August 30th, 2010
|11:59 pm - Cinematic Fiction/Double Feature|
If this series of movies has a theme, it's pairs! See if you can spot them all. (Hint: One movie is part of two pairs.)
Predator 2: An io9 post convinced me to check this out after Predator, but I forgot that the way to enjoy the movie is to pretend Predator never existed. As Bernardin points out, the movie is structured as a mystery, with Danny Glover investigating what could possibly be killing all these various gang members—while dealing with a meddling government agent played by Gary Busey. So what you get for the first two-thirds of the movie is a bizarre cop thriller that just happens to have an alien bounty hunter running around with a host of cool weapons. For some reason, the nominal plot isn't as engaging as it is in the first movie, even though in that movie too, we as the audience know that the Predator is out there. The problem is that the first movie is a horror movie, so that creates suspense. Because this movie is not, it just creates impatience. The last third, however, is basically Danny Glover vs. the Predator, and it's pretty cool. Plus, Adam Baldwin! B
Jennifer's Body: This movie was marketed as a horror movie with Diablo Cody's dialogue and Megan Fox's hotness, but, as is so often the case, the marketing misrepresented the movie entirely. Frankly, Diablo Cody's "cool" dialogue is the weakest element of the movie, and it almost feels out of place because it pops up only intermittently. The actual story, however, is good: it's a movie about the relationship between two best friends, a nerdy girl and a hot cheerleader, and how it changes when the latter is possessed by a demon. Which is clearly a metaphor for that period when long-time BFFs hit that point in high school where one realizes that perhaps you've outgrown the friendship. Mixed in with that is the metaphor of the hot girl who craves the attention of boys (in real life, she doesn't usually eat them). It's not so much a horror movie as a teen drama with horror elements, but the marketing department couldn't sell that. They also put all the focus on Megan Fox when the main character is actually Amanda Seyfried, who is great. The movie is dark and moody and interesting. If the poor box office and middling critical reception turned you off this movie, I am here to say you should check it out. B+
Teeth: Let's follow that up with another feminist horror-comedy, shall we? Dawn O'Keefe is an abstinent teenager who strongly endorses the promise ring and fears having impure thoughts. It's probably for the best, as she discovers she has vagina dentata. And so we begin a slightly gory take on female sexual awakening, as Dawn tries to understand what is going on with her body...and how she can use it to her advantage. It's also an indictment of the fucked-up pressures and expectations put on teenage girls; Dawn's condition is a curse that distresses her. Like Jennifer's Body, it's not so much a horror movie as a teen drama with horror elements. The comedy works better here, though, both the satire of the abstinence movement and the silliness of a penis-biting vagina. There are a handful of gory post-bite shots and several severed penises, as a warning, but it's pretty clear when you need to close your eyes. (Whenever a man shows up, because nearly every man in this movie is an asshole. Dawn's vagina needs victims, after all.) Overall, the movie is what it is, and it follows a fairly predictable progression, but it does it well. B/B+
The Informant!: Matt Damon plays an intelligent but dopey informant in this corporate-thriller-turned-comic-romp by Steven Soderbergh. This movie, based on a true story, could have been the tense tale of a man risking his career as a whistleblower, gathering evidence over years as he betrays his friends and colleagues. Instead, Soderbergh scores the entire movie with cheesy, bouncy music, ho ho, look at the scale of this global conspiracy! Matt Damon is hilarious, especially in his narration, because he never shuts up. He just says the most ridiculous things, so matter-of-factly, because is so utterly naive. It's like, here is the point, and there he is, way over there. So while you have Matt Damon being super-amusing without (the character) realizing it, you have funny guys like Joel McHale and Tony Hale playing very straight. It's almost as if Matt Damon's character has stumbled into a serious corporate thriller. The way Soderbergh plays with tone is very interesting, especially given the latter half of the film. Also: Scott Bakula! B+
Timecrimes: Héctor is having a strange day. First, he gets a weird phone call. Then he has an odd encounter with a beautiful girl and a masked man. And then he inadvertently steps into a time machine and goes back about an hour and a half. It's time for TIME TRAVEL MAYHEM, ladies and gentlemen. Although the first half of the movie is surprisingly dull for a time travel movie because, well, we've seen time travel movies and we know how they go. We understand causality loops, and we can pretty much see where it's all going. Thankfully, complications ensue, and the story gets more interesting. It's not as mindbending as Primer, though. It's a pretty solid time travel thriller, if fairly conventional and predictable. B/B+
Romeo + Juliet: I tried to watch Baz Luhrmann's IN YOUR FACE Shakespeare adaptation years ago but fell asleep because I was either tired or bored. This time, I also decided to go to sleep halfway through, but I finished it. I really wanted to like this movie. Setting the play in modern day but not changing the language at all is a fun idea, and for the first five minutes, it seems pretty badass. But then it's a little too IN YOUR FACE. And the strict adherence to Shakespearean dialogue begins to feel too out of place, especially when only a handful of the actors can really sell it. Leonardo DiCaprio is a great actor, but listening to him spout Shakespeare is almost painful at times. Claire Danes fares better, thankfully. I forgot how stupid this play is, though. Romeo and Juliet are idiots, holy crap. Good Christ, get over yourselves and your bullshit love. There are elements I did like and some very effective moments and clever adaptations (like turning the balcony scene from a dialogue into two monologues), but all in all, it's an interesting but failed experiment. B
Shutter Island: Leonardo DiCaprio plays a man haunted by his dead wife in a movie rife with dreams, but this isn't Inception. Here, he's a U.S. Marshal investigating the escape of a mental patient from the titular island. No one can figure out how she even got out of her cell. Meanwhile, he's having freaky dreams about his dead wife and flashbacks to his time in WWII (the movie takes place in 1954). We learn there's more to his presence there than just the case, and as he digs deeper and deeper into the mental institution, things get creepier. When he finally discovers what's going on, it's a doozy. Shutter Island hits the right "creepy thriller in a mental institution" notes, and Scorsese was able to score some stellar actors for key one-scene characters, and the musical score is impressively culled together from modern classical music yet still fitting. But the main character's trauma feels too constructed and artificial, and the final act threatens to veer into ridiculousness. Perhaps it's more palatable in the novel, but it's to Scorsese's credit that he does keep the movie from going off the rails at the end. B/B+
The Invention of Lying: Imagine a world where no one lies. Everyone always speaks the truth. Even fiction doesn't exist. Put aside the fact that this is unimaginable because if humans couldn't lie, history would have gone down very different paths. The first half hour of this movie is basically an extended sketch, and it's very amusing, even though it equates an inability to lie with oversharing. I had to rationalize the oversharing as replacing small talk most of the time, but in some cases, it still didn't quite make sense. In any case, Ricky Gervais suddenly invents lying, and he's the only person who can do it. It's a revolutionary concept, and it's really rather interesting to see him and the other characters react to it. For instance, in a world where there are no lies, there isn't even a word for truth. There's no need for it. As we watch him explore his new power, we see the usefulness and effectiveness of the small lies. And then he inadvertently releases a Big Lie into the world. And in this world, lies are memes because everyone is so gullible (they don't understand untruth). Also, there's a romantic comedy with Jennifer Garner in there. The movie got mixed reviews that tended toward the negative, so I was prepared to be disappointed, but I really liked it. I thought it was funny and clever and sweet—Ricky Gervais isn't his usual ass-y self—and it's full of great cameos. It may have bombed at the box office, but I recommend you watch it. And that's no lie. B+/A-
Fast and Furious: The movie starts out fast and furious with a whole lot of ridiculous car stunts, but then it gets sort of boring as we establish the plot and try to have character development and stuff. It's certainly nice to have the "original parts" back, with Vin Diesel doing his Diesel-y thing and Jordana Brewster being all Brewster-y. In this outing, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are both going after the same drug lord, for personal and professional reasons, respectively. There is a mild sense of competition and conflict, but...not really. Basically, they drive cars really fast and sometimes do crazy things and there are spectacular crashes and possibly explosions. You know what you're getting into with these movies, okay? It's not as good as the first or third (seriously, Tokyo Drift is worth watching just for Sung Kang, who has a cameo in this one and will apparently be in the fifth), but it's easily better than the second. I wish it were better, really, but it doesn't have a lot of sequel punch to it. Regardless, it's fun times. B/B+
Point Break: Almost two decades before Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for The Hurt Locker, she made a surfing action movie! All I really knew about this movie was that The Fast and Furious was basically Point Break with cars, so I wasn't expecting much. But I got more than I was expecting! Keanu Reeves is the awesomely named Johnny Utah, an FBI agent attempting to infiltrate a pack of surfers suspected to be a group of bank robbers. One of these surfers is Patrick Swayze, and, you guys, I don't think I realized that he's actually a really good actor! He totally sells his hippy-dippy adrenaline-junkie ways. Utah's investigation, even though we know where it's going to lead, is fun to follow, as is his crash course in surfing. Compared to The Fast and Furious, however, the plot is much more interesting. Plus, you get action-packed surfing, skydiving, and chase scenes! And Gary Busey and John C. McGinley. Also, Keanu Reeves being punched out by a naked woman. It's too bad there was no 2 Point 2 Break. B+/A-
Gloomy Sunday: In preparation for my trip to Budapest, I decided to watch some movies set in Budapest. This one is set in the 1930s, but I'm sure the Danube is still there. A restaurant owner and the house pianist are both in love with the beautiful waitress, but it's a love triangle that doesn't involve everyone being dicks to each other. At least not overtly. The pianist composes a song in honor of her, "Gloomy Sunday," which is so lovely and beautiful it appears to triggers a rash of suicides (this plot element is actually based on a real urban legend about the song). Gloomy Sunday is kind of two movies in one: the first half concerns the creation and reception of the song, and the second half deals with the Nazi occupation of Hungary and how it affects the relationships between the main characters. Soon tragedy is heaped upon tragedy, and I know a movie called Gloomy Sunday isn't going to be a comedy, but really. The characters spend a lot of time pondering the message of the song, and I similarly wondered what the movie was trying to say. Also, why everyone was in love with this waitress, who was a lovely woman but didn't seem to have a life of her own outside of the men who loved her. It's a well made film with good performances, but I was ready to give it a middling grade until the rather awesome payoff in the frame story—the movie is a flashback—forced me to bump it up a notch. B/B+
Kontroll: This movie, the first film by the director of Predators, is set entirely in the Budapest Metro. Our Hero leads a crew of ticket inspectors who, you know, inspect tickets. They're a ragtag group of weirdo misfits. About half an hour in, I started to lose interest because it became clear that this movie had no actual narrative and was just about ticket inspectors encountering unruly passengers and weird shit. Like a hooded figure pushing people into trains incoming trains. And a cute girl in a bear suit. Wait, maybe they're supposed to represent Good and Evil or something, I don't know. Some of the threads start to come together in the end, but they're not so much threads as pieces of string. I only started to give a shit about the main character halfway through the movie. There are a handful of nice scenes, but I mostly didn't feel like paying attention to anything. B-/B
Strange Days: I saw this movie years ago but wanted to revisit it after having experienced more of the Kathryn Bigelow oeuvre, which I now realize resembles the Danny Boyle oeuvre, in that both directors have a penchant for genre-hopping. Bigelow's trademark seems to be visceral, intense action sequences, and here she sticks them in a sci-fi story by James Cameron. It's the eve of the new millennium, and change is in the air. Ralph Fiennes peddles a black-market technology that allows you to virtually experience someone else's recorded experiences—or even your own, if Juliette Lewis happens to have dumped you. The first-person POV shots are surprisingly not cheesy and are very effective. Fiennes soon finds himself caught up in a corrupt cop conspiracy, and he drags Angela Bassett into it. Fiennes and Bassett are a great team, especially because she's usually the one saving him. So that's always fun. It's sci-fi with a social conscience and a great soundtrack, and, despite being almost two-and-a-half hours long, it's never boring. A-
Barcelona: After Budapest, I'm going to Barcelona, so what better movie to watch than...Barcelona? This was my first Whit Stillman movie, and it reminded me a little of Woody Allen's films with its sly, understated sense of humor and conversational scenes. Ted, a Chicago salesman living in Barcelona, is visited by Fred, his naval officer cousin. They encounter and discuss a lot of anti-Americanism, but the conversations are so casual and witty that it doesn't feel like a Political Movie. They also encounter and discuss Spanish women, one of whom is played by Mira Sorvino (remember her?). While the majority of the movie is Ted and Fred bickering (Ted's sort of a wet blanket, and Fred's kind of a jerk), their romantic relationships move forward and give the movie a sense of plot. The story takes a sharp turn in the third act that could have cast a pall over the rest of the movie, but it somehow comes out of it okay, thanks to a light touch. It's a very funny, enjoyable film with endearing characters. Fred may be a jerk, but he's a funny jerk. I have totally had that angst about shaving in the right direction. Ted may be a wet blanket, but he's a funny wet blanket. I have never had such a discussion of ant politics. B+/A-
Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Barcelona is a place for romance, it seems. Here, two American women encounter a sexy Spanish artist (and later his crazy Spanish ex-wife). Vicky is engaged and inhibited, but Cristina is unattached and more of a free spirit. Juan Antonio appears to be a creepy Lothario at first, but he's surprisingly sincere and thoughtful. The characters in this movie are so fascinating and complex, I wanted to know more about them. Part of that comes from the narration, which makes the movie seem like a short story or novella, where so much more could be written about the inner lives of these people. And yet, I also loved the look of the film. I am, however, slightly miffed on Rebecca Hall's behalf. Rebecca Hall plays the titular Vicky, and I couldn't take my eyes off her, but all the attention went to Penélope Cruz, who doesn't show up till halfway through the movie and basically acts crazy all the time. Even Scarlet Johansson, who was also really good, got overshadowed. But I didn't even realize the movie wasn't all about Scarlet and Penélope until it began. Anyway. I've rarely met a Woody Allen film I didn't like, and this is one of the good ones. B+/A-
Perfect Blue: After the unexpected death of Satoshi Kon, I moved up my plans to check out his work, starting with this, his first film, which is the animated lovechild of Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch. Mima is a pop idol who leaves the pop group CHAM! to pursue a career in acting. She gets a gig on a crime drama called Double Bind, a sexually charged murder mystery that will definitely change her image. That doesn't sit well with some of her fans, though, especially one dangerously obsessed stalker. Mima begins receiving threatening messages, and soon, she's haunted by her past self, who believes her to be tarnishing the reputation of the "real" Mima. As if that weren't enough, she seems to be at the center of a murder mystery herself. Art imitates life and life imitates art and reality and fantasy start to blend together, and the whole thing is brilliantly edited so that you're kept off-balance and unsure what's real and what's not, but it doesn't feel like you're being tricked either. It's a psychological thriller with a healthy dose of identity issues, and while I could see how it could be done as a live-action film (and it was, later), animation allows for the hallucinatory imagery to blend in enough with the "real world" that it doesn't look cheesy. The soundtrack also adds a lot and is effectively creepy and unnerving. The denouement concludes abruptly, but the preceding climactic sequence is marvelous. A-
Paprika: Satoshi Kon's last completed film bears some similarity to Inception, in that both films are about people using machines to enter dreams, but they're very different movies. Here, the technology is used for psychotherapy by Dr. Chiba, whose alter-ego Paprika interacts with the subjects in their dreams to understand what troubles them. When the machine is stolen, however, things begin to go haywire, as the machine allows you to project dreams into other people's minds. As Chiba and Paprika and others try to catch the culprit, they must navigate the ever-changing dreamworld, and the imagination and creativity at work here create imagery like nothing you've seen before. This is a movie I wish I had seen on the big screen because it's so pretty on my TV but it clearly wants to be so much bigger and more impressive. Like in Perfect Blue, Kon uses brilliant editing to merge reality and fantasy, but he also manipulates the dreamworld in ways that seem natural, logical, and rooted in character rather than being weird for the sake of being weird. He clearly understands the power of animation as a medium. The general story isn't as compelling as Perfect Blue, but the film looks so fucking good (especially in comparison to Perfect Blue's flat, old-school animation style), I didn't mind that I didn't quite understand it all. A-
I am planning on some lighter fare for the next batch. In addition to some heavier fare.
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Music: Sneaker Pimps - Can't Find My Way Home
My big problem with Invention of Lying wasn't the "can't lie == overshare all the time" equivalence. It was the weird idea that if no one lies, people will automatically change their beliefs upon being told something different, without questioning anything. If you tell me you're the President, I can ask you how it came to be that I thought someone else was the president without thinking that you're a liar. Really took me out of the movie.
The way I saw it, if there's no such thing as a lie, then anything anyone says is truth. And, given that there is no way the human race would have gone the same way if no one ever lied, there was a heavy suspension of disbelief in play already, so I had no issue with the conceit that the most recent truth you hear is the one you believe. If you have to reconcile conflicting "truths," then you get into messy territory.
I had the same problem. After I saw that movie I kept thinking, okay, nobody can lie, but can anyone be incorrect? What happens if you misremember something and then repeat it to someone else? Or just mishear? The movie seemed to demand that no only does lying not exist, but also, no one is ever wrong about anything. Definitely no one in that universe could ever play "telephone".
Timecrimes: I like time-travelling movies (like Primer
) and I very much enjoyed this one, especially given the fact it had close to no budget.
Shutter Island: Didn't know the book, but right from the start I felt it was clear in what direction the movie would go. Didn't like it compared to the praise the movie got.
The Invention of Lying: I'm afraid I though it's one of those movies where watching a trailer is enough. I think I fast-forwarded through much of the second half. I didn't like the sudden focus on romance and religion.
I mainly remember one thing about Gloomy Sunday
: Erika Marozsán.
Kontroll: I very much enjoyed it. I like movies taking place at one location, especially when it's an unusual one like that. I felt obliged to buy the DVD. Too bad the director after the success of Kontroll
went to Hollywood and churns out average genre fare ever since.
If you'd like to see another light movie about Barcelona, L'auberge espagnole
Paprika: I'm not a big anime fan though after having enjoyed Paprika
very much I still want to see more from Satoshi Kon. His death is very tragic.
Someone even cut a Paprika trailer
to the sound/dialogue of the Inception
I mainly remember one thing about Gloomy Sunday: Erika Marozsán.
Well, she is memorable!
Kontroll: I very much enjoyed it. I like movies taking place at one location, especially when it's an unusual one like that.
I thought it had potential, but it just didn't work for me.
If you'd like to see another light movie about Barcelona, L'auberge espagnole.
Yeah, I was recommended that one as well, but I fear it may not be up my alley. I don't usually go for slice-of-life movies without a strong plot.
Paprika: I'm not a big anime fan though after having enjoyed Paprika very much I still want to see more from Satoshi Kon. His death is very tragic.
It really is, especially given how young he was. I obviously recommend Perfect Blue, and I will be checking out Millennium Actress and Tokyo Godfathers in the future. And I'm doing his anime series, Paranoia Agent, next.
|Date:||September 1st, 2010 03:25 am (UTC)|| |
Huh, I've never heard L'auberge espagnole described that way, but I can see how it could be considered that, although as a French major, I've watched plenty of aimless slice of life movies and I never considered L'ae to be one of these. There is not a strong plot, I can't really argue that, but it's a great concept and a great cast, and there is not NO plot. The main character is only in Barcelona until he starts his job, so the time element of his finite stay prevents the movie from feeling driftless, and the first part is about his adjustment to life in Barcelona and that apartment and in the second half the roommates must Work Together Toward a Common Goal Leading to Hijinks. (I didn't want to be too spoilery.) Plus, Audrey Tatou. If that still doesn't sound up your alley, fair enough, but I thought it worth the sales pitch.
I have heard Audrey Tautou is only in it for, like, two minutes!
And I looked back to find the discussion, and the reason I was turned off it was because the person who recommended it to me loved Y Tu Mamá También, and I thought it was totally overrated, and she said that I probably wouldn't like this, then.
|Date:||September 1st, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)|| |
More than two, but not a main character, no; she has a tertiary role.
I really liked Y Tu Mamá También, but I think of that as a movie with Serious Ambitions, to which I don't think L'ae aspires. Tonally, L'ae is more comic, and I think of it as a much cuter, less serious movie (although it contemplates somewhat what modern Europe is). In the interest of full disclosure, I did study abroad in Europe in a program full of students from many countries, so it may have some special resonance for me that sounds N/A for you. Dunno!
I just re-watched Perfect Blue last night, for the first time in about a decade. Paprika is next up (but not a re-watch).
Let me know what you think!
How'd you like Perfect Blue the second time around, many years later? Still want to name yourself Mima?
I really loved The Informant and I don't understand why it didn't do better at the box office and get more critical acclaim.
It's kind of a hard sell in a way because it's Different, you know?
I agree 100% with your assessment of The Invention of Lying.
I think I remember when you saw and liked it.
Whoa, I have never heard a plot summary of Point Break before! I haaaaaate Keanu Reeves, but you've made me want to watch it now. And Strange Days, too. You are becoming quite the Bigelow booster.
You should watch them both! And Near Dark.
The day we went to see Vicky Cristina Barcelona, it was not the movie I wanted to see, and I was all sullen in the theater at first. But I ended up really liking it, and I agree that Penélope Cruz got more attention than she deserved.
I like when we agree on stuff.
Strange Days is so one of my Favorite Movies Ever. My poor friend called me about five minutes from the end the first time I watched it and I basically just said, "Can't talk now, movie on, will call back" and hung up on her.
Ooh, you have an icon! What's the text say?
|Date:||August 31st, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)|| |
Ahhh, I love your movie reviews. I've been meaning to see Perfect Blue for years and years...I wonder where I can grab a copy out here? Bah, I miss Video Station, which would rent out anime.
Ahhh, I love your movie reviews.
I've been meaning to see Perfect Blue for years and years...I wonder where I can grab a copy out here? Bah, I miss Video Station, which would rent out anime.
Does Netflix work out there? Probably not. I got my copy from the library.
|Date:||August 31st, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)|| |
Alas, no. There is a British equivalent but I don't rent enough movies nowadays for it to be worthwhile.
I loved Rebecca Hall in VCB too! I think I over-identified. But I thought she was lovely and so real.
PS: Budapest! Why are you going to Budapest? That's delightful!
I loved Rebecca Hall in VCB too! I think I over-identified. But I thought she was lovely and so real.
And superpretty. But I didn't even know she existed! She was definitely the character I identified with more as well.
PS: Budapest! Why are you going to Budapest? That's delightful!
Work! I will be asking for suggestions on stuff to do and whatnot later.
SO superpretty. She's my new Natalie Portman of that-is-what-I-wish-I-looked-like.
Yay! Have so much fun. Can you get vacation days after the trip and stick around Europe for fun and profit?
Oh, I am totally taking some extra days, yes. Not so much for profit, unless I busk my American-ism.
I didn't hate Jennifer's Body as much as the critics did, but it didn't quite work for me. I agree it wasn't the smartass movie it was dismissed as, but my major problems were the structure (the flashbacks-within-flashbacks didn't work for me), the direction (it was choppy at times), and, well, Megan Fox. She doesn't do anything for me, and she was very one-note. There were some funny lines, and Amanda Seyfried, as you point out, was terrific. Still, for a feminist re-working of the horror genre, I recommend, if you can find it, watching Ginger Snaps instead, if you haven't.
Matt Damon's character in The Informant is supposed to be bi-polar, I think, not dumb (after all, you don't swindle your company out of millions of dollars and hide that fact from the government for so long by being dumb). I need to watch it again, but my problem with the movie is it was the equivalent of a loud cousin at a family gathering acting boorish and then grabbing you and screaming, "That was funny! Why aren't you laughing?" Soderbergh is usually more subtle than that. Enough people have told me I'm wrong, however, that I do need to watch it again.
My co-worker keeps recommending Timecrimes to me. One of these days, I'll check it out.
Whatever you think of Romeo and Juliet's main characters, I do give Luhrman full credit for realizing that, until Tybalt stabs Mercutio and kills him, the story is essentially a comedy. I liked all the satirical Shakespeare jokes (like the express mail service being called Post-Haste Dispatch, or the "swords" being a brand of pistol). I also liked DiCaprio better than you, and I think he handled the language fine (it was some of the supporting players, like Dash Mihok, who I thought were a little weak).
Now for the mindfuck movies. I didn't like Shutter Island. When I read the novel, it reminded me a lot of some low-budget movies from the 1950's Scorsese has always been a fan of, and I thought that's what he was going for, but I never felt like he connected with the material. OTOH, I love both Strange Days and Paprika. For the former, I still remember watching it in the theater and turning to my seatmate during the opening POV robbery sequence and whispering, "Gee, it's too bad they can't have the cameraman jump across the roof," only for the movie to go ahead and do that, and it left my jaw hanging on the floor. It does go wrong somewhat in the last half hour, but it's a terrific movie for the most part; great soundtrack, too. For the latter, it's probably the best anime movie I've ever seen.
Point Break has grown on me somewhat; I still think Keanu Reeves is kind of wooden in the lead role, but the surfing scenes are incredible, it has the best foot chase of any movie I've seen, and this may be Patrick Swayze's best performance. OTOH, except for Michelle Rodriguez, I don't like Fast and the Furious at all; I just think it's dumb instead of dumb fun like Point Break.
While Barcelona has some funny lines (I especially love when Chris Eigeman pretends his cousin is into S&M), and Eigeman is very funny, ultimately I found the characters too shallow to care about (to be sure, I have that problem with all of Whit Stillman's movies), and what he had to say about Americans abroad was very shallow as well. Vicky Cristina Barcelona is sort of shallow as well, but at least it doesn't pretend to be otherwise, and one reason it comes off better than most of Woody Allen's movies this decade is he apparently let Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz have free reign with their dialogue when they were speaking their own language, and it shows; they're both natural, very good, and very funny. It's not a great movie, but I enjoyed it more than you did.
Still, for a feminist re-working of the horror genre, I recommend, if you can find it, watching Ginger Snaps instead, if you haven't.
Seen all three of 'em!
Matt Damon's character in The Informant is supposed to be bi-polar, I think, not dumb (after all, you don't swindle your company out of millions of dollars and hide that fact from the government for so long by being dumb).
I didn't say he was dumb; I said he was naive. He's obviously intelligent. And he's clearly bipolar and very confused.
I need to watch it again, but my problem with the movie is it was the equivalent of a loud cousin at a family gathering acting boorish and then grabbing you and screaming, "That was funny! Why aren't you laughing?" Soderbergh is usually more subtle than that. Enough people have told me I'm wrong, however, that I do need to watch it again.
Wow, that is not how I felt at all. I thought the tone was deftly handled so that it wasn't an in-your-face comedy but rather a comedy that you're sort of bewildered by.
For the former, I still remember watching it in the theater and turning to my seatmate during the opening POV robbery sequence and whispering, "Gee, it's too bad they can't have the cameraman jump across the roof," only for the movie to go ahead and do that, and it left my jaw hanging on the floor.
Yeah, they spent a year developing new cameras for those scenes. Bigelow pulled a Cameron!
it has the best foot chase of any movie I've seen
Dude THROWS A DOG. He THROWS A DOG.
this may be Patrick Swayze's best performance
He was really good.
he apparently let Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz have free reign with their dialogue when they were speaking their own language, and it shows; they're both natural, very good, and very funny.
Oh, neat! I wondered about that, actually, whether Woody Allen wrote the dialogue in Spanish or wrote it in English and had it translated.
It's not a great movie, but I enjoyed it more than you did.
...I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Misread dopey as dumb, as well as misreading your grade for VCB; sorry! (in my defense I had a pretty lousy night; had to walk 70 blocks in scorching heat to get home from the subway station where the train broke down, so I wasn't at my best)
One reason I had problems with the tone of The Informant was the score by Marvin Hamlisch; it seemed very "wink-wink" to me.
The score was totally wink-wink, but that's what I found so amusing. You could change the score and it would be a very different movie.
|Date:||September 1st, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)|| |
Adam Baldwin was definitely the best part of Predator 2. I think I actually *squee*-d when he appeared on screen. And that's super cool that you get to go to Budapest/Barcelona. Any other cities on the itinerary?
Well, I'll be in the Paris airport for a couple hours, but that's it.
|Date:||September 1st, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)|| |
Yay, Point Break! I love that movie, slightly irrationally, but probably in proportion to the amplification of Keanu's hotness when wet. Mrrrorw. I also love it because I love Hot Fuzz, and SO MUCH is spoofed from PB, that now it makes me love the original that much more. Plus, as you mentioned, HE THROWS A DOG DURING THE FOOT CHASE, among various assorted awesomeness.
My favorite line from Barcelona, which I still find reasons to quote or at least bring up the ideas from is when he is all, I love dating a foreigner because when I do something thoughtless or assholish, she doesn't blame me as a person, she thinks it's a national characteristic! HAHHAHAH! Funny because it's true!
I was also surprised by The Invention of Lying! It was a much more thoughtful movie than what it was billed as, I feel like, though I was also frustrated by some of the worldbuilding. Like, really, the bank teller is more willing to believe that the computer is mistaken than the guy in front of her? Okay, movie. But for all that it was still decent, if an incredibly cynical look at the world.
Budapest and Barcelona! Two fun cities that I have visited and found fun! Boisterous, even. When are you going omg?
I was also surprised by The Invention of Lying! It was a much more thoughtful movie than what it was billed as
Budapest and Barcelona! Two fun cities that I have visited and found fun! Boisterous, even.
Oh my! Watch this space for my What Should I Do in Budapest and Barcelona? post!
When are you going omg?
In two weeks!
Oh my! Watch this space for my What Should I Do in Budapest and Barcelona? post!
Prepare to be advised, my friend.