Did we lose them? You sure? Okay, let’s just lie low for a while.

Human Nature

Oh how much I would’ve wanted to like Michel Gondry’s first flick! Oh how easy it should’ve been, given that it’s scripted by Kaufman. Alas, it was not to be.

For some reason the movie just doesn’t cut it. The unmistakable visual flair is there, the eccentric script is in place, the acting isn’t bad, but still the film doesn’t come together. At times it feels a bit contrived (Just a bit? I hear you ask) while still not crossing the border to fantasyland. The ever-present Kaufmanian theme of identity is once again meddled with but with no great results. Maybe the movie lacks one more act, maybe Gondry and Kaufman are fallible. Who knows? Well worth seeing though, only don’t expect miracles.

Oh shit! Blow out the floodlight right now and make a run for it!

Kukushka

Excellent cinematography! Lapland might’ve never looked this good before. The storyline is interesting also, if for nothing more than avoiding the easiest cross-cultural communication breakdown jokes (see Lost in Translation). Prime quality movie making.

It’s the Feds! Get to the car, quickly now or we’re done for, Jake!

Wizard of Oz

Hard to see how this movie could’ve become a gay classic. It’s also very hard to decide whether the production designer was really really into kitch or just very drunk. If you have to see this, just use fast forward – you’ll see the sets and won’t have to suffer any of the dialogue or the acting.

Put the pedal to the medal like your life depended on it now!

Ultimo tango a Parigi

I’m torn. Torn between taking the piss and praising. I mean, Brando’s acting is fabulous, no doubt about it. The cinematography is just stunning, both outdoors (hell, you’d have to be really lousy to make Paris look bad on film) and indoors (what a great crappy apartment). The jazzy score is excellent as well.

But then again… at times the dialogue is just horrible, horrible artsy-fartsy crap. At times the music just comes up for no apparent reason. At times, like pretty much whenever Antoine Doinel appears on-screen, the acting is irritating as hell. And who the fuck thought of the lame-ass ending? (Don’t bother writing in to tell it was Bertolucci himself.)

The sexual explicitness probably doesn’t feel as naughty as it once was, as hardcore porn surrounds us 24/7. But a flawed masterpiece is a masterpiece nevertheless.

Watch out, they got a helicopter! Turn left here, turn left now or we’ll crash!

Butterfly Effect

A flat pancake. A pancake that looks really promising in the oven but implodes under its own weight once you pull it out. That’s what this picture is like.

First things first: Kelso Kutcher does a fine job here, if you can call whatever it is that present generation of stand-ins does acting. The script is pretty clever, but unfortunately fails to deliver anything after the first few punches. All the loose ends are taken care of in a way that insults the viewer’s intelligence, but then again this is standard Hollywood fare, so we really don’t get to complain, do we? Save your euros.

Jake, are you awake? Wake up, Jake! Jake, we have got to make a stand right here, right now!

Wu jian dao

The best new thriller I’ve seen in quite a while. The first half hour is superb and most of the following 90 minutes don’t drag either. The movie’s theme is de facto HK cop stuff, what with mixed loyalties and disguised identities. All the female characters are underdeveloped but that’s the norm in a patriarchate, innit? Looks brilliant as well. All in all, Infernal affairs has deserved its reputation fair and square.

Jake, talk to me. Jake, say something! Jake, don’t you fucking go dying on me, not now you fucker!

The Blob (1988)

I remember reading somewhere that slasher movies’ teenage audiences in the US used to cheer the monsters rather than the would-be protagonists. I certainly recognized the trait in myself whatching this remake. It’s obvious from the word go that most of the cast is going to get butchered, so guessing who lives isn’t really the main source of pleasure, however seeing how the costars get shafted is titillating. The old-school stop-motion animation of the blob is also strangely entertaining at times. Popcorn fodder (though my choice of snacks was tortilla chips, dip sauce and Pepsi Max).

You bastards! You shot at him! Take this and this! Die, you pigs!

Sin noticias de Dios

The best bit of this movie is undoutably the testosterone-dripping walk of Penelope Cruz. Unfortunately that bit, however great is it inself, isn’t enough to buoy this flick. Well, the acting is quite enjoyable overall, but the theme of fighting over a man’s soul never really goes anywhere and besides Kevin Smith already did a fine piece of Catholic nitpicking in Dogma.

Jake, I’m hit! It’s… so… cold…

FADE TO BLACK.

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