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L'enfance du mal (2010)
Give this one a look
A very intelligent and street-wise young teenager spreads a path of destruction to people she comes in contact with along the path to achieve her objective of freeing her mother from prison.
The basic underlying theme, an older man becoming romantically involved with a much younger woman, is no surprise but there is a lot of interesting character development and that is what makes this film worthwhile.
Young Céline has clearly been mistreated by the system. At the point we meet her, she has figured out how to take care of herself and use her budding sexuality and charm to get what she wants from those older than herself.
The initial interactions with Henri Van Eyck and his wife provide an opening for Céline to seek self improvement and redemption. But she is driven by an objective and uses her manipulative skills to achieve that regardless of the damage to others.
Despite her young age, Céline is already damaged goods, likely beyond repair. She lies to everyone she encounters.
At the end, Céline has achieved her objective but faces an unhappy future. Her relationship with her mother cannot go back to what it was and her boyfriend has now gone from torture and killing of animals to beating up Céline and committing a murder.
The acting and scripting of this firm are very well done.
Devils Racecourse (2009)
A waste of time
The most positive thing I can say about this film is that its relatively short duration wastes less of your time than a longer firm would. You might think a short film would have to be about its business and get to its point but, in this case, there really appears to be no point -- the plot is left unfinished. There are a bunch of bad guys but we are never really told what their motivation is. They are hiding some sort of secrets but we aren't really told what those secrets are. It is perhaps a stretch to say there are loads of plot holes because that would assume there is a some sort of cohesive plot which there really isn't.
Perhaps to add to the appeal to young males, there is an embarrassingly buxom woman cast whose contribution to the film is made crystal clear about 1/2 way through when she engages in a totally gratuitous sex scene that has no real connection to the storyline whatsoever.
The characters are actually somewhat interesting but their development is so weak one is again left with more questions than answers.
So, you end up with 76 minutes of undeveloped conspiracy theories, a bit of porn and some violence thrown in.
Save 75 minutes
If you watch the 1 1/2 minute trailer instead of full 77 minute film, you will not only get the full message of the film but you will save 75 minutes of your life!
It took me two evenings to watch this relatively short film as the first 20 minutes are subject to so much camera shake that I started to get motion sickness -- something I have never experienced before even in an IMAX theater.
Sadly, the summary from the "official site" doesn't really reflect the film. There really is no character development later in the film or any real story line as that term is normally used.
The acting is not bad but the characters are one-dimensional. One is left wishing that the writers had given us more.
Rose Red (2002)
Far too long
This movie is somewhat interesting but it is far, far too long. The DVD version (2 disks) did not include the typical "cut scenes" section. Why not? One can only conclude that no scenes were cut; every second of film shot was included in the final picture. The excessive length is also true of King's version of The Shining; it is much longer and inferior to the Stanley Kubrick version.
The plot pauses for commercial interruptions continue over into the DVD version as well (and are quite obvious) and they destroy any continuity of flow of the presentation.
It is hard to feel any sympathy for the characters as most of them get themselves into trouble by stupid behavior.
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
hard time feeling sympathetic
The reactions of the protagonists in this story are so slow and illogical from the start that one has a hard time generating much sympathy for what befalls them in the rest of the film. There are a lot of plot holes suggesting sloppy writing but the most significant feature of this film is the stupidity of the main characters.