Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Three Films Make A Post: Y9u never kn9w when y9ur number is up

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013): The second film in the trilogy continues what was pretty great about the first film and builds on it well and with style. Sure, we’re still in blockbuster land, so subtlety lives elsewhere, but we are in a district of that particular country where an audience is assumed to not be made up out of idiots that need to be talked down to, and where the astonishing amounts of money involved are actually put to good use. Which is quite the thing in an area of filmmaking where compromise and assumption of idiocy all too often are the name of the game.

And, you know, the film also goes to show that genre movies with female leads where the guys are getting the usual plot position of The Girl sell perfectly great to audiences if they are good, but then I assume that’s not going to be a surprise to anyone not working in big media.

Cold Eyes (2013): Like a magic trick, Jo Eui-seok’s and Kim Byeong-seo’s apolitical surveillance thriller and superior remake of Hong Kong movie Eye in the Sky doesn’t impress by anything you could analyse about it because it’s really not at all about depth but about the wonders lying on the surface of things. Like any good action film, it’s a film where bodies and movement express everything it has to say.

In this regard, Cold Eyes is practically flawless, with no detours to detract an audience from the film’s core, and really nothing to get in the way of film as a physical experience. It’s as much of a dance as a particularly great martial arts movie, and as with particularly great martial arts movies, criticizing its lack of depth means getting wrong what it’s actually about.

Alien Lockdown (2004): A bunch of doomed uniformed people scampers through the usual dark corridors fighting a monster that just happens to look a lot like a crap version of the one from Alien. Nothing of interest or of note happens but this might be more effective against troubles falling asleep than counting sheep, so there’s that to say for the film (if we have to call it one). Plus, it’s not horrible so much as painfully dull, though I’m not at all sure if that’s a positive or a negative.

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