the-premise-is-set
alt_bar

YOU KNOW YOU LOVE ‘EM: MINI MOVIE REVIEW

12 August 2006

I've watched a selection of movies again and here are the verdicts; ruthless but arbitrary!

V for Vendetta: it surprised me! I had heard whispered disappointments in the vague hallways of the irrefutable internet, but they were LIES! It should be noted here that I haven't read Alan Moore's graphic novel, but I've read other works -most notably Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (which I thought was a bit disappointing)- and can extrapolate the level of detail and depth that Moore must have administered in his despotic future vision. And so I can easily imagine a scenario where fans of the comic took offense on some of the changes that may have happened to the characters and events in the translation from comic to movie. And if I watch it from that angle I understand it. Talks about a Watchmen movie fill me with immediate desperation; they'll never get it right. But for V for Vendetta I had no such concern, all I know is that the movie worked, as a movie. When I saw it, it gripped me, but only afterwards; when I found that days after I was still thinking about it, did I really realize that I loved this movie. It simply did something for me. The just right amount of depth to the characters, the iconic value, the strong themes, Moore's signature use of historic or literary events and characters... it all came together and enthralled me unexpectedly. I am curious what will happen once I read the comic.

Clerks 2: it is supremely difficult not to compare this to the original Clerks. The old loveable and hateable characters have gotten new jobs in a fast food restaurant and have new stuff to bicker about and abuse to dole out. The impression that struck me however was that there's a heavier narrative involved this time, and all of the little rants that are held against Lord of the Rings, discrimination, certain sexual preferences and whatnot are geared towards shaping the narrative or the character development. That's certainly not a bad thing, but one of the things that made Clerks so great was its seeming non-sequitur tumbling of events. Clerks 2 is then a much more conventional movie, and not just because of its use of colour. In the end it doesn't matter though as it's still very funny and manages to pull off a lot of good bad comedy, even though some of it may seem a bit more contrived than in the original.

Garden State: I thought this movie was over-hyped and pretentious. I love Zach Braff in Scrubs -hell, I love scrubs- but for some reason this auteur-movie (written, directed and performed by Braff himself) didn't manage to impress. Though actually, I know exactly what the reasons were: it tries to be an integer, personal drama in the style of Magnolia or American Beauty; close-ups of people or a person going about life's drudgeries and finding something in life through the little things. Garden State doesn't manage to be that however, as the dialogues are too superficial (the characters all practically always state precisely what they're thinking and feeling instead of using metaphors or layers) and the events are also a bit too coincidental. I think the problem is that Braff wants to tell us a few of his own ideas on life, but they are projected too obviously on the characters in the movie. Worse however is the lack of emotional connection I felt with any of the characters. Basically, I couldn't really care about them, which is a shame because Braff is always amiable. A nice debut-movie, but the hype brought it up to levels it couldn't quite reach, and that is partly the fault of the movie itself which desperately wants us to believe it has more depth than it in reality has to offer.

Bloodrayne: my first Uwe Boll movie! After all the anti-hype I had been dying to see one of his movies and Bloodrayne was high on my list. Modelled after the mediocre game, it was apparently awful. And by gum it was; so very, very awful. In the end, I felt disappointment. Not that I had been expecting a movie so bad it was good (for I was warned against it), but it was still disappointing to see a movie fail so miserably to entertain in each and every way. It's horrendous: from the porn-actress lead (a tanned vampire? I don't care if she's a half-vampire, it looks hideous) to the stilted dialogue and the so horrible, horrible way they dressed up poor Ben Kingsley. You know, the thing is, Bloodrayne just lacks any and all cult value. It's not entertainingly bad in any way. It's just crappy, dull pap and every minute you ask yourself: why am I watching this, and realizing you couldn't be more bored. Uwe Boll definitely doesn't deserve his status as a cult-bad director, because his movies are simply not charismatic enough. It doesn't help either that every scene looks gorgeous and screams “90 million Dollars!!”, so that all you're thinking is damn, if only someone with a smidgeon more talent had been at the helm, how awesome could it have been then.

By the way. Today's my birthday. Congratulations, me! 23 Years, boy howdy.

Roderick.