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Old March 20th 09, 12:06   #668
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Crystal Lake, IL
Posts: 525
Re: What are you watching now?

As usual, full reviews can be found at,

Bill's Movie Emporium

Smultronstället (1957)
It's Bergman, so that's already a plus. Bibi Andersson is in it, that's another plus. But, the performance of Victor Sjöström as Borg makes the film as great as it is, but I'm not telling anyone something they don't already know. The idea of someone coming to a great understanding near the end of their life and being happier for it is pretty universal and something everyone should be able to relate to, and it is quite exhilarating watching Borg become content, and that sounds weird, but ya know. Fanny Och Alexander is my favorite Bergman, but this may be his best.

Dreams (1990)
First, beautiful on a truly amazing scale. Every segment features a plethora of shots that are astonishingly beautiful, lush and full of color, at times I was at a loss for words just from the images. I didn't so much get behind the connective story, if you even want to say there was one, as much as I enjoyed the experience of Dreams. Taking a look into the mind of one of the greatest directors the world has ever seen was a wonderful journey, to see his fears, his hopes, the dreams that made him who he was, and haunted him through his years. It's certainly not Kurosawa's most conventional work, but I'd put it up there with his very best.

Tôkyô Monogatari (1953)
Everyday realism is the best way i can think to describe this. Every person, myself included, flits through life and ignores the things that should matter in favor of superficial constructs that shouldn't matter. This film doesn't judge, it simply shows how that can and does happen and how the people who should matter the most to us in the world can become a burden in our eyes.

The Elephant Man (1980)
Only my second Lynch, but i felt this was a few steps below Blue Velvet. John Hurt is very good, he makes an actual man, not some guy in a rubber suit. However, I felt sometimes the film was too on the nose with how it wanted us to think, there were too many big false moments, When the Night Keeper finally goes overboard for instance, and I could have done with the immense sentimentality Lynch decided to pour onto Merrick's character. He did do a great job of building suspense and mystery over the appearance of Merrick early in the film. An uneven, but still good film.

Mou Gann Dou (2002)
As close to a perfect thriller as you will ever find. This kept a tense and taut atmosphere throughout, from the initial cell phone game of tag to the movie theater incident to the final rooftop showdown. I always love Tony Leung, but Andy Lau was really good in this, as was Anthony Wong. Eric Tsang was great as Sam, and the interrogation scene between Tsang and Wong was one of the best two man exchanges put to film. I know I've had this argument before, but this just completely smokes the remake in every possible way.

Saw (2004)
Quite different from the rest of the Saw franchise, the first entry is actually more of an attempt at a real story as opposed to just mindless torture scene after mindless torture scene. In that regard I really did like the idea for the film as well as the creativity behind it. But, some truly atrocious acting from Danny Glover, a climax that was very contrived and the fact that the creativity I liked never really went anywhere left this flat.

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Yet another PT Anderson film that I really loved. Sandler was great, although I would differ with the people who feel this is some sort of revelatory performance, there were echoes of this character in most of his comedic roles. This had some really funny moments, looked great, featured some great music and the usual PTA randomness & quirkiness I really like. My only complaint was that I would have liked for the supporting character s to be fleshed out more, but otherwise a very enjoyable film.

The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)
I'm not a big fan of David Lean epics, I mush prefer Lean when he was directing, uh, lean pictures that didn't meander all over the place and feel unnecessarily bloated. The Bridge On The River Kwai looks great and I was engaged with the Col. Nicholson part of the story. But, I could have done without William Holden's character entirely and a good chunk of the story as a result, and the finale was too high on melodrama and irony for my liking.

The Terminator (1984)
One of my favorite sci-fi films. The concept is pretty simple and only stays that way because Cameron makes sure to not focus heavily on the time travel aspect. Essentially this is a really cool and fun shoot-em up movie with some added sci-fi elements. There are a few spots where the CGI looks dated, and the sex scene is plain bad, but otherwise a really good sci-fi movie.

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)
Fun movie, but that's about it. Nowhere near as smart or irreverent as most people claim and it would have been nice if it would have acknowledged that it actually is a Western. Redford and New man do have great chemistry and there are moments of enjoyment, but it's really quite a shallow and empty picture.

Fantasia (1940)
One of my all time favorites, this had a big impact on me as a child. It's pretty hard to describe the movie as a whole, but it does feature the usual superlatives in music and animation. Every segment is beautiful, just an all around fantastic picture.
"When you have reached the end of the road then you can decide whether to go to the left or the right, to fire or to water. If you make those decisions before you have even set foot upon the road it will take you nowhere." - Galen
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