Monday, February 11, 2013

Something Old, Something New . . .

So this week, I'm taking a different approach.  Originally, I was thinking of doing a sort of Valentine's Day post, but I didn't really want to go all hearts 'n' flowers, so consider this the Bridal Fair posting.  I'll be discussing four films here - a something old, a something new, a something borrowed, and (yes) a something blue.

Up first - the "something old."  This is a classic film that deserves a look.  For this one, I chose Ball of Fire, which stars Gary Cooper as a stuffy professor and Barbara Stanwyck as a floozy nightclub singer with the truly unforgettable name of "Sugarpuss" O'Shea.  The film is loosely based on the Snow White tale, with a few gangsters thrown in.  Great fun, with a fast-paced story and some amazing slang that will make you shake your head and guess what's actually been said.

Next, the "something new."  Seven Psychopaths came and went this past summer and is now available on DVD.  It's a quirky little thing and I can easily see why it wasn't a huge hit.  However, it's a funny film and Christopher Walken alone is worth the price of the rental.  Add to that Colin Farrell speaking with his natural Irish accent, Woody Harrelson as a dog-loving gangster and Sam Rockwell playing (sort of) two roles and the rental price is an absolute bargain.

I decided that "something borrowed" could be defined as a foreign film, since that's something borrowed from another country.  (I decided England didn't count, so no Monty Python.)  I'm going with a classic here - Kurosawa's Ran.  A re-telling of the King Lear story (with samurais!), Kurosawa's use of color in this film is just breath-taking.  Don't let the "foreign-ness" throw you - Ran is a gorgeous film and after five minutes, the subtitles don't throw you at all.

Last, the "something blue."  In this case, the "blue" means "sad."  I didn't want to go all weepy-wailey, and I feel comfortable putting The Wrestler in this category.  Mickey Rourke blasted onto movie screens in the mid-80s and he always worked, but his projects became smaller and less "A list" over the years.  He left acting to work as a boxer for a while and those experiences lend a dark realism to this film, which was Rourke's re-emergence onto the A list.  He's astonishing in this movie - his character is a washed-up professional wrestler who knows nothing else and honestly, can't not wrestle - he's put nothing aside for a rainy day.  Or rainy decade.

I have nothing for the "lucky sixpence in her shoe" part of the rhyme.  I guess you could dig the loose change out of the couch before you watch these movies.

That'll do!

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