Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Celluloid #54

In Theaters

(500) Days of Summer (2009) Webb - Last week was a very long and frustrating week at work. By the time I got off on Friday, all I wanted to do was watch something a little dumb. 500 Days may have fit the bill a little too well...Tom meets Summer. They have a several month relationship, break up, and Tom is left to deal with his emotions. Basically, a super gimmicky hipster romantic comedy. I was more than a little irritated with the voice over narration and yet another love story based on the idea of love being "fate" or "destiny." Also, the ending pretty much made me want to barf. Despite all of that, I didn't completely hate the movie. If one can shut their brain off from the usual influx of cynicism, there are plenty of enjoyable bits in the film. Also, Joseph Gordon Levitt is pretty darn cute, as is Zooey Deschanel (all though I still think she's highly overrated). 3/5

In Home

the Day I Became a Woman (2000) Meshkini - Three stories told by the sea about women at various stages in their lives. 1.) A girl turns 9, the age when you become a woman. She pleads for one more hour of her childhood where she can be free to play. 2) A woman participates in a bicycle race and disobeys her husband when he tells her to get off the bike. 3.) An old lady inherits a bunch of money and proceeds to go on a spending spree for all the things she never had in her life. However, she doesn't have a good place for her goods, and for a time they end up spread over a beach. Each plot line is really simple, but the scenes and visuals are very striking. 4.5/5

Lust, Caution (2007) Lee - For once, Tony Leung plays a villain! A group of college students get involved in a resistance movement set on assassinating Chinese traitors. Wong Chia Chi goes undercover in order to seduce the main target and become his mistress. They have an erotic/violent affair where neither seems to completely trust the other, and yet something akin to love begins to develop. 4/5

Songs From the Second Floor (2000) Andersson - Sweden's economy is collapsing and people are taking desperate measures including arson and child sacrifice. The film is totally absurd, full of fascinating scenes, and often makes very little overt sense. Interestingly, you barely see anybody's face close up. 3.5/5

Suzhou River (2000) Lou - the River is supposed to be a place full of stories and myths. This particular story is a love story about Mardar (a motorcycle messenger) and Moudan (one of his customer's daughters). They fall in love, but Mardar is forced to hold Moudan for ransom and she jumps off a bridge. Meanwhile, Meimei works as a "mermaid" in a nightclub, and looks exactly like Moudan. 3.5/5

Taken (2009) Morel - Liam Neeson's daughter gets kidnapped...and then he goes fucking batshit crazy. (Seriously. I think he kills like a 100 people). 3.5/5

Together (2000) Moodysson - A bunch of Swedish hippies live in a commune in the 1970s. The sister of one of the members moves in with her children in order to escape her abusive husband. The hippies seem weird to the kids, especially with their politics, free love, homosexuality, vegetarianism, etc. However, while the film pokes fun at the hippies a little, it also stresses that people aren't meant to be alone. 4/5


Ian Woolcott said...

Because she's so darn cute I always want to be surprised by Zooey Deschanel, but I'm afraid you're right.

Love your review of 'Taken.' No sentence can fail to charm when it includes the word "batshit." [smile] But the review was so brief and precise it made me think: movie reviews in the form of haiku! So, for example, by way of comment on the queer-experience subtexts of 'ET':

In the closet, hush,
He's different, heart-lit, don't you
Call him 'penis breath.'

Yinger Yanger said...

I love the new Banner amy! LOL. I'm weirdly turned on.

nora said...

i thought 500 days was utter rubbish... no character development, same damn 3 or so scenes again and again (ikea, the shower, the record store, the photo copier, etc). Cheap, sentimental, plastic trash. Poo poo. Not even worth it for the theatre air conditioning it came with- would have preferred to sweat and suffer with Raymond Chandler on the porch, wiping salty streams from my eyes, slugging wine with ice cubes in it, than be exposed to such a pile of tepid tedium again. and so on, she said, up to her ears with cutesy indie, ready to tattoo her face, or buy some high class clothes and invest in some stocks and makes savings and shit.