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Criminal Minds: True Night (2007)
Very Frank-Miller - Bravo Zulu
I loved this episode because of the directorship and filming style that was so "Frank Miller". And it was befitting because the show was about a graphic novelist. Especially in those scenes that showed how the crimes/murders were being committed, it was plain joy to see the slow-mo of the blades slashing through the raindrops, and blood splattering like red paint across TV screen. For a while there, I actually thought the episode could've been directed by Zack Snyder ("300") but was pleasantly surprised that it was (still) directed by none other than Edward Allen Bernero.
The episode also attempted to look at how the crime was committed through the eyes of the murderer. This was a little different from the other episodes in which most of the crimes were seen from the perspective of either the profilers or the victims or sometimes, the observers (us, audience).
Cidade de Deus (2002)
I'm Not a Fan of Violence & Gore But I'm Voting This Movie...
City of God was my first Brazilian movie. I didn't catch it when it was shown here in my country. But I sure did feel so glad that I managed to catch it on the DVD rental. Excellent.
The movie scored a high on directorship and cinematography. I didn't like the violence, gore and cold-blooded shoot-outs, but without these components, the theatrical impact would've been greatly reduced, and so would the entertainment.
But mostly, I was so drawn into the movie, and felt so engaged with the characters in the movie. It was a masterpiece at story-telling, story-weaving and character development at its best. I couldn't ask for more or find anything lacking in this movie.
Great job. Bravo.
Mon seung (2006)
Horrors of a Troubled Mind
Man. What a mind-boggling movie! And what horror. The horror... well, the movie does fall under the horror-movie genre... but the horror comes not from just the audio/visual effects of the movie, but the realisation of what a mind is capable of! The movie revolves the troubled mind of a talented but secluded girl, Winnie, who can't get over the loss of her boyfriend (through break up, car accident, cancer, or...?). Her hobbies are making wooden puppets/dolls and writing in her diary. She confides and seeks comfort with a friend, Yvonne, who gives her advice, like getting even with her boyfriend who dumps her, or getting a new boyfriend to get over the ex one... Soon, Winnie runs into a guy, Ray, who resembles her ex-boyfriend, Seth.
Things seem to go well for a while... at least so it records in Winnie's diary... Ray and Winnie live and eat together. But then Ray starts to change and Winnie still feels that Seth is in the house with them. Confusion and suspicion arise. Winnie starts to accuse Ray of change of heart. In an effort to confront Ray of calling her a liar (because she is unable to maintain consistency in her own story-telling), she shows Ray the diary. But only ends up confronting her own ghosts of the past. Sudden realisation overwhelms her and she remembers everything in a flash. In her sheer anger, she kills Ray. Yvonne appears in the nick of time to advise Winnie on how to dispose the body...
(Spoiler starts here)
Police is called in when the neighbours smell something "fishy" in the corridor. Winnie claims that Yvonne is the mastermind, who instigates her on the killing. She even leads the police into believing that she may have murdered a guy called Seth 2 years ago. When Yvonne is hauled in to ID Winnie, only then the truth is revealed.... The whole time when "Winnie" lives in her world, she takes on the appearance, image and persona of "Yvonne". And Ray, though remotely resembles Seth, is seen as "Seth" in her own world. She sees and hears nothing and no one else. She writes in her diary, only to reinforce the world she has created in her mind and to script everything that is going to happen, because her diary dates as far ahead as in 2007. Meanwhile, the "Yvonne" that keeps appearing in her house, is no one but a life-size wooden doll that she has carved. And all the conversations she has with "Yvonne" and "Seth"/"Ray" are just pure imaginary dialogues. And the real Yvonne and Seth have been her schoolmate and ex-boyfriend respectively. Both end up as husband and wife. Audience by now realise that the very thing that drives Winnie to depression and madness is the betrayal of friendship and love/trust.