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The Fountain (2006)
Death turns all to ash. And thus, death frees every soul.
The Fountain I was waiting for this flick for a long time, it showed so much promise. First of all the story eternal love, reincarnation, the tree of live its just my kind of a movie. Second the director Aranofsky he was after requiem a great white hope for me brave and poetic. Third the cast Jackman was always dependable, and I admire Weisz (so strong in Shape of things). So i was very impatient to see this flick. The trailer just sharpen my appetite. And then i saw it, and felt bad because i really wanted to like this movie, but i cannot. The story had a promise but it was really badly structure and the three stories past-present-future didn't connect for me as smooth as they should so the revelation at the end was pretty predictable and instead of catharsis I felt a a little bit intrigue, but whole more bored and that is coming for a guy who could watch Tarkovski any time of a day. The acting is OK, but given a bad story it cant rise above and its such a shame (what could have been is shown clearly in bathtub scene) because this movie could be next 2001, instead its movie with pretty pictures, nice music, nice story with bad screenplay and self-indulge direction.
These people spend all night sucking cock and eating ass, and then hit the buffet claiming they're vegan."
When "Hedwig and Angry Inch" had premiere, I pass it up. Didn't like the subject (drag queen) so much, that I didn't have a need for this kind of movie. Six years later and the movie was still getting good reviews, so I checked it out. I was amazed, how hard movie about drag queen can rock. I can't stop listening to the songs from that movie months after the show (Origin of love for example), so Shortbus was must see. This movie is prefect blend of controversial Larry Clark with sensibility of Michel Gondry. The main problem described here is sex dressed up as love, and love dressed up as sex. We have story of few people (straight couple, gay couple, dominatrix and her pet) that connect with each other in New York underground clubhouse called Shortbus. First of all beware this is as much graphic as it gets (gay shooting load into his mouth) but underneath it are real people, real problems, and a lot of truth about relationships in present times its just like one drag queen says here "It's just like the 60's. Only with less hope". So its shocking, but sincere slices of lives of John Mitchel Cameron and his friends in search for a blessed orgasm. If you like "Hedwig" this is must see, but if you easily offend by the gay stuff beware this one really goes overboard sometimes, just like Larry Clark.
Bez znieczulenia (1978)
"You liberal caffe oppositionist!"
When I was growing up in Poland Wajda was always the most boring director for me, still remember when he made "Pan Tadeusz" my whole school went to cinema to see it, and it was so boring for all of us. Then I grow up a little, and found that my new favorite directors are Kubrick, Tarkovsky, Wells and then they give Wajda a honorary Oscar for five decades of extraordinary film direction in 2000, and I started to wonder, why, then i watch "Kanal", "Popiol i diament", "Czlowiek z marmuru" and i knew it why because he is powerful director. There were few weaker movies like "Pokolenie" or "Lotna" but majority of his movies are grand and timeless. I think "Bez znieczulenia" is one of the best movie by Wajda. Its story about man who got everything fame, family, respect and love and in just one second his wife want divorce, and at work there is waiting for a man slow degradation. Its story showing communism in Poland from the worst side a place where dabblers are winners, where when the suck starts it ends at Kafka notes. I was shocked how up to date the story is even now in democratic Poland. The screenplay is great co-written with Agnieszka Holland i bet it shows a lot of real life situation, because the power on screen match perfectly the one scene when the lead character has his teeth pulled "sin anestesia", and the whole movie is a much powerful, and painful as this one scene. There is great acting especially by Zbigniew Zapasiewicz, but whole cast is just perfect from Seweryn and Dalkowska to the small creepy parts of Stuhr, Kaczor or Wilhelmi. Sadly this powerful movie is forgotten in Poland, but for me its the most important Polish movie, and so up-to-date that its almost scary. Must-See.
"Is Mr. Reincarnation enjoying his cake?"
Because most of the people wont enjoy this movie. Its slow, its deep in psychology study, and It's got most long&elegant shots i seen in movie for long time. Its all about mood, all about existencional questions so for majority of viewers today it will mean one thing boring. So I strongly urge you - don't see this movie if slow is equal to boring for you, because you will for sure badmouth this movie later. Because this movie is working for conclusion that don't bring to much answers, but bring a lot of questions and most people hate their movies for that.
I can honestly say: "Jonathan Glazer you did good". I remember how shocked i was after watching "Sexy Beast" movie that came from nowhere, took great idea, great actors, great music and above all steady direction to bring something as much stylish as original. So when i heard about "Birth" i knew it I had to see it right away. Movie about reincarnation placed in New York with Nicole Kidman? Hell yeah.
The movie did surprise me. Even I wasn't expecting so slow pace, so long shots, so indifference to be cool. Its just opposite to "Sexy Beast" the movie that was stylish as hell but did a lot of tricks to entertain audience "Birth" just doesn't give a damn "Birth" have a powerful story to tell, and I cant stop admiring Glazer just for that courage.
Little boy (Cameron Bright) one day just show up in world of widow (Kidman) to tell her he is her dead husband. Giref overcome disbelief and widow in all her love for dead husband is going all the way to know the truth. The acting here is most powerful I seen in a long time. Kidman is powerful as always, and Bright who was so great in "Thank you for smoking" just melt into the mood of the story. Its also nice to see Danny Huston and Anne Heche in such a lovely parts. They both got very wicked scenes.
The music, cinematography, and editing all are very stylish just take for instance first scene the man is just jogging in snowy central park its all filmed in long moody shot a lot of people find it boring but I knew right there I was for a real treat.
Its not a perfect movie. The mood is great, but there are more then few moments when the picture loose its pacing, but its all forgettable when after all a lot of questions still stuck with me long after viewing this beauty and to be honest "Sexy Beast" was more entertaining, but at the end of a day this is bravest movie from 2004 and if you into very slow paced psychological studies there is no better modern movie about grief that I can think of. Real treat for a mind.
Club Dread (2004)
Follow thee banana, follow thee banana!
Broken Lizard man I can't even begin to tell you, how much I liked their debut "Super Troopers" crazy movie with jokes packed so tightly that you couldn't breath between laughs. I had very high hopes waiting for "Club Dread" - Bill Paxton, slasher theme, hedonistic island paradise, and of course broken lizard jokes, how can you go wrong with it. And then I saw it .
Very weak movie. First of all the slasher doesn't work. Call me old fashioned but when in comes to this kind of movie you have at least build some kind of tension. The killings here weren't cool, weren't scary, weren't inventive. I couldn't care less for the next person dying, so for a slasher movie it was boring.
For humor if it was on par with "Super troopers" I wouldn't mind the bad slasher theme, but worst of all the jokes were flat. Don't get me wrong there were few very funny ones, but most of them where just weak, weaker then scarymovies4 style.
And now a word about direction that was the weakest link. The whole thing collapsed half way and then starts to rolling deep down there, where you are wondering "should I watch whole thing or just push stop button". Jay Chandrasekher direction in Super Troopers" wasn't spectacular, but it didn't interfere, and gave the movie kind of good rush. Here his direction just collapse. And that was the saddest thing for me. Because after "ST" I would watch any movie by this guy, for any price. Gladly I didn't pay for "Club Dread" that much.
So, there were few good death scenes (hand on the knife), few great funny scenes (pacman for sure), but the whole movie wasn't funny, wasn't well made, hadn't got a heart and soul of previous Broken Lizard craziness, and that is just sad thing man.
Roger & Me (1989)
Some people just don't like to celebrate human tragedy while on vacation
Flint is small town that was for many years a extension to General Motors factory. One morning boss of Genergal Motor Roger Smith woke up and discover the fact that closing the factory and fire of 30,000 people can make better business than carry on with production, despite the fact that factory didn't bring any losses.
"Roger and Me" is document where Michael Moore report the slow but systematic fall of his hometown because of Roger Smith decision. Moore just want one thing bring Roger Smith to the town, so he can see with his own eyes the fallout. I wont spoiler, let me just say the one of last scene of this movie is very eerie and surreal.
This is very interesting document, when every reported thing is scary, curious and funny. My favorite moment is interview with women breeding rabbits (for pets, and for meat), but all of this encounters with Flint's peasants are at least informative. Yeah, it's a manipulation by Moore like always (I hate his Fahrenheit because of that), but here he selected and arranged the moment in very powerful way. The situation is real, and the horror of it its more then real, when we see this hopeless, not very bright people who where just because of one man decision put on the highway to hell.
And of course this movie is all about Moore. He is everywhere, non stop commenting, but the god-crusader from last scene of "Bowling for columbine" (Heston) is no where near here, and that's a good thing. This movie is just a well aimed shot, a punk-rock scream for a social injustice. This is art for document with power to stir up emotion and show people ugly things just the way they are: evictions, parades, idiotic city decision ignorance, foolishness, powerlessness its all powerful evil, and the last scene with very sad Christmas Carol its surreal.
bad acid-trip for a bunch of spoiled little dick-heads
Kevin Smith made "Clerks" on low budget with a little help from his friends. That movie became a hit, and smith earn a cult reputation with it. Smith has to be a nice guy, because then he helped few Jersey friends with their projects. One of that friends was Brian Johnson, and his project was named "Vulgar".
People are using words like original, shocking, vulgar, violent for this movie. And they are pretty right, but I add just one more very bad.
Brian O'Halloran who's not a great actor to begin with, plays Will blunderer, who works as clown at children parties. He doesn't earn a lot of money, he drives old ramshackle car, and live in a hovel, when everyday he can be beaten by his neighbors. This movie starts like avenger comedy and goes from there in direction not many movies have a courage to go. It ends like pulp fiction drama.
The problem is this movie isn't comedy, this movie isn't drama, this movie doesn't know what it is, and most important the director doesn't know what moves makes a good movie, he doesn't even got the clue. At the end it taste like "bad acid-trip" that tries to be rip-off of "one of the pulp fiction rape story". Its not the idea is total rubbish, it had potential, but execution is so bad its almost depressing.
The one shining thing in this mess is of course Kevin Smith, playing gay TV-producer, he is really funny, and maybe Lewkowitz playing pretty scary villain. But thats about it. All of the stuff here, cinematography, editing, story are BAD, a not M.Jackson kind of Bad.
Just one conclusion at the end responsible for this mess is no one else but Kevin Smith, because sometimes helping your friends can lead to creating a really smelly monster. So shame on you Smith, shame on you.
Dance of the Vampires (1967)
„There's a smell of garlic sausage"
When I think about R.Polanski the first thing coming to my mind is - "the master of fear and horror", and I knew it that "Fearless vampire Killers" is rare example of comedy by this great director. Yeah, I was worried before seeing this movie, not as much about "geting it", but more so about simple thing - could this movie be entertaining for "21st Century Boy".
First thing that striked me was beautiful music by Komeda. I was in total awe. The music was scary, but at the same time so light and funny - just like for a good fair story. And then the beautiful winter scenery that was so fake - almost cartooning. Few minutes into the movie, and I could say "that's what I call movie poetry".
The story is so simple. The old bat researcher, professor Abronsius and his assistant, Alfred, go to a remote Transylvanian village looking for vampires. They stay in house where no one speaks about vampires, but the garlic is hanging everywhere. Simplistic story is so right for this movie, because acting, scenery, music, cinematography are all in top shape here. For composition I think this is one of the best movie done by Polanski, next to "Tenant" for sure.
And this movie is also a rare occasion to see Polanski in comedic role. He and Brach make unforgettable duo. I was totally entertain when in came to comedy in this movie, but the thing that surprise me the most was the action factor. There is one scene that is great example of that - when Polanski character is looking through keyhole and is so scared of what he see that his face is screaming "terror". It's sure funny, but in a way mad-scary too. And when I think about this movie - this scene sums it up for me.
Its very funny, but little outdated movie. For me one a few really cinematic fairy tales, that keeps magic all the way to the end. Its up there with Repulsion, Tenant, and Tess when in comes to greatest work of this director.
And just think about brilliant ending, so funny, so mad. It's a shame Polanski hasn't made another comedy. Don't get me started with Pirates - the most unfunny movie in history. But "Fearless Vampire Killers " is movie magic - pure and simple.