Awesome dude, it’s about time us movie dorks got some more Rob reviews. I’m totally with you on DiCaprio since The Departed. Before that he was almost always a reason to not see a film for me but in that film he became a real force to be reckoned with. Blood Diamond is still a couple of weeks away for us but I’m pretty amped for it now. Really want to see Pan’s Labyrinth, Flags Of Our Fathers (and Letters From Iwo Jima) and Little Miss Sunshine.
Actually there’s a shitload of films on your list that are films I want to see but haven’t yet. Casino Royale I liked but the hype had led me to expect something like the hardness of the Bourne films and CR had too much of the cartoonish elements for it to have that sort of impact on me. That was probably an unfair expectation on my part though, given that Bond is all about cartoonish action. Craig’s delivery was also too cute in some of the romantic scenes, he needs to get more of the rogue-ish Connery style into that part of his game and he’ll be awesome. Some great action scenes though (the opening bathroom fight/second kill and the construction site chase/embassy escape) and a lot more laughs than I was expecting. I want to see it again when the dvd is out, I think I’ll like it better now knowing what the tone is.
Borat, I had the same disappointment. The story is fine but it’s badly editted and the jokes are on such easy targets that the film has no teeth as the satire it was touted as. Like with Casino Royale I let myself get too hyped, both from loving Borat as a tv character and the ridiculous reviews it had and probably unfairly expected too much. I still laughed a bunch of times, but not as much as I did at Scary Movie 4, from a franchise that bores the crap out of me usually. I would never have seen it if it wasn’t for a girl (see, sometimes they are good for other things) since I didn’t like 1 or 2 and avoided 3, but Scary Movie 4 busted my guts a lot.
Babel blew me away the most, even more than The Departed which I loved also. There are a fair few films from this decade so far that use the interconnected stories way of telling themselves, from Traffic on through to this new one. I haven’t seen Crash but I saw 21 Grams, Magnolia and Traffic and I like the method when it’s pulled off well. Saw Syriana too, which for me was an example of that method not working. In Babel the story itself is not extraordinary, there are no superheroes, worldshattering events or showy gimmicks, none of the characters is a high powered official, spy or celebrity, it’s just cinematic storytelling at very close to the highest level. Like Rob says the editting (which is the key to the style) and camera work is second to none and the sound is magic. And like with 21 Grams you see Innaritu get some great actors giving phenomenal performances. That doesn’t mean every character stuck with me after it was over, but while I was in it I was as engaged as I have been with any film of the last five years at least. The best recommendation I can give it, along with a warning that it’s no popcorn blockbuster, no easy thrill ride, is that after 140 minutes of sitting in that theatre, having a sore ass and needing a bathroom visit, I still didn’t want it to end. That’s a rare thing for me.
Saw The Prestige last night and was disappointed. I don’t want to go into it now because it really is a film that would benefit from as little knowledge as possible going in. My biggest problem again was probably having expectations (I’m seeing a pattern here) way too high given the people involved in making it (Nolan, Batman, Wolverine). I need to see The Illusionist when it’s out on dvd (fuggin love Giamatti too).
Also, I watched the first three Rockys again with Balboa released soon and I’ll see Rocky 4 again too (nothing could make me watch 5 though). I forgot how likeable and funny the character was, and how well made the first two films were. I don’t see how Rocky won the Oscar in ’76 (against Network, All The Presidents’s Men and Taxi Driver) but it’s no surprise it was one of the nominees.
I think tonight I’m seeing Children Of Men, although I’ve heard that one hyped to the heavens too. I just hope it can stand up to it the way Babel did.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.