Wednesday, July 24, 2013

On Violence: A Peek at Only God Forgives

Over at The Film Experience, Michael C of Serious Film has posted his thoughts on Only God Forgives, the latest from Nicolas Winding Refn. While I agree that it's no Drive, the general reaction against the film has me concerned, particularly the consensus concern Michael voices regarding the
violence. As he puts it:

There are no human beings to be found in Only God Forgives. Only meat bags, useful as far as they can be posed in bullshit macho scenarios and then eviscerated. The film opens with child prostitution, rape, bludgeoning, and mutilation and that is only warm up for the various stabbings, beatings, scaldings, and eye gougings that follow. I should point out that any of these things I’ve listed can be redeemed in the execution. Context matters. Here they are thrown out haphazardly, in the hopes that the potency of the violence will obscure the fact that the film has not a thought in its head, nor any viewpoint on the material beyond “Isn’t this cool?”  

And here is where I disagree with him and other critics (though, please, read his comments -- I think they are reasonable ones, and we definitely agree on the problem of Kristin Scott Thomas). I commented on the page itself, but just so I have my thoughts on my own space, here it goes:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cinemaniacs: PACIFIC RIM

So, Ben and I saw Pacific Rim, and reviewed it for our review show, Cinemaniacs. Here's the video, and another link in case you're having trouble here:


I'm not at my most articulate here, I know, but I really, really enjoyed the movie. It's a lot of fun, but also took its time to establish a believable world, so much so that it could hardly be seen as a dismissable wank. Great care was taken in developing this grand spectacle, and it's so sincere that to wave it off exposes you as a killjoy. I bet you hate DeMille and Avatar, too, don't you?

Best in show was Rinko Kikuchi, although Mana Ashida almost walked away with the whole thing. She plays young Rinko in a short but vital segment, and goddam if you don't believe every moment! What a talent!

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Halfway Mark: 2013 Edition

It's July 1st, and you know what that means (or maybe you don't; either way, keep reading!): a First-Half Review!

Last year, I managed to catch 40 films,  and devote two posts to all of them. This year, I caught 40 again, but I ain't about all that work. Instead, here are my six least favorite experiences, two guilty pleasures, five enjoyable confections, and eight I really loved. But first...

The Fence
I have no idea yet where these two will fall, as I just saw them this weekend, but I really enjoyed both The Bling Ring and The Heat, although there were one or two caveats with each. Still, I'd probably see them again. Katie Chang!

Now for the rest. Many of these were reviewed on Cinemaniacs, my show on BiteSize TV with Ben Mekler, so I've linked those title, for further persual. Onward.