I’ve linked to some other reviews of interest which I came across in the last month – I don’t always agree with everything the reviewers say but they raise some good points.
Iron Man: Twice. Not unflawed, but the best superhero comic book movie I have seen. It managed to avoid many of the sillinesses common to the genre, or at least smooth them into obscurity. I still think the real superpower belonged to Pepper, and her ability to run over metal gratings in high heels. Jennifer Fallon agrees in her review, and lists most of the reasons this movie shouldn’t have worked. Considered apart from its genre it was a very enjoyable, watchable, big screen movie and I recommend it. Some discussion (favourable) on Pepper Potts’ role at the Hathor Legacy, less unambiguously positive here on what makes a movie misogynist. Then this review critiques its approach to race and raises some interesting discussions – I didn’t actually see some of the things they saw as happening in that way. I’ll have to watch a third time :) My favourite part was the development of the suits – from the almost steampunk aesthetic of the Mark 1, through the variations and additions and decorations of the later suits, the balletic awkwardness of learning to fly – and it has been justifiably called “Top Gear for robotic attack suits”. It was an excellent origin movie and I like those best – also, do stay to the end of the credits.
Twelve Angry Men: I know it’s a classic. I had never seen it – not the movie, not the series. Then for this year’s Law Week the Queensland Young Lawyers put on a rehearsed reading of the play in the Banco Court of the Queensland Supreme Court, starring a stellar cast of judges (including the Chief Justice as “the old man”), barristers, lawyers, civil libertarians and local actors. It is a brilliant piece of theatre, the acting was often genuinely good and the “rehearsed reading” format removed any weight of expectation from the acting – if you ever get the chance to see a rehearsed reading, do. And afterwards they let us go back into the real jury rooms which were very small and instead of “break glass and press button in case of fire” there was a box by the door where the glass could be broken to get the key to open the room from the inside.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day: This felt laboured at times and lacked a lightness. But the story is charming and Frances McDormand and Ciaran Hinds lifted the movie above the everyday. I really liked the theme of the older characters who remembered the last war while the younger set carry on their bright brittle round of entertainments, and it had a gentler deeper feel than most such movies.
Indiana Jones: Twice. Oh, did we have any right to expect anything more than a B-grade movie with an A-grade budget? It was a lot of fun and silliness. From the previews I did not expect to like Mutt’s character but he and (of course) Marion Ravenwood were brilliant and the highlight of the film. I am trying to erase the monkeys from my memory (not the first Indiana Jones movie that has made this necessary) but the giant ants were fabulous. I heard some criticism of Indiana Jones’ graverobbing ways, but nothing has changed in this regard, and after all it wasn’t he who dealt with the city in the end. Nothing like tidy aliens, I always say. Heroine Content reviewed the movie from their perspective, while Screen Rant did a lovely piece on what the movies meant to their contributors growing up.
Moliere: An unexpected delight and unfairly compared to Shakespeare in Love – a fictional account of the playwright’s life, full of hidden identities, illicit romances, thwarted young love, betrayal, greed, foolishness, ridiculous conflicts and inspiration. Beautiful constumes, characters and surprisingly restrained in the more European aspects of the film :). A light touch, never too ridiculous, never too serious.