: (8) I got swept up in this epic. Grand, exciting, entertaining, and romantic. As a story it's pretty simple stuff, with some of the blocking straight out of Gone With the Wind
(was that British villain supposed to be Clark Gable or what!) and narrative out of Dr. Zhivago
(which ain't a bad thing). A lot of the subplots were handled clumsily, but it was the overwhelming charm of the whole affair that I ended up really digging -- it's the 9th best film of 2002 so far (I count it as 2002 because it was released in L.A. May 8th).
: (3) A pretty shitty low-budget horror comedy that tries to say something clever about the menstrual cycle by applying it to the lunar cycle in lycanthropy (werewolves). This might have been a good idea had it not been fumbled from the first scene to the last by incompetent directing, ugly photography, and amateur-night-in-Dixie acting from the two teenage girl leads, who really needed a lot of work before they tried to handle a feature film. The forced jokes aren't funny at all, the insight on teen life is non-existent, and the scares and gore are totally ineffective. A wasted opportunity and a waste of a DVD rental.
: (7) The first time I saw this it would have been a 9, but I've now done a complete 180 between this and The Talented Mr. Ripley
. Now I actually find Damon a better choice than Delon, as ghastly as that sounds. (Delon would make a great Philippe/Dickie, though, but Jude Law is the superior actor). Clement's a really good director, but his version seems just like highlights from a book, a simplistically filmed attempt at cashing in on a cool novel. Minghella's, on the other hand, is totally re-imagined, with two new characters added in and the scope of the whole thing broadened. His musical touches are terrific, the suspense is tighter, and most importantly he brings in a lot more of the class war and homosexual aspects of the story -- making a treatise on the loss of identity so much more devastating. Three years ago I was sure that Clement's film was better than Minghella's, but now I'm really sure that Minghella's is a masterpiece and Clement's is just solid. I doubt I'll change my mind again.