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Donnie Darko (2001)
A cult classic to be
Fantasy, schizophrenia, love, death and with a bit of time travel thrown in for good measure. This movie is unique if nothing else. And yet it is a lot else. I don't think I have ever seen a more thought provoking film in my entire life, and judging by some of the postings neither have many people.
You really have to be on your toes for this movie, its very much a case of blink and you'll miss it. However, I didn't blink and I'm still not sure I caught it, the plot is ludicrously complicated and unimaginably contraversial. Parallel universes, tanginet wormholes blah blah etc etc, I could go on forever (and many people have) about the science of this film and the philosophy of time travel, but I don't think thats the point of the film. Its meant to be weird, its meant to be bizarre and most of all its meant to leave you with your jaw hanging open thinking "what the ****"
For a film of such a low budget, the cinematography is excellent, the contrast of light and dark working to extremely good affect when helping the audience to decide which time is real and who is already dead. In some parts it is genuinely quite terrifying and has a creepy feeling to it that many modern chillers lack. The hideous bunny costume in the cinema was one of the most realistically chilling scenes I have ever seen, whithout being an unpleasant expirience.
Whithout doubt, this is not for everyone. A lot of people will find the lack of and explanitory ending or indeed a clear plot unsatisfactory, but many people like this and I am amongst them as it gives the viewer a lot to think about and discuss afterward. However, I would still advise everyone to see it just to prove how powerfull cinema still is. Its superbly shot, and has some cracking good humor in it which brilliantly sets of the creepiness. Not only that but its got a great soundtrack as well. 9/10
Dumb & Dumber (1994)
The lowest form of wit, but the funniest form of humor.
This movie is whithout doubt a true modern classic and a masterpiece of its genre. It doesn't mater how many times you view this film, you still find it hilarious; simply because you see something new every time you watch it.
I'd like to say the acting is superb, but I can't help thinking that the rolls weren't exactly much of a stretch on either Daniels of Carey. They both just seemed to by playing themselves, thats how naturally they've taken to the parts of the two buffoons, Harry and Loyd.
The humor in this film is deliciously crude and wickedly entertaining. Think of Loyd igniting his flatulence, or the traffic cop drinking urine from beer bottles. The movie also contains what I believe to be one of the funniest simple and understated shots of all time; Harry sitting in a mood at the side of the road with just a hint of backside cleavage showing - side splittingly funny!
If you don't like slapstick and crude jokes then your opinion may be slightly different, but if we're all honest with ourselves its slapstick and crude jokes that really makes you laugh out loud. Think of it this way: when you watch The Simpsons you find the witty gags and satirical humor amusing, but when Homer hits his head on a low door frame, thats when you physically laugh.
A hugely entertaing comedy with a laugh every minute and no emotional baggage. Watch it with your gran and see who long she can hide the mirth.
ddn gives this film 9.5/10 for no other reason than if I gave it 10 you'd think I was over hyping it.
A real thriller that owes as much to location as to story
The opening of this movie is typically filmic bordering on cliched, with a panning shot over Alaskan scenery of the two LA cops in a small sea-plane. However, this should not cloud your judgement on what is otherwise an excellent concoction of blinding imageary and genuine suspense.
Al Pacino takes to his character like a duck to water. During the scenes in which he is desperately trying to sleep you really do feel his sense of frustration, despair and fear; also helped by the way the camera is overexposed to the bright light penetrating through every crevice. However it is Williams who really steals the film with one of his best performances ever.
One of the most extraordinary things about this films is the way Williams mananges to play a clearly very evil and distorted psycopath, yet manages the get sympathy from the audince. This isn't just the typical "lovable rogue" Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid style performance; it is much deeper and unfathomable than even the empathy one feels for Hannibal Lector.
Overall this movie is an excellent thriller that owes as much to its beautiful scenery and terrific filmic devices than it does to its script and acting. Its only slightly let down by its rather dissapointingly cliched ending. A deserved 8/10.