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Children of Men (2006)
THE quintessential film of the 21st Century
It has been quite some time since I wrote a review for a film. I felt strongly compelled to write about this film, and had to comment on it.
Quite a precocious statement made in my summary, but if you are in any way, shape or form aware of the goings on in the world since the turn of the 21st Century you must be in some sort of mental deficit or in complete denial that it isn't already a reality.
Though the premise of the film is totally absurd, (is it?), the backdrop is something that is not from the future. It IS the here and the NOW. This is not a warning. No no no, it is not. It is a mirror. Look into it. Do you like what you see? That is what I feel this film represents.
The performances, direction, screenplay and cinematography were top notch. Cuaron has come to show that beneath the surface it is as ugly as we knew it was and that the pigeons have come home to roost. This film will leave you questioning your own intentions and your nations intentions. Perhaps film can influence people and change the world for better. It's time to wake up to the horrors of tyranny. It no longer exists in some Orwellian nightmare. It is HERE. IT IS NOW.
King Kong (2005)
To put it simply, overrated.
King Kong is a great action flick. A masterpiece? No. The CGI effects are way overdone. Peter Jackson is a good director, just look at the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Dead Alive. However, he borrowed a little too heavily from Jurassic Park in this one. Great popcorn action flick, nothing more. If you're looking for a deep meaning, well, you're gonna be digging pretty deep cause there's not much emotion in this film. Sure, the ape digs the woman, the woman digs the ape, but it is a B-movie concept strung out to epic proportions and it just leaves you dry. But one thing is proved, Jack Black can ACT! King Kong is what it is: a great action flick. Worth seeing in the theater too, if you can manage to sit for over three hours. Should be it noted at Oscar time though? Me thinks not. 7 out of 10.
Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)
This will be a film to reflect on many years from now.
Good Night, and Good Luck is, for all intents and purposes, something that will be looked back on with admiration many years from now. Regardless of the subject matter, which at best is controversial, this film is what great film making is all about. The black and white, the performances, the dialogue...it all just melds together and bubbles throughout the entire film. It's like a delicious stew that's cooking and you're waiting for it to get done so you can help yourself to a big bowl. It certainly inspires to learn more about the subject, regardless of how you feel.
Now, on the matter of 10's, that is the rating 10's. It seems to me that I hand out 10's rather generously. However, I've looked over the films I've given 10's to and came to the conclusion that a 10 for me represents a film that should be seen NO MATTER WHAT. It also means that it should be a film to consider adding to your permanent collection. In closing, Good Night, and Good Luck, is a film that should be seen, NO MATTER WHAT. And, also, consider adding it to your permanent collection.
Lord of War (2005)
Reality through the eyes of Hollywood
Lord of War certainly has an agenda, but in a snarky sort of way. It concerns the illegal arms trade. Nicolas Cage once again seems to reprise a roll that we've seen a million times since Face Off, and it becomes quite annoying after a while. I rolled my eyes a few times, and the ending was rather predictable. But why the 6? The reason is that this film tells it like it is: bad things DO happen to good people ALL THE TIME, and people make money off of it and really don't care. In this crazy time it's just another affirmation that we live in a world that is run by corruption and there's nothing the righteous can do at the moment. Skip the theater though, and wait for a rental, or if you're bored catch Lord of War at the budget cinema when it gets there.
Broken Flowers (2005)
So far, best of the year.
Bill Murray proves once again that so much can be said without saying a word. This film is not for everyone, as I have seen by many of the reviews on here. This is a film to reflect on after having seen it. It's a film about love and loss. Murry plays his character to perfection, not a very likable one mind you. He is on a quest to find if in fact he has a son after getting a letter in the mail stating so. He sets out, very reluctantly, on his quest after being prompted and basically pushed out the door by his ganja smoking neighbor who is somewhat of a amateur sleuth. He encounters many past girlfriends, and each segment is a delight. I will leave it at that, but will say that Broken Flowers should be noted as one of the best films either Murray or Jarmusch has ever done.
The Brown Bunny (2003)
A Misunderstood Movie.
There has been much controversy over this film, and today I rented it to be the judge for myself. I believe this is a very good film. I also believe that it is a very misunderstood film. I'm glad I didn't see the longer version, and I'm sure there's very good reason why Gallo edited it down. It makes the story more emotionally compact and easier for repeated viewings. With that said, there really isn't much to the plot of the film. A man loses a race and then heads west to race again. On the way he encounters a few females to try and make connections, consequently losing interest. When he arrives to his destination, he realizes that perhaps coming back to the place where his past haunts him may not have been a great idea. This is a film about standing up to your personal demons, confronting the past if you will. The ending was, for me, totally unexpected. I do not feel as though it was just tacked on, as many have claimed. This is independent film making at it's pinnacle. I'm sure many will disagree with this review, but I stand by what I say. As for Gallo, way to go. You have made a very emotionally raw film. Forget the critics, they know not what they see, obviously.
Todo sobre mi madre (1999)
Having never seen Almodóvar's films before, I decided to go with this one based one a lot of praise and for the Oscar. After having seen this, I will certainly watch all of his other films that I am able to get a hold of, for this was a great film. The best part was the leading performance by Cecilia Roth, whom I had never seen in a film before, but now I'm also curious about her work as well. She plays a nurse who's son seems to be an aspiring scribe for either the stage or screen. On an outing to the theater one night, her son is struck down by a car chasing an autograph of a stage star. It is a shocking scene, and is basically the backbone to the film. This is a film about motherhood, and what it means to be a mother, both in a masculine and feminine manner. This film is somewhat of ensemble film, but I would label it more of a tragic-comedy with solid characters. An ensemble film to me has a lot of interweaving characters, but this film's characters seemed to be pretty tight. Suggested for fans of foreign film, Almodóvar's "All About My Mother" is an homage and an open letter to silver screen legends and mothers abroad.
The Devil's Rejects (2005)
Was not as good as House.
Violent? Yes. Sexual? Hell yes! Rob Zombie's "Devil's Rejects" plays like a page out of every horror book ever written, and then throws in a few absurd ideas of it's own. I must say, even though 1000 Corpses did the same thing, to me it was better executed. This film just seemed to be missing the flare of the first outing. Why didn't Karen Black return for this? Another great ingredient missing this time, regardless of the reasons. For fans of horror, you really couldn't ask for more though. All the violence and sex you could ask for, and then some. Sid Haig was wonderful. William Forsythe was also great, but that didn't make up for lack of imagination in my opinion. The biggest letdown was the ending of the film. I just wanted to say, "Get it over with already!" Just a waste of time, trying to be "artistic" perhaps with the playing of the entire song "Freebird"? Trying to make a statement? Well, it just annoyed me. I would've given it a lower rating, but the performances that I mentioned were enough to give it a 6. How ironic, the "imperfect number"? Perhaps that might make Mr. Zombie happy. But one thing is for sure, take more time in making a movie next time, Mr. Zombie. A little hurried with this effort was a mistake.
What more can be said? Fantastic film.
I have always been a big fan Jean-Pierre's work, but I must say, this is the trump card to all of his previous films. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I was totally blown away. The underlying plot of the film, which there are many subplots going on around, concerns young Mathilde who was torn from her fiancé by the beginnings of World War I. Uncertain whether or not he will return alive, she challenges herself by absurd games she plays, such as, if I make it to the bend before this car does Manech, her fiancé, will come back alive. She begins searching for Manech and contacts several comrades of his to find clues as to whether or not he survived the war. Great performances all around. Superb score by Angelo Badalamenti. Wonderful cinematography. I cannot think of a better foreign film in recent memory. Highly recommended.
The Deadly Spawn (1983)
A very good monster flick.
I was hopeful that a blind purchase of "The Deadly Spawn" wouldn't be a mistake. It wasn't. To put it simply, if you like movies about monsters, and I mean GRUESOME MONSTERS, then this film is a must OWN for you. Yes, it does start out a little cheesy, but once things get going, my oh my, does it get creepy. The scene at the vegetarian party was enough to make me stand on my chair. Usually movies don't do that to me, but this one had me a little freaked, and I LOVE THAT about horror movies! The special effects are particularly good for the year that the film was released. If you want a good chill or laugh, "The Deadly Spawn" comes highly recommended. 7 out of 10.