Minority Report (Steven Spielberg, 2002). This is the third time this movie turns up on my blog. As with last week’s A Scanner Darkly, I am using this is a class this semester, as I was in the summer of 2010 when I last wrote about it. I’m adjusting the rating downwards just a bit, but I wouldn’t take that too seriously. #203 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They list of the top 250 films of the 21st century (down from #183 last year … apparently I’m not the only person to downgrade it a bit). 8/10.
Tucker and Dale vs Evil (Eli Craig, 2010). Indie-styled comic horror, with Sally Field’s son making his feature debut as a director. It consists of variations on the standard tropes of the genre, played mostly for laughs. Toss in a bit of class warfare (hillbillies against college kids), and you’ve got a reasonable waste of 89 minutes. But since the movie did the festival circuit, starting with Sundance, I guess I expected more. 6/10.
Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969). Long-forgotten film that made its American debut in 2006 and promptly won multiple critics awards for Best Foreign Film of the year. This tale of the French resistance is purposely low-key; you don’t come here for action-packed heroics. Instead, you get ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, making life-or-death decisions (in truth, mostly death in the short term), living under assumed names, their actions unknown even to their closest family. There is an inevitable feeling to the fates of these people. Knowing, as we do with hindsight, that the Nazis eventually lose, and that the Resistance helped expedite the Nazi failure, isn’t much good to the characters, who all know they are unlikely to see that victory. #449 on the TSPDT list of the top 1000 films of all time. 9/10.
It Came from Outer Space (Jack Arnold, 1953). I thought I’d indulge my inner Creature Features by watching this on my Kindle Fire on a Saturday night. Peter Biskind tagged this as a left-wing movie because the aliens were good guys. I’d call it a fairly straightforward alien movie, not too sensationalistic … in fact, it almost plays like a mystery story. In this, it comes up short of Them!, but it’s decent in its own right. Barbara Rush won a Golden Globe for her performance in this movie. Make of that what you will. 6/10.