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Red Riding Hood (2011)
"Never ever talk to strangers" or let them talk you into seeing this
Really awful- not because of how it's filmed- the shots can be beautiful but the acting and the leads are wooden and it's like watching teens try to mime a fake "profound" performance. Imagine an Abercombie and Fitch catalog taking place in an alterna universe where medieval times are more like post modern-America. I saw it in the hopes of another Gothic "Sleepy Hollow"...and found an emo-marathon and dullness. Only Gary Oldman has any fun with his role, and all the while the other actors hang around looking like they are being filmed for a perfume campaign. There's a werewolf and a lead named Peter who has feelings for Lil Red...so imagine someone had a great idea: Peter and The Wolf story meets Little Red Riding Hood, and together they defeat a big bad. Only instead of taking this into fun innuendo territory or at least having "Snow White: A Tale of Terror" quality to it, they just make it Twilight version 2.0.
Mr. Nobody (2009)
Imagination at its best
(edit) Stunningly beautiful, wonderfully executed, confusing as hell to some extent but oh so worth the watch. It seems long but the longer you watch the harder it is to stop staring at this masterpiece. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it, and it's a shame that there aren't more films like this. Funny thing is, I never even heard of it before I gave it a chance. I think the only reason this film didn't make a bigger buzz was because of completely absent marketing. Here's to hoping that more people will give it a chance and come to love it, or at least appreciate the scope of imagination it lends to the sad state of modern cinema.
As far as the lead actors go- all were exceptional. Jared Leto was very very good in his role and transformations, Sarah Polley broke my heart (she depicted manic depression and deep depression with such honesty that catharsis was inevitable), and this director- Jaco Van Dormael, now has my complete and utter respect for sheer daring. (funny but before this film I had never heard of him and it's a shame because he's better than most of whom Hollywood has to offer)
If Frankenstein and Greek Myth mind-melded- this would be the lovechild
Yes- some people didn't like it, others had some popcorn fun with it. I enjoyed the cinematic experience and found it intriguing if a little dark and moody. It isn't as bad a movie as others may make it out to be,and it explores interesting themes.Very twisted Oedipus/Eve/Adam triangle thing going on.Here are stories explored in the film, some successfully and others less so: Electra Complex Oedipal complex Frankenstein story/motif Sirens Münchhausen syndrome
If you mashed up Greek myth about the problems of human ego, added the fear of technology and playing God that was frequent in 19th century novels like Frankenstein, and surprised the audience by using mythic monsters like Chimeras/sphinx/siren/Echidna instead of the usual zombie/werewolf/vampire lore, then you get this flick. If you didn't appreciate it for the imagination even if it was audacious, then at least admit- the shots and special effects were really really good.
I think it would have been better if it had ended before monster resurrection and if the main characters had regretted all their decisions and lost the purpose of their initial research, but oh well. Kudos to the director for making bold moves!
The Human Contract (2008)
Femme Fetale no longer
This movie was a surprising little film for its intelligence and a nice change of pace for a repetitive genre. In films that open the same way this film does- two people of different social classes meet at a bar, one seems like a simple man of good repute and the conformist ideals of a hero, the other a dark, sexy foreign woman of the upper class who appears to be the femme fatal (the one who will drag this upright citizen through the depths of hell in a web of dangerous passion)- you think you've seen it all before. But the story turns in on itself- it is the hero of this film who carries a dark past, a not so clean cut belief system, and a desire to rebel against society- he is the violent one in turmoil going through his own form of hell. It is the female foreigner and seducer (played fantastically by Paz Vega) who raises him out of the depths to which he has sunk by instilling in him the need to connect with others and the ability to confront his past. Their affair is dangerous but necessary for character growth. He brings her down, but she saves him from himself. The ending scene is brilliant- the man paints his (metaphorical and literal) blue room to "White". He needs Michael (Paz Vega's character) to help him reach a state of solace to paint his life and create an empty canvas upon which the audience can draw their own conclusions. Is their affair healthy? No...maybe? Is it necessary, their coming into each others lives, and destroying what they have each built for themselves? YES
Shalosh Ima'ot (2006)
worthwhile and nostalgic
This movie captured the essence of a time no longer in Israel. It was beautifully directed, and the actors really gave a great performance. Yes- It's a little contrived in a bit of a soap opera fashion; but overall it is an interesting film with many moments that tug at your heartstrings. Miri Mesikas melodious voice waves through the film as you step back into the 50's/60's in Israel. It is a simple tale of 3 sisters who live complicated lives. I know that everyone who saw it- my friends, family, and random popcorn-munching moviegoers- were quite impressed with this little gem. What's nice about it- my friends abroad loved it too. If for nothing else- it serves as an interesting film giving the opportunity for observing an exotic form of cultural study. It is basically a story about people from different familial backgrounds and nationalities moving to a country (the Israel of that time) where the rules are different and they have to learn to deal with and accept modernity and loss.
hope you enjoy this film, I know I did.