Arsenic and Old Lace

After watching perhaps the worst movie I’ve ever seen (see “previous” in this post), I had to watch something guaranteed to be good. And I’ve seen this a couple of times before, but it’s been a long time — and this is a new 2K restoration from Criterion. So it’s gonna be even better!

The only thing I remember from the plot is that these murderous sweet old ladies kill off a lot of people…

… so I’ve forgotten completely the Frankenstein guy and the Peter Lorre guy.

So it’s not all about those sweet old murderers!

Because these two are murderers, too, but of the bad kind!

This movie is so funny, and so over the top. And Grant is magnificent.

Arsenic and Old Lace. Frank Capra. 1944.

Dave Made a Maze

OK, I have absolutely no idea why I bought this bluray… I haven’t seen any other movie by the director or anything. But I see that I ripped this disk the same day I ripped movies by Jeff Baena, so perhaps he said that this was an amazing movie or something? (Those movies were disappointing, too.)

This is really, really bad. It’s like a metaphorical movie where they state all the metaphorical implications up front. But while high.

I’m so bored by this movie, and I’m only ten minutes in — I didn’t know that it was possible to be this bored.

I’m this bored.

Isn’t that that guy?

After a seemingly interminable 15 minutes which was Dave shouting at them not to enter the cardboard maze, they’ve finally entered the maze — this is where the movie should have started.

Spoilers: It’s bigger on the inside.

It’s still in-credibly tedious.

Actually, I’m not sure why I hate this so much. It’s an inoffensive little small budget whimsical horror/comedy movie… that I hate so much. Sooo much.




I don’t know if the same person conceived the visuals and wrote the text, but the former are wonderful while the latter is unbearable.

I really, really disliked this movie, and the dislike was immediate — I loathed this movie from the first scene on. That sounds totally irrational, right? And I can’t explain why I hate this so much. I mean, the performances were bad, and the dialogue was horrible, but it looked pretty OK, and that usually counts for something, right? But nope.

Perhaps it’s the forced whimsy of it all — it’s fake whimsy.

Dave Made a Maze. Bill Watterson. 2017.

Le lion volatil

Gates of hell!? (I’m learning French, but I think that’s what it says…)

This Criterion box set feels like a cornucopia, and I’m sitting here wishing they’d give this treatment to other directors (I’m thinking Chantal Akerman, David Lynch or Peter Greenaway, say), but on the other hand, perhaps Varda is ideally positioned to have a box like this made. For one, she had her own production company, so there’s no problems with getting the rights to it all. But beyond that practical issue, her filmmaking also makes for a compelling box set: She didn’t do that many full feature-length movies, but when she did, she revisited them later and made documentaries about making them. So instead of having to sprinkle these disks with people-discussing-her-films, we get her discussing the films herself, which is more fun.

And she also did quite a number of short movies that revolve around the same issues as her main movies, so it all… fits. I’m not sure that there are that many other directors that had the same sort of output.

That said, this isn’t a very good short.

Le lion volatil. Agnès Varda. 2003.