Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Celluloid #22

In Theatre
On Saturday, I had some free time during the day and had previously discovered that the Parkway Theater has $3 matinees on the weekends. Sukiyaki Western Django was playing and I had seen a preview for it before some other movie. It looked like it would be dumb fun. Miike is pretty great at providing gory, silly entertainment, however, I've either seen too many of his films by now or he really is dialing it in this time around. There are a lot of fight scenes, but nothing very shocking or laughable happens. Basically, this film is lacking in "fun" almost all together. Quentin Tarantino is super obnoxious and every time he was on screen it just made me really angry (not that he is in the film very much). If you are interested, the plot is a retelling of "The War of the Roses" and as the theme of feuding clans comes up very often in Japanese samurai films, so it doesn't seem completely out of left field. 2/5

In Home

All Things Fair (1995) Widerberg - A teacher and her high school student begin an intimate affair. WW2 is raging in other parts of Europe, but this is Sweden and things are relatively calm. The students eventually becomes bored with having sex with his teacher and starts to pursue one of his peers. She reacts very badly...4/5

Away From Her (2007) Polley - A woman has Alzheimer's and forces her husband to place her in a nursing home. While institutionalized, she strikes up an affectionate relationship with another patient, causing deep distress to her husband. A depressing but beautifully shot portrait of enduring suffering. 4/5

the Band's Visit (2007) Kolirin - A simple story of an Egyptian police band getting lost on the way to a show in Israel and being taken in by the kind locals. The film is also a slice of life type of story about small towns, incorporating the universal aspect of music and dying traditions. I found the scenes in the rollerskating rink really enjoyable. 4.5/5

Blood Brothers (2007) Tan - Jon and I wandered around Blockbuster looking for a film to kill some time and saw John Woo's name all over the case of this DVD. However, we were tricked. This is not a Woo film! Instead we were presented with a Disney-feeling, sappy, sentimental story about three friends who leave their small town for Shanghai, where they get mixed up in less than savory business. Everything is super polished and the music is out of control emotionally manipulative, all though I couldn't get over my frustration to even muster up any emotional connection and instead fell asleep. 1/5

Magnum Force (1973) Eastwood - As the part 3 installment of "Retarded Movie Night", I think Magnum Force was the least "retarded" film so far. I haven't seen Dirty Harry but this sequel has its moments. A group of rebel cops are taking justice into their own hands by murdering people who have escaped conviction. It watches a lot like a blaxploitation film with hardly any black people, even if it is presenting a conservative agenda. Harry Callahan is a badass, and everything was fine and entertaining until the very last scenes when a lackluster motorcycle chase seemingly derails the film. 3.5/5

Night Porter (1974) Cavani - A former Nazi and a former concentration camp victim meet again after 12 years. The former Nazi works at a hotel and is in the process of having his name cleared at a trial. The woman had previously suffered sexual abuse and torture at his hands, yet she embarks upon a sexually transgressive relationship with her tormentor. While there may be a fine line between terror and eroticism, and this film is purposely ridiculous, I just couldn't go along with it. A portrayal of S & M under different circumstances would have been fine with me, but in this case seems so unbelievable and therefore difficult to find anything to connect with in the film. 3/5

the Ossuary (1964 -1989) Svankmajer - A really cool collection of shorts, mostly of the stop-motion animation variety and some experimental documentaries. The title film, "Darkness Light Darkness", and the first film which has "Trick" in the title were among my favorites. Not everything is great on here (I wasn't too into the "Don Juan" half hour), but the style is still so bizarre and interesting to watch. I love the Czech! 4/5

Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) Hellman - This film has a lot of potential: released on Criterion, 1970s road exploitation film, starring both musicians James Taylor and one of the Beach Boys. I was pretty disappointed and honestly found the film on the boring side...it's supposed to be a race across country and it's really not, but it's not much of anything else either. 3/5

In News
*A little while back it had been announced that Tim Burton will be working on an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. If Burton wasn't guarantee enough that the film would be pretty weird, he's casted Crispin Glover to play the Mad Hatter...

* Saxon sent me a email today that I don't completely understand, but apparently a musical version of Fellini's 8 1/2 called Nine is being adapted to film...and Daniel Day Lewis will be playing some part in it


Saxon Baird said...

incorrect! my sources tell me that johnny depp will be mad hatter

raridan said...

I think Crispin Glover would be such the better choice...

raridan said...

so, correction: As of Oct 24, 2008, Crispin Glover has signed on to play the Knave of Hearts...not the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland