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The Nines (2007)
Interesting idea but ultimately disappointing
The Nines has some fantastic ideas and some really rather good performances (Melissa McCarthy is a constant joy throughout and Ryan Reynolds shows an impressive diversity for his acting league) however, after a promising start, loses its way as the story progresses.
A film of three distinct parts in a Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) style, The Nines deals with some seriously deep themes including philosophy, theology and betrayal. However, unlike Eternal Sunshine, the direction of John August (writer of Go and Big Fish) seems too straight and, dare I say it, Teen-like for such a film where a better choice of helm would have seem to be someone like David Lynch (Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks) or maybe Darren Aronofski (Pi, The Fountain). As it is the film progressively gets weirder and weirder and with it surrealism jars with the previous tone to the point it feels preposterous.
Worth a watch and nice to see someone try something new but ultimately disappointing.
Inland Empire (2006)
The Madness is back.
Well it took an hour's drive all the way to The Watershed in Bristol to actually find a screening outside London but I can happily report I've finally seen Inland Empire.
And wow - it's incredible.
However it's the most extreme Lynch that you can possibly imagine. Think of Lynch at his most bizarre and then play that backwards at 30% speed. Then accidentally drop all the rushes on the floor and randomly put them back in the projector so they're no longer even remotely in order. This is Inland Empire.
Remember how obscure his story lines in Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway were? Well they're Enid Blyton compared to this.
In short do not go and see unless you really enjoy Lynch at his most obtuse. This is a three hour nightmare and every single moment is sheer horrific genius.
An American Haunting (2005)
OK first off I don't recommend this film to anyone as it is both extremely predictable and exceptionally boring.
I'm one of those people who gets scared very easily (vivid imagination and possible homosexual tendencies i guess) and for the first twenty minutes I was really pretty terrified. And then I got bored. And then the 'twist' occurred and I groaned. Then it ended.
The direction is appalling (unnecessary changes from colour to black and white confuse me, not scare me) and the theory of the more jumps the better wears very thin very quickly. The sound is superb and (as is standard with modern horror) makes it seem a lot scarier than it actually is.
But the major problem comes from the actual story telling. By the time the first act is over they've pretty much done everything they can to scare (and torture the protagonists) leaving the next two acts nothing new to offer.
The awesomely exciting twist is obvious to anyone who has seen the much better, funnier and scarier Twin peaks from about ten minutes into the plot and the prologue/epilogue contemporary scenes are just stupid. Really stupid.
PLEASE DO NOT WATCH.