Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Bette Davis Month Bonus: Deception (1946)
Davis plays a part somewhere between a romantic lead and a femme fatale - she's not really dangerous until the end of the film, although as the title suggests, she's a bit devious, keeping her relationship with Alex a secret once she reconnects with Karel. She spends most of the movie desperately trying to keep Karel from finding out about her past with Alex (even though she and Alex are no longer intimate), and Rains is enormously entertaining as the spiteful and wounded playboy who toys with his ex once he finds out that she's thrown him over for this wholesome musician. Henreid has to play the oblivious straight man much of the time, but he too gets to express jealousy and hurt as Karel tries to rebuild his relationship with Christine.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior
And I'm willing to acknowledge that maybe it's improved, although judging from the first two episodes of spin-off Suspect Behavior (which as far as I can tell is just the same show with different characters), things haven't changed a bit. Suspect does all of the things I hated about Minds when I first saw it, coming up with the most unpleasant, pseudo-shocking details possible for its crimes, and luridly glorifying the nastiness even as its characters work to investigate it. It's appalling that a network show can blithely depict a victim with his eyes gouged out and blood running down his face, yet MTV gets boycotted for showing teen characters having sex on Skins (but that's another discussion entirely).
Premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on CBS.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Triskaidekaphilia: The Thirteenth Guest
On the 13th of each month, I write about a movie whose title contains the number 13.
Sunday, February 06, 2011
Bette Davis Month Bonus: The Old Maid (1939)
Davis' Charlotte and Hopkins' Delia aren't actually sisters, but they might as well be: They're cousins raised together by their grandmother, and they have a very sisterly relationship. Delia is the favorite, the older cousin and the one who has her life on track. She marries a wealthy man with good standing after ditching her flaky boyfriend (perpetual Davis co-star George Brent), and has a couple of kids before her husband dies in a tragic accident. Charlotte, meanwhile, picks up Delia's leftovers by getting knocked up by Delia's shiftless ex, right before he goes off and gets himself killed during the Civil War. Delia gets to be self-righteous and superior about living the better life and raising Charlotte's illegitimate child (who never knows her true parentage), while Charlotte plays the martyr, always reminding Delia how she sacrificed all of her own happiness for the sake of her daughter.
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