Monday, April 5, 2010

little bunny foo foo hoppin through the forest...


it's easter monday and i am one of the lucky few that have the day off. my day will be packed with all of the things i don't have time to do during a normal week. yeaaaay me!

i did something i haven't done in a long long time yesterday and that was sit in bed and watch movies. it was mostly great because i finally got around to watching a few thing that have been staring at me for a while now.


i've loved robert siodmark's "killers" for a good long time now and it's the kind of film i keep watching over and over. the acting is top shelf, the costumes are amazing, the music, sets, everything are just so well put together that you can't help but be a little awe struck from time to time. the killers is 1940s hollywood film making at it's finest.

the killers is a film noir about a couple of hired guns that shoot a nobody in the middle of nowhere. enter insurance agent reardon to figure out whodunnit. classic. who knew that insurance agents had that kind of power though? this guy is running around shooting at people imagine the deductible that company would have to charge. 

a friend of mine told me about pusher right after the remake of casino royale came out. mads mikkelsen played the villain and it was a surprise to some because he was best known for his performances in the danish crime series pusher. the pusher trilogy has been sitting on my shelf now for a couple of years and i finally cracked it open. it's a crime story like any other. it's got a little trainspotting, layer cake and reservoir dogs all mixed into one. the main character just can't win for trying and it's mostly his own fault for how he treats the people around him.

pusher is cheaply made and it shows. i wasn't paying complete attention to it but it seemed like the whole thing was shot hand held which was about as gritty as you got in 96. now everything is shot hand held and it looks boring. pusher is worth taking a look at if you like crime films though.

moon was fantastic but what else would you expect from david bowie's son? i mean come on. it's eclectic and strange and has a retro mise en scene (wow, i never thought i'd use that term outside of a critical analysis paper) that tries to marry 2001 with waking life and fight club (all from the context of questioning one's own existance). i might be in the minority but i think it worked beautifully.

moon sees sam rockwell as a lonely miner on the moon harvesting H3 (helium 3) which is the new source of clean power that runs 70% of the world. he's on a three year contract and his only company is "gerty", an all purpose robot/companion/thing (think HAL) who prepares meals and fixes up and bumps or scrapes sam might have. it's lonely and maddening and you can see where this is going already. the twist is pulled off well because we're not immediately sure if what's happening is in sam's mind or not.

it's another great film. the moon has it's own stark and terrible personality as do the mining drones that comb it's surface. everything looks like you would expect a single outpost in the middle of nowhere to look. things are kind of dirty and run down but everything works just fine. they put a lot of work into the look and feel of this film and it shows. if you haven't seen it i think you should. it's a sad one though.

i don't really need to spend any time on ichi because i haven't finished it and i probably won't. it looks like a very pretty student film. it feels like a student film and only the acting makes me think that it isn't a student film.

long story short, ichi is a re-telling/re-imagining of the original story "zatoichi monogatari" or "the tale of zatoichi". this new version turns ichi into a blind traveling shamisen player (kind of like a three stringed guitar) looking for her...father...master...uncle? they don't really say but it's hinted that she's looking for the ichi from the original series.

i couldn't get through the whole thing because it just doesn't feel right. there's something really off about it and i think it's the fact that it's playing off the borrowed nostalgia of the original that bothers me. i'm all for retelling a story and updating it or just keeping the story alive like takeshi kitano did for zatoichi in 2003 but this new ichi just wasn't done nearly as well as kitano's. meh, no point stewing on it.

if you're looking for a few good things to watch when you have some free time i would highly recommend that you check out pusher and the killers if you're into crime films and moon if you're looking for something a little deeper.

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