Sunday, January 08, 2006

Three flicks

I've seen three movies over the last few days, all of which are worth watching.

King Kong: This is the Jackson one. It is overlong at three hours, but it is well worth it. Jack Black is great as the wicked Denham and Naomi Watts does a great job building a relationship with Kong. The dino scenes effectively one up Spielberg and the sea scenes are excellent. Like in LOTR, Jackson does a nice job switching from the panoramic to the personal and he never lets great effects get in the way of the story. It's too bad it isn't doing so well at the box office, we may not get crazy extended edition DVD treatment like LOTR.

Triplets of Belleville: It's a cartoon, it has almost no dialogue and it's bizarre. You should still see it. The exaggerated style of people, things and scenery is highly entertaining and the story which concerns a grandmother looking for her kidnapped grandson is engaging. Although it is a kidnapping, the story and the climax are silly enough to keep it from being scary. For example, the climactic car chase involves the pursuers being foiled by items like hats. It's fun.

Schizopolis: Easily the most arty of the three, this is Stephen Soderberg's student-ish film, released mid-career. The film satirizes the workplace and marriage but viewers will pay more attention to Soderberg's plays on language. Some characters speak only in gibberish others speak in the emotions and meaning they mean to confer as in "Overly dramatic statement regarding upcoming meal." To make it more crazy, Soderberg (who plays the main role) and his wife both change identities in the film. It isn't clear if this is dreaming, dimensions merging or the use of lots of drugs. In fact, stoners are going to say "Woah" a lot in this one.

The NYT say that Hostel sucks all around. No big surprise.

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