Posted by: kfugrip | January 17, 2008

Meet the new format. Same as the old format.

So in the interest of keeping my readers expectant I am planning on at least weekly posts. As such, they will include multiple movies like my earlier posts last year. Perhaps I’ll have more to say about a particular movie and I’ll single it out and rant a bit, but let us envisage a Dude, He’s the Stallion with posts similar to the one found below. The good news (to me) is that I can again write non-sequitor, absurdist, post titles.

The Night Porter, Liliana Cavani, is the story of an ex-nazi concentration camp guard reuniting with one of his victims and beginning a twisted affair.
What I liked: Fantastic story hook with extreme, though believable, behavior. I like it when we see movies about strange people that doesn’t devolve into quirkiness. Also, Charlotte Rampling gives a fantastic performance, very understated.
What I didn’t like: I feel like it didn’t pay off on it’s terrific setup. And some of the story towards the end of the film, was more tell and not enough show. I also thought that the pace was too slow in the last act of the film. I felt like the pace should have quickened but it stayed the same.
nightporter.jpg
3 stars

Juno, Jason Reitman, is about an outsider sixteen year old who gets pregnant and decides to give her baby up for adoption to a rich couple.
What I liked: Once the movie got going, and I swallowed some of the unbelievable aspects of the film, I found the characters to be charming and funny. There were moments of truth in the film and Ellen Page and Michael Cera are funny. Michael Cera in particular was very funny in limited work.
What I didn’t like: Quirkiness. Hate it. The first third of this film was loaded with quirky details and “cool” dialogue. I hated it. I would have walked out, but I’m glad I didn’t because it got better. There are also some unbelievable thing happening, which is fine, but inconsistent with some of the story. I agree with some of the critics of this film when they ask “what is this film about?”. I’m not sure and that is a problem. Also, indulge me as I express some bitterness at the fact that the director of this film is the son of Ivan Reitman. I wish my Dad was a writer/producer/director so I could get a shot a directing.
juno.jpg
3 stars (close to 2)

Red River, Howard Hawks, the classic western about the first cattle drive along the Chisholm trail and the growing feud between the desperate rancher who initiated it (John Wayne) and his crew.
What I liked: The tension between Thomas Dunston (Wayne) and Matthew Garth (Montgomery Clift, in his debut) is the driving force behind the movie and the most interesting aspect of the film. I grew to care about Mr. Dunston and Matt and their story was classically dramatic. The spectacle of a massive cattle drive is beautiful and Wayne and Clift are excellent. I also love Walter Brennan, even though he’s playing the same character he does in most of his movies, he is great here as the comedic relief.
What I didn’t like: I know this is classic Hollywood but the introduction of Tess Millay (Joanne Dru) and her character’s purpose as a whole was forced. The resolution, with Tess yelling at the two men, was contrived.
red-river.jpg
3 stars

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Responses

  1. great post. and maybe my favorite post title ever. nice.

  2. That’s exactly how I felt about Juno. Hated the quirk. It barely gets 3 stars from me.

    I haven’t seen The Night Porter in a long time, but I remember it not having nearly enough Nazi themed S&M for my tastes.

  3. josh: for once we agree completely…on The Night Porter…who would have thought. Perhaps this will pave the way for future “agreeing completely”…

  4. also, why doesn’t your post name link to your page anymore…what’s up with that…

  5. Horseshit. I just watched Juno, (online, illegally) and it was a great film. Sometimes it’s ok to get wrapped up in the suspended impossibility of a situation, and that’s what Juno did for me. I personally found the characters interesting, charismatic, and (as a fan of “arrested development”) believe-able. I find your review of the film hollow and without merit, and I encourage you to go enjoy a film, any film, and let it entertain you.

    Also, I still think “Se7en” is one of the best films ever made. So clearly, I have no idea what’s good or bad. Please digest my review of your review with montreal steak seasoning and enjoy!

    Sincerely,

    Conre Posto

  6. Dear Conre,

    Do you mind if I call you Conre? Good. I need no encouragement to go and enjoy a film and let it entertain me, I try to do that every time I watch a movie. However, some films are distracting in their execution and I find it impossible to let the film wash over me when a character is so quirky and cool that she talks on a phone that is a hamburger.

    If you were to take your own advice and apply it to something that you love and want to do, like photography or steak seasoning, then you would see that recognizing poor craftsmanship does detract from your enjoyment of the piece of entertainment (or perhaps in photography it should be called decoration).

    I remember you complaining about some terrible photographers in school and how they didn’t know how to combine flavors to create a satisfying marinade. I remember you saying that they couldn’t mix even the most basic vinaigrette. Touche sir!

    Regards,
    Captain Mixed Metaphor

  7. Dearest Mix,
    Ah-hoy hoy. Two quick points.
    1.) I enjoy frank discourse.
    2.) Most photographers DO, in fact, suck, comparably to me.
    3.) I like your movie reviews.

    That was three. Consider it, a “bonus”.

    Fondly,

    CP

  8. Hm… not sure, K. Maybe I was logged out at the time? Consider this one a test post.

  9. What the hey?

  10. Success! Somehow, my personal info got changed. I didn’t do it.

    Adam, sorry for taking up your precious space with my linkage problem.

  11. Hm, I watched Juno the other night (free on the Interwebz!!) and feel pretty much the same way you do. The cool, trying-too-hard dialogue in the first 30 minutes really got on my nerves, but once that passed I enjoyed it. Ultimately, it is just about a girl being pregnant and dealing with shit. Nothing more than that. Enjoyable, nice soundtrack, but far from a masterpiece of the indie film realm.

    I’m curious though what inconsistencies you saw. I might’ve missed them.

  12. My Review of Juno

    Juno is annoying teenage girl from the same town as Napoleon Dynamite who got knocked up. She makes sarcastic, sometimes witty jokes at the expense of adults, stink-eyed teens and an unborn child while leading a life set to ironic indie music, horror films and the Stooges.

    On the Binksian Scale (see Jar-Jar) of annoying characters she scores a 9.

    Despite this movie making me feel stupid, I did not hate it.

  13. “stink-eyed teens” is either the new name of my blog or the hottest up-and-coming band in Williamsburg.

    Theory: If Napoleon Dynamite and Juno shook hands the world would collapse in on itself and be reborn replete with sarcasm and overflowing with qurkiness and irony.

  14. I enjoy your Theory and would like to subscribe to your blog.

    Theres got be some sort of cosmic shorthand name for the Juno Dynamite Handshake Theory ala The Big Bang.

    Hipsters would shit.

  15. I enjoy your Theory and would like to subscribe to your blog.

    Theres got be some sort of cosmic shorthand name for the Juno Dynamite Handshake Theory ala The Big Bang. At least wed be listening to good tunes as we all folded into hipster oblivion.

  16. Wait, what just happened? Goulet.

    Juno and Dynamite may be dangerously close to contacting each other.


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