Welcome to the eighth installment of What I Watched This Week. I don't review everything I watch, but I have time for quick comments about the movies that I don't fully review.
It was a very slow week and I only managed to see three films:
David Fincher followed Se7en with the mystery thriller, The Game. It stars Michael Douglas as Nicholas Van Orton and Sean Penn as Conrad, his brother. Nicholas is extremely wealthy and isn't in love with his life, but Conrad buys him a birthday gift that will change his life. It's a game run by a company that Nicholas has never heard of, but he takes the battery of tests and enlists. His life is suddenly threatened as people try to kill him. Is this for real? The Game is a thrill-ride with an excellent twist, and I would place it above many of Fincher's more widely celebrated films. Douglas and Penn do a good job and there's plenty of action. The supporting cast is also worthy of mention with Deborah Kara Unger, James Rebhorn and Armin Mueller-Stahl all playing a part. For more thoughts on The Game, take a look at the discussion over at 137exactly.
Overall score 4/5
If not for The Descendants, Midnight in Paris would have been my favorite film of 2011. Both films are strengthened by superb scripts and I enjoy the pure escapism offered by Woody Allen's best film for years. Owen Wilson plays the character that would once have been played by Allen himself, and he does it very well. It's charming, funny, and imaginative. Check out my full review for all of my thoughts.
Overall score 5/5
Alien was ahead of its time. The first part of the film introduces the characters and we find out they they are aboard a mining ship in space. The best part of the film is the discovery of the alien ship and the eggs that it contains. This sequence is pure suspense and excellent cinema. Once we have met the creature, the film becomes something else; it's part horror, part action, part science fiction. Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, is not your typical heroine. She thinks fast and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty. When the rest of the crew panics, she's the most rational one among them. I watched this again because it's the subject of this week's discussion at the previously mentioned 137exactly. Feel free to join in if Alien is among your favorites. The Blu-ray version dramatically improves the presentation of the film and I enjoyed it more than ever. I'm raising my previous score by half a point. There's also a mini-review of Alien that I did for my 100 movies series.
Overall score 4.5/5
Click here to see what I watched April 8-14.
Click here to see what I watched April 15-21.
Click here to see what I watched April 22-28.
Click here to see what I watched April 29-May 5.
Click here to see what I watched May 6-12.
Click here to see what I watched May 13-19.
Click here to see what I watched May 20-26.