Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Celluloid #56

In Theaters

Thirst (2009) Park - This film was a bit of a disappointment for me, considering how great Chan Wook Park's films are normally. A priest volunteers to get infected with a deadly disease in order to help people. He survives because his blood transfusion contains "vampire cells." Unfortunately for Park, this film suffers a bit just because of its timing; I'm already getting burnt out on vampires due to their increased exposure since last year's Let the Right One In, Twilight (which I haven't seen, but still permeates pop culture), and HBO's True Blood. Despite the possibly of oversaturation, I was interested in Park's Korean take on vampire mythology. What really turned me off about this film was its repetitive nature. The sex scenes are awkward (which was fine with me) but too numerous, and I lost count of how many times we see the priest noisily suck someone's blood. I get the point...I don't need to see variations on the same image twenty times. Lastly, this film is on the long side- somewhere around 2 hours and 15 minutes, only frustrating because the movie felt like it could have ended at two distinct times before it actually does. Aesthetically, it still looks great, and possibly I would enjoy it better at a time when vampires aren't the latest trend, but for now I think it's only okay. 3/5

In Home

la Commare Secca (1962) Bertolucci - A woman is killed and the various suspects are interviewed by the authorities. Each version of the story is played out on screen in an effort to discover the real murderer. 3.5/5

the Iron Giant (1999) Bird - In 1950s Maine, a boy makes friends with a giant robot of unknown origin. The late 50s were a time where Sputnik and the Bomb were part of the general zeitgeist. The government wants to destroy the robot for no reason other than the belief that the robot could not have originated in the United States, and therefore poses a threat. Strong humanistic themes of anti-gun, anti-violence, and anti-revenge. One of the best animated films I have seen. 4.5/5

the Reader (2008) Daldry - A 15 year-old boy has an affair with an older woman who turns out to have been an illiterate Nazi guard. He initially meets her years after the end of the Holocaust and doesn't discover her secret until he's in law school and she's on trial for her role in killing Jews. Supposed to be an emotionally charged film, but ultimately falls very flat. 3/5

Superfly (1972) Parks - I love Curtis Mayfield, but "Superfly" isn't even my favorite of his albums. Super low budget movie about a coke dealer trying to make one last score so he can quit for good. However, this is perhaps the slowest moving exploitation movie I have ever seen. 2/5

the Way of the Gun (2000) MacQuarrie - Two inexperienced criminals kidnap a pregnant woman believed to be a surrogate for a rich family. Very violent film that seems like it's trying to make some kind of point, but ultimately doesn't amount to much of anything. 2.5/5


Saxon Baird said...

yeah...superfly sucks. the guy who places priest is hella stiff and its not even that stylish or cool compared to other similar films. I warned you!

Pete said...

whoa i totally disagree about the THIRST sex scenes (at least about the main one)