Thursday, November 23, 2006

Why have Thanksgiving when you can go to the movies?

So I'm trying to see as many films as possible while I'm at home, since more stuff plays here.

Before I left I saw Casino Royale in Providence. It was too long, but really fun, and maybe the only Bond film I've ever seen, since they usually look dumb to me. Really leaves you on a high. Daniel Craig is stellar. Eva Green (she's one sexy bitch) and Judi Dench (ditto) are great, too. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it's really got its shit together.

Verdict: "Impeccable popcorn entertainment. Daniel Craig is sexy."

Then last night I saw The Fountain... and... like, whoa. No film has ever left me so speechless. But that's not necessarily a good thing. I really don't know what to say about it. It's brilliant and visionary, but also kind of boring and flat. When I told my friend I'd just seen it, he told me he heard it was "pretentious crap," and that's not far off the mark, really. Though I think that shortchanges it a bit. I think it's worth seeing; there's a lot of great stuff to admire, even if the whole is kind of... not much. The characters are never really drawn out in any depth, though the actors do much to compensate. The story is kind of jumbled and incoherent, but the images and music are so compelling that it almost doesn't matter. A true perplexity. UPDATE: I have of course seen this again, and now I'm pretty sure I love it. Full review and/or top ten list entry coming soon. But suffice it to say, this film is brilliant. Imperfect, perhaps... but still brilliant.

I didn't love this film on first viewing, but that's okay. It demands patience. You need to meet it on its own terms. But if you do, you'll find ample rewards. Just let it wash over you and prepare to be carried away. You owe it to yourself to try.

Verdict: "Transcendent. Jackman at the peak of his powers. A musical score for the ages. Stunning visuals. SEE IT."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't second-guess yourself - you got it.

What did you think of Jackman/Weisz?

11:02 PM  
Blogger adam k. said...

I loved Jackman/Weisz. When I thought about it, I realized that there was practically no information given to us about their characters, though I felt I knew them very well, and I'm sure that was the actors' doing.

Jackman especially really had a showcase (I thought both Jackman and Craig were oscar-nomination-worthy, though they'll get no consideration whatsoever). And Weisz seems to be carving out a niche for herself as the spirited/soulful object of desire for troubled and confused men.

I did think a lot during the film about what Brad and Cate would've been like had they ended up doing it (weren't they originally cast?), but that's not the fault of these two. Brad and Cate wouldn't have been any better.

1:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Jackman is nom-worthy as well (he held the film together for me), but I can't agree on Weisz. I really thought she had no grasp on her character, although as you suggest, that is not so much her fault as it is Aronofsky's ambiguous writing.

I feel really awful for this movie, because it's getting ripped apart unfairly. But that still doesn't make it a good film.

2:25 PM  
Blogger adam k. said...

Yeah, what was the budget for this film? I hope it doesn't lose too much, cause it doesn't really deserve that. It's fascinating to watch... even if it's also kind of boring.

I thought Weisz did a good job. She didn't really have much to do. She just had to have the right kind of presence, which I thought she did... Izzi was written as more of a concept than a fully rounded person, but I thought Weisz brought a lot of humanity to it. Not nom-worthy or anything, but I don't see what she could've done better, per se. I guess maybe her scenes as the queen were kind of vague... maybe Blanchett would've been more on point there.

Anyway, I agree that only Jackman was award-worthy. It was his film, not hers.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I really am. It looks really bad when I write comments like this and then sing a different tune later. But honestly, I had no idea that this would happen.

Keep in mind though that I don't think this makes the film a masterpiece or if I want to raise the grade significantly. It's too early for that. Is the sign of a great movie one that makes you cry?

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But one thing - why must you look to Nathaniel for direction? My earlier comment "Don't second-guess yourself" should stand. I feel my thoughts the first time were entirely valid for that point in time. It's just that a re-watch opened up things for me. Just because I had a change of heart doesn't mean you should.

Besides, the film is getting such mixed reviews, it's hard to tell what the consensus is.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant "Just because I had a change of heart doesn't mean you will."

12:30 PM  
Blogger adam k. said...

Well, the Nathaniel thing is partially a joke. But really, I generally see things after I know what he thinks of them, and I know that colors my reaction, or at least helps clarify it. But I also just tend to agree with him most of the time.

This film just has me confused like no other... so I want to know what Nathaniel thought. I don't think it's really a masterpiece either, but my first instinct after seeing it was "I can't process this, I need to see it again" so that's what I will do.

But similar movies, like, Marie-Antoinette for example, have been panned by many reviewers, even though everyone I go by has loved them. Dancer in the Dark, too, is a "personal" film like The Fountain that I needed to see multiple times to really appreciate and (eventually) fall in love with. So I might fall in love with this one... not sure yet.

3:46 PM  

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