Friday, December 14, 2012

November Recap

This recap is a little belated, but I thought I should still post it for continuity's sake.  Starting today and continuing through all next week, I am subbing for someone where all I have to do is sit at a computer and occasionally answer the phone.  Needless to say, I will have a lot of free time today and next week to get back into blogging as much as possible.  To start with (after this post), I'm going to try to get my Ford thoughts up by the end of the day.  I really owe Brandon those, and I apologize to him for taking so long with them.  I don't know what I'll try to do after those, but I'm thinking a Fritz Lang top 10 list is in order, as well as maybe a general round-up of what I've seen lately and some Christmas movie thoughts.  We'll see how much I actually achieve, but I will seriously have nothing else to do, so I might as well post.

Anyway, here's a November film and TV rundown:

In Name Only (1939) *** 1/2
Ziegfeld Girl (1941) ***
The Maltese Falcon (1931) ***
Brute Force (1947) ***
Double Wedding (1937) ** 1/2
Green For Danger (1946) *** 1/2
The Crowd Roars (1932) ***
The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936) ****
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) ****
The Long Voyage Home (1940) ***
Mrs. Miniver (1942) ***
Macao (1952) ***
Daisy Kenyon (1947) ****
Lincoln (2012) ****


Citizen Kane (1941) ****
The Searchers (1956) ****
WALL-E (2008) ****
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) ****


Dexter Season 7
Homeland Season 1

The best classic films I watched last month were certainly THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, DAISY KENYON, and THE PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND.  NOTRE DAME is just exquisitely made and Charles Laughton gives a tremendous, heartbreaking performance.  It's a pretty fantastic adaptation.  DAISY KENYON has been getting a lot attention in auteurist circles due to Preminger's rising stock and for its weighty depictions of adult themes.  I think it deserves its blossoming reputation.  It's a strong, emotional melodrama shot in beautiful film noir swaths of shadow and light.  Preminger usually delivers the goods in these regards.  I'll write about THE PRISON OF SHARK ISLAND in my Ford post, but obviously, it's a great one.

Watching CITIZEN KANE again reminds why it deserves every accolade it has ever received.

DEXTER Season 7 is the worst yet, and there have been some stinkers over the past few seasons.  It has completely gone off the rails.  It's repetitive, sloppy, and narratively incoherent.  What a mess.

Technically, I only watched one episode of HOMELAND on Nov. 30th, but since then I have finished the first season and am four episodes into the second.  It's a very good suspense thriller, I have to admit.  Taut, economical, absorbing - it hooks you instantly and remains addicting throughout.  Never short of surprises, and at least smart about the way it handles its problematic subject matter.  At its most complex, it's not just reactionary fodder, but a thoughtful representation of U.S. foreign policy and "The War on Terror."  It's quite good.

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