Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Celluloid #45

In Theaters (the theme this week is: People with face tattoos are bad news)

Sin Nombre (2009) Fukunaga - Sayra (a Honduran girl), her dad, and her uncle are travelling North to get to New Jersey. Meanwhile, Willy aka Casper is part of a violent gang, but has become increasingly frustrated by his role and his life. Circumstances cause Willy to commit an act of revenge which leaves him on a train full of immigrants including Sayra and her family. Another installment in the New Neo-Realism trend in independent films --featuring some crazy scenes considering most of the film takes place on top of the train, but some fairly predictable plot points. 4/5

Star Trek (2009) Abrams - A fun, campy, modern-day B-movie. Exactly what you would expect from a summer movie: some action, some style, and good-looking people (Spock is cute!). I really wish J.J. Abrams would get off of his time travel/alternate reality kick; I think he's exhausted most of his ideas surrounding that theme on both "Lost" and "Fringe". Other than that, I enjoyed the multiple father son dilemmas and that nobody seemed to be taking themselves very seriously. 3.5/5

In Home

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) Scorsese - Alice lives a life controlled by men. Her abusive husband dies and sends her on a journey to recapture the happiness of her childhood in Monterey. On the roadtrip with her 12 year-old son, she gets a job as a singer in a nightclub and later as a waitress. She also gets involved with two men: one who hits her and one who hits her kid. This film seems like it wants to put forth a strong female character, and perhaps even an overall feminist slant, but eventually falls back into typical attitudes towards women and their inability to survive without a man. 3.5/5

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1961) Reisz - Arthur works at a factory and has an ongoing affair with a married woman whom he gets pregnant. He's also seeing another young lady and spending much of his free time playing pranks. Arthur desires a life of nonconformity, but finds it hard to break from standard expectations. Stylish film that was part of the "Angry Young Man" film movement, aka the British New Wave. 4/5

the Son (2002) Dardenne - A carpentry teacher for a boys' vocational school becomes obsessed with a new student. We learn early on that this student is connected to the death of the teacher's own son several years earlier. A tense film full of incredible dialogue scenes, confrontations, and occasional attempts at redemption. 4/5


Yinger Yanger said...

I agree with the predictable plot points in Sin Nombre. I mean that fool is in one of deadliest gangs on South America. I like your take on Star Trek. And yes I wanna bone Spok and join the starfleet academy.

Saxon Baird said...

Glad you like Sin Nombre but I dont think it was too predictable. For instance, he didnt get away in the end and there wasnt some stupid romance between him and the chick.

Also, in another unrelated note, the tats on the gangsters were sick.

Wessail said...

Predictable or not Sin Nombre was pretty great. I don't think there can ever be enough movies about the shit people go through just to get to America or the dangers posed by dudes with face tattoos.