Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Celluloid #47

In Theaters

Ms. 45 (1981) Ferrara - A mute woman is raped twice in one day. She fights back against the second rapist...killing him and cutting his body into little pieces. She takes his gun to use for protection to begin with, then to protect other women, finally evolving to an all-out male killing spree. Exploitation-style black comedy. 4/5

In Home

Coup de Grace (1976) Schlondorff - Sophie lives in a small town during wartime. Her soldier brother returns with some of his troop, including a lieutenant named Erich. Sophie claims to love Erich, but he rejects her advances, signalling the start of her sexual rampage and openness about her Bolshevik leanings...an unpopular stance in a place where Reds and Red-sympathizers are a murder target. 3/5

Dolls (2002) Kitano - Three stories about tenuous love. 1.) A young man is set to marry his boss' daughter, but on his wedding day, he learns that his ex-fiance has attempted suicide, leaving her with some form of brain damage/amnesia. 2.) A yakuza boss remembers his old lover from his factory days. She promises to bring him lunch every Saturday as her way of awaiting his return. 3.) A pop star with obsessive fans gets in a car accident, and one particular fan goes to visit her. 4/5

the Last Wave (1977) Weir - A white lawyer who normally handles corporate tax cases, decides to take on a criminal case involving Aboriginal men. The film focuses a lot on tribalism, weird spiritual things (to the point of fetishism), and dreams. Truthfully, it's pretty boring considering how "weird" it gets at times. 2.5/5

Sisters (1973) de Palma - Danielle Bretton takes a man back to her apartment, but he ends up murdered in her living room the next morning. Danielle has a twin sister, Dominique, and the two were conjoined until recently. A reporter, who lives across the way, witnesses the whole event, but the police refuse to take her seriously. Both Danielle and Grace (the reporter) end up in a mental institute run by Danielle's ex-husband. Campy horror fun. 4/5

Spider Baby (1964) Hill - A family is afflicted with a rare disease that causes them to age backwards after the age of 10 until they becomes scary pre-human creatures with cannibalistic tendencies. Also, Virginia likes to play "Spider" where she wraps someone up in a net and stabs them to death. Some visitors stay at the house, only to get attacked when Bruno, the guardian, is away. Sufficiently creepy, but far from Jack Hill's best. 3/5

Ten (2002) Kiarostami - Looks like a home video filmed entirely within a car. A divorced Irani woman drives around Tehran picking up various passengers. These characters include her son, her sister, a prostitute, an old religious woman, and two rejected brides. Obviously an examination on women in Iran; the variety and ways in which they relate to each other. 3.25/5

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) Aldrich - Baby Jane was a child stage star. Later on, her sister Blanche, becomes the bigger star as a movie actress. Blanche tries to include Jane in her success, but Jane becomes increasingly jealous and loopy. Jane becomes Blanche's caretaker after Blanche is paralyzed in a car accident. However, Jane's version of caretaker includes cruelty and serving dead rats for dinner on the occasion. Such a ridiculous films full of outrageous performances from Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in particular. 4/5

Zodiac (2007) Fincher - I had already seen this film, but Jon rented it on a whim. Robert (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a cartoonist for the SF Chronicle when the Zodiac killer begins his rampage around the Bay Area. Robert is obsessed with figuring out the mystery of the serial killer's identity; a puzzle that to this day has not been resolved. A good-looking and entertaining film that easily keeps one engaged despite its length. 4/5


Roman said...

Ten sounds almost exactly like Taste of Cherry, which the first time I really, really hated (guy driving around all day, trying to pick people up to "help him with something"). But the second time I saw it, I looooved it.

Annie said...

I was just looking up Sisters on Netflix and got confused by a 1990s remake with Chloe Sevigny that was listed on Brian DePalma's page. I tried to rent Sisters this other time but got a Hallmark movie.