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Film Dribble
Tuesday, 28 June 2005
Sorry I'm late, guys...
Now Playing: A few more 75ers for ya.
GEORGE A. ROMERO'S LAND OF THE DEAD (2005)- Best zombie flick in years, a worthy entry into the DEAD cycle, but also the best Carpenter movie Carpenter never made (ESCAPE FROM PITTSBURGH?). Even with R rating, some killer gore, but also more action than expected- that DVD’s gonna ROCK.. All this plus Leguizamo acting crazy, Hopper underplaying to nice effect, Simon Baker making a solid Romero hero, and social commentary (haves vs. have-nots) for those who are so inclined. More to come, probably. Rating: ***.

HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE (2004, Hayao Miyazaki)- Once again, Visual Flair dukes it out with Muddled Storytelling, but it’s a closer fight than expected, with Muddled Storytelling giving a surprisingly good showing and Visual Flair getting winded after the first hour. Visual Flair eventually pulls off the decision (thanks to Turniphead, Old Sophie, Calcifer et al), but honestly Miyazaki needs to get some help writing the movies and concentrate on making with the awesome images. Rating: **1/2.

BEWITCHED (2005, Nora Ephron)- In which an insipid heroine and a douchebag of a hero fall in love while “re-imagining” the BEWITCHED series. “Clever” story told in most prosaic manner imaginable, with Kidman and Ferrell on seemingly completely different wavelengths, Caine and MacLaine phoning it in, Schwartzman swearing more than everyone else in the film put together and (SPOILER!) a bizarre late-coming cameo that gets more laughs from sheer disbelief than anything that came before. Harmless, but hardly good. Rating: *1/2.

IT'S ALL GONE PETER TORK, er, PETE TONG (2004, Michael Dowse)- Honestly I have forgotten just about everything about this movie. Let’s see… mockumentary form not really carried through the film… DJ Frankie is pretty obnoxious, even when we’re supposed to like him… “make the most of your condition” isn’t really a world-beater of a theme… the club scene isn’t my scene… drugs bad, love good. Am I right? Am I close? Rating: *1/2.

HIGH TENSION (2003, Alexandre Aja)- A gruesomely effective splatter flick in the vein of original TEXAS CHAINSAW for most of the duration (no wonder Aja landed the HILLS HAVE EYES remake), featuring a performance by Cecile de France that’s fairly accomplished for the genre. But even her performance can’t sell that ending, which is pretty (no offense intended) retarded. Half-subtitles, half-dubbing compromise pretty jarring, but it doesn’t matter much after the first reel. Rating: **.

THE MIRROR (1975, Andrei Tarkovsky)- My first exposure to this, which some believe is Tarkovsky’s best. In some respects, pretty simple- the filmmaker reflects on his life and how it affected those closest to him, particularly his mother and his wife (played by the same actress) as well as his son. But Tarkovsky’s storytelling is enigmatic to the point of being impenetrable in spots. But it’s never less than completely transfixing, with the expected corker of an ending (though this one’s fairly simple by his standards). Could very well be a masterpiece, once I figure out what’s going on. And yes, I know this is more than 75 words already. Rating: ***1/2.

FURY (1936, Fritz Lang)
THE LEOPARD (1963, Luchino Visconti)
MASCULINE-FEMININE (1966, Jean-Luc Godard)-
All three of these movies are just as awesome as they were the last time I watched them, but I don't have a whole lot to say about them right now (I'll refer you to this guy's M-F review if you're hungry for more). Also, why does it always seem like I'm winding up with girls like Elizabeth (sexually inviting but distant) when deep down I pine for someone like Catherine (seemingly innocent, but kinda freaky deep down)? Or am I projecting too much onto the film? Ratings for all three films: ***1/2.

Posted by hkoreeda at 2:29 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 28 June 2005 2:30 AM EDT

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