I finally watched my two Netflix flicks!
Yeah, man. After plunking down $30 for two months of Netflix service, and letting them sit here and collect dust for almost the entire two months, I have finally sat down and watched Mysterious Skin and Donnie Darko. I decided to put my thoughts in haiku form:
Good acting abounds
And Jake's hot; shame that the film's
a bunch of hooey.
Good acting here, too
I liked it more than I thought
But it feels dirty.
But seriously. Re: Darko... there's a lot to love in this film, but it's also all just kinda ludicrous and out of control. Lots of great actors and interesting ideas on display, but different tones are flyin' all over the place, there are lots of fun but unrealistic characters, the science fiction plot is too outlandish, and the "atmosperics" often read as self-involved and pretentious. I know that sounds harsh, and to be fair, there's actually a lot I enjoyed about this film (Jake, Maggie, Mary, Drew!), but that doesn't change the fact that I really wasn't buying it... at all. Richard Kelly is no David Lynch.
But if I may reiterate: Jake Gyllenhaal is hot, and was just as hot in 2001. I read Elvis Mitchell's NY Times review where he predicted Jake was "a couple of great roles away from being a star," and oh, how right he was.
As for Skin, I definitely have more respect for it as a film - basically, it "worked" on the whole - but I still didn't love it. I had problems with the frequent halts between scenes that made it look like they were trying to make room for commercial breaks... and as I said, the whole thing just felt kind of dirty. And not just in the sexual abuse/rape/kiddie porn way. The low budget showed. And I guess the storytelling (good but not great) was not enough to totally get me past the sordid things going on. But it was still a good film; Joseph Gordon-Levitt was VERY good (rather reminiscent of Ledger in BBM), as were most of the actors, and it was a touching exploration of the repercussions of sexual abuse. Recommended.
Donnie Darko: C+
Mysterious Skin: B-
Anyway, now that those are over with, I will get back to the (MUCH delayed) Streepathon, and will start seeing stuff I missed this year. Yay!