|i'm not working 'till friday evening; the cold weather, wind and snow have taken over; and the roommate's going away tomorrow for five straight days.
let the games begin!
welcome to the start of Sam's official Three Days Off Movie Marathon.
tuesday's pick: Flower & Garnet
keith behrman, 2002
this canadian film made the film festival rounds back in 2002 and snatched up some really good reviews.
it tells the story of a father unwillingly having to deal with his kids' lives. this is a quiet film set in a small canadian town (but it's most probably the same kind of tone in any u.s. town). the mother died while giving birth to garnet, the little boy, and his older sister, flower, has had to help her father take care of him since she was six. the film is about kids and how fragile life is.
i was expecting to be moved. but i was not. this is a slow film and nothing much happens. i'm not saying it's boring but i was kinda glad to see it end when it did. the actors all do a very fine job, but nothing astonishing or extraordinary. the film is down-to-earth, dark, and normal. this is not a tv movie version of life. it comes pretty close to expressing the silence of everyday life, especially in a smalltown setting.
i recognized callum keith rennie from last night, and he once again does a great job. he might be the new bruce greenwood around here. oh my god!! he was dodd in memento!!!
jane mcgregor looks eerily like a young cate blanchett and colin roberts, who plays garnet, shows a great natural talent here; you don't see him act (this is where the sound mix comes bumbling through, though -- there's some painfully obvious, badly mixed adr work showing through the film).
actually, there's no outstanding performance in this whole film as no one's showboating. it's a natural, quiet film and the acting reflects that perfectly. it's the kind of performances where you rarely question the actors' decisions.
at a certain point it looks like it's about kids and guns and i had to hold back a groan because there's nothing more you can add to that subject; but the film picks it up towards the end.
i'm glad i saw the film if for no other reason than to see what fellow canadians have to say and to know what i would have missed if i had not seen it.
wednesday's pick: Freddy vs. Jason
ronny yu, 2003
i'm not a fan anymore now that i've outgrown my adolescence but i've been curious about this film (not curious enough to actually go out and catch this in a movie theater, mind you. no, i've been interested since the reviews for it didn't seem to drown the damn thing like every single friday the 13th movie has done this past decade).
well, well, well. this one paid off. for those of you who, like me, once watched these kinds of films (back in the day, fangoria and all) and kept being wholly disappointed by all the sorry, lame-ass "movies" that came out in the last decade, this one might be for you. the two franchises dropped the scary, creepy part of horror and the stories became lame attempts at humor rather quickly, but this film has more to it. i'm kinda embarrassed to say it but i did end up renting jason x last summer; mostly because there was nothing to rent (nothing) and the spiffy new line platinum series. but it was a total bore.
but this film... it's smarter than the previous entries in both series, mostly because the writers had to come up with something for this one; the fans were not gonna let this one just slide by. so, the story is pretty nifty. it goes back and forth between freddy and jason until the final (dare i say -- surprisingly vicious; i think i'm more of a voorhees fan now) confrontation everyone's been waiting for. i haven't been a horror buff for a while now, so i'm not some fanboy praising the holy matchup between two gods of horror/gore here. i really enjoyed this film based on the fun i had watching it. of course it's not a thrill ride every inch of the way but it is far more elaborate and fun than what we've been used to.
if you were curious but we're a bit reluctant about renting it, don't be; this film is probably for you.
but if you were never a fan, don't bother, it won't change your idea of horror films.
American Wedding (Unrated)
jesse dylan, 2003
well, who woulda thought? american wedding is, surprisingly to me, the least fun one of the bunch. i really thought they got funnier and funnier as they went along but it looks like getting the guy who directed how high to direct this film wasn't such a great idea after all.
still a funny film, though. lots of really 'lmao' moments thrown around.
you know it's funny when you catch yourself laughing alone and you don't even care :)
i don't know why or how but it seemed a bit off compared to the previous two films; the first two had some real moments, they had heart. as a whole it definitely lacked much of the heart the series was built on (despite what the anti-poopoo jokes people might wanna tell you).
ps. i kinda wanna say stiffler saves this film but it wouldn't be entirely true. although when you think about it the focus does shift to stiffler a lot more than on anyone else, the script still manages to get you involved enough in jim (and the whole gang)'s tale (what about michelle? forget about her. she's close to being an extra in this film) to not notice the shift (or let it slide; plus, seann william scott works too damn hard at being stiffler to make you regret the slight sidesteps they take).
pps. i saw the unrated version and the director tells us at the start of the film that more nudity was put in the film. honestly, if you're gonna put beach ball titties in your films, you can add as much footage as you want but i don't know how much more exciting it will get. i mean, is it just me or are they just needlessly putting fake titties on-screen? why? i mean i would understand if they were real titties, but fake ones? me not care, thank you. anyone does?
L'emploi du temps
laurent cantet, 2001
this is, by far, the best film of the whole marathon :)
i'm impressed. and what's more amazing is that it's not about much but laurent cantet gets us into the story so quickly, and he manages this feat also by consciously witholding most of the information about his lead character.
aurelien recoing does a remarkable job giving life to vincent, our main character; he has a quiet, blissful air about him that disarms you.
i can't say much of anything about the film because it's so well-constructed so that you know very little (you don't know much even after the first thirty minutes) but the film reveals itself little by little.
this is a charming, fascinating, and ultimately heartbreaking little film.
ps. please note the incredibly natural performances of cantet's two children, felix and marie, playing vincent's children.
i just checked the imdb and laurent cantet apparently has a tendency to cast his two kids as felix and marie in more than one film :)
Posted by Sam | 5:32 PM