Monday, December 21, 2009

At the Movies: Rewind

There is this dilemma in my mind about whether to review movies or not, because I watch a huge amount of movies. It is my main way to unwind, when my brain tires from both reading and writing, but because I watch so many I can’t review all in separate reviews. However I do seem to have something to say about each movie I watch, so this new feature with snippets about my movie habits lands me in the middle between whether to review or not. So Mondays I will be doing that.

1) Inglorious Basterds

Kill Bill relied on blood in industrial quantities to gush out and spray every inch, until the setting has no other color than red. Here we omit the blood and substitute it for murder plots and change-o presto we have “Inglorious Basterds”. There is much to love here: the sense that this is the bastard child of a bond movie and Austin Powers movie [personal conviction and to be frank Mike Meyers did have a small cameo]; the part where Hitler dies and the skilled acting. Brad Pitt sounds unrecognizable with that accent. Eli Roth was a delightful homicidal oaf and Christoph Waltz as the polyglot Nazi General Hans Landa stunned me as a villain. I was also taken by Melanie Laurent, who brought life to the character of a femme fatale with a knack for mass murdering schemes.

2) Public Enemies

As long as it has Depp in it I can’t do wrong. It’s a simple rule that has added me countless times in picking movies and so far hasn’t proved me wrong. “Public Enemies” is grave, heavy and also quite dynamic and turbulent. There is tension, there is great acting and some greatly shot machine gun scenes. There is something about the thirties I am fascinated with and Depp along with Marion Cotillard don’t disappoint me with their performances. The same can be said for the rest of the cast. It’s a good movie, but is it great, unforgettable and mind blowing in general? Not really. Give it a few days and it will vacate your memory. Sad as it is, to me it was a case of ‘all the boxes were checked, but somehow somewhere something has slipped’.

3) Coco before Chanel

Chanel is an iconic name. It is a synonym for style. It has made 5, the most fashionable digit in history. And behind that name stood one woman: Coco. Since I am European and studying French I didn’t mind watching this, but I am not entirely sure how much European movies make it to the US, so I am not sure whether it has caught on, but I certainly hope that you are in the mood for a French docudrama about Coco the woman before rising to fame. I would have enjoyed seeing her battling her way as she made her debut in the fashion world, but I was enchanted by Audrey Toutou’s marvelous portrayal of a Coco making her first steps, falling in love and being burned by life. It breezed through time and I couldn’t believe when it ended. This was accomplished with the help of the brilliant cast, staring Emmanuelle Devos and Benoît Poelvoorde.


RobB said...

I was extremely disappointed in Public Enemies. Scenes and events didn't transition very well at all and events seemed to happen without any explanation as to how it related to previous parts of the film.

Depp's performance was very good, though.

Harry Markov said...

Depp was the reason why I watched it and yes, now that you mentioned this and I think about it, this is the reason why I didn't like the movie that much.

RobB said...

My wife read the book on which it was based and she had similar issues with the book - the subject matter was interesting but the execution was very supbar. The film, from what she has said, didn't fix any of the storytelling flaws in the book.

Harry Markov said...

Ah, I sense a chain of fail in this instance, but I guess this had the chance to make a movie better than a book, but missed it.

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