The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
To Rome with Love (2012)
This is probably the most polarizing film of the bunch, as Woody Allen movies tend to be. Someone I know described it as "charming" and I completely agree. The four vignettes presented here (two of which are completely in Italian) are a delightful mix of comedy, satire, opera and Italian visual delight. Some people think of Allen's movies as being a bit trite, but this felt fresh with plenty to unpack. All the performances are good with Jesse Eisenberg, Roberto Benigni and Alessandro Tiberi standing out. I think Allen knew precisely what he was doing with his two most recent flicks, and it's reassuring given the large number of confused movies out there.
Norwegian Wood (2010)
Tran Anh Hung
I'd been really looking forward to seeing this one as its based on one of my favorite contemporary novels. Unfortunately, it falls quite flat, simply moving an attractive cast along a book plot; there's no real character development here. The score deserves some commenting on: I'm a big fan of Radiohead, but I've never been completely "on board" with Jonny Greenwood's avante-garde classical offerings. And while he can tap into a sound evocative of jazz greats like Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus (or even Sun Ra), I'm not sure that ambiance works in all contexts. The guitar theme works well for the film, but some of the orchestral music becomes tedious. While this didn't really work as movie, it had enough pretty shots that get me interested in its director.
The Scent of Green Papaya (1993)
Tran Anh Hung
That's all for now!