FILM NOTES….A few comments about movies I’ve seen recently:

  • Batman Begins was pretty good, but the main takeaway for me was the realization that Liam Neeson is a really good actor in fantasy-based movies like this. For my money, he gave just about the only decent performance in the entire Star Wars trilogy (the new one, that is) and he was equally good as Ducard in Batman.

  • I’ve managed to go my entire life without seeing Rebel Without a Cause, so I rented it a couple of nights ago. Having now seen it, I have to wonder how James Dean ever got another role, let alone an outsized reputation as a great actor of his generation. His performance was laughable ? although, to be fair, the screenplay didn’t exactly give him a lot to work with.

  • I also rented Stuey, a movie about Stu Ungar, a legendary card player of the 80s and 90s who died young after years of drug abuse. It was pretty good, and there’s a terrific scene in the middle where Stu rattles off every card in an opponent’s gin rummy hand without ever seeing it. By coincidence, a biography is hitting the shelves this week and the New York Times has a piece about it in today’s paper.

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