24 February, 2012
I ignored this film on its initial release, I’ll admit. The title and the advertising were too saccharine and too cloying for my taste. However on catching the film I found it exactly to my taste. Beautifully shot. Dystopian. It is a small film. A small story. But a touching one.
13 August, 2010
It has been a while since I have had anything of use to say. Or perhaps just a while since I have had the willpower to say it. But I was reminded recently that this is, at the very least, a good way to write about people that don’t get written about very often. Which brings me to the subject of this post.
Adam Elliot makes poignant, funny, sweet, sad, wonderful films. They are, in addition, technically astonishing and pristine- perfect plasticine animation in the tradition of all the greats of British and Australian animation. It is the subject matter, though. Touching, devastating stories of the odd one out… the people who are not quite like the rest of us, but who are still brilliant, glowing, human.
Most recently I watched Max and Mary, and I could not help but cry and laugh all at once. If you have any interest in animation, I would watch this.
5 April, 2010
Like its predecessor, Gentlemen Broncos is funnier in retrospect. The film itself is a bit hard to watch, dragging out the most uncomfortable sequences and characters to a point that is almost nauseating. It’s certainly quotable, and I will certainly quote it. And it wasn’t bad- Pure seventies camp in the best possible ways, right down to the awkward framing and pastel everything. But I don’t think I need to see it again. I don’t think my stomach could take seeing it again.
The acting is, of course, superb. Sam Rockwell gives an outstanding preformance as Bronco/Brutus, and the ensemble cast that fleshes out the rest of the film is committed to a point that makes one question their sanity. The lack of shame always gets me- there are some things that I could never do and that I find it difficult to watch someone else do, even when I know that person is getting paid. It just feels… dirty.
Anyhow, if you are less sensitive than I am to such things, I’m sure that this is the film for you. It was certainly worth seeing the once.
1 March, 2010
Scorsese doesn’t usually delve into any sophisticated morality- he’s a pretty straightforward guy. But I suppose horror is the place for moral pondering, if you don’t want anyone to catch you at it.
The scares in Shutter Island run the gamut from gross to startling to truly psychologically terrifying (though you shouldn’t take my word for it, I jump at everything and still have nightmares about the fridge in Requiem for a Dream). But what I enjoyed most was the atmosphere. I do love Hitchcock, so perhaps it’s my preferences showing, but the way this film was shot is stunning. It has a mutability that is uncommon in Hollywood film anymore- a shady line between reality and fantasy that is on first viewing decipherable only in retrospect.
I don’t think many people will like this film, but I do.
1 October, 2009
Paul Giamatti is unfailingly brilliant. The internalization and expression of the concept of soullessness, other-soul’ed-ness, and re-soul’ed-ness is something I think only he could manage. Sophie Barthes hit all the right notes in her feature length debut. The film is not flawless but it is incredibly moving and a whole hell of a lot of fun.
Projection at the Lyric Cinema Cafe gets another F, though. Shaky all the way through. Good thing the movie is so strong that it can withstand distracting projection.
5 September, 2009
In my left hand I hold stars and in my right I hold ice and the weight of both is equal and staggering and both are escaping always.
17 July, 2009
I thoroughly enjoyed certain parts of this film, and was thoroughly bored during others. The music was overt and unbecoming, and certain computer generated sequences looked a bit like Tron. But the bouts of pure isolationist madness were quite beautiful. And the flatness of it… the dullness of the picture… was really quite stunning. I enjoyed the places where we simply saw Sam going quietly insane.
The HAL re-visioning in the form of GERTY was interesting in that it was offensive to everything the sci-fi genre seems to hold dear about AI- that is, that it is inherently evil and never working towards the best interests of the protagonist. A bit of an interesting switch-up.
The overall plot leaves something to be desired, and should have left more to the imagination, but the individual scenes worked quite well. It is almost a collection of moments, rather than a cohesive piece.
17 July, 2009
I guess I don’t have much to say on this one, either. It was cute. And forgettable. And, at some points, incredibly obnoxious. I suppose that when your first effort is as exceptionally well regarded as Brick, it’s hard to follow.
7 July, 2009
I think I’d have to be Japanese to actually get it.
It’s amusing, but strange, and so outside of my vernacular that all I can do is shake my head and laugh. It’s distressing how much I just don’t get it.
The format is clever, mostly… mockumentary is always cute. But the fight scenes are so chopped in that it’s hard to quite get into the flow of the thing. Something seems missing, and I think it’s entirely on my side.
6 July, 2009
I have nothing to say, really.
It’s good enough. Nothing that will stick with me.
Clever and pretty only goes so far.