Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Enter the Void (2009)
Gaspar Noe's masterpiece...
Patience. It's something that's quickly eroding at the dawn of my generation. I do not mean this as a criticism. Times change. But in our age of accessing information so quickly, we can often find ourselves just "getting to the point" these days. I will start off by saying that this film requires patience. While you may actually get the point of this movie rather quickly, the ride itself is a long winded sermon about the sanctity of life itself.
"Do you believe in reincarnation?" is the setup of the entire concept of what could be considered Noe's magnum opus. The driving force here is that procreation is driven by empathy. The need to connect with someone on the deepest level to create life.
It is filmed entirely from the perspective of Oscar, the film's protagonist, who dies unexpectedly from a series of unfortunate events. What follows after is a deeply personal journey of his spirit's observations post-life. He must witness the humanity of those he loves most, laid bare. His willingness to forgive these transgressions ultimately leads to his rebirth, and the fulfillment of his promise to his sister.
While Noe's films can be considered very personal in a way, and deal with taboo that we often stride over with rapidity, it serves well for those willing to receive it. If one were willing to give these ideas a chance, and explore them with said patience, they'll find something in a film that very few directors can provide us today... life itself. While such introspection can cause discomfort in those that expect merely escapism from a film, here provided is an introspective and soulful existentialism that dives deep into the nature of human forgiveness and retribution.
A film that is beautiful visually, musically, and humanely. I guarantee that you will not experience another film like it, and it will resonate for some time.
Land of the Dead (2005)
I genuinely awesome movie, that falls short... just a little bit!
First of all, I have to say that I celebrate this movie. To me, George Romero is one of the most down to earth people in the movie business and nothing brings me more joy than knowing that he finally got to make this movie with a budget.
Now, let me also say that, because I'm such a huge Romero fan, that I went to this film with huge expectations. I suffered some discomfort from moments in this movie which showed some sophomoric technique which seemed so below him. But overall, I left the Land of the Dead feeling satisfied.
The good: Romero really knows his atmosphere. The sets in this movie were amazing. Huge cities with empty, isolated districts, the contrasting pent-house of the upper crust and the outskirts where the dead walk were filmed and executed brilliantly. It really is one of there rare films where it creates a place in which the viewer can be absorbed while suspending their sense of disbelief.
The zombies looked excellent, with the exception of Big Daddy (I'll get into that later). There were so many varieties and they were vicious! All of the actors, with the exception of the main protagonist did an excellent job. This really was a humble but awesome performance by Dennis Hopper and he really added to a large part of the ironic humor that's spread across the film, which was also a big plus. A cheer also for Pillsbury, who had some of the funniest lines in the movie.
The bad: Big Daddy: First and foremost. I understand that this is a pickup from Day of the Dead, but the way in which it was executed did not work for me at all. Philosophically, I always thought that Romero's true masterpieces like Night / Day treated zombies as a backdrop to what the real issue was in propelling social atrophy: the interactions of people. In those first films, it was the developing entropy between individual minds that let the threat outside overwhelm and destroy them. The zombies themselves were just multi-faceted entity banging at the gates (plus they decapitated, ate and ripped people in half which was pretty cool). I feel like Big Daddy put too much emphasis on the undead and detracted from the colorful spectrum of actual personalities in the film which could have been developed and interacted with so much better without Big Daddy's spotlight. It also didn't work because his sentience was near immediate... and the idea of a zombie leader goes way below Romero's talent of extracting issues with subtlety. He should have left intelligent zombies out and kept the interactions with the main characters in.
The main characters: Because of the above, I do not feel they were developed well enough. I wanted so much more from all of them. Just as you feel you knew their personalities they became forgettable. Dennis Hopper especially! His character could have gone so far, that by the time he died... I was rooting for him and not Cholo.
The main protagonist was an empty shell of paperback wisdom. His only lines in the beginnings of the film are nothing but childish rhetoric. I wanted the burned man to be developed more, Asia Argento and the interactions between them and the strike force which went to put Cholo Down.
Last but not least, the ending. The film ended so abruptly, that the above issues didn't seem resolved. I wanted so much more and there was SO MUCH potential that I was slightly disappointed.
Even though by this review you may think that I hated it more than I liked it, nothing can be further than the truth. I only elaborate on the bad things, because they're essential in what didn't make this movie work 100%. But overall, I'm proud to see Romero back on the screen and doing what he does best: making movies and having FUN with it. I will support him to the end.
Open Water (2003)
A bit boring at first though entirely redeeming in the end!
I admit, this movie did not make the best first impression. At the very beginning the acting leaves much to be desired and there's nothing in the character development that leaves room for any amount of relation between them and the viewer. However, when the tragedy is apparent the film almost becomes emotionally overwhelming; anybody with an entrenched talent for empathy will be haunted by the events that transpire.
A brief note on the circumstances as to how they got stranded (and probably the weakest part of the film): How on earth can people be so negligent? Those in charge of the headcount and equipment check went beyond an amount of stupidity not even possible in those who weren't trained for such a career. It's an unbelievable scenario in almost all respects.
But in light of that, the film is one huge crescendo that leads to a resolution that is expected in the darkest and most cynical parts of our mind. Though when presented with the fact, it leaves the viewer in a state of denial.
Not to mention that two people caught in the middle of the ocean, on a pitch black night, in the middle of a lightning storm and surrounded by sharks is probably one of the most terrifying and hopeless situations possible for a human being.
Overall this film was a fantastic study in all facets of human emotion. Relationships, dealing with fear, love, isolation and desperate sacrifice. It casts all high budget bells and whistles out into the ocean (terrible pun intended) getting down to the very roots of these two people and the relentless environment which hosts them.
For anyone who can stand such a film, I highly recommend it. For those of you who can't - don't worry, there's tons of other movies out there to whet your whistle.