Post Op: Day 3
After having surgery on Thursday, and being basically confined to the house for three straight days, I have done little besides toy around on the internet, read, and watch movies. Lots of movies. Quantity being the case here, I am going to keep this round of reviews really short. If you're looking for a deep look at cinema, you won't find it this time. I'm not trying to outsmart myself here, folks.
Thanks for your continued readership. Please come back for the more interesting stuff.
There is little that I can say critically about The Orphanage that can undermine the quality of the film making at work here. This film is less a horror film than it is suspense thriller, although it is billed otherwise. Think The Sixth Sense, and you'd be pretty close. The film's major downfall, for me, is that it is excruciatingly depressing simply for the sake of being depressing. There is not one redeeming aspect at the end of the film that makes the main character's hardships seem worth it all. And (SPOILERS AHEAD) I simply don't like movies where children bear the brunt of the suffering, unless the story being told has some possibility of preventing future suffering by virtue of its being told.
By the way, don't be fooled by the marketing on this one. This was not directed by Guillermo Del Toro.
What in the world can I possibly say about a movie that I could barely understand? Syriana presents a few problems to the idea of reviewing a movie. Does each audience member decide based upon his or her own criteria whether he or she will like or dislike a picture? Or should everyone judge based on the same criteria? For me the first question that I have to answer when reviewing a movie is: did the movie entertain me? And put quite simply, Syriana bored the hell out of me. I should care because the corruption and supposed truths that the story could have exposed about our governments and the world economy affect us all. Clearly the director was more interested in little golden statues than with delivering an intelligible message?
The Wrestler is a damned good movie. My wife said that Mickey Rourke deserves every bit of praise that he received for his role in the film and she is 100% correct. The Wrestler is probably one of the most honest, sincere characterizations of American life that I have ever seen on film. Everyone can relate in some way to the characters in The Wrestler. Everyone knows people like this, or have known people like this at some point in your life. The Wrestler makes no judgement upon these people. The camera doesn't instruct the audience to cast stones at these characters for the mistakes they make. It simply opens a window of truth. And shows us that we are the decisions we make. And that we are all fallible.
It was my wife's idea to watch Seven Pounds starring the almost legendary Will Smith, and although I didn't love it the way that I did The Pursuit of Happyness, it did leave an impression on me. Put simply Seven Pounds is a film about selflessness, making amends, and coming to grips with the past. And I'll just leave it at that. This film is best viewed without too many preconceptions.
Last but not least comes the latest entry into the canon of James Bond stories. The last Bond flick (and the first to star Daniel Craig), Casino Royale, was just the kick in the pants that the series needed. Unfortunately, Quantum of Solace, as a film, makes no more sense, and leaves little more impression on the viewer than does its ridiculous title. We follow Bond on a rogue mission of revenge as he dispatches henchman after henchman (rather boringly I might add), jumping back and forth from continent to continent. New characters are introduced and never developed. Events occur but are never explained. Insert action. And it all becomes quite simple and trite after a while.
Boring, boring, boring.
Happy movie watching, people. Hopefully your forays into the cinematic will be more fruitful than mine has been of late.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
The independent fan film The Hunt for Gollum premiered today online. If you are a fan of Tolkien, check out the movie for free here. I'm headed over there now to check it out myself, and hopefully have a review posted before the end of the day.
Posted by Kristopher A. Denby