Movies I watched in October (and brief notes)
This was enjoyable. An old Muslim shop owner teaches a young boy some life secrets.
Unknown Pleasures, Zhang Ke Jia
Totally awesome. Disaffected Chinese youth run around and make mistakes. Asian cinema is so obviously the most important cinema of the last decade that I can hardly believe that not everyone knows it.
Kicking and Screaming, Noah Baumbach
Attractive college graduates try to figure out what the hell to do with themselves in pretty hilarious fashion. I liked Metropolitain better for this brand of comedy, but Baumbach is a good director.
Out of Sight, Stephen Soderbergh
I watched this like five years ago, and it turns out that it was exactly as enjoyable as I remembered it. The first Clooney-Soderbergh meeting!
Down by Law, Jim Jarmusch
Tom Waits, John Lurie, and Roberto Benigni are misplaced convicts who run around together and don't do much. I still liked it, but I'm not convinced--based on this and Ghost Dog--that Jarmusch is worth the indie hype. I guess I might see Broken Flowers someday.
Michael Clayton, Tony Gilroy
This is quite the slow burner. I'm a Clooney fan, and I'm a fan of corporate thrillers, so I'm susceptible to enjoying this perhaps more than the average person, but I thought it was really good. There are a few especially great scenes. You'll recognize them when they show up.
Into the Wild, Sean Penn
This was good, although just a little too emotional at times. I haven't read the book, but the story is pretty interesting, and there were a couple of really strong moments. I'm interested in seeing what kind of stuff Sean Penn does in the future.
The Darjeeling Limited, Wes Anderson
If you like Wes Anderson, you'll like this. I do, and I did. Hilarious and bittersweet, with a face-punching Louis Vuitton baggage metaphor.
The Straight Story, David Lynch
One of the best movies I saw this month. Not your typical Lynch, but what is? An old man goes on a hell of a journey across the Midwest, and a riding mower is involved. The final scene = tearjerker.
I Know Where I'm Going!, Powell and Pressburger
Enjoyable classic '40s fish-out-of-water! A woman is engaged to a rich man, but finds it impossible to reach him on his island off the coast of Scotland. Jonathan Lethem and Richard Linklater named it as one of their favorite Criterion movies.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Alfred Hitchcock
The only Hitchcock I've seen that has no murders in it. Total screwball comedy that has some pretty hilarious moments. Worth it.