Simple ratings for simple minds, or: Why the hell do I have such an enormous backlog?

Don’t waste your time

Rating: €: Black Hole (just plain awful all around), Dead Zone (how can Cronenberg and Walken create such crap?) Flight of the Navigator (KILL ME NOW!), The Frighteners (not silly, not funny, not scary – a mess), Innerspace (the less said the better), La Luna (art or poo?).

Don’t bother, don’t run away either

Rating: € €: Big Fish (pret-taah pic-taahs but where’s the beef?), Get Carter (the 1971 version; grim but a bit too sparse), Good bye, Lenin! (overhyped?), Last Samurai (predictable), Nousukausi (without Summanen they’d have nothing), Play It Again, Sam (too theatrical for a Woody piece), Something’s Gotta Give (Keaton and Nicholson are good but nothing else is), Standing In The Shadows Of Motown (gorgeous music, shame about the documentary), Stand By Me (cf. Last Samurai), Surplus (interesting experiment but nothing more).

Positively recommended

Rating: € € €: Los Amantes del Círculo Polar (a nice mix of fantasy and romance), Arsenic and Old Lace (superb first act), The Big One (Moore’s funny as always), The Eye (plenty of chilly moments), Microcosmos (macro cinematography like never before) Paris, Texas (weirdly unnerving), Rakkaudella, Maire (what a great character study!), School of Rock (predictable but enjoyable), Serpico (quality 70’s police stuff), Village of the Damned (quite a charming oldie scary pic), Wild Bunch (slo-mo blood), Zatôichi (tapdancing and samurais mix surprisingly well after all).

Must see

Rating: € € € €: Aleksis Kiven elämä (talk about rewriting history), Calendar Girls (quite perfect within its genre except for a small slump in the 3rd act), Crumb (how could you not make an interesting documentary when your subject is Robert Crumb himself?), Elephant (chilling), Irreversible (horrible), Jackie Brown (Grier: good, Forster: good, de Niro: his best role since ’95?), Kill Bill vol 1 (better than volume 2…), Kill Bill vol 2 (…still excellent), Koyaanisqatsi (what rhythm, what images, what music!) En kärlekshistoria (I suppose we all agree Roy Andersson is a cinematic genius?), Love Liza (Phil Seymour never fails), Pulp Fiction (do I need to explain this), Reservoir Dogs (weaker than PF, tho’), Shaolin Soccer (never get tired of this), Spellbound (excellent documentary), Les Triplettes de Belleville (best animated feature 2003?), 21 Grams (even better than Amores Perros).

Movies seen thus far this year: 89.