Monday, February 25, 2008

Realization

while reading The X-Axis: If I have the choice between something with "a real plot" and something with "an attitude", I choose the attitude.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mad Detective (2007)

Man, I love Johnnie To's movies. This one is no exception. But couldn't somebody have warned me about the (incredibly logical and keeping true to the themes of the film) downer ending to end all downer endings?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

H.P Lovecraft: Ipotesi Di Un Viaggio In Italia

I'm temperamentally inclined to like the idea and fact of fake documentaries more than most people. It always seems to me like one of the better ways to solve one of the main problems in independent or sub-independent film making - the lack of money. Plus the format itself just works for some people (like me) especially well.
This small Italian member of the species follows a fictive journey of HPL in 1926 through the Po delta, obviously, as the film suggests, the source of the main concepts of the Cthulhu Mythos. The film underplays its cards a little. Suggestions of the supernatural are probably a little too ambiguous to interest anyone who is not a Lovecraft fanatic whose kinks contain filling the fringes of the life of real people with the unreal for the film. But I am one of those fans and so can recommend it warmly.

You can watch it in three parts on YouTube:
Part One  Part 2  Part 3

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Last Winter (2006)

Look Ma, it's the end of the world again! This time brought on by Global Warming, which leads to melting permafrost and the release of supernatural forces punishing humanity for its hubris.
The Last Winter could very easily have become preachy and trite, but director Larry Fessenden goes -to my delight- for a subtle, low key and personal approach to his themes. Until the very end most of the things we see can be explained through simple human fallibility and stupidity. Only when the characters have no other choice than to accept the truth, do we as viewers have to do the same. Which is quite elegant.
The only problematic moment is some very bad CGI work very late in the movie.

30 Days of Night (2007)

Very tight, mean and fast adaptation of the small-scale apocalyptic "Vampires in Alaska" comic by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith.
It has the dubious honor of being one of those films that very much get to me. I'm at the same time quite enthusiastic about it and feeling as if someone had taken a sledgehammer to my head.
Yeah, this is a warm recommendation.









Friday, February 1, 2008

Mean Streets (1973)

Usually, I'm not running around blogging my Martin Scorsese love, mostly because there's not much that hasn't been said about his work already, but I still love this fucking movie so much.
And it contains all the proof I'll ever need that hyperstylized cinema feels much more truthful and real than naturalistic/realistic cinema could ever hope for.

The Monster that Challenged the World (1957)

Fifties monster movies, I theoretically love you...but sometimes, you're just not bad enough (or good enough) to deserve my love.

The Good:
This is a movie about Giant Bloodsucking Atomic Snails who -to my surprise- don't even look too shabby on screen, but (and this leads directly to)

The Bad:
there's way too little to see of them or their nefarious world challenging acts of sucking half a dozen Americans dry. Instead, we're treated to long, tedious and earnest hours of long, tedious and earnest search for the monsters' lair, a tedious and earnest love story I don't want to think about too long and some choice bits of unfunny humor.

TmtCtW's problem is a bad case of mediocrity: There is not enough sense of style, drama and creepiness to make it as classic as Them, but also not enough ineptness to lead to the idiotic bliss of something like The Giant Claw. It just kind of sits there and looks at you earnestly, promising Giant Bloodsucking Atomic Snails!