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Reflections of Evil (2002)
Beyond Good or Evil
** contains a minor spoiler i guess** Reflections of evil transcends ordinary descriptives like 'bad' or 'good. I can't express the magnitude of this film. It reflects the postmodern condition so perfectly. It contains the entire range of human existence and then some. Hypnotic, epic, hilarious, moving, thought provoking, artistic: everything a great movie should be. The fact that it was shot on low grade stock effectively drives home the eerie 1970's movie of the week feeling which permeates and holds together this masterpiece. I heard the original edit was like 6 hours or something outrageous; I'd watch it any day... I tend to disagree with those who feel this is an all out attack on Hollywood and mass consumption. These elements are in the movie but it's because Packard is a true artist and an artist portrays her/his environment. Reflections Of Evil isn't a commentary it's a reflection of the world through a very personal yet somehow universal mirror. I don't think the filmmaker dislikes Spielberg or Lucas, he's obviously an o- g Star Wars fan. My favorite part is the "on the set of something evil" segment with young Spielberg. This part is probably the funniest s*** ever recorded by a mechanical device, (not because it's making fun of Spielberg, which it isn't really, he's almost an incidental character) but because it's pure chaos and absurdity. Packard's tenacity and spirit give us hope in a time when we need it most.
No Vacancy (1999)
Not even slightly funny
Basically what happens is Christina Ricci and Timothy Olyphant fall in love then there are a buch of people running around and then people fall in the pool which is obviously hilarious. Then Robert Wagner shows up as a pimp which is supposed to be funny just by the fact that it's Robert Wagner.. No Vacany, I believe, is supposed to be a quirky comedy but it falls completely flat and isn't even amusing or entertaining, let alone funny or quirky.. The smooth lounge music soundtrack is maybe supposed to make it hip but this and a zillion other bad elements painfully mark this film as being directed by someone under 30 and written by someone around 20. Bad. really really bad. Avoid.
Death in Gaza (2004)
did we all see the same film?
Some of the comments on this board regarding Death In Gaza are truly astounding. I'm refering to the users who describe the Palestinians in this film as "barbaric" and Israel as a "peaceful nation." We must have seen different documentaries because I didn't see it this way at all. I saw local Palestinian militia defending themselves against illegal occupiers and I saw Palestinian children throwing rocks at huge Isreali tanks (paid for by US dollars). The user who describes Israel as a "peaceful nation" must believe those tanks shoot flowers and stuffed teddy bears. If Israel is so peaceful why do they need a multi billion dollar army? To defend themselves against kids with rocks and an occasional suicide bomber? Wake up. This was an amazing film and kudos to HBO for airing it, although judging by a number of the comments on this board, the point was completely lost on many people.
very fun and inventive
Despiser gets a bad rap on this board for being so low budget, but if you watch the 'making of 'stuff on the DVD you realize that this is made by a guy who isn't connected to Hollywood geographically or otherwise ( Phillip Cook). The actors are mostly friends and obviously aren't Hollywood types- I find that refreshing. While people complain about the extensive use of low-end CGI effects, I find the effects to be one of the elements that makes Despiser such a charming experience. The effects don't try to fool you, they serve the overall look and ingenuity of the production. Hollywood effects often cost millions of dollars and are created on extremely expensive workstations but usually don't fool you either so this makes the effects in Despiser feel more honest and artistic. .This film is a very large and ambitious vision pulled off for very VERY little money, with a decent video camera, home computers, and sets built from stuff purchased at the home depot. In spite of it's home-made feel I don't consider this to be amateur or naiive cinema because it actually consists of a well thought out story and production. I totally admire this films gusto and ingenuity. 9 out of 10 stars.
Wow am I disappointed. I had high hopes for this film after seeing the trailer... I was expecting a postmodern cronenbergesque horror-bondage-sex-technology-corporate
espionage film. Unfortunately what I watched was one of the most muddled and silly films I've ever seen. The characters motivations make no sense at all, and the story is beyond non- existent... It's about poeple doing semi-intriguing things for absolutely no reason. Even the laughable FearDotCom had more style and substance than Demon Lover. It's not that I can't deal with the lack of story or ambiguity, on the contrary i love open ended and ambiguous films, but don't be fooled this is just a sloppy mess which makes very little sense on any level: literal, subconscious, or even artistic. There are so many things about this movie i find ridiculous, things start to happen then never end up going anywhere for example the end: ***spoliers** (but if nothing happens in the film there's nothing to spoil) in the end Diane finds herself a victim of Hellfire club but what do they do to her? they put her in a lame latex outfit... and then: nothing... Do they torture her do they rape her? I have no idea because the movie ends (thank god) The premise is ridiculous: Why would a company secretly run a website where people are tortured against their will, when they could just pay people a few hundred bucks to get whipped or slapped around or tortured or whatever. There's no commentary about media or society here, just a poorly conceived screenplay which was poorly directed... Forget this piece of garbage and rent Videodrome instead, similar themes, but way way more effective and coherent.