Thursday, October 22, 2009

Celluloid #63

In Theaters

A Serious Man (2009) Coen - I really want other people to see this movie, so I can talk to someone about it. I think it's a good sign when you leave the theater and either want to pick someone's brain or turn around and sit back down for the next showing. A Jewish professor in his very Jewish Minnesota suburb is up for tenure. His life starts falling apart around him, and the story starts to resemble a modern-day telling of the Book of Job. It's also a dark, dark comedy with a strange introductory five minutes and an odd, but somehow fitting, ending. 4.5/5

Where the Wild Things Are (2009) Jonze -  I bought into the hipster nostaglia and wasn't all together disappointed. This film is aesthetically really cool. I liked the Andy Goldsworthy-styled structures. However, this film is also pretty much a feast for the eyes, with little substance. Elements of "the Age of Reason" when children start realizing their mortality, isolation, and loneliness creep in, and I appreciated that addition to tone. 4/5

In Home

American Me (1992) Olmos - I think this is the end of the "cholo" section of my film class.  American Me is famous for its graphic depiction of Chicano gang life and incarceration. There are no less than three ass-rapings that occur (only two inside prison). However, for a film trying to be raw, there's also a ridiculous amount of rhyming inner monologue, and overall just too cheesy. 1.5/5

Crash (1996) Cronenberg - Bizarro movie about a group of people who get really turned on by car crashes. Some people recreate famous car crashes, others just like having sex in damaged cars. This movie doesn't necessarily make that much sense, but I can appreciate its connection of sex and death, as well as the perverse side of Western Civilization. 4/5

Pom Poko (1994) Takahata - In this movie, something definitely gets lost in translation. Japan has its own folklore and mythos that I am assuming influence this movie to a large degree. At first it seems like the story will play out like an environmental plea against humans encroaching on other creatures' habitats. However, the movie morphs into something entirely different. Raccoons apparently possess magical powers, namely the ability to transform themselves, and to use their testicles as a way to fly or fight. 2/5

Watership Down (1979) Rosen - Probably the bloodiest children's movie you will ever watch. This stylishly trippy feature is about a group of rabbits that need to leave their warren due to an upcoming housing development. The rabbits encounter traps, dogs, railroad tracks, and hostile rabbits from another warren. Fiver acts as a prophet, and therefore this very British film is given a religious slant. 4/5


Ian Woolcott said...

Seen An Education yet? Plan to? I'm hopeful.

I look forward to the Coens flick.

I loved Watership Down as a kid. The scene at the end with the black rabbit always made me cry, hard. The book it's based on is worth the read, with a lot more political and philosophical commentary layered in.

raridan said...

I would like to see An Education, however, it's not playing in the most convenient location. Also, I already have plans to see Antichrist this Friday, so other viewings will probably take place after Halloween festivities.

Ian Woolcott said...

I look forward to your Antichrist review as towards the Apocalypse itself.