What I Watched, What You Watched: Installment #89

Two flicks this week and, as promised, one is another entry from the Tracy and Hepburn filmography.

Keeper of the Flame (1942)
QUICK THOUGHTS: This is the third film from the “Tracy and Hepburn the Definitive Collection” DVD set and like Adam’s Rib and State of the Union it wasn’t a bad film, but seeing how this was the second film Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn starred in together it’s not like one of their later efforts that takes advantage of their chemistry. In fact, once I got to the film’s finale the only actor I could think of delivering the lines Tracy has in this film was Humphrey Bogart. Hepburn was fine, but her performance here reminded me several times of a ventriloquist’s doll as she seemed very stiff, often delivering lines like a statue with only her lower jaw moving.

This collection also has the duo’s first film together, Woman of the Year, which I am now more interested in seeing primarily because it is a romantic drama, which makes me think it will be the one to show off a bit more of that chemistry that’s so evident in their later films.

The story deals with the passing of an iconic industrialist and Tracy plays a journalist who admired the man and seeks to tell the story of his life. He soon runs into the man’s sheltered widow (Hepburn) and the story gets a bit dicey from there. Like Adam’s Rib, George Cukor directed this one as well and unfortunately, I couldn’t find a trailer or even a clip online to give you a preview.

Buy It Now
Amistad (1997)
QUICK THOUGHTS: I had never seen Amistad and I’ve had it on my coffee table since the beginning of February and with the Cannes line-up announced I needed to get this one back to Netflix so I could check out a few other films in preparation for Cannes.

As for Amistad, I wasn’t too impressed and it amazes me Anthony Hopkins was nominated for an Oscar considering I found his performance to be incredibly exaggerated. However, he isn’t exactly working with the greatest of material. All I could think of while watching his opening argument toward the end of the film was to wonder why Spielberg decided to play music over the entire thing. Nothing can make a lengthy speech seem less significant if you need to use music for emphasis. Then again, this speech needed something, perhaps a shot of adrenaline.

The story of Cinque deserves to be told again and it’s too bad Djimon Hounsou is probably too old to play the role now. He was the best thing about this feature, which often felt like it was trying too hard.

Buy It Now

Now it’s your turn. What did you see? Did any of you go see Scream 4 or Rio? Or perhaps check out Hanna, still the best film of 2011 in my opinion.

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