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Movie Reviews [Dec. 28th, 2004|01:54 pm]
Scrambled Porn


To pull an Andy (yeah, I've been in that anti-social netflix queuing routine).

City of God (9/10): This movie was really well done. It was stylish while still being human and accessible. There was something about the end that wasn't as impactful as the rest of the film (and which I won't try to qualify) but I nonetheless really enjoyed it.

8 1/2 (9/10): I really adore this movie and while there are a couple scenes that always challenge my interest, overall it's incredible. The cinematography and characters and "plot" always make me giddy.

The Decalogue (9/10): I am only one third the way through with this ten hour set, but I'm enjoying it quite a bit. There have been a couple aspects that seemed a bit contrived but overall I understand why it has won so much critical acclaim. (Weird; as I wrote this paragraph I got the Netflix email saying that Disc 2 just shipped). I'll likely write more once I finish the set.

XXX (9/10): Really. I honestly think this is one of the top action films of all time. It's got gadgets, guns, sexy chicks, explosions, good music, lots of classic one liners... yeah, it's over the top and it recognizes it. It's totally mindless entertainment but it isn't trying to be anything more.

Dogville (8/10): I go back and forth on Lars von Trier, but this movie was a lot of fun. The stylized set was clever but initially distracting; nonetheless, it ended up being transparent (no pun intended) by the second or third scene and proved to be pertinent to the story. The end somehow managed to be relevant to the themes of the film while also just acting as a release for the audience; it was both meaningful and absurd, over the top but fulfilling. I was really happy with this movie and felt particularly sympathetic (more so than I would have expected) to the characters.

M (8/10): Not quite as good as Metropolis but interesting to see Fritz Lang portray a (then) contemporary reality. I thought it was a really interesting movie, though, and maintained the director's interest with social ethic questions, in this case pertaining to crime and punishment and the comparative techniques and incentives of the mafia vs. established law enforcement. I didn't really get or sympathize with the end, however, and while it may have been culturally relevant at the time, I felt that it was a bit abrupt.

Irreversible (7/10) I thought the infamous rape scene was overshadowed by the cinematography and editing. The director shot the film as though it was a single shot (relying on a lot of nauseating camera movement to accomplish) and also moved the film backwards in time. These were clever but competed with the main story. Still, I thought it was interesting how the story unfolded and how the past changed your perspective on the characters and their circumstances. I also felt the rape scene was very well done; painfully (but appropriately) realistic.

Closer (7/10) Despite the awesome cast, I found it hard to connect with the characters outside the first twenty minutes. I like the idea, plot, actors and concepts of this movie, but wasn't fully engaged. Maybe it was just my mood that night. Still, Jude is so dreamy...

I Heart Huckabees (6/10) Another film where I adore Jude Laws character. Overall, though, this movie was just hokey and tried too hard. I was satisfied at the end when all of the random nonsense started coming together but then it turned into a preachy dissertation on how to live life. It had its amusing moments.

Alfi (6/10) Again, Jude Law is gorgeous and his character kicks so much ass in this movie, but the movie didn't work that well. It's adapted from a play and while I generally like that stilted David-Mammet-like feel that can be borrowed from theatre, I felt this adaptation of Alfi was a bit cheesy and preachy.

2010 (6/10): It wasn't done by Kubrick and, worse, the dreaded author (Arthur C Clarke) was heavily involved. Plus it had Harry fucking Henderson in it (John Lithgow). Despite poor expectations, it was better than I expected. If they had cut out the preachy love/peace bullshit at the end and completely eliminated the voiceover/narrative, I might have actually liked it.
</ul>Apparently I don't like it when films tell me what to think.

[User Picture]From: djnancygirl
2004-12-28 10:45 pm (UTC)
is closer made from the cooper book? that's a great book.
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[User Picture]From: tyrven
2004-12-28 10:55 pm (UTC)
I don't think so; it's based on a Patrick Marber play. (IMDB Reference). It's a brutally honest examination of love and relationships and I think that's the big draw; while I appreciated the accuracy of the film, though, I didn't think it added any insight outside of validating my own views on romance. It's worth watching, but I didn't find it as engaging as I had hoped.
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[User Picture]From: huffines
2004-12-28 10:45 pm (UTC)
I absolutely loved City Of God.
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[User Picture]From: tyrven
2004-12-28 10:51 pm (UTC)
I was really impressed. I went in thinking I'd hate it since everyone was so taken by the film (yeah, call me a counter-culture reactionary) and further was initially skeptical because of how stylized it was (beautiful, yes, but that can easily become a distraction). I loved the part at the end where they're showing the stills of his photos. I want to dig up the original photos online and see if they were the same quality. that movie, along with some other things going on right now, really makes me want to go into photojournalism for a year or two.
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[User Picture]From: tyrven
2004-12-28 10:59 pm (UTC)
I think the effects in 2001 were comparable and it was done a decade earlier. But they were good, for sure. I think that's another thing that bothers me: I didn't think it really said anything new that 2001 hadn't covered (albeit in less heavy-handed terms). I think 2001 made it obvious that the monolith represented some kind of intelligent life force from the very opening sequence and the end was equally obvious. Another thing that bothered me, which was more circumstantial than anything, is the heavy dependency on USSR/US relations. While this was relevant at the time the book was written and still so (to an extent) when the movie was made, history clearly proved different and so watching it with that in mind it acted more as a documentary of the fears and cultural concerns of the time rather than a genuine projection of the future.

But yeah, preaching to the choir. Oh, and I liked the exchange with HAL9000.
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[User Picture]From: darkfairy13
2004-12-28 10:54 pm (UTC)
I always figured M would be some kind of great movie. Hmm. I still have to see it though.
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[User Picture]From: tyrven
2004-12-28 11:00 pm (UTC)
I thought it was interesting. You should see it so you can give me your two cents on the ending.
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[User Picture]From: almosttruth
2004-12-29 12:27 am (UTC)
i thought Irreversible was absolutely amazing. it felt like i was watching a snuff film. i was also really intrigued with how aware i was of my emotions, and the order that they flowed in. very strange seeing the sequence of events backwards, and the feelings that corresponded.
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[User Picture]From: tyrven
2004-12-29 12:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, as far as snuff (styled) films go, it's pretty well tied with my previous favorite, The Passion.
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