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|Index||14 reviews in total|
I actually had really high hopes going into this thriller as the fact
that it was made in Italy made me expect a Giallo, and because I'd
heard good things about it; I was expected a quality modern example of
one. This film is not a Giallo; there's police and a hunt for a killer,
but it's clear that director Alex Infascelli wanted the focus more on
the 'psychological' elements of the story; but instead of coming off
like 'Seven', the film is more like the Seven rip-off 'Taking Lives' -
just not as good. I guess the killer's name - 'The Iguana' should have
made me guess that this film was going to be crap as the last Italian
film I saw that mentions an iguana was Riccardo Freda's awful 'The
Iguana With the Tongue of Fire' - but actually, said film is better
than this one! The plot is entirely mundane and simply follows a string
of brutal killings. The cops can't seem to find the killer, because
unbeknownst to them he constantly changes his identity. Blah blah blah,
the only lead is some blind kid who likes a song called 'Almost Blue'.
The film actually gets off to a decent start as we see the killer typing on a keyboard smeared with blood while his unfortunate victim sits chocking in the same room. it's all downhill from there, however, as the mundane and routine plot is almost completely devoid of interest; the part that sees the main character work out why The Iguana is so difficult to catch is the only real moment of intrigue, and director Alex Infascelli seems keen on spoiling the atmosphere at every turn by using lots of dreary rock music. A psychological thriller really needs a good atmosphere for the story to flourish...it's a shame that Infascelli didn't realise this. The only thing I liked about this film was the lead actress. Lorenza Indovina is always nice to look at, and if it wasn't for her, I'm not sure I'd have been able to make it all the way through the short, but boring, running time. It's always obvious where the film is going, and indeed the ending contains no surprises, which is yet another shame. Overall, I'm not sure why this film has gotten positive write-ups, but it certainly doesn't deserve them and Almost Blue is not worth tracking down.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We first see the Italian production's unnamed villain sitting at a
computer while a male victim lays bleeding to death. The violence in
this sequence is overt and detailed. Note how the director filmed the
killer's bloody feet being inserted into his tattered sneakers; the
very image makes clear the grimy, thoroughly engaged nature of the
murderer's pathology and, thus, makes it difficult for the audience to
become attached on a personal level.
While Almost Blue appropriates the psychology of other cinematic antagonists (Red Dragon comes to mind), the filmmakers chooses to invest less in the killer as an individual, and instead reveal key aspects of his personality through harsh details. For example, the antagonist walks the streets with grating, generic heavy metal music blaring into his head via a pair of earphones. This device becomes unsettling only when the camera assumes his POV and the music obliterates all other diagetic sound. The effect is to reveal his thoroughly detached nature, as well as to provide a cruel metaphor for the killer's mentality. The director seems to be saying, "This is what's inside his head." Almost Blue ultimately bears the distinction of showcasing one of the more interesting serial killers in the movie canon.
There's a serial killer loose in the Italian city of Bologna, and from
the get go, we're introduced to the aftermath of a very brutal killing
in the hands of a psycho, with a preference for extremely loud music
played through his headphones. I thought the killer here is very much
like the one in the 2004 film Taking Lives starring Ethan Hawke and
Angelina Jolie, where the murderer lingers and adopts the persona of
the person he kills, before moving onto the next victim.
In essence this is your classic cat and mouse thriller that explores the links between the three leads in rookie policewoman Grazia (Lorenza Indovina), the psycho killer played by Rolando Ravello to Aamir-Khan-Ghajini's crazed perfection, and the blind man Simone (Claudio Santamaria), who gets caught up in the entire episode because he wilds his time away at his computer listening in to chatrooms, police scanners and what have yous, like an online busybody oracle. In doing so, he puts himself unwittingly in the line of fire as the killer decides to make him the next target. And so the premise is set, and I felt there's a truck load of potential here to at least live up to average thriller expectations.
There was what I thought a perfect moment set up in allowing the audience's imagination to run wild with one killing - you can hear audible sighs of sorrow when the killer picks his mark, because while the character was nothing more than a supporting one, appearing only to nag, everyone understood instantly the impact it is going to have in the story moving on. The aftermath of that was nothing short of poignant, and that hammered home the notion of how evil is as evil can be.
If there's a major letdown in the exciting build-up, it's how everything gets wrapped up in the end too conveniently and in major anti-climatic fashion. Big clue being the need to adopt the persona, and having everyone turn up at the right place at the right time, with room for some sexy time thrown in as well for good measure, just because it's Gialli. It turned what could have been room for a tight, climatic finale into a joke of convenience probably stemming from a lack of ideas. Great build-up, but terrible finale.
A straight thriller with everything it needs. Just like other great directors, Alex Infascelli has taken good ideas and inspirations from other movies and brought them here together. And so this film has one great moment after another just a wonderful mixture of awesome film citations becoming a particular thriller. The performance of the director and the director of photography is great. You do not see every day that kind of style, that kind of camera angles, you're just feeling like an observer. I do not understand why other directors do not have that courage to try new looks like that. In the end, I think so, we watch movies from young directors to see new things, not that kind of camera and performance that you have seen lots of times before.
The film tells the story of a hunt for a serial killer in Bologna, Italy. "Almost blue" is closer of "Manhunter", by Michael Mann, than many other "serial killer movie". The story focuses more on the psychology of the three main characters, the police officer who leads the search, the disturbed killer, and the blind guy that somehow helps the police, than on action and intrigue. There's a lot of violence and disturbing images, but, it seems to me, they were functional to the feeling of anguish and anxiety of the movie and they were not at all put in the movie just to shock the audience. An unusual feature for an Italian movie, the film has a very high cure for its visual and sound style and for keeping a coherent narrative tone from the beginning to the end.
Worst acting ever, i mean, even worse than the couple Dionisi/Caselli in Argento's NonHoSonno. Even Santamaria who is a good actor is totally unfit with his role. But if you look at it again, even if he is not directing actors at all, Infascelli took his chance on making a movie with a very strong visual impact, and there it is!! The cinematography is neat and hard. Alex should work on his big skills by making a more solid thriller/horror movie, this was just a decent first try. 6 out of ten
It is hard to see how anyone could trash this film on the criteria of
craft. It is a very well made film that understands its genre and goes
beyond it. In terms of generic revisionism, this film goes beyond the
genre by structuring within the plot a woman trying to compete in a
man's world: the detective charged with catching the serial killer.
Layered onto that is the role of technology in creating a surveillance
culture. Carefully plotted so that the viewer will suspect the wrong
person for half the film, it creates a complex investigation, not into
personal psychology, but into contemporary society: university culture,
techno-pop and music culture, cop culture, and patriarchal culture.
Ironically enough, such a sustained examination of these cultural cross-currents do not anchor the film into Italy specifically--something that is exceedingly rare for an Italian film. This plot could have been just as easily set in Kracow, Oxford, Munich, Ann Arbor, or Berkeley.
It is compelling, complex, and well crafted. Tension builds, is dispersed, and builds again, only to have a twist throw it off yet again. Complaining about it generically is not only off-base, but the equivalent to complaining that every western has horses in it.
It was a pleasure to watch to Marco Giallini. He is a great actor with the face of a big Italian man. Hope to see him more. Yes, I really liked the cast. The film goes straight ahead. It is just a classic thriller story. And it is a fantastic film. You see lots of interesting camera angles, like I just said, a nice cast and a powerful atmosphere. Why didn't I hear about this director, Alex Infascelli, before? For sure, you gotta like thriller, this is not kind of big philosophy, this is creating a thriller atmosphere and enjoying every minute. Many young directors loose themselves in trying to be something different, but this director has done a good job and that's it. I wished there were more movies with that kind of clear genre dedication.
This could had been a pretty good genre movie but instead it's a pretty
average and forgettable one now. Just when you think the movie is
starting to get more interesting it doesn't go through with it and the
movie doesn't go anywhere really with its story.
Watching a movie like this always makes you think why did they even make a movie out of this. The story could had just as well been one for an average detective-series, for TV. There isn't really anything that makes this movie stand out.
No, it's not bad all to watch but it's also easily a movie you can do without.
The movie tried to give the movie some more style and class by making the movie it's visual look quite artistic at times, like lots of 'modern' Italian movies often do. It could had worked out if the shots had actually served a purpose for the movie but instead these sort of scenes would just irritate me because the movie was trying too hard at times. I just don't like it when a movie is trying to be constantly different but it doesn't actually enhance the movie its style or story.
It's also pretty much a movie by the numbers. The movie is perhaps lacking in some good surprises or plot twists and now instead also ends pretty disappointingly. The way the way story progresses also doesn't exactly help to make this movie a credible one or even not a compelling one.
Nothing too bad but the movie isn't really heading anywhere with its formulaic story and is not good enough with any of its other aspects to really stand out within its genre.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One thing I need to inform before penning down the comment is that I
may have made a mistake comparing this movie with all the known gore
thrillers so might not have got the deserved rating. Now a Italian town
has a serial killer and he is a wacko. He is killing people. Well when
you read the movie's summary from critics you may feel the movie is
really special, but it ain't. Its a decent cop thriller with a serial
killer. There was something bothering me through out the movie. I
watched this one after "THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE" which was far superior in
comparison. The movie lacked a certain tension or zest if you like to
call for the crimes which would be committed by the supposed
re-incarnation minded psycho. It was gore soaked (which was good by the
way) but other wise nothing out of the ordinary. I generally look out
of Hollywood to get good slasher thrillers and this one wasn't that.
But I think the director can make a good tight slasher thriller by
taking the good points out of this experimental one.
My rating 7/10
P.S: There was not even one breast shot of the lead detective.Why do you people make movies any more???
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