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Jacob's Ladder (1990)
Unforgettable and VERY creeepy!
Jacob's Ladder does have some loose ends but if you just ignore them it turns out to be a hell of a ride! I watched it two nights in a row and still didn't get it fully...but there is a very deep and meaningful message within the weird scary plot. The story "Jacob's Ladder" is actually based on William Blakes idea of a ladder to heaven. But also the it clever says that the drugs (given to the soldiers) are a ladder leading to utter madness.
Some scenes are some of the most memorable I've ever experienced but in a sort of possessive way (for example, the mental hospital scene...damn that was scary!). It subtly freaks the viewer out sort of David Lynch style (dreamy) but I prefer it to Lynch's stuff as it's much more disturbing and enjoyable.
But ultimately it turned out to be a brilliant movie with a lovely twist and leaving a confused viewer wanting more!
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Lynch is one twisted dude....
To be honest, I didn't enjoy Mulholland Drive. It was kinda like...studying...to me....I mean some of it was enjoyable...but i had to crease my forehead and think hard toooo much to find it thrilling to watch. I found my self scratching my head till it hurt and repeating "OK, that's weird", a large number of times. The plot went totally mad towards the end...at first you feel you're with the flow of the story but then you just lose it. And it led me to believe that no sane person understood it completely the first time round. Lynch is messing with our heads...
The reason I gave it a 7/10 though is simple: because it's goddam clever. The first thing I done after I watched it was read the complete narrative and narration of the movie. And finally then things started to make sense and the things I thought totally irrelevant were actually totally significant and actually quite clever.
So, if I ever get down to it, I'll give it a go for the second time and I just might enjoy it. I hate to admit it, but it definitely is a unique masterpiece....but let me ask you this: Aren't movies for our enjoyment?!- Cos I don't think Lynch agrees on that.
A modern "Taxi Driver", stylised and professionalised.
Leon had such a "Taxi Driver" feel about it....a strong feeling of loneliness. But the lonely space, unlike in Taxi Driver, is soon filled up with Natalie Portman's breakthrough and ultra cute role! The cinematography has it's own style and the slick shots of New York make much more pleasing to watch.
Though Jean Reno's character didn't stand out much, he acted flawlessly and the viewer completely falls in love with his as well as Natalie Portman's character. Gary Oldman has a typical Gary Oldman role and it couldn't have been topped by any other actor alive! I was surprised no one was nominated for an Oscar and neither was the movie!! That doesn't make any sense!!
Definitely one of the greatest movies of all time!!
Half Nelson (2006)
Bear with it...it truly is brilliant.
Half Nelson, to be totally honest, does tend to drag you along because the theme and story definitely aren't gripping. In fact, here's the summary: A drug addict history teacher and a clever young black student develop a strong friendship and end up changing each other's lives. Sound boring? I thought so but the raving about Ryan Gosling and his Oscar nominated performance attracted me and plus I've got a lot of free time in my hands as well. By the way, he was brilliant for an actor of his experience and definitely deserved the nomination....but just the nomination since he really had no chance against Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland). Anyway if you start watching the movie and you think "Damn! This is too slow and the plot isn't going anywhere" don't give up just bear with it till the end and I guarantee you'll feel fully satisfied and that you've just watched a brilliant piece of art.
The message is another thing to rave about as well because the movie isn't only trying to tell the viewers that "drugs are bad...especially if you're a teacher" but also you'll note that the main character (Ryan) has no racial distinction. And he feels that Blacks and Whites shouldn't be judged differently and it will probably make anyone who watches it feel the same way....or at least most of us (I really can't imagine a member of the KKK's view of black people alter in the slightest after watching it.) But the message is powerful and beautiful and I felt very good inside after watching it. My point here is that don't only expect an amazing performance but also an amazing movie in general. I'd give it 7/10.