Things I saw in November


Undercurrent (1946): I very bizarre film noir directed by Vincent Minnelli, a man more known for musicals and starring Katherine Hepburn who seems miscast here. Hepburn plays a woman who marries a man hastily only to begin suspecting he may have a dark past which involves possible murder and a mysterious brother. The husband is played by Robert Taylor who is rather hammy. Robert Mitchum gives the best performance as the mysterious brother however he’s only in a handful of scenes. The plot worked for awhile until it became too convoluted which results in an unsatisfying conclusion. Hepburn is a much too stong willed woman to play so meek. This has shades of early Hitchcock particularly “Rebecca” and “Suspicion” but it’s a mere shadow of those films. 2.5 stars out of 4

Thor: Ragnorok (2017): A very rousing and funny addition to the Marvel movies thanks mostly to winning performances and the unique sense of humour from director Taika Waititi. The best of the Thor movies and ranks along with “Ant-Man” and “Iron Man 3” as the funniest in the series. 3.5 stars out of 4

The Sandpiper (1965): A pictueresque soap opera starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Taylor plays a bohemian who is raising her son off the beach at Big Sur. However she is forced to put her son in a religious school which is run by a sympathetic and married headmaster played by Burton. The two soon fall in love and have an affair which result in some steamy scenes which was no doubt something the public at the time would clamor to see. Not a very deep film but the scenery and the two charismatic stars make it worthwhile. Strong support by Eva Marie Saint as Burton’s wife and Charles Bronson as one of Taylor’s bohemian friends. 3 stars out of 4

Justice League (2017) A very messy movie indeed where you can see studio interference all over. However some of it works in spite of itself. Batman and Wonder Woman must bring together a group of rag tag people with special abilities to save the world. Zack Snyder said his main inspiration for this was “Seven Samurai” and you can sense it here, one wonders what a more epic movie would bring. Much is botched here which makes this movie look cheaper than it should be, but there is enough action and excitement to please fans I’m sure. Gal Gadot walks away with this film. 2.5 stars out of 4

Lady Bird (2017) The best film I have seen this month belongs to Greta Gerwig’s funny, touching “Lady Bird”. Along with this, and “Brooklyn” Saoirse Ronan is shaping up to be one of my favorite actresses. She plays Lady Bird, a young girl who is trying to escape her mundane life in Sacramento hoping to go to an out of state college. Laurie Metcalf is wonderful as her mother with whom she has a complicated relationship with. In fact the whole cast is wonderful. Gerwig brings wit and style to this film which probably would’ve felt like a run of the mill coming of age indie film that they like to manufacture at Sundance. This is a winner all the way. 3.5 stars out of 4

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