Thursday, October 7, 2010

Celluloid #98

In Theaters

Catfish (2010) Joost - Nev is a 24 year-old photographer who strikes up a friendship with 8 year-old Abby when she sends him a painting of one of his photos. Over several months, he becomes friends with much of Abby's family through Facebook, and even flirts with her half-sister. That's all I can really say without ruining things. All though I would like to point out that this film is being very strangely marketed. I saw it at a multiplex (it belongs at a smaller, artier, or niche theater) and the trailer makes it look like a suspense thriller, when really there is one sorta scary part and basically the film is about the evolving nature of relationships given current technology. 4/5

Never Let Me Go (2010) Romanek - Cathy H., Tommy D., and Ruth all grew up in a boarding school. One "subversive" teacher lets them know their fates - everyone at the school is being raised to become organ donors and will die before they reach middle age. In addition to this fascinating alternate reality, there's an ongoing love story. Needless to say, I cried and cried. It should be noted that this film is really gorgeous in addition to its compelling plot. 4/5

the Social Network (2010) Fincher - Extremely fun for a film that revolves around software creation and some legal proceedings. I love the quick witty dialogue and how seedy this Internet phenomenon gets. Nearly everyone in the film comes off looking like a villain, with the exception of Mark Zuckerberg's former best friend Eduardo. Highlights include the "Winklevi"- twin Olympic crew rowers and Justin Timberlake as the creator of Napster. This film succeeds because it's not really (or not solely) about Facebook, but rather classic themes of too much ambition, loneliness, and betrayal. 4/5

In Home

the Big Heat (1953) Lang - Detective Bannion is a bit of a rebel and is trying to solve a case of a faked suicide by a fellow policeman and the murder of his mistress. Bannion does not listen to his superiors when they tell him to back down, and then his wife gets killed in a car bomb meant for him. This noir is notable for how hard people punch each other, but otherwise a fairly typical storyline for the genre. 3.5/5

the Last Dragon (1985) Schultz - In New York, apparently black people love Bruce Lee and martial arts. Within the first ten minutes there are so many great outfits, a drag queen, and appearances by Rudy Huxtable and Bill H. Macy. Leroy may be good at fighting, but he's pretty innocent about many other areas of life, in particular, sex. A love story develops with Vanity while Leroy deals with accepting that he is the "one true master." 4/5

A Nos Amours (1983) Pialat - Suzanne is young and sexually liberated. She begins by dating Luc, but then she seduces an American, and later she is sleeping with Bernard. Father and daughter speak fairly openly about their affairs, but their family is totally dysfunctional. Everyone slaps each other, Suzanne's brother is too infatuated with her, etc. It becomes clear that Suzanne is looking for love in the boys she dates because her family cannot offer that. 3.5/5   

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