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Southland Tales (2006)
Donnie Darko on acid
I've just finished watching Donnie Darko after seeing Southland Tales last week, an accidental choice by my brother in law at the video shop for one of our Friday night mashup film sessions It was a perfect choice and very funny to see out of the blue like that So today I dropped by the pawn shop and there was DD on sale for 50p, right I thought I'm buying that So how do they compare given the common theme? It might be the same idea but from it they go in different directions DD presents the dilemma of the world ending within one person's mind, or the viewers mind. It's a solitary film, a coming of age film, that could be set in any place or time. ST is different. It's set right now, more or less, where the end of the world is everyone's problem, it turns DD outwards pulling in all the current events and the stuff we like to see in movies. Sarah Michelle Gellar as a porn star, trippy drugs, a corrupt police state, war vets, the Rock, whacked out people, car chases, and it makes you laugh You can watch it with others comfortably The same dilemma is there but packaged in today's language In future this will be a cult movie as the negative reviews prove I loved the music, the time spent on each character... subversive and unpretentious as graffiti (Possible spoiler) Both movies must meet again at the endings, I say endings because the only way I can deal with the ongoing confusion is to see the lack of typical Hollywood closure (which is really the way many old classic movies ended) as a way to throw the hero's experiences back at you taking what you like away, e.g. Krista Now
Could insanity be so simple a thing as unhappiness?
This is one of those films that managed to leave an enduring impression on me and I've seen it quite a few times since finding it quite by chance. It reminds me of that other great unknown the Ninth Configuration. It tells the story of a troubled ex soldier who goes to work at an asylum and quite unexpectedly loses himself in the world of one of the patients - Lilith. Jean Seberg is quite simply out of this world, her every gaze and expression drawing you the viewer in. It's easy to see how both Vincent and another patient Stephen, an introverted young man, are irresistibly attracted to her visions of ecstatic escapism from the unhappy 'real' world outside. Unlike what it says the back of the case, which rather glorifies the trouble she causes and implies a scheming manipulator of men's emotions this is essentially a poetic tale (of course that doesn't sell!). Instead I was left feeling the problems were all caused by others' reaction to her and the neurosis locked up in all of us that she has a talent for bringing out, and healing if they'd but let go of their insecurities. As a man, it left me struggling with both Vincent and Stephens actions as I can see a part of me in both of them. It also left me wishing I was in the story and how I'd do things differently from them. That's the powerful effect of this film. Also worth noting is the connection, never explicitly stated, with the legends of Lilith and the fall of Adam. In this sense you get to hear her side of the story.. quite remarkable
Snow Cake (2006)
I should begin by saying this is truly a wonderful film My lodger interrupted my session on the net to say she had a film I probably wouldn't like I dislike when people assume I won't like something, that and a restless Sunday boredom made me wander in with her to give it a try Like others here I assumed it would be overly long and but in the end cast my doubts to the wind and so began a thoroughly engaging experience At first I assumed Vivenne was the austistic person because of her tendency to ignore social norms and sit down and begin chatting to a total stranger She was so likable my doubts were overcome and I really looked forward to watching the rest of the film and their disjointed relationship. This of course was not to be I genuinely mourned for Vivienne and this dynamic of identifying with their loss left me with no sense of detachment and I love this film for making me feel this way. The translation of an autistic woman completely transformed my view of Sigourney Weaver and I completely was drawn into her as Linda Alex was just as great in his role as an emotionally walled man who probably wanted nothing but to be left alone cut off from all human contact Somehow the two came together perfectly portrayed There is so much to laugh at too, many small details in the tragic situation that is so much like real life. I will not forget the bunk bed... I'm still chuckling now Others have said much better than me why this is a good film. But one thing I noticed was that the ending, Alex I believe would not be gone for long. That film didn't say it, but it was implied leaving you with a strong emotion that this was the case, far better than a typical Hollywood ending. The film lives on in your heart as these characters surely would
Rambo III (1988)
caught the beginning channel surfing and considered whether i might watch it. It wasn't what I was planning to do but in the end I'd never got round to seeing any of the Rambo's and I thought this was my era and I'm getting into the 80's things I missed. Lets give it a go I liked the way it began with a decent fight then moved on to the tranquility of a Buddhist monastary. A transition reminiscent of a Bond film. Its set in Russian occupied Afghanistan so soon you can be sure Rambo will be blowing up stuff and yes the action is pure all the way through the way it is when one man takes on an entire army
Some of the parts I thought reflected cold war propaganda which makes interesting viewing today. The main focus is on Rambo's stirring up the people to help overthrow the puppet government. We really see the suffering of the people as they are attacked by helicopters and this brought a realism that added depth to the supreme onslaught of action. Rambo's appearance raises a dilemma since he indirectly is the cause of massive suffering. One brief scene in particular awed me. A woman and her kids run screaming from a missile, another one slams into them and after the explosion just nothing, silence. Now that is serious portrayal of war As a pure action flick Rambo 3 goes to extreme lengths but its still enjoyable and the unusual introduction of realism goes to show what I love about what many people see as b-movies or gore movies. They can do things and go places no other genre can When I was a kid this was controversial and another funny thing - there's even a kid for all those under 18's to identify with! But I wouldn't hestitate to recommend it for anyone old enough to understand the news And what an inspired choice for someone to put on TV at the moment. This is the perfect time to watch Rambo!
don't knock it till you tried it
Lets make no pretense. This is infantile stuff, a cartoon style plot with heaps of visual gags. The jokes are relentless, crude and altogether just not artworthy This film is no work of art but like a good cartoon you just watch it for the fun of it. I was simply crying with laughter at the toilet scene when the guy starts screaming about sh*t being all over his house. Its perfect The Jim Carrey playing guy was suitably deranged and the stroke of genius about this film is he played it realistically. He didn't do that 'I'm acting stupid in a stupid film' thing. Neither did the other half of this duo ... and his character was even dumber The rest of the characters were stereotypes (who cares, the whole point of them is that they are one dimensional and hence easy to laugh at) in what is basically a cartoon made into a film, I'm nearly 30 and I still make time to watch them No, the makers of D&D committed the cardinal sin of making a genuinely funny film with no pretense, hence the low marks It is worthy
i have just stopped laughing enough to type this review the films got everything you can possibly want, it satisfies on all levels
people complain about stereotype characters but they are funny and parody real people Ben Stiller is just outrageous, the hair, the codpiece, just pure ego
The Average Joe's are lovable misfits, some lack confidence and its endearing that like that guy in road trip to see them get some
Previous commenter noticed it works on more than one level I noticed a distinct dig of some kind at society, the Average Joe's represent 'us' against tyranny
Nice lesbian kissing scene too, means it goes from 9 to a full 10 out of 10 for me. If you find the concept of cock flavoured lollipops funny this film is for you
True in every respect
Stigmata is an experience i won't forget as a spiritual dabbler
i have always admired Jesus's sayings but not really grasped their true significance
But the gospel of thomas is a list of 114 sayings containing his original message
Called gnosis it teaches heaven on earth is possible now and we and god can be united right now. Why wait till death, its something we can experience every moment
Its not coincidence this film came out.... as a lot of reviewers have noticed the gospel of thomas isn't suppressed by the church, you can buy it at any bookstore!
Jesus was a teacher
worked for me
I was captivated and eventually rewarded by watching Gigli
Its obvious the lets-jump-on-the-bandwagon effect kicked in and Ben and JLo have always been one of those love-to-hate celebraties!
But looking beyond this I found an interesting film Yes, its slow, very slow moving to start with and the plot is ethereal but I'm a huge fan of Easy Rider, Waking Life and other films without an obvious plot so I found Gigli captivating from the start
By the end of the film I was glad to see they had avoided stupid car chases and fight scenes which would have got in the way of the flow
Ultimately this is a love story and all other aspects of the story are secondary, sure characters come and go but that doesn't matter, its not the point
The commentry on male ego and the nature of our society is enlightening and thought provoking. Its an uplifting film at heart
Its also obviously an adventureous movie and it shows, some of the interaction scenes are comical, sometimes there are way too many words used and you start smiling. Reading from a Tabasco sauce bottle was too much! Was this intentional? I'm not sure but I found it funny and you don't often get that with stream of consciousness type movies I don't know how to describe it but there is an aura about Gigli that I ended up enjoying Being an optimist I put down any faults simply to naivity, and this is not necessarily always a bad thing
It reminded me of Buffalo 66 In this film a convict kidnaps a girl and they end up falling in love
What can I say? This film worked for me!
i can't stand these new generation of films that rely solely on good special effects, but seem to just give up on the story and character development Spy kids was as bad, just a random selection of 'characters' wandering around a computerised world! Both these films had a bit where a main character turns out to be a baddy in disguise and they go from good to bad in an instant, with no explanation And the dialogue, aahhhhhhh. Yes, it really, really sucked
I noticed something else. Could be wrong but there seemed to be parallels in TXG with the current events in the world. Propaganda?
This is another example of how moronic the movie industry thinks its audience is and how far away the concept of films as art has been rejected by hollywood
Battlefield Earth (2000)
ignore the bad reviews
I expected a real donkey, either cheesy sci-fi pap with no plot or a boring self indulgent epic because of the terrible reviews but from the start of the film I found myself pleasently suprised, it turned out to be a thoughtful and interesting film
I have always been interested in cavemen and how they must have viewed the world. In BE the few surviving humans have regressed into a primitive society with no technology or education and the film spends some time with them, seeing how they live and see life. Fascinating
I tend to dislike sci-fi films carried by special effects only and thankfully BE doesn't fall into this category. What makes it different is that instead of having an intracate plot embelished with strange future technology it basically revolves around the physcology of being imprisoned and enslaved which is unusual
A lot of time is spent dealing with the humans responses to technology and advanced concepts, while we also see the aliens are not just 'evil' stereotypes - they just think the humans are animals and treat them as such
There are also no massive battle scenes, and for a sci-fi film a lot of hand to hand combat. All this made me even more impressed and like most good films, the hero's really have to fight hard to win and they do in BE too, there is a sense of satisfaction when they start learning to outsmart their captors
I liked the sound track which was atmospheric and there seemed to be a lot of repetitive music played quietly in the background throughout most of the film - this is actually quite unnerving and I enjoyed this unusual effect
The only points of criticism I have are the concept of the aliens being after gold, the sillyness of flying 1000 year old Harrier jets, and the computerised 'education' scene where the hero ends up explaining geometry and physics to his cavemen brethren!
The gold didn't bother me THAT much, after all its a resource of the earth and it's very believable aliens would invade our planet for its rich resources As for one or two 'silly' scenes well, they only last a few minutes its not a big deal
So I don't understand the critical attacks to BE. I can only assume people don't like Travolta for some reason (ok, he's an easy target with the scientology), or were expecting lots of effects and action This is not Starship troopers (which bored me senseless)!
Ultimately I think the film was marketed wrong, it should have been an underground film aimed at the alternative sci-fi market. Its just not a mainstream film
I think there a quiet a few people out there who would also be pleasently suprised like me!