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Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

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Why couldn't Andrea Carla Michaels name these movies?
The list of movies I've seen but haven't talked about is so long some of them are silents! Well, not quite, but it does go way back. I'm not going to review 46 movies at once, so let's do the ones with such vague or otherwise nondescriptive titles I didn't remember them and had to Google. (I won't quote titles.)

Heartbreaker - This French film stars Johnny Depp's girlfriend Vanessa Paradis,who is a huge star in France. The dashing Alex is part of a team that breaks up relationships, and they are hired to prevent Vanessa's character's wedding. This could have been distasteful, but while it was a bit dark I found it interesting and funny.

A Good Husband - Japanese movie about a lazy, womanizing photographer, or so it seems. Flashbacks reveal there is much more to the story, and I need to see it again. Not on Netflix, though.

Fair Game - Oh right, it was the Naomi Watts movie about outed CIA agent Valerie Plame. J invited me to this SAG/WGA screening, and I ran into someone who now works at my ex-job (she wasn't there when I was there, but knew who I was).

Love and Other Drugs (Q&A with director/writer/producer? - don't remember, but was not the stars) - Jake Gyllenhaal is a sleazy pharmaceutical salesman in the era of Viagra. He meets Parkinson's patient Anne Hathaway, who wants a no-strings-attached relationship. Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, not bad.

Somewhere (Q&A with Joel Coen interviewing Sofia Coppola) - Lazy days at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont with a dissolute actor whose small daughter comes for an extended visit. Shots last too long (car going around and around, daughter skating around and around... zzzz) and nothing much happens. Maybe I just didn't get it (but I'm not alone - one Netflix commenter preferred a colonoscopy to this film).

A Family Affair (Q&A with Chico Colvard) - Documentary about the filmmaker's troubled family history of incest and abuse - and forgiveness. Colvard spoke afterward to the small audience which made the movie that much more personal.

And Everything Is Going Fine (intro by Steven Soderbergh, Q&A with family members) - MoMA presented this documentary about monologist Spalding Gray, whose work I'd never seen. I did know he (allegedly) killed himself, and this fact hovers over the story, told entirely in Gray's own words.

Monogamy (Spirit Awards nominee for First Screenplay) - Even after reading about it, I can't quite explain this movie about a wedding photographer who takes surveillance-style photos on the side. His fixation with mysterious client "Subgirl" causes problems with his fiancee (Rashida Jones).

Kisses (Spirit nominee - Foreign) - Two Irish children escape their drab suburban existence and spend a night in Dublin. The big city can be scary, but the kids are sweet.

Mother and Child (Spirit nominee - Supporting Female (Watts) and Supporting Male (Jackson)) - Fine acting, intriguing, heartbreaking plot about adoption. Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson's and Kerry Washington's lives are intertwined in ways that gradually become clear.

Lovers of Hate (Spirit nominee - Cassavetes award) - Successful novelist and his brother both go after the brother's soon-to-be ex-wife, and things come to a head in Park City, Utah. Some elements of romantic farce.

Everything Strange and New (Spirit nominee - First Feature) - I barely remember this even after reading the description. A couple in Oakland try to make ends meet. Though Wayne is a carpenter, he's sometimes shown in clown makeup. Author Beth Lisick plays the wife (I have but haven't read 2 of her books).

Saved the worst titles for last:

Life As We Know It - Could that title be more generic? Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl are set up on a disastrous blind date by their mutual friends, and later end up having to raise those friends' baby. Yeah, that happens all the time. Adorable baby, poop scenes, and everything else you'd expect.

How Do You Know - How do you know WHAT? That could be about anything! But it was a cute Reese Witherspoon vehicle, not great cinema but not awful. Reese's athletic career is going down the tubes as two hot men (businessman with problems Paul Rudd and self-centered baseball player Owen Wilson) vie for her attention. We should all have such problems.
So long, Visual Bookshelf

I was going to do a book review update here, which requires updating my book catalog files. Discovered that Visual Bookshelf (part of Living Social on Facebook) is being discontinued. It was down for several days recently, so that must have been a warning sign. They recommended Goodreads, so I attempted to export from VB. That timed out, so I tried exporting from Library Thing. It said to check back in half an hour, but I have a feeling it'll be longer. Someone on FB said Goodreads took 36 hours (!) to process her list; don't know how it compares to my 2800+ books. I also have a catalog on BookCrossing but that's more for books I'll possibly be trading, so, for example, no puzzle books are cataloged.

Once the import completes, I'll probably have to do some editing. If ratings/reviews don't come over, I'll probably do without, but I will need my "read" (meaning "have read") and other tags. This will probably be a pain, but it's better than losing data altogether (which is why I have multiple back-ups).

Speaking of export/import, my last LJ entry (movie reviews) from 9 hours ago hasn't come over to Facebook. I accidentally posted it before I was ready, and then edited it multiple times so maybe that caused a problem.

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