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I had the chance to watch four dvd's that I'd been dieing to see. Pan's Labrynth was amazing. The visuals, story, acting, music, etc all brilliant. Using the allegory of the Franco regime was also a stroke of genius. I especially love the fact that not everything's explained or spoon fed yet it's all there to be discovered qwith repeated viewings.
Apacolypto was interesting in the sense that it basically was an homage to the classic chase film and in which the main character is tring to get back to something, or in this case someone. Stripping the genre to it's bare-bones (no explosions, cars, guns, etc) by setting it in the glory days of the Mayan culture. I've never agreed with Gibson's politics or belief's but there is no denying that he is a gifted filmmaker and storyteller.
"Notes on a Scandal" was deliciously evil. I call this type of film "Bitter Brilliance" because the characters are usually detestable and the script edgy and sharp-witted yet because of wonderful performances you "understand" these characters without hating them. Like "Closer", "American Beauty", "Ordinary People" and other films of this ilk, they're fun to watch at a distance and always a pleasure to savor the words, acting and subtle biting humor that make these films special and brilliant...with a large dose of arsenic.
The Messengers had it's moments but once again Sam Raimi seems to think that producing these horror films with asian directors will automatically make the film a success (And not profit-wise either). At times it was creepy but mostly it felt rushed ("Quick let's get to the next 'boo' before they get bored!") Notes on a Scandal was ten times creepier.
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