This week it was a pair of Italian cinema greats and one of the best films of 2009. I also watched Inglourious Basterds on Blu-ray as well as a second helping of Public Enemies, but reviews of both of those will be just around the corner so no further mentions here.
Ginger and Fred (1986)
QUICK THOUGHTS: If you're any kind of fan of Italian cinema and/or Federico Fellini you know the names of Marcello Mastroianni and Giulietta Masina. If you don't you really should. Might I recommend picking up La Strada, 8 1/2, Nights of Cabiria and La Dolce Vita. That should be a good primer and should have you falling in love with these two. Once you've done that, pick up Ginger and Fred as this is a film to be watched only after enjoying these two charismatic actors in their younger years as they are both much older in this film, but those characteristics, most notably Giuletta's smile, all shine through here, but it is a little sad to see them so much older.
I'm not positive what made me watch this film, but I believe it was in an attempt to see another Christmas film, which this is, but the fact it's a Fellini film with Mastroianni and his long-time wife Masina, makes it a must watch for that combination alone.
Il Grido (1957)
QUICK THOUGHTS: I saw this film mentioned over at Hollywood Elsewhere a long while back and hadn't seen it, and the fact it was a Michelangelo Antonioni film was enough for me to give it a watch. I am still quite green when it comes to Antonioni's films having only seen L'avventura, Blowup and La notte prior to this film, but he always brings something to the table. This is probably my least favorite of those I have seen, but I did enjoy it, particularly a rather powerful finale you could see coming from a long way, but very much earned.
Star Trek (2009)
QUICK THOUGHTS: I wasn't sent a review copy of Star Trek on Blu-ray or DVD, but Paramount did shoot over an awards consideration copy so I gave it another look. When Paramount asked me what I thought of this film I replied, "The best way for me to describe my thoughts on Star Trek is to say it is one of only three films I saw twice in the theater and the only film I paid to see that wasn't for reviewing purposes." Granted it didn't hold up as well the second time, but at home it is pure joy. I have already added the Blu-ray to my Christmas list so this DVD will most likely find its way into my mother's collection, but I am sure this is a film I will watch over and over again. As for awards consideration, I definitely see it getting nominated for sound mixing and editing, as well as effects. I don't, however, see it getting one of the ten Best Picture slots, the film just has WAY too many story problems. This is a movie for pure fun, but to say it doesn't have problems would be lying to yourself.
However, one thing I will say it has, is the absolute best trailer of the year. Watching the trailer below makes me want to watch the movie every single time I see it. Just a perfect marriage of dialogue, effects and obviously music.
There you have it. Now share your weekly recaps and weigh in with any thoughts you may have on the films I saw. And remember to connect with my Netflix queue by clicking here, I have already added several titles from those that have already linked up.
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Sorting through scheduling conflicts, business decisions and personal "must sees" has made planning for this year's Toronto Film Festival much more difficult that previous years, but here are my most anticipated as of now.