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Old November 11 2011, 06:12 AM   #849
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Location: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Re: Movies Seen in 2011

150. Ben-Hur (B+)
151. Only Angels Have Wings (B)
152. Midnight Cowboy (B-)
153. Holiday (B+)
154. Modern Times (A+)
155. Singin' in the Rain (A)
156. A Star Is Born (1976) (C-)
157. A Star Is Born (1954) (A-)
158. Time Bandits (C)

One of Terry Gilliam's first non-Python features, made while the troupe was still making its own films (albeit on its last legs). Aims to be a children's film, and I suspect I'd have liked it more if I'd seen it at that age; but the time adventure format feels flat. None of the vignettes really click (there's a particularly listless visit to Sherwood Forest that features the least engaging John Cleese appearance I've ever seen), and the protagonists remain generic and unmemorable. Because it's a Gilliam production it has a more cynical, darker edge than most children's films, and a memorable design aesthetic, but it never comes together.

159. Kagemusha (B)

Late period Kurosawa, where things were starting to get really depressing. Superbly costumed and art-directed, like all his films, but this ultimately feels like a three-hour test run for Ran five years later, which addressed very similar subject matter far more effectively. The aforementioned three-hour running time is overly generous by a good amount, and could have been trimmed easily without losing anything. For much of the length the film lacks any real sense of narrative momentum, which it gathers up in the final half-hour or so. As an aside, I hadn't realized when I bought this that it was a story about many of the same people from James Clavell's Shogun.
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