When it comes to fighter pilots, I ca’t think of a better wingman than Harry Connick Jr.!
A trio of movies this week, I really am trying to watch more movies, but my time it be very filled with other things,
Harlan (2011, Adam Palcher, United States Of America) ***
Harlan is the debut short film from a guy I consider a pretty good friend, Adam Palcher. As far as found footage goes Harlan starts off and finishes unique, it never lets on that it is a found footage film until the very end. There are interesting things done in Harlan when it comes to the idea of being tactile. Listening to the main character of Harlan Granger describe his past brought this to light the most. There’s a way that he smokes, touches things and describes his life that gives the impression of a very tactile man. This in turn allows us to feel him more so to say. I wasn’t a big fan of the choppy style of the film, some people will like that aesthetic but it was kind of disorienting for me. I did like the way Mr. Palcher used lighting, there’s a very 70s feel to a lot of Harlan, a backwoods 70s feel to be exact. Of special note was one scene where Harlan stands up in his basement and is framed by a hanging light behind, that was a nice directorial flourish. All in all a solid debut, I’d definitely like to see some of the ideas Mr. Palcher presents fleshed out some more. It is sad to know how Adam Sherlock will die though, very sad indeed!
Independence Day (1996, Roland Emmerich, United States Of America) ***
I am a fan of big disaster movies, and Roland Emmerich knows how to make some good ones. It’s cheesy, the effects are a bit dodgy in a few places, it’s obvious where the film is going, but it’s also a lot of fun. I always have a lot of fun watching Independence Day, from Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum’s banter to Bill Pullman’s constant speech talk. I like the idea behind Independence Day, I like how it was executed, I like how it is dumb and still fun, this is a film I can get behind.
Dawn Of The Dead (European Version, 1978, George A. Romero, Italy/United States Of America) **
As much as I love Dario Argento I’m not sure what he was going for with his cut of Dawn Of The Dead. It’s the same footage from George A. Romero’s original, and thus still Mr. Romero’s film, but Argento has removed a lot of material for reasons that don’t make much sense. Mostly what Maestro Argento has done is to completely kill the flow of the film. The scenes no longer move from one to the next so much as jump from one moment to another creating a disjointed world for the viewer. Perhaps this was Maestro Argento’s intention, but it never worked for me.
Harlan is a solid debut from a director and I really dug it, but there’s something about aliens trying to destroy our planet in big bombastic fashion that gets to the core of who I am. Independence Day takes home movie of the week honors. Until next week, watch more movies!