Posted by: kfugrip | February 3, 2008

Once. Upon a time. I could control myself.

Once, written and directed by John Carney, the low budget Irish film about an aspiring singer (Glen Hansard) who makes a connection with a piano playing, Czech Girl (Markéta Irglová) that inspires him to take the next step in his career by getting a band together, with said girl, and record a demo.

What I liked: The music was moving and beautiful and the highlight of the film. The relationship between Hansard’s character and Irglová’s character was smartly done and believable. The humor in the story was always timely and it felt like real people.
What I didn’t like: Not a lot of conflict, perhaps none. Other than trying to get money to record and some romantic tension, there was very little conflict.

4 stars

once.jpg

The Lookout, written and directed by Scott Frank, is about former local golden boy Chris Pratt (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) whose brain damage has left him with memory and sequencing problems. Pratt is recruited by a group of bank robbers to be their lookout in a robbery of the bank where he works as a janitor.

What I liked: Smart script with some nice imagery. I like the wounded/disabled hero and making him work as a hero wasn’t easy. The performances were good and the story was well constructed. Gordon-Levitt is a great young actor and I’ve liked him in the last two films I’ve seen him in (this and Brick). I’ll have to watch Mysterious Skin to get the full effect of his abilities to date. The hype for this movie was deafening and it did an excellent job of living up to it for me.
What I didn’t like: Like many stories of it’s kind, this movie veers too much into actions that I don’t find believable. Without spoiling the end, the Pratt character has a little too much foresight. That’s all I’ll say about that. The most disappointing aspect of the film was the last few minutes where we are given the voice-over-montage of how things have been since the robbery. Hated that.

3 star

the_lookout.jpg

Masculin Feminin, written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard, is the story of French youth culture during the 60’s (1966 to be exact). We follow the adventures of Paul (Jean-Pierre Léaud), and idealistic socialist, as he becomes romantically involved with Madeline (Chantal Goya), a pop singer.

What I liked: The interviews with female character with Léaud of screen were interesting critiques of pop culture. Some of the non sequitors, with appearances by Brigitte Bardot for example, were well crafted moments.
What I didn’t like: I found the characters stilted and uninteresting. Just because you can spout semi-clever catchphrases about socialism and Bach doesn’t mean I care about the character. That goes double for images of people sitting in cafes and smoking. Though that may be what French youth did during the 60’s it doesn’t make it an interesting subject in itself.

I would really like someone to explain to me why I should like this movie and why Paul Schrader included it in his article about the proposed film canon. Please. Help me understand. I feel like I have post-modernist leanings and that I should love Godard but I don’t. Help.

2 stars

masculin_feminin_1966.jpg

I reserve the right to revisit Masculin Feminin and write about it again if I choose.

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Responses

  1. I think you wimped out a bit on this post babe. Once demands a more thorough review at least. I can go with you on The Lookout, and even with Masculin Feminin since that one includes a request for help. But Once deserves a better write up with its four stars…

  2. Dude, I don’t know how I feel about the new layout template, but I love the fact that you put your own goddamn picture in the banner.

  3. I have no reason to be anonymous. Also, you hate change so of course you don’t like the new layout. (that being said this is only a trial run)

  4. You love yourself.

  5. The review failed to answer the essential question this film asks: Does watching Once make you gay?

  6. Watching Once makes you happy… so the answer is yes.

  7. But does it make you a bundle of sticks?

  8. Things Im a bundle of sticks for from Ireland…

    annnnnddddddd…..

  9. gordon-levitt is set to play cobr commander.

    also:
    mysterious skin=greg araki=BULL SHIT .

  10. that should read cobrA commander


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