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Enchanting, moving and haunting...
21 August 2005
I didn't really know what to expect when i first watched this film. I'd had it recommended to me and had taken a look at it on IMDb, which I don't usually do, so I knew a it about the film before I watched it. And I was enthralled, enchanted and entertained by the film from it's opening line of "Cecilia was the first to go" .

If this line seems a little too dark and discerning for your taste, don't watch this film. I think it is a bit of an acquired taste, but then again often the best films are. It is haunting, beautiful and the images presented are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen on film. The music is wonderful and it manages to be romantic, heartbreaking, funny, magical and truthful all at the same time.

So sure, it's not really a good film to watch if you want to have a laugh with your friends go watch Legally Blonde instead of this, but if you want to be caught up in something really interesting to watch and think about long after the credits roll, watch this because it's just so beautiful in so many ways.
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Signs (2002)
could have been a lot better-spoilers ahead
11 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Okay.I'm just going to start by saying that although I really disliked this movie, I'm sure there are many people in the world who do like this movie, so I'll try not to anger you guys too much.

Anyway, this movie really did let itself down. I'll admit, at the start and even to the middle of the movie, I was a little edgy. Shymalaan does the creepy camera angles very well and he has a great use of colour and tones. BUT this movie had a really difficult plot. It was a plot that has been done countless times already, the whole "aliens attacking earth" idea. The thing with this film's aliens were that they were the stupidest aliens ever. I mean, if these aliens were scrutinizing Earth as a place to harvest, then you'd think they'd do a little bit of research, eh? Think that they might realize that Earth is like, 60% water and that could hurt them? Nope, they went ahead and invaded anyway.

The only thing that saved this movie from being a complete flop was the acting. Mel Gibson was, impressive, not brilliant but impressive, and Joquain Phoenix does the brooding hulk very well. The kids very uncannily creepy too.

But the plot let this movie down, and overall it was not worthwhile at all. There is no major logic in this film, there is a subplot involving the dead wife which really doesn't add too much to the plot, only to the characters, which are fairly unlikable anyway, and the film seems to be too concerned with "faith" and other such religious subplots that it makes for slightly dragged out viewing. There was heaps of material in this film that could have been used in more constructive ways, but instead the film just piled on more little meanings and thoughts.

I expected a thriller. I got a fairly dragged out, driveling film that really didn't have much meaning in the long run. And as for the "twist"...well, there wasn't one of those either. I guess Shymalaan tried to make up for it with "The Village".
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Donnie Darko (2001)
A modern classic in many ways, but spoilers ahead!
11 October 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Donnie Darko is one of those films that you either love or hate. I don't want to sound like Mrs. Farmer from Donnie Darko when I say this, but you cannot feel nothing about this movie. It's very being is dependable on how you feel about the characters and events in this movie. Just a warning, there's a few spoilers ahead

I first saw Donnie Darko when it was 11pm at night and I was at home with a friend. My friend happens to be a Jake Gynahaal fan, so she doesn't really notice much else about the movie. I, on the other hand, am totally riveted. But this film is complicated. I don't completely understand it. Parts, maybe, but by the end of the film I'm not sure what the hell just happened. But when I watched it for a second time I really started to understand it on a different level. And that's where the film is great.

I guess obviously the type of person you are will influence how you interpret this movie. My friend called it a horror film. I couldn't believe that. I mean, this movie splits into so many different genres it's impossible to spearhead it into a specific one. Another of my friends said that in the end it was "all in his mind". Thats a pretty logical way of seeing it, granted, but seriously, if you really understand the film then there is no way that ending would fit!

To really get into this film, I would say you need to read between the lines of this film and be able to keep your eyes open for the subtle hints that it drops on the way. Not to say that you should analyze this movie too much, but it's certainly not a movie where you simply go in and watch it. You really have to be able to connect with the character of Donnie, because the film is really focused on him and has much more to do with the evolution of the characters than the plot. Without the remarkable acting and character composition, this film would simply be a spacey, sci-fi flick and certainly not appeal to as many people as it has done.

This film is pure genius, especially when you compare it to some of the nonsense Hollywood is churning out at the moment. It was great to see all the subtle edges that made it realistic whilst retaining the dreamlike state that pulls us all into the plot, characters and message.
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Spirited Away (2001)
better than Disney by a long shot
11 October 2004
I really enjoyed this film-everything about it glows and shines in a gentle luminosity. This film, if you have seen some of Miyazaki's other work, is quite light. The characters are beautifully and lovingly created and the colouring and setting of this film is absolutely superb. This is a beautiful little film and I can't wait for the next feature from Hayao Miyazaki-he is better than Walt Disney.

Miyazaki blends the characters and the environment very well together, and I can see that this would be enjoyed for people at many different levels. Miyazaki enjoys creating female heroines and I was pleased that Chihiro lived up to the expression and beauty of her predecessors-like Nausicaa from the Valley of the Wind. This is beautiful and I would advise anyone to take a look at it's scope and serenity, along with it's fast paced plot and of course, the dreamlike settings that make it truly wonderful.
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