||[Dec. 28th, 2004|01:54 pm]
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.