Dear Cinema Diary - Vol 3 E1 - Jan 2012
1103 7.2 7.31. Shame (2011)
Wow, I actually made it to the movie theater. After the amazement of Hunger I was a little disappointed but I was also entered the film a little more critical then before.
While I loved the film and can't wait to see more from Steve McQueen in the future. I don't think the film works quite so well on its own but as a companion piece to 2008's "Hunger" it works brilliantly.
6 6.7 6.32. Seven and a Match (2001)
Between oblivion and my queue abyss it is amazing that ended up watching this film.
From the descritpiong I was expecting "The Big Chill" but a lower-budget.
Actually, I was incredibly surprised. The actors and characters were amazing. The story is very sad and while the situations that many of the characters face are a bit cliche. It all some how worked a magical charm. The main character, Ellie is trying to cope with financial ruin and the loss of her family house. The dynamics of how do you be there for someone you can't help and how to deal with others while not being able to deal with your own life is well... bitter issue to come to terms with in life. For that aspect and the great cast... I highly recommend this film.
21 7.1 7.43. Dirty Filthy Love (2004)
Ah, as some of you know I tend to be 'generous' in my rating of some films. There are exceptions... themes dealing with mental illness are one of those exceptions. I tend to rate all of these films extremely poorly. Simply because I find them insulting, unrealistic and worse actually detrimental to how society views mental health and the mental health profession.
OK... so that little rant out of the way. "Dirty Filthy Love" is an exception to my typical rating. I simply adore this film. Not only did the film capture the main characters OCD quiet well but also the deterioration of that OCD into something quite ugly. I think it manages to portray an accuracy yet at the same time stay rather lighthearted.
236 5.6 5.86. Kaboom (2010)
A supernatural sex comedy, is perhaps the best way to describe the film. I find that the more Gregg Araki films I watch the more I fall in love with him. He has an ability to blend movie cliches into a unique form. If you watched The Rules of Attraction (2002) and felt like gagging at the end... well Araki finally filmed the cure.
While there is plenty of sex in the film. Don't rent this if your looking for a soft-core sex comedy that seems to littler the dvd shelves.
870 7.7 8.17. Elite Squad (2007)
I'm glad I finally got around to spending time with this film. While dynamics of the drug trade and police corruption might not be new for most viewers, I would still recommend the film if your looking for some substance with your police action/thriller.
547 7.3 7.38. Submarine (2010)
The 'quirky boy coming of age drama' certainly isn't an extraordinarily new idea. Still, it was nice to see a film more grounded then the rest.
174 7.1 7.39. The Madness of King George (1994)
Yay, one more film from the NY Times list. I would have been far less impressed with "The King's Speech" if I had seen this film before hand. Still, better to be pleasantly surprised.
76 7.5 7.710. Flickering Lights (2000)
So, this is the second film directed by Anders Thomas Jensen that I have seen.
He also wrote "In China They Eat Dogs" and the follow up to that film "Old Men In New Cars". So... if you have seen those two films you will find they have a lot in common with this film. You may even find this film boring if you have seen his other works. However, there is a little more sensitivity in this film so that was a pleasant surprise for me and held a few tears on my end.
99 7.3 7.611. Welcome (2009)
Bilal is a 17-year-old Kurdish boy from Iraq. He sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe. He wants to get to England to see his love who lives there. Bilal finally reaches Calais, but how do you cover 32 kilometers of the English Channel when you can’t swim? The boy soon discovers that his trip won’t be as easy as he imagined… The community of struggling illegal aliens in Calais is captured with authenticity, from the point of view of people who arrived there knowing nothing about France. This immigrant drama, with wonderful performances by the actors, is a strong story which uses documentary austerity and minimalist style to create a great emotional impact. —IMDb
Sweet and sad story.. had me in tears by the end but I suspected as much.
1537 6 6.112. Sucker Punch (2011)
It is interesting that many reviewers brush this film aside saying that it is "Every Teenage Boys Wet Dream" and there is a *ton* of rhetoric regarding the sexual nature of the film. Which is odd for a film that has no sexually explicit scenes or nudity.
Instead when the character Babydoll performs her 'erotic dance' the film cuts to a fantasy action sequence. What we know about the unseen dance is best summed when the character Sweet Pea comments "Sure, if you like all that moaning and gyrating".
I think the film says more about the hyper real sexualization of media to a point of non-sexuality. Perhaps we have just reached a point where we would rather see someone fight at dragon with WWII military weaponry then watch a strip tease.
90 7.9 7.813. Fists in the Pocket (1965)
Synopsis from Criterion: Tormented by twisted desires, a young man takes drastic measures to rid his grotesquely dysfunctional family of its various afflictions in this astonishing 1965 debut from Marco Bellocchio. Charged by a coolly assured style, shocking perversity, and savage gallows humor, Fists in the Pocket was a gleaming ice pick in the eye of bourgeois family values and Catholic morality, a truly unique work that continues to rank as one of the great achievements of Italian cinema.
Of the films of the Italian Neo-Realist movement this has to be one of my favorites, ranking close with "Open City". It touches on the traditional themes of family and religion but with a very morbid tone. The film has been beautifully restored and I didn't find a dull moment in any of the pacing or story.
123 7.8 7.914. Punishment Park (1971)
Very powerful film even today. If you plan to watch the film do yourself a favor and watch the director's introduction first. It is a bit long but it covers some important historical information and very important film theory.
314 7.9 8.115. The Conformist (1970)
265 8.1 8.216. Los Olvidados (1950)
350 7.8 7.918. L'Avventura (1960)
325 7.7 7.619. Knife in the Water (1962)
Horror and Sci-Fi
515 5.6 5.920. Final Destination 5 (2011)
238 5.4 5.521. The Innkeepers (2011)
Thanks to Orlok's list and encouragement or I might have missed this film.
133 5.9 6.822. From Beginning to End (2009)
OK, the brotherly incest aspect is kind of a huge hurtle to get over. Sadly for me this isn't the first film with that theme I have sat through. The good news is that I sat through them so you wouldn't have to and this is actually the best of the three.
So... if your looking for a gay romance film. You could do a lot worse then this film. If your looking for more subtext and substance... you might want to take a pass.
85 7.6 7.123. Christopher and His Kind (2011)
It is a rather interesting movie about Christopher Isherwood and centers on his time in Berlin as the Nazi's rise to power. However, I didn't find the film at all that interesting. The male nudity will certainly keep this made for tv film geared towards adult viewers however the stories emotional intensity is on the shallow side.
986 7.3 7.824. The Name of the Rose (1986)
I actually raised my star rating just a bit on this film. Mainly because I think it doesn't get enough credit. It is as good as I remember it when I watched it the first time.
Yes... the book was better but that is always the case. I can't name one case where I thought the film was better then the book.
1807 7.1 7.525. The Fly (1986)
270 8.4 8.426. Woman in the Dunes (1964)
82 6.7 7.327. The Aura (2005)
51 6.1 5.728. Sympathy for Delicious (2010)
Well, the good news is that Orlando Bloom and Juliette Lewis are not the primary stars of the film. Which for me is a good thing. Wow... Orlando takes his shirt off and Juliette portrays a junkie, hardly ground breaking stuff :P
I found the story a bit redeemable but best avoided by the less then religious crowed. I sort of liked the message that miracles much like disasters don't happen because you deserve them or ask for them. So... meh...
27 6.4 6.229. The Eclipse (2009)
I did like this film. I especially liked the characters and Ireland is always lovely.
Still, it felt more like "a dime store romance novel made it to the big screen" but done really well.
So, if your looking for a 'horror' film... do NOT rent this film. If your looking for a break from watching a ton of "Lifetime" made for t.v. films... then yes... by all means give it a rental.
1561 6.6 730. Pineapple Express (2008)
Comedy is always a hit or miss genre of film making. For me personally... this was a complete bore. There wasn't one moment in the film that I found funny or entertaining. Then there were the extra long fight scenes that actually made me wish I had watched the Three Stooges instead. In the end I wasn't horribly offended and can at least say I watched the film. A very unenthusiastic check mark of 'seen it' is about all the fun this film seemed to offer.
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