Catching up on some stuff I’ve missed:
People get hung up on Tarantino. I could care less about his knowledge of film, how he’s referencing/ripping off other films in this or that shot. Tarantino tells a good story, simple as that. I am in no way a fan of war movies, but this was definitely enjoyable and built up to a great ending.
Strange movie, in the way that it so slavishly attempts to document a certain point of time, the time in which it was made (start of the New Depression). And also in its detachment. The characters are all surface, and rarely do you get a glimpse at what’s going on underneath. Stranger still in that this is a film that documents the life of a sex worker, so you expect something a bit more raw. But it’s almost like everyone in the film, actors and characters, know that they’re being watched.
I’d hate to come down too hard on a film with this much original style and energy, but District 9 was a bit of a letdown for me. I give it credit for its social/political satire, and striking and even haunting visuals (maybe no movie could live up to the image of that ominous, rundown spacecraft hovering over a slum). But I expected more than cliche characters like a bumbling bureaucrat (though the guy who played him was super hot) and a wise alien with a sympathy-mongering anthropomorphized child. Even there I’m probably being too contrarian, because the aliens were indeed a bizarre mix of natural and human-learned behaviors. What killed it for me was the old action-movie pileup at the end. You know: when you’re well aware of exactly what needs to happen for the movie to end, yet you have to sit through a bunch of shoot-outs and explosions to get there. I would’ve preferred a bit more reflection and analysis, but it wasn’t that kind of movie, so I can’t really lay blame.
This was a good little horror flick, and it distinguishes itself from the glut by being playful and evocative rather than dour and grungy.
This movie left me curiously relieved and disappointed. From the first scenes, I thought I was in for an intense character study of a misanthrope, in the same vein as the difficult to watch German film The Forest for the Trees. There were a couple scenes where I was hiding behind my hands, unable to face some seriously awkward situations. I love/hate films that make me feel protective of their characters, thus my ambivalence when it turned out that Big Fan was more a comedy about a ubiquitous and instantly-recognizable American character. The movie works, and most importantly, it avoids the trap of looking down upon him or making fun. He winds up being quite dignified.