Topic “movie review”

Rated: 4.5/5

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In is hard to pin down. It's a story about a boy and a girl, it's a story about relationships, it's a story about bullying, it's a story about isolation, and it's a vampire story. Oskar is isolated, bullied, and harboring pent up aggression. When he meets his new neighbour Eli a friendship rapidly developments and we learn Eli is not a normal girl. The story is a study of two damaged people finding each other, with some disturbing overtones enabled by supernatural story points. Let the Right One In had my full attention as it unfolded and left me saying "wow" when it was done.

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L'Âge des ténèbres/Days of Darkness

Days of Darkness

Last Friday at the movies was a real treat with Denys Arcand's L'Âge des ténèbres (Days of Darkness). It's a wicked social satire about getting lost in middle age, and the story of one Jean-Marc Leblanc, a Quebec civil servant with a soulless, mind-numbing job, emotionally remote family, and penchant for escapist fantasies.

The humour, especially in the first half, really hits the mark. The entire theatre was laughing out loud. The fantasy scenes are genius at revealing Leblanc's character and inner dialog. Far from just sexual, his fantasy relationships also contain an emotional intimacy he can't find in his real world relationships. We're also treated to the lampooning of bureaucracy run amuck with Leblanc's day job.

Although Days of Darkness does an excellent job of capturing the human condition the story had pretensions to a deeper meaning it didn't deliver on. With few exceptions we've all been in a rut, known we're in the rut, but haven't known how to get out of said rut, so there we've unhappily remained. I felt the movie promising me some deep insight about crawling out of ruts, but it didn't deliver. The ending worked, but somehow wasn't satisfying.

And the story ended too early for me! I'd have gladly given up some of the setup, which seemed to go on too long anyway, for a chance to explore Leblanc's family relationships at end. There were hints of things I wanted explored in more detail.

Days of Darkness probably won't hit a theatre near you but check it on DVD if you spot it. Although the story isn't perfect you'll laugh and hopefully enjoy the characters as much as I did.

Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai Poster

Last Monday I finally saw Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.

I say finally, because in the perverse behaviour of humans I've had a loaned copy sitting in front of the DVD player for the last three or four months and haven't watched it. With no deadlines, I'd been putting it off. Then a local art house theatre was showing it and movie maven Marina, leader of the Vancouver movie Meetup group, said: Quit waiting, see it! Who was I to refuse? And is not seeing a movie in a shared context the quintessential movie experience?

For those who might not have heard of Seven Samurai, it's a Japanese movie released in 1954, subtitled, black and white, and 3 hours 20 minutes long. And time hadn't been kind to this threatre's copy (the Criterion DVD is much better). In spite of all this, it's well worth the viewing!!!

Seven Samurai is the story of a poor village plagued by bandits. Knowing the bandits will be back to rob their next crop, the village peasants hire samurai to defend them. The movie follows the peasants recruitment of the samurai, battle preparation, and ensuing battle. But this is far more than an action driven movie. The characters are varied and wonderful. More over, the story explores how people deal with the crap life throws at them, catching human nature and interaction at it's best and worst. There's some funny moments thrown in for good measure, that's part of the human experience, too. And don't worry, it has sword fighting.

I'm now firmly a member of the crowd that says this is a must see movie for anyone who's even mildly a film buff.

Haiku Movie Reviews

A shout out to my friend Leeny and her new website, 353 Review:

353 Review

It's your source for the most concise movie reviews in the world. Period. They're all done in Haiku!

Leeny has an aptitude for summarization and a wicked cool sense of humour. I do feel obligated to warn you, though. She has a penchant for zombies.

Check out 353 Reviews, it'll put a smile on your face.

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