I live my life with some sort of principle, I’m not sure which one though!
A trio of movies for this weeks post,
Dyut Meng Gam (Life Without Principle, 2011, Johnnie To, Hong Kong) ***1/2
Message movies can be hard to pull of, but not for Johnnie To it would seem. The key, I believe, is that To xiānshēng doesn’t make the obvious message of his film the focus. Dyut Meng Gam is a dire look at the late 2000s economic climate, but it’s a film that never loses sight of human history. Markets will crash, crimes will be committed, and people will keep on living. They will make the same mistakes, and new mistakes as well. Careers will be solidified while others will venture into uncharted professional waters. Basically, life will go on, and that is the near perfectly delivered message of Dyut Meng Gam that rises above the more obvious message of banking corruption and economic collapse. Of course it helps that To xiānshēng is a master with his camera, and frames Dyut Meng Gam as a taut thriller with dark comedic undertones. I suppose one could say, or I will say, that Dyut Meng Gam is a lot of great parts that equal a pretty great whole.
Scream 3 (2000, Wes Craven, United States Of America) **
I laughed a few times, but I’m pretty sure that most of the time I wasn’t supposed to be laughing. And, when I was supposed to be laughing I wasn’t because Scream 3 is nowhere near as witty as seems to think it is. By this point the franchise has nothing left to offer, kind of similar to Wes Craven as a director. Scream 3 plods forward with the same predictable moments and situations that made the series famous. Except for they are now tired as well as predictable, and the only real joy I got from Scream 3 was when the end credits finally rolled.
Home (2005, Jeffrey M. Togman, United States Of America) **
A documentary that lacks focus and a compelling lead subject. Housing in the United States is messed up, but by choosing such a dysfunctional lead Home is never able to truly delve into the heart of the housing issue. Instead of being about some sort of bigger picture Home is about Sheree Farmer and her ability to sabotage herself at every step of the home buying process. The film tries to paint Miss Framer as sympathetic, but the longer the film goes the more the sympathy in me faded away based on the way Miss Farmer conducted herself and the decisions she made. Add in a complete lack of focus from the direction in Home, and the result is one lackluster motion picture.
No point in writing anything pithy this week, because there was one clear winner among the three films I watched. Dyut Meng Gam is another great Johnnie To vehicle, and it easily takes home movie of the week honors. Until next week, watch more movies!