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Raven
QUOTE (curtinparloe @ May 9 2009, 10:57 PM) *
However, I understand Star Trek 10 (Nemesis) broke the curse by being a bit terrible.


Nemesis wasn't that bad, and in some ways the new film is actually Nemesis: Redux anyway (big Romulan weapon set to destroy Earth - where have I heard that before . . . hmm, now, let me think . . .).
maian
Coraline

A very, very good adaptation of a great book. The first 45 minutes or so, due to the nature of the story, do go from amusing but dull to cloying and awkward, but they only serve to make the final half of the film all the more exciting and creepy. Some of the vocal performances weren't terribly good (Ian McShane's, in particular, could have been done by anyone) but otherwise it's a terrific film.


Following

Christopher Nolan's debut feature about a writer who follows people around looking for inspiration. Eventually, he follows a burglar and finds himself being drawn into a world of robbery, deceit and violence.

Shot handheld on grainy black-and-white footage, at first glance it seems to be a world apart from the stuff that Nolan would make in the subsequent decade. However, the story, which jumps around chronologically and focuses on morally ambiguous characters in way over their heads is very much a precursor to the work he has done, both stylistically and thematically.

Thanks to the way it was shot, with filming taking place at weekends over several years to accomodate the schedules of the cast, it feels very rough-and-tumble and the performances aren't great all round, but it's an otherwise fascinating look into the work of arguably one of the most talented directors of the 21st Century so far.

If proof were needed...


Memento

Hadn't intended to watch it but after Following we had to give it a whirl. Endlessly rewatchable, marvelously complex, it's fantastic.
GundamGuy_UK
QUOTE (Raven @ May 10 2009, 12:45 AM) *
Nemesis wasn't that bad, and in some ways the new film is actually Nemesis: Redux anyway (big Romulan weapon set to destroy Earth - where have I heard that before . . . hmm, now, let me think . . .).


I've not seen the new one yet (damn dissertation...) so I can't comment on that, but I always thought Nemesis was pretty much a Wrath of Kahn retelling (person from Captain's past out for revenge, ends in a ship-to-ship battle and main cast member sacrifices self for the others). They could even have used B-4 to remake Data, like Spock being reborn, if another TNG movie were made. I'm sure there are more similarities too, I've not seen either movie in ages.

So have they now made the same movie for the 3rd time?
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (maian @ May 10 2009, 01:37 AM) *
Coraline

A very, very good adaptation of a great book. The first 45 minutes or so, due to the nature of the story, do go from amusing but dull to cloying and awkward, but they only serve to make the final half of the film all the more exciting and creepy. Some of the vocal performances weren't terribly good (Ian McShane's, in particular, could have been done by anyone) but otherwise it's a terrific film.


A friend of mine is a HUGE fan of the book, and as a result, is desperate to NOT see it. He knows it has been well reviewed but he just can't bring himself to watch the film version. I personally haven't read it, but I'm thinking about seeing it - is there anyway he could be tempted?
logger
QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ May 10 2009, 07:17 AM) *
So have they now made the same movie for the 3rd time?

No.
curtinparloe
QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ May 10 2009, 07:17 AM) *
I've not seen the new one yet (damn dissertation...) so I can't comment on that, but I always thought Nemesis was pretty much a Wrath of Kahn retelling (person from Captain's past out for revenge, ends in a ship-to-ship battle and main cast member sacrifices self for the others). They could even have used B-4 to remake Data, like Spock being reborn, if another TNG movie were made. I'm sure there are more similarities too, I've not seen either movie in ages.

So have they now made the same movie for the 3rd time?


I watched Nemesis last night and it's not that bad, but Shinzon isn't a great villain despite Tom Hardy's best efforts.
Atara
Star Trek

I have tried to type this three times and my laptop keeps going back and I lose what I typed so I will keep it short. It was damn good, nice references, not a weak link in the cast, great action/CG sequences, looking forward to more.
Raven
QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ May 10 2009, 07:17 AM) *
So have they now made the same movie for the 3rd time?


QUOTE (logger @ May 10 2009, 11:32 AM) *
No.


I'd say all three have similar story elements, in that the lead bad guy is looking for revenge and has control of a super-weapon, but the new film is very different in both feel and tone, and it doesn't have any of the lengthy exposition to explain the bad guy's motivation that Khan and Nemesis did.
maian
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ May 10 2009, 10:20 AM) *
A friend of mine is a HUGE fan of the book, and as a result, is desperate to NOT see it. He knows it has been well reviewed but he just can't bring himself to watch the film version. I personally haven't read it, but I'm thinking about seeing it - is there anyway he could be tempted?


I suppose it would depend upon how much he likes the work of Henry Selick, since that is the main point that needs to be considered in selling the adaptation. The animation is really stunning and completely matches the style of the story (Neil Gaiman has said that he always wanted the film to be done in stop-motion) since it can be sweet and silly yet incredibly creepy, which is the tone that the book hits.
Julie
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ May 10 2009, 05:20 AM) *
A friend of mine is a HUGE fan of the book, and as a result, is desperate to NOT see it. He knows it has been well reviewed but he just can't bring himself to watch the film version. I personally haven't read it, but I'm thinking about seeing it - is there anyway he could be tempted?


Tell him I felt exactly the same way. I put it off for a couple weeks and eventually broke down. I was not disappointed. It was exactly as unsettling as it needed to be. I was worried it would cop out and turn into a fluffy children's film. It did not.
maian
I loved the stuffed dogs in angel costumes. That really creeped me out in a way that I wasn't expecting. The jokes about ''looking ahead'' and knitting an outfit for an already living dog also had me laughing but feeling a tad uncomfortable, which is just what I want from a film version of Coraline.
sweetbutinsane
I am determined to see it after my first exam on Wednesday, even if it means going alone because the only people that would be interested appear to also be skint.
Shack
Assault on Precinct 13

A cast of unknowns (to me anyway), some synthtastic music that I am still humming the tune for and some actual tense feelings throughout. Maybe I'll watch the remake and compare notes...

Pretty good I'd say.
curtinparloe
Race To Witch Mountain
Too much violence for a children's movie, nonetheless an entertaining film that doesn't let up. Dwayne struggles a little with some acting at the end, but Carla Gugino's hotness more than makes up for it.

Coraline
I liked it, but I have to be in the mood for Gaiman-penned movies (except Stardust, which I can watch again and again).

Star Trek
Slightly higher Old Spock/New Spock ratio than I would have liked, but still fabulous.
Jimmay
Ratatouille

Lovely film and the food animations was fantastic. I wasn't really in the mood for a wholesome film but I was enthralled.

Hancock

I'm glad this was a short film so the last act was over before it got even more confusing and shit. Its such a shame as the first 2 acts were fantastic, I just really don't get what they were trying to say. It made no sense and the fact that it was shaping up to be really good made this shitness all the more annoying.
sweetbutinsane
Pineapple Express

Not quite what I was expecting, but good nonetheless.
maian
The Da Vinci Code

Boring, terribly, terribly boring. The conspiracy and the mythology of it had the potential to be quite interesting, but it was squandered by poor dialogue, sloppily directed action scenes and a self-importance that I just couldn't stand. The performers weren't bad, though.


Synecdoche, New York

Won't review it at any length now, but I will say that it's very messy and unfocused, but its vaulting ambition, superb cast and melancholy feel made it one of the highlights of the year for me so far. I had to go sit in a field and think about life for an hour after the screening.


Star Trek

Heaps of fun, easily my favourite film in the Star Trek series(though, as my housemate has pointed out, that does not necessarily mean that it is the best Trek film). Wonderful cast, stunning visuals and intelligent direction make it the blockbuster to beat this year.

I like this film. It's exciting!
sleeping_pirate
Blair Witch Project
Miss Shazam
QUOTE (maian @ May 11 2009, 10:15 PM) *
I like this film. It's exciting!


I just got that.
maian
I've been convalescing from a stomach bug and, for some reason, being ill draws me to films that make me feel bad:

In The Company Of Men

A brilliant, brilliant, brilliant film. Pitch-black comedy about two men (Aaron Eckhart and Matt Malloy) who set out to, in Eckhart's words, ''Hurt somebody'', by making a deaf woman (Stacy Edwards) fall in love with them so they can break up with her and break her heart. Eckhart is just brilliant as Chad, an amoral and downright hilarious company man who exploits everyone around him, all the while maintaining the sort of charming smile that you can't help but fall into.

Neil Labute's writing is marvelous misanthropic, mercilessly savaging the alpha-male culture of big business and the attitudes of those same men towards women. His direction is also interesting, though I found it jarring when he used close-ups since most of the film is shot at a distance and in long, unbroken takes, giving it a creepy, voyeuristic feel that the close-up disrupts.

Again, it's brilliant, but very dark.


I also finally watched the end of Dark Habits by Pedro Almodovar.

Nuns, drugs, lesbianism, tigers, pulp novels, bolero music, it's all very much the sort of thing you'd expect from Almodovar but I struggled with it. The disparate elements just didn't gel and it felt very much like a transitional film in his career. You could clearly see him moving away from the scrappy feel of his first films but he hadn't yet grasped how to balance outrageous comedy and melodrama in the way that he has since been able to, so it kind of fell between the two eras of his career and didn't end up as fun as the early films or as beautiful as the latter.

Worth a watch for completists and to get a sense of his progression as a film-maker, but not terribly good on its own.
sweetbutinsane
Coraline

Really enjoyed it; it was very strange indeed, and quite creepy in places (in both good and bad ways). I want the cat.
Jimmay
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

I love the worlds that Del Toro creates. I can imagine watching this as a child would be spectacular and it reminds me so much of things like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Great stuff.
Sostie
QUOTE (Jimmay @ May 14 2009, 09:30 AM) *
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

I love the worlds that Del Toro creates.


You may be interested to know he is doing a signing at Forbidden Planet (London) on 6th June.
Jimmay
QUOTE (Sostie @ May 14 2009, 01:56 PM) *
You may be interested to know he is doing a signing at Forbidden Planet (London) on 6th June.


Cool. I won't be able to get down for it but thanks for the info all the same. Does anyone know if he draws the artwork himself or does he just use the same artists as you can spot one of his monsters a mile off.
maian
QUOTE (Jimmay @ May 14 2009, 02:10 PM) *
Cool. I won't be able to get down for it but thanks for the info all the same. Does anyone know if he draws the artwork himself or does he just use the same artists as you can spot one of his monsters a mile off.


He designs them himself in his notebooks (he draws and writes in dozens of notebooks in preparing every film) but he does have a team of artists that he works with to develop them. He's even got Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) in to help design some of the creatures for The Hobbit films.
Crutch
Star Trek - Best action comedy this year. Way more funny I've ever dared to imagine. It really feels more like the original series than anything that happened in Tek after the end of TOS. (Except maybe for the DS9 Tribble Trouble in Time.) Plus it's a gigantic J.J. Abrams pastiche. I'm sure that in the final episode of Lost Spock will beam down onto the island. Pure greatness.
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (maian @ May 14 2009, 03:15 PM) *
He designs them himself in his notebooks (he draws and writes in dozens of notebooks in preparing every film) but he does have a team of artists that he works with to develop them. He's even got Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) in to help design some of the creatures for The Hobbit films.


As much as I liked The Devil's Backbone, when I saw the storyboards on the DVD, I almost wished it had been a comic book or an animation.
Starscream`s Ghost
QUOTE (Crutch @ May 14 2009, 03:38 PM) *
(Except maybe for the DS9 Tribble Trouble in Time.)


Trials and Tribble-ations.

I'm ashamed of myself.
melzilla
Star Trek

Thoroughly enjoyable. Action-packed and loads of fun. Good performances from the main characters, too. I actually really liked Chekov (I thought the terrible accent was meant to be on purpose.)

More Chris Pine please! Mmm.

Coraline

Beautifully done and a great adaptation. The visuals are stunning, particularly with it being in 3D, and keep you hooked throughout, although I agree with Maian that the first half of the film is a little slow. However, the second half definitely makes up for this and the 'creepy factor' is excellent and done very well. Great stuff.
Starscream`s Ghost
QUOTE (melzilla @ May 14 2009, 06:06 PM) *
Star Trek

Thoroughly enjoyable. Action-packed and loads of fun. Good performances from the main characters, too. I actually really liked Chekov (I thought the terrible accent was meant to be on purpose.)


I just keep wanting to call Chekov 'Latka', now.

Thankyouverymuch.
widowspider
QUOTE (melzilla @ May 14 2009, 06:06 PM) *
Star Trek

Thoroughly enjoyable. Action-packed and loads of fun. Good performances from the main characters, too. I actually really liked Chekov (I thought the terrible accent was meant to be on purpose.)

More Chris Pine please! Mmm.

Same here - there was a whole joke about it, and stuff.

Chris Pine is officially tasty. I didn't like him in Bottle Shock as much as Freddy Rodriguez, but maybe I'm just betraying my penchant for Mexican men there. But in this, he's teh hots.
logger
QUOTE (Starscream`s Ghost @ May 14 2009, 05:57 PM) *
Trials and Tribble-ations.

I'm ashamed of myself.

Is that the on where they go back in time to the original series? I liked that one.
UnderSpaced
Silence of the Lambs
It only now just dawned on me that Buffalo Bill is Captain Stottlemeyer from the TV show Monk.

Hellboy 2
I really liked it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze
Still as great as I remembered.
maian
Silence of the Lambs

An inherently watchable movie. If it's on TV, I can't just walk away from it, I have to watch it all the way through. As I get older, I'm starting to like Hopkins' Lecter more than I used to; he's just the right side of hammy, but with a cold, calculating menace that undercuts the theatricality beautifully. This time round I also appreciated Jonathan Demme's direction a lot more than I have in the past. Those long, unbroken takes and the constantly moving camera make each scene feel vibrant and alive in a way that the sequels/prequels have never done for me. You can definitely see why P.T. Anderson said that he stole all his techniques for Boogie Nights and Magnolia from Demme.

Also, only just realised that Buffalo Bill is listening to Hip Priest by The Fall at the end of the film. Demme's certainly got a superb musical ear.


Chopper

Really very entertaining. Andrew Dominik is a terrifically talented director, I just wish he'd make more films.
logger
QUOTE (maian @ May 17 2009, 12:34 PM) *
I just wish he'd make more films.

And keep control of them.
GundamGuy_UK
So it turns out that The Soloist isn't out here until September.

I'll just say that I saw it at the end of April, and it's very very good so go and see it when it comes out.

I'd been wondering why nobody else had mentioned it.
sweetbutinsane
Mrs Doubtfire

I hadn't watched this for a good few years, so I was quite thrilled when my sister got it on DVD. Amazing what they used to be able to get away with in family films back in the early nineties.
melzilla
Gregory's Girl and My Cousin Vinny

Ah. A night well spent methinks.
maian
QUOTE (UnderSpaced @ May 14 2009, 10:39 PM) *
Silence of the Lambs
It only now just dawned on me that Buffalo Bill is Captain Stottlemeyer from the TV show Monk.


Woah, I did not realise that.

I noticed that the guy playing the warden at the mental hospital is Frankie Faison, aka, Commissioner Rawls from The Wire. That film is a hotbed of future fictional policemen.
logger
QUOTE (maian @ May 18 2009, 12:24 PM) *
I noticed that the guy playing the warden at the mental hospital is Frankie Faison, aka, Commissioner Rawls from The Wire. That film is a hotbed of future fictional policemen.

So it is. He must be in Hannibal too, I'm sure it's the same actor in both films.
dandan
star trek - to boldly go...

dandan's blog. star date 2009, may 16th, 18:30 hours.

have just finished watching 'star trek'. it has been re-imagined, under the guidance of j. j. abrams; you know, the 'lost' guy...

it appears as if there has been a disturbance in the universe. a romulan ship, led by nero (eric banner), a nasty sort, has travelled back in time from the future and they seem to be pissed off with spock (leonard nimoy). with no spock to be seen, nero turns his wrath (a wrath, bigger and more successful than khan's - mainly due to his fancy future weapons - definitely some kind of penis metaphor) on the poor little uss kelvin, killing george kirk (chris hemsworth) just minutes after he has been put in charge of the ship and, if you can believe it, after the birth of his son, who just manages to escape.

said son is growing up and, with no father to guide him on the road to success, james tiberius kirk (chris pine) is, essentially, a hick. luckily for the world, nay universe, captain pike (bruce greenwood), a nice chap who studied the uss kelvin, sees some potential in this cocky whipper-snapper and talks him into enrolling in the star fleet academy. now, in order to realign the history (or should that be the future?) of the 'star trek' universe, all he has to do is rise through the ranks and become captain of the enterprise. easy. well, maybe not: despite having already befriended dr "bones" mccoy (karl urban), a run in with an instructor named spock (zachary quinto), means that kirk won't be joining the rest of a fledgeling enterprise crew, as they respond to a mysterious distress call from the planet vulcan...

who the hell does abrams think he is, steaming in here with his re-writing of the 'star trek' canon? well, it doesn't really matter who he thinks he is, because he's done it and he's done a pretty good job too. having just attempted to write some kind of summary introduction to the plot, i chose silliness, rather than face having to write a more sensible introduction, which began to summarise the whys, wherefores and, more importantly, the whos. there is a pretty huge frame of reference, that even the mildest trekker brings to the table; having watched good chunks of all prior 'treks (barring 'enterprise'), i know who's who, but the thought of trying to re-introduce such a familiar set of characters to both an expectant audience of hardcore trekkers and a cinema going public who open mock such individuals is a bit of a daunting task.

the solution seems to be to wipe the slate with a bit of time travel related jiggery-pokery and good casting. pine does a good job as kirk; slightly annoying, bull headed, but kind of likeable, because you know that he'll be fighting a good fight. zachary quinto, whose 'sylar' is the king of 'heroes', is rather ace as spock. this was not a surprise and was my main reason for seeing the film. karl urban, who i have liked since 'doom', is great, whilst saldana, pegg, cho and yelchin, make good as uhura, scotty, sulu and checkov, respectively. then, you throw in a few action sequences, a healthy portion of references (which come across as snappy dialogue to new ears and pleasing throwbacks to older ones) and that's pretty much it. job done.

all in all, the film comes across as enjoyable popcorn fare; there's fun, action, drama and jokes, which knit together nicely enough and, more importantly, suggest that what follows (now this re-introduction is out of the way) should be a whole lot of fun. it's by no means a thing of greatness, but it does what it's attempting to do very well.

good stuff...



charley varrick - the last of the independents...

charley varrick (walter matthau) and three of his friends rob a small bank, hoping to walk away with a couple of thousand to see them through hard times. however, when charley and harman (andrew robinson) - the only ones who made good their getaway - arrive home, they discover that they've actually taken $750,000. whilst harman celebrates, charley puts two and two together, coming to the conclusion that the money is more than likely dirty...

well, considering that my dad hardly ever watches films, i know that he's watched this a couple of times and it is his favourite film of all time. that, perhaps, makes it strange that i had never seen this film. so, i know what you're thinking: does my dad know what he's talking about?

the answer is, yes. 'charley varrick' is a film, very much in the spirit of 'no country for old men'. after stumbling across a whole lot of money, an amiable criminal has to manufacture a safe escape, whilst being pursued by a psychotic mob-hitman; in this case 'molly', played by joe don baker, with the cops having little or no idea what to do. it's not quite on par with 'no country...', but it is very good, is clever when it needs to be and makes for a very entertaining watch.

good stuff...
logger
I'd have got the pliers and blowtorch out if you hadn't liked Charley Varrick.
sweetbutinsane
Ghost Ship

Yawn.
maian
Knife In The Water (1962)

Roman Polanski's debut, the film begins with a married couple, Andrzej and Krystyna, in their 30s/40s driving along a country road. They nearly run over a hitch-hiker, so they agree to give him a lift as far the marina that they are heading to. Once there, the husband invites the hitch-hiker onto their boat for a bit of sailing, at which point he starts to engage in a series of mind games with the young man.

Not remotely what I was expecting at all. I'd been told that it was a thriller and, although it's a really tense film, that is completely not what it is. It's a meditative and fascinating drama about masculinity, insecurity and brinkmanship. Both the hitch-hiker and the husband actively engage in a series of small contests, trying to prove that one is superior to the other, with the unspoken aim being to gain favour with the wife. There's a sense that the two men have a huge amount in common, Krystyna openly admits at one point that Andrzej was very much like the hitch-hiker when he was younger, but the close proximity of the two men, in a potentially highly strung situation like manning a boat, along with Krystyna's presence causes them to engage in their odd, futile endeavours.

The film has a wonderfully tense atmosphere hanging over everything, even when nothing much is happening. You know that something is going on between the characters all the time and that this volatile dynamic, which veers between philosophical, amiable and violent, will not allow for these characters to get on indefinitely, that something is going to break. It reminded me very much of The Talented Mr. Ripley in its mix of sexual undertones and shifting relationships, and the fact that it is so minimalist (only three actors, who spend all their time either in a car, in a boat or in the sea) heightens the frisson between them.

My one caveat with it would be that the jazz score that occasionally pops up seems terribly dated, an accusation that couldn't be leveled at the rest of the film, which looks timelessly beautiful, but also hugely distracting, particularly when moments of silence and intrigue are followed by big bursts of trumpets and bass. The use of it to underpin comedic interludes also feels a little awkward.

A real gem, just don't expect it to be thrilling.
Zoe
QUOTE (sweetbutinsane @ May 18 2009, 08:08 PM) *
Ghost Ship

Yawn.


Ghost Ship has two of the best Horror set-pieces ever.

It's just a shame about the rest of it.

'W' (2008)


Josh Brolin is completely fabulous, but the film is very lightweight and the politics pantomimic.

There were hints of Shakespeare's history plays as the focus was very much on our flawed hero, his authoritarian father and unreliable advisors, but the biggest laughs were all Bush's own.

"Is our children learning?"
curtinparloe
Fishtank
Andrea Arnold's latest, about a 15-year old pretty dancing chav girl (and the arrival of her pretty mum's pretty boyfriend). It's been quite widely praised, but I wasn't a huge fan. The cinematography annoyed me, and although the acting was very good all round, I felt like Arnold had taken a step back after the originality of Red Road. Nothing Ken Loach doesn't do all the time. The six minute standing ovation was quite annoying too. I got sore hands.

The Red shoes
Looks fabulous remastered, a beautiful film. It's even better introduced by Martin Scorsese.
logger
Achilles and the Tortoise

Takeshi Kitano's film follows a struggling artist from childhood to old age. It seems to follow on from Takeshi's and Kantoku Banzai! in that it's about art and artists and feels like Kitano bringing his paintings to life in series of set pieces but whereas the previous films felt like they where on the verge of loosing control and flying off the screen this is very focused and more traditionally structured. Told in an almost totally visual style the story in the first two thirds is the kind of stuff that's been seen in so many films about artists that it's almost cliche and the final third, where Kitano takes over the lead role, it takes on an absurdist feel that seems a little at odds with the rest of the film. I think it's the unoriginal story that makes the narrative feel his most conventional since Violent Cop and as a result the film does come across as a little dull. This is the first time since Brother that I've not really enjoyed a Kitano film, but where that film eventually won me over and despite odd moments scattered throughout I'm not sure if this one as a whole will.
dandan
shall we dansu? - every step takes you closer to blackpool...

sugiyama (koji yakusho) is an account on the up; he lives with his wife (hideko hara) and daughter (ayano nakamura) in the house they have just bought. despite this life, sugiyama is not happy and, each day on his commute home, he finds himself staring up at the windows of a dance studio, hoping to catch a glimpse of the instructor who often gazes from the window. eventually, sugiyama makes his way to the studio and signs up for lessons. pretty soon he discovers that taking up ballroom dancing has had quite a different effect on his life...

i've been meaning to watch this for ages, but was put off the us disc, when i read about miramax cutting it, although that should never come as a shock. still, when i discovered the hong kong dvd was uncut, and came in a box set with two of masayuki suo's earlier films, i snapped it up.

i'm glad i did, it's pretty darn great. as a comedic drama and a meditation on finding happiness,it works very well indeed. the cast, as an ensemble are excellent and suo's directing is right on the money. koji yakusho is always very good and, unsurprisingly, he shows it again here. naoto takenaka is also as good as he always is.

i shudder to think of how bad the gere / lopez fronted remake is...

great stuff.
Sostie
QUOTE (dandan @ May 19 2009, 01:30 PM) *
shall we dansu?

i shudder to think of how bad the gere / lopez fronted remake is...

great stuff.


I actually enjoyed the Gere/Lopez remake. It's no masterpiece but it's light, diverting fun, and Lopez is quite good in it, and I am no way a big fan of the woman. It prompted me to buy the original which I've yet to see.
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (logger @ May 19 2009, 01:28 PM) *
Achilles and the Tortoise

Takeshi Kitano's film follows a struggling artist from childhood to old age. It seems to follow on from Takeshi's and Kantoku Banzai! in that it's about art and artists and feels like Kitano bringing his paintings to life in series of set pieces but whereas the previous films felt like they where on the verge of loosing control and flying off the screen this is very focused and more traditionally structured. Told in an almost totally visual style the story in the first two thirds is the kind of stuff that's been seen in so many films about artists that it's almost cliche and the final third, where Kitano takes over the lead role, it takes on an absurdist feel that seems a little at odds with the rest of the film. I think it's the unoriginal story that makes the narrative feel his most conventional since Violent Cop and as a result the film does come across as a little dull. This is the first time since Brother that I've not really enjoyed a Kitano film, but where that film eventually won me over and despite odd moments scattered throughout I'm not sure if this one as a whole will.


It's a strange one indeed, with some quite abrupt shifts between tragedy and comedy, more so than his previous work. It was hard to tell if Kitano was deliberately constructing a back story for his own artistic endeavours in as cliched a way possible to poke fun at artists like some kind of Walk Hard pastiche or not. Nice little bits here and there (especially in the final segment), but not one I'm in any rush to return to.
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