Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Celluloid #58

In Theaters

Away We Go (2009) Mendes - During my recent trip to Portland, friends and I decided to see a movie. Lack of decent fare, and indecision, led to a viewing of Away We Go. I already had doubts just watching the trailer, but it wasn't worth arguing about for the $3 admission. Anyway, a dumb movie featuring some of the most irritating supporting characters to grace the screen. Even the protagonists are not particularly likeable, suffering from dopeyness or blandness. The story is trite, cutesy, too forcefully trying to appeal to my demographic, and above all cheesy- not that one should expect differently from a Eggers/Mendes pairing of writer and director. 1.5/5

In Home

Adventureland (2009) Mottola - James comes home after college and needs to save up money for grad school. He has no real work experience so ends up at the local amusement park, Adventureland. He meets Em and promptly falls in love. She has a more troubled life than he realizes. Not a very deep film, but enjoyable enough, and features a great soundtrack. 3.5/5

the Child (2005) Dardenne - Bruno is immature and thinks only of himself. He makes money by stealing and selling things and says that jobs are for fuckers. It's telling that his main associates are kids. He hits an all-time low when he sells his 9 day-old son without his girlfriend's consent.  4/5

Element of Crime (1984) von Trier - A detective undergoes hypnosis in order to solve the case of Harry Gray. By retracing the serial killer's path, he ends up meeting a prostitute and the mother of Harry's child. Very dark--a little in the vein of Blade Runner, but also clearly influenced by film noir. 3.5/5

the Pornographers (1966) Imamura - Bizarre imagery permeates this story of a family whose dad and husband has recently died. The wife starts sleeping with a new man who makes his living producing pornography. Her children are selfish and terrible, but this is a film where no one walks away blameless. 3.5/5

the Princess and the Warrior (2001) Tykwer - A nurse falls in love with a troubled hoodlum after she gets run over by a semi. Bodo saves her life, and she cannot stop dreaming about him. Sissi's life has been smothered by working for an insane asylum, so she longs for a change. When she locates Bodo, he wants nothing to do with her, but she is quite persistent. 3.5/5

the Wind Will Carry Us (1999) Kiarostami - An engineer leaves for an isolated village. He befriends a young boy whose grandmother is dying. Meanwhile he gets to know some other people in the community. That's it. Really nothing happens. 2.5/5

Wolf Creek (2004) McLean - A group of friends decide to go backpacking in isolated Western Australia. After reaching their destination at Wolf Creek, their car battery dies and they are forced to accept help from a local man. He's a serial killer...obviously. Based on a true story, very simple plot, but well done for the genre. 3/5


Pete said...

will you watch europa with me and annie? we have it from netflix!

raridan said...

I would like to see it

Ozwaldo said...

Europa is good. I finally saw an interview with Sam Mendes and just plain decided I don't like him. Send him my regards!