How could I hate a movie that is so willing to be batshit crazy!
A lot of remakes this week,
Southland Tales (2006, Richard Kelly, France/Germany/United States Of America) ****
I went into this movie fully expecting to hate it, I hate Donnie Darko with a passion and have heard nothing but negative opinions on Southland Tales. My expectations were misplaced, I loved this movie. It has plenty of flaws, it’s not a great movie in the traditional sense. In a lot of ways it’s so bad it’s good, but it’s also some sort of weird concoction of zany ideas and half finished thoughts that just works. I don’t exactly know why, but it just works. There were times where I was deeply intrigued by what was going on, others when I was too busy cracking up to care about what was going on. But, throughout I was engaged and entertained, and that works for me, even if I still have no idea what the heck any of it meant.
Sabrina (1995, Sydney Pollack, Germany/United States Of America) **
What a boring remake, and so much more mean spirited than the original. Giving background info on all the non-Sabrina/David boyfriends and girlfriends just makes what eventually happens to them mean. And Julia Ormond is plain enough to pull off the pre-Paris bits better than the too gorgeous Audrey Hepburn. However post-Paris Miss Ormond is still plain, far too plain to be some sort of vision of beauty personified, basically she’s no Audrey Hepburn. Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s really boring.
Planet Of The Apes (2001, Tim Burton, United States Of America) *
What a terrible movie. It’s all over the place in trying to establish some sort of theme, is terribly acted and stupid all around. I really don’t know what Tim Burton was thinking with this film. He took a great idea that is a study on humanity and completely ruined it by basically making the apes more animalistic so that the human connection is lost, except for in idiotic sight gags. I really, really hated this film.
King Kong (2005, Peter Jackson, Germany/New Zealand/United States Of America) **
It’s as if Peter Jackson saw the original and said, “Let’s make it unnecessarily bloated and boring, that’s the ticket.” Man was this ever filled with so much crap that could have been cut out, and that CG needed a lot more work, anytime a human was running next to something CGd it looked obviously green screened, painfully so. Also, what was the deal with all the weird stuff Mr. Jackson was trying early on in the movie, slowing down time, filming from off angles, it didn’t help at all, it distracted me from what was happening in the story.
Zombieland (2009, Ruben Fleischer, United States Of America) ***1/2
What a fun movie! I will agree with those who have said it is too episodic and could stand to be more cohesive. But, that’s a minor complaint in a movie that is about two things, being cool and having fun. Zombieland has a lot of fun with the zombie genre, and while it doesn’t do anything radically different, it handles the genre in a way that I enjoyed. The much talked about cameo is awesome. And hey, Michael Cera, you see that Jesse Eisnenberg guy, yeah him? Unlike you he’s got this thing called talent, he doesn’t have to do the same shtick over and over again, so please get a new act or leave my universe forever and allow Jesse “I have range unlike Michael Cera” Eisneberg to get all of your parts.
A pair of compelling films this week, but Southland Tales takes home retro movie of the week honors in a rout. I’ll be back next week with five more retro capsule reviews!