10 February 2010

February Omnibus Update, Part I

So far I've watched 16 movies this month. I already posted about Syndromes and a Century, I think, so that just leaves 15.

The Chaser is a Korean movie about a former police officer who was kicked off the force for corruption and is now working as a pimp. He realized one if his prize whores is in the clutches of a man he believes to be a human trafficker but who is actually a serial killer. Naturally the whore is a sweetheart with a child. The police are naturally inept and there is naturally plenty of foolishness where people in the government put their own interests in front of those of the public. It's really entertaining and well put together and although it loses you for a while it mostly gets you back by the end. B/B+

Talk to Her was of course another Almodovar film I was revisiting. I still don't understand why people say it's his best film. I see that it's accessible to a broader audience and it's more restrained but it doesn't really hook me the way the other films do. I like the actor who plays the journalist though. And really, I mean, I like it, I'm just not sure what makes it one of the greatest movies of his oeuvre or of the last decade or what have you. B/B+

One night my boyfriend and I were at my place and it was late and we felt like watching something stupid and my roommate has Drowning Mona on DVD so we watched that. It was watchable and intermittently entertaining but with movies like this one, Isn't She Great, and That Old Feeling, it'll be a wonder if she ever makes a decent movie ever again. She made a handful of pretty good movies in the 70s and 80s but looking at her filmography as a whole is pretty scary. It looks like the closest thing to a decent movie she's made since First Wives Club is Helen Hunt's Then She Found Me. Jamie Lee Curtis and Neve Campbell are okay in it. I sort of like Casey Affleck but this isn't really his shining moment, though I'm not sure what he really could have done with such a lousy script here. D/D+

A friend of mine posted the video of The Obama Deception on my Facebook one day and asked what I thought of it. It ended up being an Alex Jones movie, which means that although it was strangely watchable it was also a product of a different logical universe than that which generally governs Reality. I think what makes his movies so popular with people though is they really tap into this sense of betrayal we feel toward our government. I think he's pretty paranoid though and off-base on any number of issues but so many of his claims look real because there is a lot that goes on in America that either conflicts with our notion of America and our ideals or is outright unsavory. As with all of these conspiracy theoristy things, I would just like a more level-headed examination of the issues in question. I mean, you don't have to be the head of the UAW to feel disappointed in the president's performance. People will always tell you how much worse it would have been had McCain been elected and I'm all, "Yes, only an idiot like Sarah Palin would disagree with that but I don't think we should be satisfied with 'Things could always be worse' because as long as the population of the planet isn't in the process of boiling alive or slowly asphyxiating on burning fumes things could get worse than anything and that's not what we should aspire to, now is it." Anyway, D

Import/Export is an Austrian movie about a nurse from the Ukraine who does internet sex to get money to leave her son behind and go to Austria and try to make a better life. She works there as a maid. This story is intercut with the story of some unstable Austrian guy who works as a security guard until he gets fired for something that didn't seem to be his fault. He ends up going to the Ukraine with his mother's boyfriend to deliver some outmoded vending machines to the impoverished country. It was really interesting and maybe I should watch it some time when I'm feeling better but it didn't really hit it out of the park for me, which I hoped for after John Waters put it on top of his top ten list. (Of course the list also included the terrible World's Greatest Dad and the so-so Whatever Works. Not to mention Bruno.) B+

Adam is a sort of romantic comedy/drama about a guy with Asperger's and his pretty new neighbor. It was decent. Entertaining but nothing groundbreaking or thrilling or terribly smart. C+

Bright Star was a total disappointment. Jane Campion turned the story of John Keats into a snooze. She also ignored the existence of Isabella Jones, which could be excused, I suppose, by the fact that it's from the perspective of Fanny Brawne. However, even if she didn't know about Isabella Jones, which I don't know about, it's kind of disingenuous not to bring her into the story. It also would have made the story more interesting. An outright lie is at the end of the film there's a text that indicates that Fanny basically spent the rest of her days roaming the moors in mourning like some kind of depressed Thomas Hardy heroine despite that she went on to marry and have several children. C-

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