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Good.....but had some serious story problems.....
I'm not going to give you a summary of the movie heres what I thought was great about it and its flaws.
first and foremost, the actors are a great find. Jesse Garcia and Emily Rios pretty much drive this story forward. Carlos's eulogy at the end of the movie almost made me cry due to the the strength in Garcia's portrayal of Carlos. Rios shows great control and maturity for being so young in the business.
now my gripes about this movie. I interpreted this as a story about facing reality. Both leads are being sheltered by their culture and families. Magdelana is pretty much under the control of her father and Carlos is being held back from what he could potentially become because of the society that he lives in. Magdalena's crisis occurs when Herman suddenly leaves her, either by choice or familial influences. Carlos's crisis occurs when he falls for Gary, once he realizes that he doesn't feel the same way, he is forced to rely on what he knows best, his "thug" nature to see him through his heartbreak. Once both these events occur, you see for the first time both Magdalena and Carlos face a much harsher reality that what is normally seen in echo park.
My biggest critique about this movie was its ending. I was definitely hoping for both the leads to find a new way out of their desperate situation, but in the end go back to their protected worlds again. This was pretty much summed up when Magdalena comes to her own Quiceanera in a Hummer limo. I was disappointed at how going through such an ordeal, and still pregnant, that she would go back to her materialistic ways. Although that her father said that he would make it up to her, I hoped that she would outgrow her own wants and needs and learn how to really survive in the real world. Instead the directors give us an ending that was meant to be "happy." what happened to character development? Its like they threw it out the window.
Hard Candy (2005)
I'm not going to rehash the plot. You can read that in other peoples posts.
All I'd like to say is that the two-person thriller has some of the best psychological play in a long time. There hasn't been a movie since, well ever, that your torn between who to side with. Are you for Page's character or Wilson? Is this act justified or is it cruel and unusual punishment? In the end your almost left with a bad taste in your mouth of how it all went down. But days later your still thinking about those images (well mostly haunted about the scene with the scalpel).
As for the presentation, David Slade almost has an "Aronofsky-esque" touch to the scene. The changing colors, from hues of blue, red and white to make the audience feel what Wilson's character is feeling during his interrogation.
Good work overall, albeit nearly impossible to happen in real life. Unless you lie like Hayley, then anythings possible.
Shi mian mai fu (2004)
Almost close to Genius
When I saw this film, First I was amazed by is definitely the style of the movie. The whole period piece look was done to perfection. Everything was so visually vibrant. Zhang ziyi is still a very "dry" actress, but is getting better with every movie I've seen her in. I know in hero she just played a supporting role, but CTHD, she probably had her best acting; this movie wont add much to her acting Specials effects where awesome, yimou has found a new medium in sound effects; not found in Hero. The screenplay I thought was very cliché. That whole plot twist came way out of right field. didn't make sense. it was just a device to move the movie into the final fight scene. To me visuals carry this movie. Plot is more akin to your average movie that any blockbuster.
8 out of 10
The Emperor's Wife (2003)
One of my top 20
First time I saw this movie, I was a little annoyed with the atmosphere. It seemed too lost in its own mythology to be anything close to approachable. Second time I saw it, I now fully understand the whole symbiosis of the art style with the plot. (mind you, some people wont get it at all). The plot was traditional in the fairy tale sense; but with a more mature theme. The acting was effective enough to keep the audience in interest, without being too sappy or thematic. Special recognition for Rhys-Meyers, who plays his affection for Sabah, with a false dignity, even though through his eyes you can see the man suffer. Very well acted on his part.
I'd give it an 8.5 out of 10.
This movie is good, if you can read more into the whole movie, instead of just the plot or artistry.
Yeah,I would have to agree that this movie was badly made. Most of the movie is so dark that if watching at home with the lights out all your going to be doing is listening a lot. The audio track is even worse. Sometimes you have to rewind to try and catch what was said. The plot, however I thought was very good, somewhat clichéd, but none-the-less good. There was some bad acting parts (especially by troy in the last bedroom scene) but that a given with unexperienced actors. The screenplay was pretty good, you'd expected some sort of crap for writing when you have a badly made movie, but that was the only thing good I found in this movie.
Score: Video.....:(D) Audio.....:(D-) Plot......:(B+) Screenplay:(A-) Acting....:(B)