Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in, 2008) – Can Sweden produce anything that isn’t sad and bleak? Even this cereal has a certain bleak sadness to it. The story itself wasn’t even all that depressing, but it’s impossible to establish a visual in Sweden without being a total downer, especially in the winter.
Smash His Camera (2010) – I was already leaning toward the side of Freedom of the Press Means Freedom of the Press for Everybody, but this guy has some amazing photographs. About fifteen minutes or so in, there’s a shot of Catherine Deneuve getting out of a cab that is just so stunning that I wish I were famous so Ron Galella would follow me around and maybe a decent picture of me would turn up every once in a while.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, 1928) – Silent film can be a lot of fun to watch because what they lack in sound and dialogue they often make up for in stunning visuals. Watch this one if you want to see almost two hours of closeups of a weeping woman’s face.
Rango (2011) – This movie is not for your children. For that matter, few movies are for your children if they lack the patience to wait a minute for the thing that just happened to be made clear. I thank the woman behind me and to my right for eventually trying to shush her child; yours is not an easy job, madam. Where was I? Oh, yes. Excellent film. Made me thirsty just watching it.
Blacula (1972) – I think a lot of us went into this evening expecting a lot of cheesy crap, but I for one was pleasantly surprised. This one was well written (except for the thing pointed out to the room: why did he follow the photographer to destroy the non-pictures of him if he just woke up yesterday and has never seen a camera?), well acted, visually competent, and (save one shouted monologue in a warehouse) audible, which is a surprisingly low bar to judge a movie by, I realize, but sometimes you have to lower the bar.
Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966) – There’s a lot of potential in this concept. Given a proper budget, this could have been right up there with Cowboys & Aliens and Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Timecop (1994) – This movie may depict the worst-run time travel organization in the history of film. They don’t even have the debriefing after the mission to keep track of what has changed in the past, and you really need that procedure if you’re not even going to build a time-proof chamber for your operations.
The only thing that makes this movie watchable is a group of people willing to make fun of it. Explosively.
Fraulein (Das Fräulein, 2006) – Some day there’ll be a movie in this lineup that isn’t some depressing German film where people talk about horrible things that happened to them in “the war,” but not today.
Temple Grandin (2010) – I hate biopics, I really do. Not this one, though. Claire Danes totally makes up for Romeo + Juliet. I want a hug machine.
Paragraph 175 (2000)