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4 reviews in total 
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14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
um, there must be something in my eye, 18 September 2010

Caught the last screening of this lovely little gem at TIFF yesterday afternoon. Most of the stories are a brilliant blend of heartbreaking darkness and excruciatingly beauty, with one notable exception. The manner in which Bent Hamer crafts the tales is - in a word - astonishing. He has inspired me to search out the collection of short stories that forms the basis of the script.

The cast is note perfect, and the film is lit so beautifully that several of the characters look positively succulent. And yes, that sounds odd, but after you see the film you'll understand.

The ending, which I will not spoil, literally made many of us in the audience gasp. And please stuff a few fresh tissues in your pocket, although it should be noted that I'm a bit of a soft touch.

A wonderful film indeed, Mr. Hamer.

21 out of 52 people found the following review useful:
deliriously awful film-making at its worst, 19 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For reasons that will hopefully make sense one day, I voluntarily watched "Glorious 39" at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last Wednesday. The nicest thing I can say about the film is probably also the biggest insult - it was extremely funny. This is horrible to say, so if you liked this film please avert your eyes lest I insult you - 'Glorious 39' is a stupid film about stupid people doing stupid things such as walking past hundreds of artfully arranged bags of dead cats. Yes, you read that correctly.

If you're a fan of obvious film clichés, this is definitely the film for you. My friend and I lost count at 11 hilarious clichés, yet I'm sure we were laughing so hard that we missed a couple more. Also, the director was so wildly enamoured of Romola Garai's considerable cleavage that he rarely missed an opportunity to showcase the crowning glory of her lovely figure. If this dreadful film is ever released, Romola's breasts should be given star billing and a Screen Actor's Guild membership card(s). It's only fair.

One of the saddest aspects of this experience was the knowledge that TIFF's director, Piers Handling, selected and introduced this film. His credibility has fallen precipitously in the last few years, yet with his endorsement of this miserable waste of celluloid I now regard him as a cinematic "persona non grata". Harsh words, yet if you have the misfortune of seeing this film you might be inspired to say something even more scabrous.

On a positive note, the decision to screen this wretched film at the breathtakingly gorgeous Elgin theatre was truly inspired. There - I said something nice!

1 star out of 10 (1/10) for making us laugh in all the wrong places.

Zodiac (2007)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
'Zodiac' pokes fun at people who are obsessed by serial killer films, 4 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

- 'Zodiac' pokes fun at people who are obsessed by serial killer films -

Although I don't want to deprive anyone of their enjoyment of 'Zodiac', I'm estimating that approximately 99 percent of the audience will not understand this film. This might have a lot to do with the fact that 99 percent of the audience came to see a film about a serial killer, and are more likely than not, obsessed about serial killers themselves. An audience hoping to revel in the gory details of human suffering probably won't be interested in the true meaning of a film like 'Zodiac'.

Instead of offering us a gore-fest, David Fincher turns our attention to the cold and exploitative media machine (the well-worn media catch phrase, "If it bleeds it leads", says it all), and points a critical finger at the bureaucratic nightmare of police work. This film also points a finger at audiences who lap up the sordid details about senseless killings without ever really considering the lives that have been lost. Personally I'm much more frightened by people who are able to discuss the victims of serial killers as if they're talking about a slab of meat, than by the serial killers themselves. Feel free to disagree, but I think David Fincher feels the same way.

By focusing our attention on the self-destructively obsessive Graysmith character, Fincher shows us how this "retarded" little man loses his family, his job, and his sense of perspective as he pursues the story. Several characters in the film ask him why he's so obsessed about the loss of a few lives when hundreds of other people are being murdered every year. Think about it - at most a serial killer has a few dozen victims, while countless others lose their lives in equally senseless ways. The biggest difference is that the media profits from turning a serial killer into a celebrity, and the serial killer basks in the media adulation and notoriety. Actually, the relationship between the media and serial killers is almost perfect - they truly need each other. Sadly though, public interest in such cases is what really feeds the media frenzy.

Phew! Now that I've carved up the film itself, I will comment on the performances. The cast is excellent, with one BIG exception - Jake Gyllenhall (sp?) is way over his head. I assume that Fincher cast him because of studio politics, because he obviously was incapable of playing the character of Graysmith. Then again, this is the same director who cast that chunk-of- wood otherwise known as Brad Pitt in Se7en. And yes, I am a heterosexual woman, but bad acting is bad acting.

If you want to see a film that pokes fun at our societal obsession with serial killers, 'Zodiac' is the film for you.

BloodRayne (2005)
6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
an explanation for the cinematic bowel movement that is 'BloodRayne', 13 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Had the grievous misfortune of losing two hours of my life to a free preview of this film, and like many of my fellow unfortunates I asked, "why? Why?? WHY???", would anyone make a cinematic bowel movement like "BloodRayne"?

Wrack your brains no longer! A savvy friend of mine gave me the answer, so I can now sleep at night. My apologies if someone else has already posted this link, but I couldn't get through all 140-odd postings. This link also eloquently trashes the theory that Uwe Boll is the new Ed Wood, and I thank him for righting this horrific wrong.

Please click on the link below or paste it into your web browser, and all will be explained:

It would be great if there was some way of outing Hollywood on this new level of greed- inspired self interest, but the spin meisters in LaLaWood would likely shoot all naysayers down in flames. And yes, it makes twisted sense to foil their efforts by encouraging people to see his stunningly bad films, but I'm neither a sadist or a masochist.