I don’t know about you, but a gaggle of fish hooks in a vagina is possibly the most painful thing I’ve ever seen on film!
A slew of good movies this week, and a great one sneaked in the door near the end,
College (1927, James W. Horne & Buster Keaton, United States Of America) ***
I honestly don’t have much to say about this entry from good old Mr. Stone Face. I laughed, quite a bit, but I felt it dragged in a few areas. I enjoyed discovering another work from Buster Keaton, and I really loved the baseball gag. But, I felt this was rather slight, moreso than anything else I have seen from Keaton so far. College didn’t have anything to say I thought, it just wanted to be funny. In that regard it was funny at times and dragged in others, so I can only call this a good one and no more than that. My fiancee thought the black face segment was funny, but bad in an offensive way, I’m still up thinking about it myself, and that’s all I have on College.
Seom (The Isle, 2000, Ki-duk Kim, South Korea) ***
Seom is vile and disgusting, but it is also beautiful. Seom is a hard film to take in because it is always at odds with itself. It’s about pain and self-loathing, how we hate ourselves and want to be left alone in our hatred. But, we also want others to be witnesses to our hatred because what good is self-loathing if no one else witnesses it? Of course, once others witness our self-loathing then we hate ourselves even more and hate them for seeing our self-loathing. Round and round goes the cycle of hate in Seom, and I’m never quite sure if the film truly comes to grips with what it wants to say about hate, pain, and self-loathing. Seom looks gorgeous, with stark cinematography and an interesting visual style. It’s also quite gory, and I don’t think it always uses its gore in the best way, there are moments that exist merely to shock. Still, the good was worth seeing and it was a trip if nothing else.
Space Jam (1996, Joe Pytka, United States Of America) ***
Completely and utterly stupid, but a lot of fun. It’s all over the place, a lot of the humor misses, but they throw so much at the viewer that more works than doesn’t. Basically what it comes down to is that Space Jam combines the awesomeness of the Looney Tunes with the awesomeness of Michael Jordan. That equals a winner, and having Bill Murray randomly appear doesn’t hurt things either. What really takes the movie to another level is the inclusion of Shawn Bradley, I mean, it’s Shawn Bradley in a major motion picture, the mere idea of that warps my brain.
Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amélie Poulain (Amélie, 2001, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France/Germany) ***1/2
As whimsical of a tale as one will ever find. When I was done watching Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amélie Poulain I knew I had loved the whimsy, the characters, the writing, the acting, the sets, the cinematography, and most of the direction. That’s the only thing that bugged me about Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amélie Poulain, the direction of Jean-Pierre Jeunet in certain places. There were moments here and there where he would employ a directorial flourish, such as speeding up the frame rate, that I didn’t think of as necessary. Maybe it’s me nitpicking too much, but Jeunet’s directorial choices took me out of the film on more than one occasion. Otherwise I loved the whimsy of it all, the utter dark fantasy that Jeunet and company presented. Audrey Tatou was sublime as Amélie, and I loved all the little ticks that the rest of the cast brought to the table. I can see why so many others love this and consider it one of the best movies of all time. I loved it, but Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amélie Poulain falls short of all time status in my eyes.
Race To Witch Mountain (2009, Andy Fickman, United States Of America) ***
Dwayne Johnson has an insane amount of natural charisma. I’m convinced that he could make me like just about any movie, that’s how much charisma he has. His charisma carried this movie for the most part, but luckily it was fun beyond his charisma. Don’t get me wrong, there’s not much to this film other than fun, but I had a good time with it. The CGI could have used some tightening up, and I didn’t like how clustered the last half hour became. Still, I really liked the first hour, and I liked watching Mr. Johnson do his thing.
A really solid week indeed, I enjoyed every movie I saw this week and that’s always a great thing. It’s no question that Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amélie Poulain is the movie of the week, but the rest of the week delivered too. Let’s hope this keeps up, for my good and your own as well.