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Thursday, April 01, 2010  

Movies 1Q10 pt II

Youth in Revolt

As much as I was tantalized -- nay, fished in -- by the deceptively simple yet brilliant concept of Michael Cera as his own evil twin, in the end I had to admit that this was simply another boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy has a psychotic break and embarks on a crime spree to get her back story.


I was disappointed to learn that the fallen angel who takes it upon himself to thwart the divine decree of humanity's destruction was the archangel Michael and not Lucifer. But this movie already features possessed horror-movie zombies as agents of the almighty, not to mention a gay Eurotrash Gabriel armed with a spinning, multi-bladed power-mace. How much more heresy can one ask for in a major studio release?

Shutter Island

There was a lot of talk about the twist ending, which I thought was totally earned. Now, it's not giving much away to remark that it's obvious from the first shot of the movie that even while investigating a creepy disappearance amid creepier people on the creepiest possible locale, Leo's going to be grappling with a few demons of his own. But holy moley.

A lot of people said this wasn't up to Scorsese's usual standards. Which was fine with me because I think the last Scorsese movie I saw all the way through -- and this is a truly mortifying confession to make -- was After Hours. I thought this was better than After Hours.


You thought I was bluffing about going to see this, didn't you? I jumped at the chance to catch this Kurosawa classic upon which so many of my favorite episodes of television are based. In the sixty years since its release, Rashomon has of course become shorthand for the same story told from multiple points of view. But it's not like you can catch it at the local multiplex. But then came out at the local art house, so I was there.

There were a lot of surprises for me in this film, starting with the running time. One expects such a universally acclaimed film to run three hours or more, but I was surprised to see that it clocks in at only 88 minutes. I was even more surprised to see that if probably could have told the same story in 60, if it really wanted to. Cut the five minutes of nothing happening but the woodcutter walking and you're well on your way.

That's only one of the things this movie does that it couldn't get away with today. There's the fact that one of the multiple narrators is the dead samurai, telling his version of the story through a medium (and in a court of law, no less). The thing about how the court is presided over by an invisible judge who requires every witness to repeat his inaudible questions. There's the whole blame-the-rape-victim thing.

But what am I going to do, trash Rashomon? I think not. It was actually pretty awesome.

I must confess that this movie did not have any actors I've recapped, it being sixty years old and all. But it did have subtitles, and between The Amazing Race, 24, Burn Notice, and even Big Brother, I've recapped plenty of those.

One other surprise? This was the sweatiest movie I've ever seen.

Alice in Wonderland

Brought M. Edium to this, against my better judgment, knowing it might well be too scary for M. Edium. I turned out to be right. For Pete's sake, just the day before I had told Trash to get rid of a pop-up ad for this movie on her computer when M. Edium was in the room. But then I heard the only reason for the PG rating was that the caterpillar smokes onscreen, which I guess makes me the idiot.

Of course we ended up watching the first hour of it from the vomitorium, and then going home. Worst waste of the extra cash for 3-D Imax ever. Although M. Edium really dug the previews, which were interesting and plentiful. And after all, here have been any number of movies I myself have been to where those were the best part, so I guess it wasn't a total loss.

One of those previews was for How to Train Your Dragon, which I'm probably taking him to in the next week. I'm hoping we can get all the way through that one. More on that at the end of June.

posted by M. Giant 9:09 PM 1 comments


After Hours, seriously? Really, truly, seriously, that was the last Scorsese movie you've seen all the way through?!

If I mailed you my copy of Goodfellas, would you watch it? Goodfellas is in my personal top 20 movies of all time.

(I'm not going to go crazy here though, for while I've loved many of Scorsese's movies over the years, including Gangs of New York, Casino and The Departed, oh - and The Color of Money but just for Paul Newman, and The Age of Innocence, but just for Daniel Day Lewis, whose presence mitigated the double-barrel shot of Winona Ryder and Michelle Pfeiffer... Anyhow, despite loving all those Scorsese movies, I will confess I've never watched Raging Bull in its entirety. I bet I haven't even seen half the movie out of the bits and pieces I have seen. So, it would be a wee bit of the pot calling the kettle black... )

By Blogger Heather, at April 2, 2010 at 7:29 PM  

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