Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
Is this a sequel to Slackers? I love Linklater's method of stream-of-consciousness film-making where the camera seems to just wander around aimlessly following characters who are once mundane and interesting. Slackers was one of Linklater's first movies and it seems that he has made a followup with a twist. Following characters in a dream state to reality brings up many of the philosophical questions that we all should be asking about the nature of our minds. Linklater is at his best when he makes these "internal" films that question reality and how us humans fit into it. I can't wait for the next one that deals with important issues and ideas (maybe instead of Bad News Bears).
Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg are/were two of the best directors cinema has. I have followed their careers from Flying Padre to Eyes Wide Shut and from Amblin to Catch Me If You Can. Having said they are the best doesn't mean they are without their likes, dislikes, gifts, flaws, aptitudes, and obsessions. This film has it all-- the excellent, the good, the bad, and the really ugly. It is easy to see what Kubrick wanted and where Spielberg took over. There are some reviews that trash this film, but it must be taken for what it is-- a two director flawed masterpiece. The movie starts out wonderfully without explaining where it is going or what it is doing and showing the characters flaws and all--typical Kubrick. Then it moves to wonderful special effects science fantasy--typical Spielberg. And by typical I mean the best of the directors respective obsessions. But the flaws must be taken with the good (yin/yang) in that by not telling us where the movie is going (Kubrick style), it is disjointed and apparently without aim or meaning. By moving into the special effects fantasy (Spielberg style), it becomes sappy and loses the willing suspension of disbelief needed for the best of movies. What keeps this movie on an even keel is the excellent acting and excellent direction--a hallmark of both of these directors. As for the ending-- yes, it is as bad as the reviewers say it is. Anytime you START voice over 120 minutes into a movie, that is a bad sign. If you have this movie at home, just get used to turning the DVD or tape off at two hours--it makes for a MUCH better movie.
Usually when I read a book, I am disappointed by the movie; there is so much more in the written word than can be put on screen. And when I see a movie I never want to read the book afterwards. This was the first movie that I read the book after seeing the movie; Como Agua Para Chocolate is THAT good a movie! And the book is WONDERFUL! The fairy tale aspect of this movie is told subtly, but with a strong Hispanic sense of mysticism-- you have the evil (step)mother, the heroine as Virgin Mary, who has magical powers, unrequited love, the unobtainable prince, and other classic fairy tale elements. This combines with the real elements of the Mexican Revolution and old world family practices revolving around family relations, martimony, and most of all cooking. Food plays a major role in this movie, but even more so in the book. I recommend both the book and the movie.
Stone Reader is a quest film and like all quest films, it tells us as much, if not more, about the person on the quest as it does about the thing of desire. Mark Moskowitz is a filmmaker whose bread and butter is political advertisements. But he reads a book, The Stones of Summer, that changes his life. He first picked it up as a teenager, but couldn't get into it. A few years ago, he picked it back up and realized it was one of the best books he had ever read. This documentary shows us his quest to find the author, Dow Mossman, who wrote this one book and then disappeared, not just from the literary scene, but apparently from life. Moskowitz and everyone he encounters on his quest are astonished at the quality of the book and somewhat amazed that Mossman never wrote again. This documentary is a series of interviews and a voice over by Moskowitz. It is a wonderful just to listen to-- it would make a great radio play. But Moskowitz and his two cinematographers shot wonderful images of people being interviewed and the landscape of this quest; in the same way that I could just listen to the movie, I think I could also watch it without sound. What the movie gives the viewer is a sense of the obsessiveness of Moskowitz and his quest. It shows his elation about reading and his dispair at every turn that leads to a dead-end finding the author. The film is funny, but at the same time the viewer is sad with Moskowitz at his dispair and there is a dread that we will find out that the author, Mossman, came to a bad end--drugs, suicide, or something. The other thing that Moskowitz is obsessive about is books and his love of reading. This is a movie for ANYONE who enjoys books and reading. He delves into the mental state of reading and the magic of words on a page and how that translates into imagination in the mind. The end credits come with his personal reading list; a FANTASTIC list of novels that would keep any reader in bliss for years. Personally, this list is a starting place for me.