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Posted on 11/15/10 11:30 PM
"The Fountain" is a beautiful and straightforward movie that will look pretentious only to those who don't understand it.
As with many other complex events in life, the simplest interpretation of a non-trivial movie is usually the correct one (by any measure you wish to impose). This happens to be the case of "The Fountain". However, some people (movie critics included) forget that the cinema has its own language, and rush to interpret everything too literally. This movie is not set in three different historic times, and more importantly, it is NOT a science fiction story. Rather, it is a simple story about a contemporary man (Tommy Creo) who is desperately trying to find a cure for his wife's brain cancer. Meanwhile, in an attempt to understand her own fate, his wife writes a story set in New Spain about a Conquistador's fool's quest for the fountain of eternal youth (if you fail to see the metaphor, you are blind). After she dies, Tommy enters a deep state of denial drawn by the unbearable pain of her loss. This does NOT happen in the future (if you fail to see this, you should stick to the Matrix and movies alike). But as is repeated throughout the movie, he needs to "finish the story", i.e. he needs to accept that death is not a "disease" and cannot be cured. This realization comes in some form of illumination, aided by the metaphor that the only way to live forever is by reentering the circle of life: becoming a plant. If you fail to see this, rent Joseph Campbell's DVDs or go to church and witness the Eucharesty with an open mind. Finally, Tommy finishes his wife's novel by accepting she has moved on inside the circle of life.
Simple. Universal. Beautiful.
Posted on 11/13/10 12:28 AM
Rarely does one see the real and heart shrinking drama that central american women undergo while crossing Mexico to get to the US. This solid film depicts this struggle just right, and serves as a great example of how a plot can be simple, entertaining and relevant.
'Sin nombre' succeeds in transmitting the anxiety and vulnerability of women living such precarious conditions. In this respect, I was particularly impressed by how the direction manages to explore many complex social problems while keeping the dramatic story alive and the audience at the edge of their seats.
Despite there being justified violence, one never witnesses a raping, which is, al least in my case, always unbareable to watch. If I had to critizise something about the movie, I would say that the beginning is a bit too slow, but that's all.
In a way, "Sin Nombre" can be compared to "Bajo la misma luna", which falls short and ends up being unrealistic over-dramatic, failing to click at any level.
I look forward to seeing more from [font=arial][size=-1]Cary Fukunaga. Keep it up paisano!
Posted on 11/13/10 12:12 AM
Put a stop to stupid, surely collective-writing already.
Here it goes: someone in the movie says "Be careful with the puppy. Eagles may eat it". They might as well spare us from the 'comic' scene. We know it's coming. We dread it. But the worst is, deep inside we know the eagle will NOT eat the puppy. And sure enough, it doesn't. And it is boring, and stupid and formulaic, however many cute jingles you add to the scene, IT DOESN'T WORK!
Next time at least show some puppy blood, or al the very very least, a random boob (human, female).
Posted on 11/13/10 12:11 AM
Damn it! I promised myself I wouldn't cry...
Posted on 11/12/10 11:59 PM
There was something a bit more genuine in "The Hangover", but "Due Date" ends up feeling empty, formulaic and way too long.
When will directors understand that comedy can come from sources other than awkward, socially unadapted, semi-retarded characters?
Furthermore, I think we're all tired of the so called "whammos", i.e. cars flipping over, angry guys spiting at dogs, Greek guys masturbating, or unexpected gun shots. Try making us laugh with something more substantial than such a collection of scenes meshed together with no real connection of any kind between them.
Posted on 11/12/10 11:43 PM
How is it possible that this movie has such high rating in RT?
The story is empty and plainly stupid, and goes against screen-writting-101. The character is supposed to learn something from her experience, and go back to her world as a new, better, or more enlightened person. The big eyed girl does neither, and yet, the music and slow motion is supposed to make us feel like she did. That is an emotional rip-off.
Plus, why is it the dream of any women under 30 is to be a European princess, or a born celebrity? Is it because the long history of ex-cons that in the 1800's emigrated from Europe left a lineage full of guilt and dishonor?
But the biggest mystery to me is: who reads these scripts and say, "Hey, now this is story worth telling!"
Posted on 11/12/10 11:40 PM
With such a poor plot, not even a good actor as Jimenez Cacho can save you.
Furthermore, when one of the characters of a movie is a writer (Jimenez Cacho in "El atentado") you can be sure he represents the writer of the movie himself. And that's just a recipe for disaster, for such character is surely to be "self-indulgent, sophomoric and solipsistic..."
Posted on 11/12/10 11:08 PM
Most of Allen's movies are clearly autobiographic to an extent, but what is interesting about B.O.B is that Allen is reflected not in the main character, the play writer David (John Cusack), but as the illiterate but artistic gangster Cheech (Chazz Palminteri). Once you've seen a couple of Woody Allen's movies you'll notice that Cheech's artistic merit (as opposed to David's shortcomings) as a writer, are precisely those of Allen's himself. For example, Woody is famous for his realistic speeches, and Cheech's strong belief in this is present over an over in the film:
- Poetic license is bullshit! - Cheech says, -plus nobody talks like that. People will believe what they relate to.
Allen is also famous for showing dead people talking to the living, a lot like in a dream to show moral conflict (Match point), or explain motivations (Crimes and Misdemeanors). That is actually what Cheech suggests to David to make the play more interesting.
What is most amazing about this great apologetic movie is that Allen demonstrates that he is actually an artist, precisely by making his main character admitting not to be so. B.O.B makes a strong point: we should love Allen as an Artist only (in the movie industry only, as a musician he sucks), regardless of his highly questionable moral integrity. Just as Cheech, he probably creates his own moral universe.
Few movies come back in a full circle better than B.O.B. and are as genuinely funny. In this respect, one must thank Allen the few one liners he added as opposed to other less interesting and less fortunate movies in his record (Mystery Murder in Manhattan, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Melinda Melinda, Take the money and run, Hollywood Ending).
Posted on 8/13/10 07:45 PM
Why do I seem to be the only one to think this movie was just childish rubbish? Why do people think that gratuitous violence and blood shedding are funny and make a movie worth seeing?
Quentin, your techniques are obsolete. Grotesque flashbacks? Really? I'm sick of your Cartoonish heroes already. Memorable characters? None. Human reactions? Sure, as much as you get in a comic book.
This horrific child of yours is not even original:
-The Jew Hunter is no other than Les Miserable's Javert.
-The girl is the french 'kill bill' seeking revenge.
-The ending is just like Indiana Jones: God's wrath against the Nazis.
Give me a break!
Posted on 5/09/09 02:27 PM
There is a clear dicotomy in the world. There are those who think that such movies as Pineapple express are succesful becasue they are "comedies with 'heart'", and the rest of us who don't feel the slightless urge of neither laugh nor cry, but insted yell for our money back.
Buddy movies genre is unquestionably Seth Rogen's trade mark and a new trend in american cinema. With such weak plots on one hand and multimillion profits on the other, one can't help but wonder, why do people like these kind of movies? Is it a reflection society's decadence in which males don't have real friends and need a high octane adventure to get themselves one? Otherwise, it would simply be too gay, wouldn't it Seth?
Pineapple express is as dumb as it gets. The scenes in the forest are dull and boring, clumsily filled with what can only be classified as poor attempts to introduce the same homosexual undelying tension that is always present in his previous movies.
The motivation behind Rogen's plots seems to be the following: men are not supposed to have friends. If they do, its must be because they are at least a bit gay. And that is hillarious. At least for Rogen and followers.
Rogen: just come out of the closet already. Just say it, buddy, you'll feel so much better, and maybe then you'll start making normal movies that do not offend our intellect or taste. Then again, I guess you'd rather keep on getting richer and richer. Good for you.