05 August 2011


A. Topkapi — Old heist film that is probably most enjoyable to people using hallucinogens. It opens with a pointlessly psychedelic monologue and has weird kinky undertones, though nothing sexual happens. This is the source not only for the classic Tom Cruise almost-hitting-the-floor stunt in Mission: Impossible (3), but also several of the plot details of Ocean's 11 (3).* It reminds one as well of How to Steal a Million (3) with Audrey Hepburn. On the whole, not a terrible movie, but not that great. I prefer Ocean's 11, which is basically the same movie but with much better characters. However, the woman who plays the ringleader has a fantastic accent and personality. The end didn't have the semi-clever twist I expected. Instead there was no twist at all. (3)

B. Arthur — Rich guy who never grew up wanders around drunk, being told he's cute a lot by prostitutes and Liza Minelli. They decide to get married at the end, but it's unclear how this is going to improve anyone's lot in life, though the tone of the film makes us think that everyone's problems have been solved. The best part of the movie is John Gielgud's bitter sarcasm, as Arthur's butler. Also features Jerry's dad from Seinfeld, playing Liza's father. (2)

C. Some Russian novel endings (spoilers, obviously):
  1. Anna jumps under a train.
  2. Pierre marries Natasha.
  3. Smerdyakov did it, though Ivan feels guilty.
  4. Raskolnikov turns himself in.
  5. Shatov is murdered; Kirilov, Stavrogin and the other major characters commit suicide or get caught, but Pyotr Stepanovich gets away.
  6. Nerzhin gets sent back to hard labor, without his boots if I remember correctly.

[* I realized later that this is not actually true.  The original Ocean's 11 was made a few years earlier.  I had forgotten that the Clooney version (which I have seen) was a remake.]