Tuesday, November 3, 2009


like most weeks, i watch movies. here is a recent rundown of things that have appeared on my screen that didnt make enough of a mark on me to warrant its own blog entry:

CRIMINAL LOVERS - this french francois ozon dark twisted thriller from 1999 isnt as affecting and unique as swimming pool or under the sand but it definitely has its most moments of sexual power plays and murder. im a huge fan of ozon and his unique style but this one didnt really jump out at me. still pretty good though

LITTLE DORRIT - with no disrespect to the great derek jacobi and alec guinness, this was dull. this 1988 adaption of dicken's little dorrit is painfully slow and very uninteresting. without question though, both actors still deliver fantastic performances in this 6 hour borefest.

SOUTH PACIFIC - having seen this classic rogers and hammerstein revival on broadway a few months ago, i was curious to watch the original film version from the 50s. directed by josh logan, who directed the original show on broadway, it was an honest and direct adaption from the stage complete with the same wonderful songs (some enchanted evening, gonna wash that man right outta my hair, bali hai etc). acting was kinda meh but the broadway cast spoiled me a bit

ATANARJUAT (THE FAST RUNNER) - well. this 2001 film was shot on digital video, is 3 hours, and filmed entirely in innukitit (the innuit language of northern canada). that being said, it was pretty good. with all these things going against it, the fact that it was an interesting revenge tale means it was pretty outstanding. i need to give major to lead actor Natar Ungalaaq. he is completely naked running through the canadian snow and glaciers for about 10 minute running from people trying to kill him. that being said, his penis looked TINY especially after falling in ice cold water. its not a fair statement on him due to shrinkage but man, it take guts to be out there that naked and that cold. or perhaps it takes bal---nevermind.

THE UNINVITED - the version i watched tonight from the 2009 horror film; a remake of the superb korean film 'a tale of two sisters,' one of my favorite films of all time. what suprised me the most about this is that i didnt hate it. in fact, i kinda liked it though it was not nearly as good as the original. however as far as remakes go, this is probably among the best. the cast of david strathairn (sp?), emily browning, and elizabeth banks really sold it though. so yeah, this is definitely a pleasant surprise.

NIKKATSU NOIR BOX SET - this 5 disc collection of rare crime noirs from 60s japan has a few real gems. nikkatsu is a studio in japan which in the 60s was known for putting out edgier fare to connect with younger audiences looking to break from the japanese film traditions of ozu and kurosawa. basically, these films are japan's attempt to make their own stylized film noir a la the US and france. of these rusty knife and cruel gun story are a bit underwhelming. a colt is my passport looks pretty damned cool and has a quentin tarantino-ish feel to it though is more style than substance. the two true gems of this collection are i am waiting and aim at the police van which i will go into more detail below.

- I AM WAITING is a superior film noir about a washed up disgraced boxer, a mysterious dame with a sordid past, and a cafe where people go who have nothing left. this is a film that could stand up to any film noir, japanese, french, or american. definitely recommend for fans of the film noir genre

- TAKE AIM AT THE POLICE VAN was directed by the japanese noir master seijun suzuki and was a superb, intense, and twisty noir thriller. i see a lot of parallels between melville and sam fuller in this film. suzuki was definitely one of the finest cutting edge directors in japan at the time and in this early work, it shows how great he would become