#2,001: Veronica Mars
Hey, I cracked 2000 movies watched! Give or take, of course, the huge margins of error on both sides.
The A-Team - ★☆☆☆☆
I can't believe how boring this was. Looney Tunes has higher stakes. They even jammed a terrible 'lost his powers' subplot that gets resolved by turning to Ghandi as an inspiration to kill a bunch of people in with the other incomprehensible nonsense.
Small Time Crooks - ★★★☆☆
Fun, jokey, not much of a heist movie exactly. I was surprised to find it's as recent as it is.
Rififi - ★★★★★
Just great. I hadn't seen it in a while and I think it blurred together with The Friends of Eddie Coyle and maybe Topkapi for me, so it seemed fresh. It may be a little bit of a vanilla story and execution, but that's okay when you're first. It holds up as a solid, exciting, and precise-like-clockwork film.
Le Cercle Rouge - ★★★½☆
I was much more into the first half of this movie in which the team is assembled than the second half containing the heist. It's not a bad heist, necessarily, unless you've -just- watched Rififi.
Probably my biggest criticism though: not enough red circles!
Two lightly spoilery items I enjoyed:
1) How the crooks step over the first electric eye, but to get past the second wall of them, they just do it somehow while we're cut away to the other characters.
2) How they steal all the jewels off their displays, but when they go to the fence it's all nicely laid out on velvet backings and stuff. Must have been a nice afternoon craft project.
Veronica Mars - ★★★☆☆
As a viewer who has never seen the TV series, I still found this to be fun and fairly accessible. There were certainly some lines that I could pick out as references I wasn't getting, but at the same time I probably didn't actually benefit from the 'previously on' type opening sequence. I probably would have cut out the gang stuff and the line by Ken Marino that causes a tiny plot hole.
In the pantheon of movies that continue TV series instead of rebooting them though: pretty good! And better at standing on its own than a lot of those. Maybe a rung below Serenity, and while I really liked Homicide: The Movie, that's probably only because I watched seven seasons of the show first.