Pi is a rather brilliant debut for Darren Aronofsky. It is a low budget, black and white film that deals with a mathematician named Max, played by Sean Gullette, who slowly becomes obsessed with finding out the nature of the universe. Max believes that the answers he is looking for can be found by studying the stock market but the problem is that it has taken over his life and driven him rather mad.
It is clear that math has…
The Young Lions doesn't hold the reputation which several similar World War II films maintain, but it deserves an equally prestigious stature based on how it depicts very relevant yet under-discussed issues. For instance, art and history textbooks alike tend to color the Germans as villainous scoundrels during the war. You'd expect more modern perspectives to shine a light on the fact that numerous Germans had no choice but to comply with the order from their superiors. Given how understated…
It took me a while to collect myself after watching Lemora: A Child's Tale of the Supernatural. I'm not even sure if I'm in a rational state of mind yet, but that's normal.
I understand why people like this movie (at least I'm trying to). It has a really great, moody, haunting and atmospheric vibe. There's a fairy tale theme laced with ambiguity and the character of Lemora is captivatingly creepy. The thought of a vampire queen living in the…
Who are you?
I love horror movies but every now and then I'll come across a film that got rave reviews and it just doesn't click with me. It happens most often with modern horror films. Here we are at that point once again with my latest attempt at watching one from the new wave of extreme French horror.
Romero has always had something to say with his Dead films, of course, and part of the power of his earlier works is the clarity of his message--and the progressive nature of it. The keen commentary (whether intended or not) on the social upheaval of the late 60s made Night... one of the best films of all time, and Dawn... continued the process by jumping on consumerism with scathing passion. Day... went so far as to explore the zombie tropes…
As sweeping as the cinematic subjects its celebrates, Giuseppe Tornatore's "Cinema Paradiso" is a film about friendship, film, love, and loss. Its story is pleasantly simple, its themes are rich and human, and its filmmaking is steady-handed. Beginning buoyantly and ending with an observation on the sadness of letting things slip away, "Cinema Paradiso" is a largely appealing, sometimes lush piece of work.
The story revolves around a man, Toto, remembering his youth in an Italian town. Reminiscing on a…
Roger, I had a very disturbing dream last night.
As I was informed by Colin White, this was David Cronnenberg's first non-student feature film, so it was a bit interesting to see the first steps of the legendary Canadian director. Knowing that the film was known as a metaphor for venereal diseases, I'll have to admit that I didn't fully "get it" while watching the film.
I thought well yes, I get how the parasite is spread, but…
Part of Lise and Jonnie’s Horror-o-thon 2014
Let me make it clear right off the top that while not generally a horror fan, I am a David Cronenberg fan. He’s a director who always has something interesting to say, and an interesting way of saying it. Ok, that out of the way, I have to say that Shivers, his debut feature film, was dreadful.
I hadn’t seen it since way way back, and I kind of lumped it in with…
Wow, what a weird, wild, acid-trip of a ride. This stop-motion animated affair slides quickly into the surreal, as we are introduced to a horse (named "Horse") as the father figure to a cowboy (named "Cowboy") and an Indian (named "Indian"). Things quickly get weirder, as wall-stealing humanoid fish creatures enter the picture, and the weirdness peaks with the introduction of a giant, mechanized, snowball-throwing penguin that's controlled by unexpectedly strong mad scientists.
Somehow, though, the film manages to keep…
I didn't finish this documentary, because I was getting tired of all the cinematic bullshit. There'd be a line like "Salinger fell in love," and then the filmmaker would show stock footage of a man and a woman kissing in the 1940s; there'd be talk of Salinger writing a story, and then there'd be invented footage of a skinny guy in silhouette sitting at a vintage typewriter; there'd be speculation of the hell Salinger went through during WWII, and then…
Oh, Jesus Christ, the narration!... Here's my remembrance of this film, two days after watching it:
[Vicky walks down a crowded street]
Narrator: "Vicky walked down a crowded street."
[Cristina goes sightseeing to an old church]
Narrator: "Cristina went sightseeing to an old church..."
Incessant and annoying, and a clear violation of the "show don't tell" edict to which most narrative artists subscribe. Given that Woody Allen is an extremely intelligent, artistic man, I can only assume that this important…
I like Cronenberg as much as the next guy, and I can see how this debut fed into his later and better movies, but all in all this is really just a pretty bad movie. Puerile and directionless, gross without being creepy, and violently sexual in a dubiously meaningful way, the movie meanders from nipple to nipple in bad lighting with even worse acting. The creature effects aren't bad, given what I'm sure was a meager budget, but, again, they are never really scary, unless you have a particular wormy-phobia thing going on.
Now I have to go re-watch The Fly...