on Thomas Cromwell and his role in the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. Pretty good, though in the first novel I sometimes had trouble telling when the pronoun "he" referred to Cromwell. This was fixed in the second book, but in kind of an awkward way. It would say things like "He did this and that; He, Thomas Cromwell" to clarify who "he" was. Weird. Anyway, there's a BBC mini-series that will be shown next month on PBS. I'll check it out.

Flash Boys by Michael Lewis - Non-fiction! Repetitive and alarmist. Certainly, some illegal stuff is being done, but Lewis doesn't understand what it is.

An Affair to Remember - Remake of Love Affair, which I watched a few months back. While this version, with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, is also considered a major classic, I much preferred the Charles Boyer/Irene Dunne original.

The Boys from Brazil - As noted above, in 1976 Olivier played an old Nazi. Two years later, in this film, he played a Nazi hunter. Gregory Peck plays the Nazi. Gregory Peck as a bad guy. Hard to believe when you read it, but he is convincing in the film. This was quite good.

Zoolander - I had never seen this. It was pretty funny actually. And apparently they just announced a sequel!

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy - I don't know about this one. It's a classic I guess, but the portrayal of Bathsheba Everdene as a strong independent woman who becomes an idiot when dealing with men didn't sit well.

Tootsie - Despite this '80s film being often on best of all time lists, I had never seen it. I think I was under the misapprehension that Dustin Hoffman dresses up to perform in a drag show, but it's not that at all. Really good movie.

Beverly Hills Cop - I'd also never seen this '80s movie with Eddie Murphy. Certainly not as good as Tootsie, or even close, but worth a watch if you like Murphy.


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