Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Celluloid #76

In Theaters

Fish Tank (2009) Arnold - Mia Williams is 15 and lives in the projects for white British people. She's very angsty, feels unloved, and uses dancing as an emotional outlet. Her mom likes to party and bring home new boyfriends fairly often. Connor, her newest hook-up, seems nicer than the others and goes out of his way to show the two daughters some much needed attention.The sexual tension between Mia and Connor is the main propelling force of the film. 4/5

In Home

the Exterminating Angel (1962) Bunuel - Very similar in theme to Bunuel's later film, the Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. Another satirical cocktail party full of upper class people caught up in propriety/etiquette. However this film is darker and doesn't go for the laughs that Discreet does. This time around, the people cannot leave the room, no matter how hard they try. 3.5/5

the Great Dictator (1940) Chaplin - Somehow in 27 years, I had never seen a Charlie Chaplin movie. This one takes the physical comedy that I expected and combines it with historical revision of Hitler's reign. Chaplin plays two roles. One as a bumbling Jewish barber; the other as a bumbling leader named "Hynkel." Tackling such a tragic era, Chaplin manages to not only get some laughs, but also delivers an impassioned monologue urging humanity to unite. 4/5

Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) Rodriguez - After enjoying a string of Rodriguez's work, I just couldn't get into this movie. Johnny Depp is on the screen way too much...I wanted to see more Salma or Antonio, as they are more interesting characters. Also, too many characters in general, and it just felt like Rodriguez was trying to cram in too many story lines. It's a mess of a movie, and while I can enjoy the campy violence, I've too recently seen it done just as well with characters and stories that I liked better. 2/5


Roman said...

I saw Once Upon a Time in Mexico in the theatre because I loved Desperado, and the trailer showed this huge cast and looked like Bonnie & Clyde. Then they killed Selma Hayek in the first five minutes. What a mess of a movie. Why was Mickey Rourke in it? Why was Willem Dafoe playing a toned down version of Bobby Peru?

D. I. Dalrymple said...

I was late to Chaplin too, and I've only ever seen his silent films. I'll take this one on recommendation.

City Lights is one of my favorite films. I'm hugely gratified to find that my children (ages 6 and 4) adore Chaplin. They'd rather watch an old Chaplin short than a cartoon, bless their hearts.