154. Shadows and Fog (B-)
155. A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (C+)
156. The Front Page (B-)
Shadows and Fog
: This is a beautifully photographed, but inconsistent tribute to German expression (with, I think, a healthy dose of Bergman thrown in) from writer/director Woody Allen. Allen's script grapples with a lot of ideas and characters, but is never able to fully develop any of them. The movie has a great cast, of course, but it's inessential as far as Allen's films go.
A Complete History of My Sexual Failures
: Frequently, it's hard to sympathize with the filmmaker/protagonist, who is such a sad sack that it's hard to believe he's not putting on (a little bit of) an act in this very personal documentary. Nevertheless, it's an engaging film that is as often disturbing as it is funny. Apparently, it's being made into a fiction film, although I can't imagine that working without watering down much of the content (there's a BDSM dungeon that is one of the film's most shocking yet memorable scenes -- and there's no way that's getting into a mainstream feature without being diluted in a major way).
The Front Page
: A competent, if sometimes stage-bound adaptation of the play of the same name (also made, with more changes, as the earlier film His Girl Friday
). Jack Lemmon is slightly too old for his part, but it's a small price to pay for having him paired up with Walter Matthau. Well shot, I suppose, although you'd never guess that this was from the DP who photographed Blade Runner
and Altered States
Home Video: 96+2