My Week In Film (4/13 - 4/19)

The Departed (2006)*
(Directed by Martin Scorsese)

Yeah, really, give all this wall-to-wall music a rest. And specially The Rolling Stones, come on! Aside from that, it's not as great as I once thought just mainly because I don't find it as interesting or as well-done as his other stuff (or even stuff from the same year). The interest comes from the tension that Scorsese ratchets up from this shit. It's a whole lot more sprawling than Infernal Affairs and it feels like it deals with more themes or whatever in a head-on way. I like the lead performances a lot. Matt Damon is pretty awesome as a total scumbag and DiCaprio, well, he's still sorta playing grownup to me, but he does it well and some of the constant fear/guilt shit is interesting. Both these characters are living double lives, always lying to others/themselves. My biggest gripe about the film is Nicholson who I usually like (and I used to the first time I watched this) but now I find almost unwatchable. Such a goddamn caricature and not even an interesting one! So, yeah, pretty good, fun and dramatic and Farmiga is hot and shit but in the end that Dropkick Murphys song really fucking sucks.


Il Posto (1961)
(Directed by Ermanno Olmi)

wow! There's so much to love here. It seems like the camera hugs its characters and loves and wonders about all of them. That's such a great feeling to have about a movie. The story that it tells is a familiar one but for whatever reason I saw so much of myself in this film and I don't even know why. The job interview, sorta not knowing what to expect, all that shit. It hits so hard. The film kind of loses me when it wanders off into the lives of the coworkers (even if I can see why the film does that) and that makes me lose interest. But the painful way in which our realities are thrown back in our face, made better, made in a more soulful way, made more human. It's like life but better. So, yeah. Get drunk!


Three Kings (1999)*
(Directed by David O. Russell)

I hadn't seen this in quite a while. My memory told me that it was pretty badass with a great camera style, humor, etc. Ice Cube was pretty good in it. Well, all that's true. I love how it opens, just washed out desert and shit, you know? Then the humor and awesomeness set in and you think it'll be a rollicking good time. Well, it's true. And it keeps that up for a while, yeah. But I don't think the film would be as good if it didn't take the turn that it does. It's sort of brazenly political while not forgetting that all the funny/awesome stuff from before. Anyway, I get the stuff about this being MTV-style and whatever. I'd normally agree that a style like that is annoying but in here it's tethered to something and it remains playful and not overwhelmingly annoying like it does in other movies I have chosen to forget. Anyway, visually, it's awesome. And all the actors are good, too. I'm a big Clooney fan and this may be his best role cuz he brings his charming shit to a sort of weary idealist role which I find interesting. Whalberg is always awesome as is Ice Cube. Yes. Spike Jonze would be the weak link of the film if he weren't so hilarious and touching. Anyway, this film needs more Judy Greer... but that's about it.

Hey, we liberated Kuwait! Good for you Three Kings


L'Intrus (2004)
(Directed by Claire Denis)

It's like the world and the people in it are floating away from you and it feels great! Well, sort of. This is a really internalized miniature epic with some weird ass shit going on with immigrants as intruders of the heart, sons who may or may not be from Tahiti, beautiful Eastern European women who or may not be the Angel of Death, and Beatrice Dalle and her lovely gap sort of exist in the ether, the void of existence or something. Don't know. Subor is a really corporeal presence which is what I associate with Denis the most. Those early scenes with him going about being all physical and stuff. I mean, there's more to Denis than that, her internalized psychology and treatment of surfaces and shit is superb. And aesthetically this thing is perfect. But, L'Intrus sort of folds into itself at one point and I don't know what the fuck happens or why it happens or anything. I'm able to go with it and just groove with it but, at the heart of it, I may not have the interpretative skillz needed to even begin to crack this puppy and I just don't see how I can love it... without understanding it a little bit. But, still, very good.


Interior Design (2008)
(Directed by Michel Gondry)

Very charming story. The usual Gondry playfulness is still here which is great. I saw Shunji Iwai's name in the credits which surprised me. I think he might've been in the theater scene but I'm not sure. It was also nice to see the dude from Orange Days in it.


Merde (2008)
(Directed by Leos Carax)

Pretty disappointing. The concept is great and Lavant gives it his all but the story and the execution is pretty all over the place. And the pacing nearly kills this shit. However, when Lavant licked a schoolgirl's armpit, that shit was gold.


Shaking Tokyo (2008)
(Directed by Bong Joon-ho)
Pretty great. I think this came closest to what I think I expected out of this - something akin to a Murakami short story. The execution and the details were great and the way that it unfolds is awesome. Plus it has Naoto Takenaka of Far East Bracket fame.


No comments: