Clash of the Titans

This looked easier when Master Oogway did itThe last thirteen hours have been a charming flashback to the summer of 2007, when I spent every weekend shuttling back and forth from Toronto to Manhattan — and almost always encountered some form of weather-related delay on the LaGuardia end.

I’m posting this week’s review roundup from a Sheraton in Queens. How’s your morning?

“L’Amour Fou”: Rad does not think much of Pierre Thoretton’s documentary about the late Yves Saint Laurent, as remembered by his partner Pierre Berge. After the recent deluge of fashion docs, I cannot say I was interested to see it at all, so it’s nice that he took the hit.

“Beauty Day”: Jay Cheel’s documentary about the ups and downs of self-destructive St. Catharines maniac Ralph Zavadil — better known to his cable audience as Cap’n Video — rides its Hot Docs buzz into a theatrical run. Glenn found it fascinating.

Bobby Fischer Against the World“: This workmanlike documentary about the famously unstable chess master is undone by director Liz Garbus’ insistence that Fischer was driven mad by the intricacies of the game — a pop-psychological assessment that feels simplistic at best, foolish at worst. Worth seeing for the archival footage, I guess.

The Collapsed“: Justin McConnell’s admirably modest apocalyptic thriller opens with confidence and looks pretty good, but the script and the acting just aren’t where they need to be to make it work at feature length.

The Hangover Part II“: Second verse, exactly the same as the first. But it works, somehow, thanks to a script that’s much smarter than it initially seems, strong performances from Helms, Cooper and Galifianakis and the understanding that a little Ken Jeong goes a very long way.

The Invisible Eye“: Diego Lerman’s character study of a repressed teacher (the very good Julieta Zylberberg) whose psychological deterioration mirrors the collapse of Argentina’s dictatorial regime would seem a lot fresher had Michael Haneke never made “La Pianiste”, which is basically the same movie, in German, with Isabelle Huppert. C’est la guerre, I guess.

Kung Fu Panda 2“: As gorgeously realized and exhilarating to watch as the first film — and after that and “How to Train Your Dragon”, concrete proof that DreamWorks Animation can compete with Pixar on its own turf. And Pixar never cast Gary Oldman as a genocidal peacock.

Little White Lies“: Guillaume Canet’s Gallic “Big Chill” sends Francois Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Benoit Magimel and Laurent Lafitte off for a seaside vacation in the wake of a friend’s motorcycle accident, then watches as their passive-aggression slowly moves towards full-on aggression. It might have worked at 100 minutes, but not at 150.

There, that’s everything. And now, back to the airport, to play the waiting game all over again …

2 thoughts on “Clash of the Titans”

  1. Hi Norm,
    Was looking up an old review of yours from April 27, 2007. You should check out the comments section from that day.

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