Thursday, March 01, 2007

Movies in Brief, Volume 2

The latest movie reviews I don't particularly feel like devoting an entire entry to:

Factory Girl

Here's the thing about Factory Girl: it suffered from pretty lackluster buzz, its most recognizable star was Jimmy Fallon (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), and it had Sienna "the biggest thing I've done in my career is Jude Law" Miller in the title role. But it didn't really suck. It had some problems, but overall, it was actually a pretty good movie. Sienna Miller did a fantastic job. And on a shallow note - which, I have to add, almost all my "movie reviews" have, and that makes me a little sad, because I'm really not shallow - Hayden Christensen was a very sexy Bob Dylan - oh wait, excuse me, "Billy Quinn." Oh! I almost forgot to add: Two members of the Velvet Underground are played by Weezer bandmembers Pat and Brian. Weezer lives!

Half Nelson
I got this movie from Netflix right before the Oscars, and I was determined to watch it before the ceremony. That didn't work, but since the Oscars end at 9:30 on the West Coast, I popped it in as soon as I got home from the Oscar party I attended. Oh man. I was completely blown away. The film was incredible, and Ryan Gosling really did give a great performance. If only half the people who have seen him in The Notebook would give this film a chance...

Howl's Moving Castle
Not quite as good as Spirited Away, but still quite good. I started watching it in Japanese with subtitles - and I don't have a problem with subtitles - until I remembered that Batman himself, Christian Bale, voiced Howl. So it was to dubbed in English I went.

Badlands had been on my to-see list for quite some time now - I adore films of the 1970s. It is an odd little movie. It's a movie about a killer, but there's not a lot of violence, and most of the film relies on narration from Sissey Spacek, which seems to go against every screenwriting rule you've been taught, and there are lots of gorgeous, lingering nature shots. Of course, it actually works, because Terrance Malick is an extremely talented director and because directors were able to get away with weird stuff like that 35 years ago. And I have to say, I was quite impressed by Martin Sheen in this movie.

However, the most notable thing about this movie, for me, is the main theme. It's a seemingly uncharacteristic melodic/percussive piece that was paid homage to by Hans Zimmer for the score of True Romance, a similar seemingly uncharacteristic film. Some time ago, I heard this theme in a commercial or movie trailer or something, and nearly jumped out a window because I simply could not remember where it had come from. I eventually did remember that it was from True Romance and in turn Badlands and then I was happy. But that was one of those things that made my brain hurt for a few days...

Infernal Affairs
As you probably know, Infernal Affairs is a Hong Kong action film that was remade as The Departed, one of my favorite films in recent memory. both films have the same basic plot - a cop undercover with the mob and a dirty cop with ties to the mob are both assigned to find themselves and are trying to find each other. Chaos and much violence ensue. While I'm partial to The Departed, Infernal Affairs is a great, entertaining movie in its own right.

The major difference between Infernal Affairs and The Departed is the running time - Infernal Affairs moves so quickly, it's about an hour shorter than The Departed. This is not to say that The Departed moves slowly; Infernal Affairs just moves at that much of a breakneck pace.

Ok, so it's a British TV series, not a film, and I've already devoted an entire post to it. But I finally finished the whole series and it really is brilliant. However you can get your hands on it, do so. And hope that they eventually see how lucrative a region 1 release would be. Also, I really wanted to share this exchange:
Daisy: How you feeling this morning?
Tim: Very rough, actually. I swear to god that I will never drink again... until lunchtime.
Daisy: Very wise.
Tim: So, how's it feel to be 26?
Daisy: Hmmm... a bit gassy.
Tim: Well, gettin' old. You'd be dead in 4 years if this was Logan's Run.
Daisy: Ugh, that'd be terrible.
Tim: I know, I look like a twat in a jumpsuit.
Daisy: Don't say that, Tim. That's a horrible word that hates women.
Tim: What, twat?
Daisy: No, jumpsuit.
Hee. It also earns points for Tim's pure unadulterated hatred of The Phantom Menace and (nerd alert) the use of the original Ewok song. Oh, yeah, and I met the director. ;)

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