dir. David Fincher. Two police detectives, Somerset (Morgan Freeman) who is about to retire, and the younger detective Mills (Brad Pitt), new to the city investigating a serial killer, who kills according to the (non-bilbilcal) seven deadly sins. I can’t believe this is 25 years old, it looks so new compared to other 1990s murder mysteries. It has the same polished David Fincher stlyle, looking just as good as his recent TV series ‘Mindhunter’. The almost omnipresent downpour of rain gives the film a strangely comforting atmosphere. Despite containing some of the most violent murders in cinema, it’s mercifully restrained about showing too much gore – instead we see the detectives and the victims reacting, this makes the film more of a thriller than a horror film, which suits my tastes. Amusing seeing character actor John McGinley in one of his serious roles as the moustachioed SWAT commander, who people may know as Dr. Cox in hospital comedy TV series, ‘Scrubs’. The allegations of sexual abuse by one of the cast does diminish the enjoyment of the climax of the film, although looking back his performance is not quite on the same level as Freeman and Pitt. It’s perhaps Brad Pitt’s best performance, but the main star is Morgan Freeman as intuitive, academic Sherlock homes style detective – to quote ‘The Wire’, he’s “natural police”. I would also not be surprised if he was an inspiration for Detective Lester Freamon in The Wire.
dir. Patricia Rozema. Theology professor Camille (Pascale Bussières) falls in love with a beautiful performance artist in a travelling circus, Petra (Rachael Crawford), causing Camille to question her religious academic career, and relationship with her male partner, Martin (Henry Czerny). I loved this movie, the two female leads are delightful, and have real chemistry. The intimate scenes are white hot. The contemporary circus performances are wonderful, especially the absurdist ballgown and hot iron performance. The occasional slow motion effects make it feel a little dated, but it’s still incredibly watchable. Director Patricia Rozema would later go on to make the charming Jane Austen adaptation, MANSFIELD PARK (1999). Make sure you watch all the way to the end of the credits. I’m reliably told that this movie falls into the genre of ‘popular with lesbians in the 1990s’, and I can see why.
dir. Guy Ferland. Made the same year as CLUELESS (1995), but has not aged nearly as well. Alicia Silverstone is charming, but the movie is not really about her, unfortunately. The only interesting aspect of the movie are the day dream fantasy sequences. The two desperate teenage boys are tiresome and dull. The most enjoyable parts are the fantasies of the middle-aged parents who have hired the babysitter. The wife, who dreams of an affair with friend George Segal (who I know from TV in ‘Just Shoot Me!’, and ‘The Naked Truth’), and the lecherous husband who dreams of hooking up with his teenage babysitter. Overall pretty disappointing. Unforgivable that they didn’t write a few fantasy sequences from the point of view of the titular babysitter, huge missed opportunity.
dir. Amy Heckerling. Still laugh out loud funny at times. Alicia Silverstone has real movie star charm, I wish she made more comedies. This has aged pretty well, a couple of outdated technology references (Murray paging Dionne). Paul Rudd is charmless, and almost ruins the movie, I fast forwarded his scenes. Vale Brittany Murphy, she’s terrific, and has genuine chemistry with her skater boyfriend, Travis (Breckin Meyer). The teacher romance storyline is genuinely heartwarming. Now I’m really looking forward to seeing EMMA (2020), how will it compare to CLUELESS (1995)?
dir. Michael Mann. Rewatched HEAT. Natalie Portman is so talented, even at fourteen. I love watching her interact with Pacino. “I gotcha baby. Here’s your momma!”
dir. Michael Mann. Infinitely re-watchable, cold and gripping even 25 years later. One of the first “action” films I saw growing up. The female cast members stood out this time, Ashley Judd on the balcony is terrific. The over-the-top dialogue is still enjoyable. “For me the action is the juice”.