RSS feed for Chris
  • Under the Skin 2013

    ★★★★ Rewatched 14 Aug, 2014

    It's cold, precise, and distant. An alien view of people and relationships shot in a style that actively avoids subjectivity and sticks largely to the surface and what we can see. For me it worked. A strangely beautiful and deeply unnerving film that implies most of what happens and stuck with me for days. Under the Skin is yet another great film from Jonathan Glazer that pushes the boundaries of genre and filmmaking in challenging ways.

  • In the Realms of the Unreal 2005

    ★★★★ Watched 11 May, 2007

    Henry Darger created a massive 15,000 page novel along with huge paintings and incredible details for a world where sisters battled evil to free child slaves. It wasn’t seen or discovered until after he died. Jessica Yu creates a film that interweaves the distinctive drawings with animation and excerpts from Darger’s diaries and interviews with his neighbours to paint a fascinating portrait of a man who was a janitor by day and a secret artist at night.

  • Masculin féminin 1966

    ★★★★ Watched 13 May, 2007

    "We felt sad. It wasn't the movie of our dreams. It wasn't that total film we carried inside ourselves. That film we have liked to make, or, more secretly, no doubt, the film we wanted to live."

    With Masculin Féminin Jean-Luc Godard follows the template of many of his later films in mixing documentary, stylized dialogue and acting, humour, philosophy, cinema, music, imagery, etc, etc, etc. together to create something that at first seems a bit confusing, but somehow starts…

  • Hard Candy 2005

    ★★★★ Watched 14 May, 2007

    It’s tough to watch at times, but ultimately I’m glad that I watched it. Hard Candy is built around terrific and ambiguous performances by Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson. The film is very manipulative which destabilizes our emotions and sympathy as the story unfolds.
    It begins in a chat room with a screen filled only with text as some flirting happens and a meeting is arranged. Things become much more harrowing from that point on as a man in his…

  • Ocean's Thirteen 2007

    ★★★★ Watched 08 Jun, 2007

    One of the neat things about the “Ocean’s” films is that they hearken back to the old days of Las Vegas and Hollywood where stars were stars and it was fun just to watch them. Ocean’s 13 is an almost perfect Summer movie that looks good, is fun and not too demanding. Shot is a beautiful style that constantly changes colours and movement, it almost feels like hanging out with cool people for a couple of hours. Nothing too profound,…

  • This Film Is Not Yet Rated 2006

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Jun, 2007

    While I thought that This Film is Not Yet Rated was going to just be about censorship, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was a lot more. It cleverly tells the story of the MPAA rating board and manages to also give a glimpse into how the rating system actually operates and how the rationale behind it hasn’t really worked. By humanizing the process it paints a picture of current society and exposes the monopolistic nature of…

  • Ratatouille 2007

    Watched 02 Jul, 2007

    Right from the short subject, “Lifted” to the end credit roll of “Ratatouille” I loved the whole experience. In thinking about the film the underlying appeal and the reason that it worked so well could be because of nostalgia. While most computer-animated films are driven technologically or by stunt casting of big stars, the genius of the direction of Brad Bird is in focusing on the characters and being inspired by great films and filmmakers of the past.
    It’s a…

  • Sunshine 2007

    ★★★★★ Watched 07 Aug, 2007

    I’d been anticipating Sunshine for a while and wasn’t completely sure what to expect and at times the film had me off-balance (which I liked). I’ve enjoyed everything that Danny Boyle has done and this time he reworks the sf genre in a story that is mainly more philosophical science fiction with some thriller elements thrown in. The pacing and rhythms are different with the film and the constant presence of the sun is beautiful. It wasn’t until after the…

  • The Bourne Ultimatum 2007

    ★★★★ Watched 08 Aug, 2007

    I love it when an action film takes chances with the style of shooting and editing and doesn’t condescend to the audience. With The Bourne Ultimatum Paul Greengrass creates a film that is stylish and fun with a breathtaking pace. While Greengrass received a lot of attention for United 93, the constraints of the events and the memories of September 11 made the film a strange mixture with many different forces acting both within and outside of he film. Freed…

  • Sullivan's Travels 1941

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Aug, 2007

    I have to admit that I found out about the film due to the bit of trivia that the Coen Brothers named their film “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” after a fictional film in “Sullivan’s Travels”. I was surprised at the fast-paced comedy and wit of the film and also how the film radically shifted tone and became quite dark and serious at times. The boldness is due in a large part to Preston Sturges, who was one of the…

  • Charisma 1999

    ★★★½ Watched 02 Oct, 2007

    The first film that I saw by Kiyoshi Kurosawa (no, he’s not related…) was Pulse and I was impressed with the evocative nature of that film and I wanted to see more films by the same director.
    Charisma is about a burned out detective who wanders away from a disturbing case in the city and enters a forest that has a tree that is the centre of a struggle. The film is oblique and may not completely add up, but…

  • Army of Shadows 1969

    Watched 03 Oct, 2007

    While I had read a lot of praise for Jean-Pierre Melville’s French Resistance drama, Army of Shadows, but I was startled and transfixed by the film. It’s a precise and distinctly unsentimental vision of war and the people who are caught up within it. Shot in a sparse style in muted colours, the film is filled with long takes and amazing direction that enhances the experience. The film is just about perfect with a solid cast and an intricate structure…