Oct 8th, 2007

Miz Shoes Reviews: A Random Selection of Movies

The RLA and I have been busily watching movies lately. Netflix, IFC, Turner Classics, The Movie Chanel… And I can honestly say that the majority of what I’ve seen has been crap. Jeff Goldblum’s mockumentary “Pittsburgh”? Sucked. It had its moments, but they were few and far between. Like, was the director of the Pittsburgh production of “Music Man” in on the joke, or not. Because if not, the scenes where he’s trying to tell Goldblum that reinventing Harold Hill into a neurotic, twitchy idiot is not going to work, and there are only two days of rehersal left? Those are weepingly funny. If he was in on the joke? Not so much.

“2001, A Space Odyssey” is a classic, right? And I watched it again the other night for the first time in years and years. I watched it straight. I watched it waiting for it to be as brilliant and cinematically life-changing as it was the first time I saw it in 196whatever, when my friend Kay fell asleep during the trip. I kept waiting. And waiting. And I realized that there was a total of 10 minutes of dialog in the whole thing, and that those ten minutes did absolutely nothing toward driving the plot. And then I realized that there was no plot. And then I realized that I needed to see “Barry Lyndon” again. And then I thought that I should call Kay and apologize to her for ridiculing her for falling asleep in the theater and tell her that she was right about that.

We watched “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and within the first five minutes I identified the choreographer as Bob Fosse. And I’m not even all that savvy about dance. That said, there are certain moves that will forever be Fosse, and nobody else. Jazz hands and contrapuntal feet, to be precise. I want a copy of “A Secretary Is Not a Toy”. Which is a lovely segue into the other musical I watched, “A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to the Forum”, a film that stands the test of time and then some. That is a great piece of cinema, with some great performances by some giants of the stage: Phil Silvers, Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, and of course, the immortal Buster Keaton. Probably one of my all-time faves, and the number “Everybody Ought To Have a Maid” is almost always in rotation on the i-pod.