Retro Week In Cinema: April 18-24, 2013

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

One of the films that is in my top five of all time, but back when I wrote the review it was my number one of all time!

Hey what do you know, five more retro reviews, who would have thought there would be five,

The Replacements (2000, Howard Deutch, United States Of America) **

This was fun, completely predictable and cliche, but fun, and that’s all there is to it really.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004, Michel Gondry, United States Of America) ****

Breathtaking movie. It had such symmetry to it, the first act connected to the last act, and so on and so on. The writing was genius, and the performances were sublime and helped to put across the notion of love lost and what love really is better than any other movie I’ve ever seen. The movie wasn’t hard to follow at all, the one knock I’ve heard others put forth about it, and it caused you to think both why you are watching it and then after. The only small problem I may have is that Mary was able to mail off Clementine’s tape and get it to her a grand total of one day, two at the most, after she took the tape. But, I’m willing to forgive that and I’m also now willing to declare this a simply out, the greatest movie I’ve ever seen and my all time number one.

Tropic Thunder (2008, Ben Stiller, Germany/United Kingdom/United States Of America) ***

Funny in parts, not so much in others. But, it made me laugh and it worked for the most part so I was satisfied.

The Fugitive (1993, Andrew Davis, United States Of America) ***1/2

There were a couple of moments where I didn’t buy the scenario, but otherwise it was a splendid chase movie. Full of action, with a very claustrophobic fear to it and two quiet and subtle acting jobs by Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. It was long, but it didn’t feel long and that’s a testament to how interesting the characters were and how they were constantly thrust into intense situations that gripped you and held your attention.

The Prestige (2006, Christopher Nolan, United Kingdom/United States Of America) *

I don’t care, I just don’t care. That’s the main problem with this movie, in the end I have no reason at all to care. I don’t care about the setting, I don’t care about any of the characters, I don’t care about what happens to any of the characters, and I don’t care about any of the obvious twists. The twists are another big problem, mainly the huge Christian Bale twist, it just doesn’t work, at all. First, the whole, we were both living half lives therefore somehow we are redeemed for our actions and one of us should be allowed to ride off in the sunset with the little girl as long as the other one dies motif doesn’t work. But, most importantly, it doesn’t work visually, I don’t buy Mr. Bale as both guys at any point in the movie. The Prestige also suffers from set-up syndrome, nothing can just happen, everything has to be set-up or foreshadowed in some way. Life doesn’t work like that, and neither do movies. Some things are set-up or foreshadowed, but not every single big event. Lastly, the plot is convoluted to no end, yet it’s far too easy to figure out. There’s no suspense over what is going to happen, and the only twists are provided by characters doing things totally out of their character and contradictory to how they have acted for the rest of the movie. I watch movies like this, and the rest of Christopher Nolan’s work, and I really don’t see how anyone can view him as a decent filmmaker, let alone a great one. Like most of his other work, The Prestige was completely directionless, it was a gaggle of ideas thrown about without any cohesiveness to them.

Wrap-Up:

Not such a great grouping of films this time around. To be honest though, it almost didn’t matter what other four films were in the grouping. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind takes home retro movie of the week honors. I’ll be back next week with five more retro capsule reviews!

Cheers,
Bill

3 responses to “Retro Week In Cinema: April 18-24, 2013

  1. …Totally agree with you on Eternal Sunshine. Believe it or not I’ve only seen it once. That simply isn’t enough for this wonderful film. I was totally blown away by it the first time I saw it. Think you’ve inspired me to dust off the DVD and get another viewing in.

    Conversely, The Prestige is the best film by Nolan in my opinion. I thought it was suitably dark – in spirit and in set-up – while being both unique and brilliantly told (I was gripped from start to finish and didn’t see the twist coming).

  2. I don’t post much about Christopher Nolan anymore on this blog. The reason is because I loathe all of his films and view him as pretty much a hack of a director. I also recognize that I am supremely in the minority with my opinion. So, that’s about the best rebuttal I can offer to your love of The Prestige. ūüôā

  3. Pingback: Review: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) | Bill's Movie Emporium

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