From the desk of the Movie Snob:
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). (B) A newly restored print was recently shown at a local art house theater for a couple of weeks. It’s pretty corny by today’s standards, but a lot of swashbuckling fun nevertheless. The packed theater broke out into applause at the end. Robin and Marian give a couple of speeches about the glories of a united England that are oddly anachronistic but surely reflect the concerns of the film-maker’s day, when the shadow of Nazism was already advancing across the Continent.
Swimming Pool. (B-) Sarah Morton is an older British woman, a writer of popular mystery novels, and a soul badly in need of a holiday to recharge her batteries. Her publisher lends her his French villa for a vacation, and it is as sunny and beautiful as London is cold and rainy. But soon after she arrives at the villa, an unexpected houseguest also moves in – her publisher’s beautiful and troubled teenaged daughter, Julie. Sarah gradually moves past her irritation and into curiosity about Julie’s mysterious past and present, and she switches from the book she had been writing to one about her housemate. Some decent suspense and atmosphere, but overall the movie doesn’t really add up to much.
And off the shelf . . . I’ve picked up a lot of DVDs on sale lately, and this long Labor Day weekend actually sat down and watched a couple. I find that the Hugh Grant flick About a Boy stands up to repeated watching very well, with Hugh turning in a fine performance as a shallow, womanizing, trust-fund baby who slowly opens himself up to the idea of caring about other people through a chance friendship with an odd and friendless 12-year-old boy named Marcus. Well worth your time.