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Weekly Mishmash: May 25-31

Lovers Courageous (1932). One of those movies that shows up on TCM at five in the morning and you record it just because it looks vaguely interesting. Robert Montgomery and the unjustly obscure Madge Evans headline as pair of starry-eyed pups who give it a go despite their different social standings. A standard soaper, most of the interest today might lie in the impressionistic photography of William Daniels (Garbo’s favorite cinematographer) — every scene radiates with a beautiful glow. It also has a sharp and witty script, which is surprising since it was written by the same guy responsible for the froufrou Last of Mrs. Cheyney.
Maxed Out (2006). This documentary on the credit card industry was pretty good, even if it didn’t tell me much that I already knew. PBS’s Frontline did a similar exposé a few years back which was much more incisive, but if that’s not available this is a sufficient second choice. I almost forgot that MBNA America was the number one financial contributor to Bush’s reelection campaign — yeeks!
Thank You for Smoking (2005). Razor-sharp satire was much better than I expected. This could’ve been done as a complete farce, but what makes it great is how the situations are played out with a little humanity and even heart. And Aaron Eckhart rules.
Tulsa (1949). Technicolor hokum with a tempestuous Susan Hayward as the part-Cherokee oil queen of Oklahoma. This is the kind of movie that takes place in the ’20s, but nobody bothers to make it look at least somewhat period correct — but it is briskly paced and fun in a brainless way.

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