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brit com : too many crooks (1959)
What are your favorite British comic films? I like most of the usual Ealing suspects: Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lavender Hill Mob, and Man in the White Suit. I've never warmed to The Ladykillers, and Whiskey Galore made me laugh only once. As for non-Ealing comedies, Heavens Above with Peter Sellers really struck me as well done. I'm All Right, Jack was also good. Smallest Show on Earth was quite charming, and Belles of St. Trinian's took me by surprise and made me laugh.
Had the chance to watch a bunch of new releases over Christmas. I am the worst movie critic ever, so not sure why I'm even bothering, but here goes.
Atonement: beautifully shot, and much more intriguing than I thought it would be with a lot of jumping around in time. But I'd have to see it again to really know if it hung together on a deeper level and I don't have any desire to see it again. Really beautifully shot though.
Bucket List: Pretty fun although I'm embarrassed to say it. Pure fluff.
Juno: About as awesome as a comedy about teenage pregnancy can be. The Juno character is cast spot on.
Talk Radio Talk To Me: Interesting history lesson about an interesting figure - Petey Green - who I knew nothing about. Probably worth it for that. And I love Don Cheadle. But no way best picture.
Savages: Didn't get through it.
Valley of Elah: A smart look at some of the very negative repercussions of our crazy adventure in Iraq once these kids come home. Tommy Lee Jones is great. So I support this movie, I just wouldn't recommend it so much.
American Gangster: This must have been written with Denzel in mind it fits so well. I'll give it props for reaching for something truly great - but it falls short of that. And in that sense it's sort of overly long and falling apart. No way in the same class as Godfather and Goodfellas (I guess obviously,) and there's no way not to compare it to those. But still worth watching if you're into that sort of thing.
Michael Clayton: Probably my favorite of the bunch. Clooney is good. Interesting plot. A few nice twists. Nothing amazing, but pretty perfect Hollywood movie. Doesn't overreach like American Gangster.
netflix find: killer of sheep (see link for trailer)
Killer of Sheep examines the black Los Angeles ghetto of Watts in the mid-1970s through the eyes of Stan, a sensitive dreamer who is growing detached and numb from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse.village voice review
Frustrated by money problems, he finds respite in moments of simple beauty: the warmth of a coffee cup against his cheek, slow dancing with his wife in the living room, holding his daughter. The film offers no solutions; it merely presents life — sometimes hauntingly bleak, sometimes filled with transcendent joy and gentle humor.
Killer of Sheep was shot on location in Watts in a series of weekends on a budget of less than $10,000, most of which was grant money. Finished in 1977 and shown sporadically, its reputation grew and grew until it won a prize at the 1981 Berlin International Film Festival.
Since then, the Library of Congress has declared it a national treasure as one of the first fifty on the National Film Registry and the National Society of Film Critics selected it as one of the "100 Essential Films" of all time. However, due to the expense of the music rights, the film was never shown theatrically or made available on video. It has only been seen on poor quality 16mm prints at few and far between museum and festival showings.
Now, thirty years after its debut, the new 35mm print of Killer of Sheep, brilliantly restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive, is ready for its long-awaited international release.