The Dark Knight Rises: 2/4 stars. Nolan’s unique ability to make a relatively simple plot hard to follow nearly ruins this film. I am still trying to decide if I either didn’t like the ending or if I hated it so much I’m never seeing another Nolan movie. Bane is a terribly dull villain. Much of it actually felt like a rehash of Batman Begins and several formulas were repeated from the first two installments. A few scenes were quite thrilling, however, saving the film from being totally unwatchable.
What a great birthday spent at the cinema—three 5/5 films!
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Benh ZeitlinMOONRISE KINGDOM Wes AndersonAI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY Alison Klayman
Battle Royale (Dir. Kinji Fukasaku, 2000)
A lot more intelligent than I expected. There were times when it seemed like they could have started with like 20 or 25 kids rather than the 40 or so that they did start with. A lot of the characters just came and went so fast that ti felt a little like filler. Once the field was reduced a little, the film gained resonance. Sorta like March Madness.
Man, what a day, HoL! Glad to hear it, man!
Would you recommend BR? Did you see The Hunger Games? Do the two films make for an interesting comparison (as DiB suggested)?
Sullivan’s Travels – 7/10
My first Preston Sturges, liked it a lot. Apparently, so do the Coens.
@Jazz – Haven’t seen The Hunger Games. Up until now I haven’t been very interested in seeing it either, but it’s at my second run theatre right now, so maybe if I get a chance I’ll try it out. But, yeah, I’d recommend Battle Royale. It has a well-earned reputation for bloodlust, but I think it works pretty well as a sort of hyped-up version of high school.
I haven’t seen The Hunger Games but I would think the 2 movies despite being similar premise-wise are very different.
You hear The CW (of all channels) is going to be doing a Battle Royale TV Series?
Hunger Games and Battle Royale don’t make for a very interesting comparison; Battle Royale is pretty obviously a better film in almost every respect.
I found both films to be pretty mediocre, but Battle Royale the novel is better than The Hunger Games, for what it is—and it’s very pulpy. The second Hunger Games book is quite good, for a YA title—lots of great political discussions to have with your YAs.
Haven’t read the novel of Battle Royale, don’t really have any desire too, but I have read the hunger games books. They were all pretty shit and whatever mildly interesting political themes popped up in the first book became blurred and eventually tiresome for the sake of stretching the narrative out for the other two books.
Totally agree on your last point. I read them to see if they were appropriate for my 9-year-old daughter.
And you’re not missing anything by passing up Battle Royale, the book or the film.
I liked the film :((
Well, you’re not alone, since it’s a cult favorite. After reading the book, which is a fun page-turner, if not very deep, the film fell flat for me. Maybe I should have done it the other way around.
Nobody really acknowledges how shitty the opening shots of Battle Royale are (the little girl covered in blood). Everything else I loved.
Shallow Grave – 10 / 10 (an underrated British classic.)
I tried to watch ‘High Fidelity’ but found it fairly nauseating, so I turned it off.
Bellflower (Dir. Evan Glodell, 2011)
I’m not sure what’s worse, the fantasy of it all or the fact that the film tacitly approves of it. Setting aside what I would consider serious moral issues, the movie was just painful to watch. Couldn’t someone have loaned them a tripod and a light kit? The colors were so saturated and blown out that I wanted to puke. Probably among the worst movies I’ve seen this year.
Bellissima (Dir. Luchino Visconti, 1951)
Anna Magnani is a force of nature. It’s a solid movie from start to finish, that, even though it’s situated in a neo-realist mode, points towards Visconti’s rococo films. But it really is all about Magnani, who owns every scene she’s in…and she’s in every scene.
Enter the Void (Dir. Gaspar Noe, 2009)
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve felt this conflicted about a movie. The experience had me at various points bored, elated, angry, mesmerized, disgusted, and perplexed. The first 30-40 minutes were rough sledding, with the direct POV stuff, but once the movie really took on its Tibetan Book of the Dead mode, it got pretty interesting.
But at nearly three hours, the technique started to feel like an incredible gimmick stretched way too far. I marveled at his use of space and was glued to the section where we float above Tokyo for five or six minutes. But then had to go and put in a vagina cam near the end. I get it – life, birth, death – but I really have no interest in watching a a penis penetrate and ejaculate from the inside of a vagina.
I guess in this case I’m happy to take the good with the bad. Whatever else Enter the Void might be, it was one of the most unique movie experiences I’ve ever had.
NATHAN: I like how Bellisima is also Visconti’s middle finger to the industry too ;-)
The Dark Knight Rises – 4 out of 5 (MUBI and Netflix rating)
@Joks – Yeah, and it got me wondering about how they picked the little girl who got the role in Bellisimia.
Nathan, how did you see BELLISSIMA? Is it on DVD?
I feel this film is spot on about a good portion of youth these days, they are either violent man children or depressed feel nothings, and the only way people get together is by sheer force of one’s personality. I really like Abe’s speech and the dream sequence where he tries to return his fiancee the same he would one of his toy collection. Todd Solonz should have made The 40 Year-Old Virgin. I also love (SPOILERS) how bad things befall Abe once he settles for adulthood and domesticity. But too many dream sequences and poor pacing really harm the film.
@Roscoe – Yep, it is. I actually didn’t know this until I spotted it at my video store the other day. Looks like Entertainment One has some neo-realist movies. They also put out Shoeshine and La Terra Trema.
@Nathan — thanks! I’ll have to check that out. I saw the first few minutes of BELLISSIMA on TV some years back, back in those days when there was something called PBS that used to run actual movies…
Roscoe, Eureka released a great dvd with features and a booklet years ago.
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Monkey shines by the Peoples and Gilliam from a Chris Marker short film
6/10 Bruce Wills a dragLink
Joks — thanks. Funny how these things get missed!
I’ve had that Belissima DVD for so long and have yet to watch it. I need to make it a goal to watch this weekend.
A few American avant-garde short films.
Some rated: 4 out of 5 stars
Some rated: 5 out of 5 stars
And one rated: 3 out of 5 stars
I love american avant garde.
Sorry about that. I’ll give you the titles.
THE RIDDLE OF LUMEN (Stan Brakhage, 1972)
THE END (Christopher Maclaine, 1953)
(nostalgia) (Hollis Frampton, 1971)
PEYOTE QUEEN (Storm De Hirsch, 1965)
7362 (Pat O’Neill, 1967)
FAKE FRUIT FACTORY (Chick Strand, 1986)
CHUMLUM (Ron Rice, 1964)
Yes, I love American Avant-Garde cinema, too. Currently working on both Brakhage and Frampton these days. :)