Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Celluloid #96

In Home

American Teen (2008) Burstein - No secret that I'm a fan of movies and shows about teenagers - such a crossroads in peoples' lives. This documentary examines a group of students from an Indiana high school that fit pretty easily into typical teen cliques. Nerds, jocks, princesses, weirdo arty girl, etc. However, they all aren't so different - white, middle to upper class, things mostly work out for them, etc. Easy to watch in any case. 3.5/5

Burnt Money (2002) Pineyro - Argentinian film about a famous heist. Nene and Angel are a gay couple with more complications than most. It is the 60s and Angel also potentially has some psychological issues. They are called in for a job involving an armored car, but the deal goes sour. They get away with the money, but cause too many deaths to get away with the crime. For the rest of the film, they are either in hiding or on the run. Pretty sexy and violent. 3.5/5

Lake of Fire (2006) Kaye - Documentary about both sides of the abortion debate. For the most part, the lines are drawn between the religious and more secular people. However, the most interesting, and often most intelligent-sounding are those who don't fall neatly into those categories: the Catholics in favor of Choice, Atheist Libertarians in favor of Life. That being said, for clocking in at two and a half hours, I don't really feel like this film sheds light on anything original. 3.5/5

On the Waterfront (1954) Kazan - Longshoremen are engaged in a mob/union scandal. Terry sets up Joey for a mob hit and subsequently starts trying to spend time with Joey's sister. There's also a radical priest encouraging workers to speak up against injustice. For a time, the movie turns very "brother vs. brother" when Terry gets subpoenaed to testify against the mob. 4/5

Revenge of the Nerds (1984) Kanew - Lewis and Gilbert start college, only to be kicked out of their dorm rooms immediately because the jock fraternity has managed to burn their frat house down. They band together with other school misfits to start a fraternity of their own, then figure out ways to exact their revenge on the guys who have historically made their lives hell. Aged pretty well, a lot of fun. 4/5

Shotgun Stories (2007) Nichols - A father dies leaving behind two sets of half-brothers. One set was abandoned; the other beloved. Those that were abandoned don't even have proper names - Kid, Son, Boy. Nevertheless, the two sides embark on a dangerous feud resulting in deaths on both sides, knowing that forgiveness will be the only thing capable of ending the bloodshed. Arkansas has never looked so slow and sad. 4/5

Trust (1990) Hartley - Melancholy film about Maria, a pregnant high school drop-out who accidentally kills her father. Our other protagonist is Matt, a genius who hates his father, carries around a grenade, and won't watch television. Both of their families are terrible. They are also trying to track down a woman who stole a baby. The film is very arthouse 90s, with lots of musing about modern love, work, and general existentialism, and I really liked it. "Respect + admiration + trust = love"...if only that formula worked. 4/5

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