Quickee-Palooza!!!

So, I am way-far behind on the reviews.  And I was really struggling to figure out how to create a full and complete review for movies that I saw a month ago now.  The solution – A Quickee post!  I might do this in the future if this comes up again but basically I take 1 or 2 paragraphs for a review rather than a whole post.  So with that rushed and poorly explained description, here we go!

Amelie

Yes. I did finally watch it with Subtitles 🙂  I still believe watching it in French was better, but I did need to see it with Subtitles to get a complete enough grasp of it for review.  It was nice to catch some of the nuances that the writing has that can’t be gained by the gorgeous visuals alone.

The film is a celebration of the importance of the smallness and magic of life’s little things.  We enter a beautiful fairytale of Jeunet’s design which revels in the peculiarities of love, adventure and the imagination.  The film itself is beautiful as are the message and plot.  All around it has very quickly become one of my favorite films and I strongly recommend it to any adult (there are a few risque scenes for younger audiences to be aware of)

MY RATING:  10/10

Pontypool

I found this movie channel surfing on the HBO channels.
I read the book it was based on.
I bought the dvd.
I am terrified by this film.

This is by far the most interesting twist on the Zombie genre since George Romero gave it life…again. The idea that the zombie virus is spread via speech is fascinating and either brilliant or insane.  The book was bizarre and very oddly written and the film manages that peculiarity while having almost nothing to do with the book! Crazy!

Pontypool has a great concept that gets a bit muddied at the end. Again I say that the plausibility of a virus hiding in our language is suspect, the idea of it is bone-chilling.  What I love most about the film is that it capitalizes on the fear of the unknown – most of the film we don’t really know what is going on until the good doctor comes in and gives a rough explanation of it (btw I like that he figures it out then and there). From this lack of definition of the problem arises the far more interesting problem of “what the bleep is going on!?”.

The location is amazingly well chosen – both because of the intimate connection of radio and language and because of its confining nature. I honestly would love to adapt this as a one-act play.  It reminds me of “Sorry, Wrong Number” – a great emotional dichotomy of a single character that plays out over a short space.  I would definitely go watch a man slowly discover that the world is caving in around him. Just a thought.

Anyway the fact that I spent all night thinking “Kiss is Kill” to me emphasizes how good the film really is.  The ending isn’t so hot but I do recommend this, again, to older audiences due to the graphic nature of some scenes.

MY RATING:  8/10

Gone with the Wind

I finally got around to seeing it.  I can see what all the hype is about but at the same time I have to admit I have several issues with it.  First it is definitely Epic – the genre, not my feeling for it.  It clearly pushes the limits on scale of setting and extras.  However it doesn’t push any limits on story – it is one of the most basic storylines I have ever seen.  Emily mentioned that the first half could have been it’s own film.  What makes that work is the excellent quality of the writing for the characters. Scarlett and Red are fascinating roles, both fanciful and incredibly real.

The reality of the film most likely comes from the shear length of it.  You cannot sit watching people’s lives for 4 hours without beginning to see them as real people.  The writing is spectacular which does help but honestly I think it is just flipping long.  Visually the film is amazing!  I cannot think of another film that uses of silhouette at all, let alone to such wonderful results.  The visual style is vibrant, yet dimmed during the low points, and brings to life both the pre- and post- Burning-of-Atlanta South. Absolutely beautiful film.

Now the ending. First let me say that this is what I mean by a good Defeatist ending. It is depressing but they end it on a “Life goes on” message. Even if that message is rife of mixed feelings, it still gives me enough catharsis to let it end.  Just enough. What also makes the ending interesting is the audience’s mingling desires for revenge and for catharsis.  We spent the first half of the film wondering why we should care about this Bleep of a woman and yet we are crying for her at the end. It was a very interesting feeling which I think is unique to this film.

Overall it was a great movie that I am glad to cross off my list.  Long but good stuff.

MY RATING:  9/10

Btw – There is an odd similarity between the Theme song and “I’m All Alone” from Spam-a-lot….coincidence?  I think NOT!

The Manchurian Candidate

My last Quickee of the day is of the 1962 classic with Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury. As Emily will attest for me, I screamed at the screen that “Angela Lansbury doesn’t Co-star to anyone!”  And of course she played the role fantastically. Sinatra did great – I didn’t even recognize him until halfway through the movie.  Laurence Harvey also performed excellently. I loved his vacancy throughout the whole thing.

The plot was okay.  I thought it was handled well and I imagine that at the time this was groundbreaking.  However to the modern audiences it might seem a bit cliche.  I was surprised at the reveal and pleasantly at that, but for the most part it was a lot like other films.  The positive there is that it was good enough to inspire such copycats 🙂

Ultimately great film that I highly recommend to all.

MY RATING:  10/10

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Yup there you go!  Hope you enjoyed the four Quickee’s – I know it was fun to make them 🙂

I also wanted to express my flabbergast-ation and deep thanks for the incredible response I am getting to my Assassin’s Creed Review.  It has gotten over 90 hits in the last week only!  I am amazed and so appreciative for your readership and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for it. With that I am pleased to announce that I have a new video game review in progress: Assassin’s Creed II.  I haven’t finished the game yet but I’d like to get the review up before the release of Assassin’s Creed Revelations on November 15.  Thank you so much and spread the world – the sequel is on the way!!!

Final announcement:  look forward to a couple of Summer Film Challenge Reviews in the coming weeks.  I have seen several and am definitely going to have them finished before my cross-country roadtrip back to Cali next Tuesday.  In the meantime, check the my review of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on the Art of the Trailer. Thanks for sticking with me and check back real soon, ya hear!?

Please Comment Below and Subscribe!

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Author: Tyler D. Welch

Filmmaker, Storyteller, Scholar

2 thoughts on “Quickee-Palooza!!!”

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