Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Celluloid #23

In Theatres

Tell No One was playing at my local cheapie-theater, and as an after-Halloween respite, I have to say that this film hit the spot. Essentially a French murder mystery about a man who gets wrongly accused of his wife's death. Eight years after her demise he also begins receiving emails that seem that they are from his wife. In typical thriller style, the story takes many twists and turns before its resolution. My roommate appreciated that the pedophile character in the film was a "regular" child molester rather than the usual strictly gay portrayal. In addition, a lesbian relationship in the film is interestingly not even mentioned, much less harped upon...it's amazing (and somewhat embarrassing) that in this present era that this film's handling of homosexual characters and relationships seems positively progressive. I would also like to mention that the wife, played by Marie-Josee Croze is quite lovely once again and basically all of the acting performances were well done. My only minor complaint was the use of popular songs. The regular instrumental score fits well, but the Jeff Buckley song accompanied by a sappy photo montage was nearly cringe-worthy, and the later U2 song just seemed awkward...not usually worth mentioning, but the film did win awards for its music. 4/5

In Home

Alien (1979) Scott - Classic sci-fi film about a crew that lands on a hostile planet with aliens that use humans as hosts for reproduction. I had never seen this film before, but I have to say that 30 years since its release, the story and the special effects hold up very well. It seemed very similar in tone and style to Scott's other classic, Blade Runner. 4.5/5

Belle de Jour (1967) Bunuel - Severine has graphic dream of abuse and sexual transgression, but in real life she is demure and rarely has sex with her attractive husband. That is...until she starts working at a whorehouse out of curiosity. 3.5/5

House if Games (1987) Mamet - A psychologists tries to help one of her patients with a gambling problem by visiting the men he owes money to. They are professional con-men and she almost gets conned, but realizes before it's too late. There is also an obvious chemistry between her and one of the men and the connection that they are both interested in human nature; one studies it in order to help people deal with their issues while the other studies it in order to take advantage. Downward spirals ensue. Acting seems weird and off. 3.5/5

Le Cercle Rouge (1970) Melville - I have the biggest crush on Alain Delon, and even with the weird moustache in this film, the guy is still undeniably attractive. He's a recently released convict who pairs up with an escaped felon and a cracked-out former cop to perform a jewelry heist. Similar to Le Samourai in that both films are of the crime genre and have many scenes in a night club, but this feels much more like a gritty 1970s film with a cool jazzy soundtrack. The only drawback is that the actual heist scene is so dark that it's really hard to tell what is going on. 4/5

In News

Film happenings take a backseat...It's Election Day! Probably the most important election of our generation...and I'm really hoping that I don't cry tonight (or that Oakland begins rioting). Here's hoping that Obama becomes our chief executive and that California doesn't embarrass itself by passing the bigoted, discriminatory Prop. 8


Roman said...

"...and that California doesn't embarrass itself by passing the bigoted, discriminatory Prop. 8"


raridan said...

for real. I'm mad.