Monday, February 07, 2005

"Is the juice worth the squeeze?"

I got through a couple of flicks and started a sort of primer on Scorsese by watching his A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies: Part 1. I could listen to Scorsese yammer on about movies all the livelong day. The guy is only less chatty than Tarantino on Jolt Cola. But it's a joy to be on the receiving end of his info assault. Off the top of my head, movies I gotta see thanks to this: Duel in the Sun, High Sierra, the original Scarface.

The Girl Next Door: Totally comfortable in the "better-than-it-had-any-right-to-be" department. A riff on Risky Business to be sure, but totally adorable and smart. Above average soundtrack on board as well. Timothy Olyphant's oily porn producer gets the gold star for just about being the best thing about the flick. This dude does young Jack Nicholson better than Christian Slater ever dreamt. Plus I don't think he's trying.

The Aviator: I killed a few hours catching this again. I don't really get a sense of Howard Hughes from this movie at all. It feels stagey and sort of limp in places. But I'll be goddamned if it isn't absorbing as fuck. I think more than the Hughes story you get a real whiff of the flavors coming from Scorsese's kitchen. His devotion to that time period of movies is never off-camera. It's a beautiful, lyrical melodrama that might be elusive due to it's subject matter. Dicaprio gets the "Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison" award. That is, after the flick, Leonardo has supplanted my minds eye image of Hughes. Pretty spectacular.


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