So Jesus and Satan walk into a bar... stop me if you've heard this one before. ;-) As other reviews have mentioned, the blurry camera affectation during the transitional scenes is more distracting than helpful. I get why it was used: to convey some sense of the unsettled, confusing, and jarring new millennium. Martin Donovan seems too nice as the Lord and Savior. Thomas Jay Ryan nails it as the Prince of Darkness.
Interesting use of early digital producing a sort of hazy rain-smeared windshield effect at times. Great performances all around. Dead-pan if somewhat sophomoric humor. Just long enough that it allows us to spend some time with the characters without overstaying its visit. Worth a watch.
The Book of Life takes a unique premise of setting a conflict of biblical proportions to then modern day New York. The film falls short of reaching the lofty philosophical reaches it wishes to obtain. The dialogue is clunky and does not translate well to the actors who do their best to make it feel fresh. The distortion of the camera is the nail in the coffin, the haziness of this adds nothing only exists to distract
A unique attempt at something different which can be appreciated. The early-2000s camcorder footage was an interesting idea, however with the countless dutch tilts the camerawork became a little too disorienting. The plot is nothing new, but doesn't feel too overdone because of the unique style. Overall worth the watch, but don't expect to be thinking about this film too much after watching it.
Childlike innocence is not a viable alternative to despair. ... walk to the place where the plane landed in Hudson . Meet a giant bunny who says: 83 years 15 days 6 hours 42 minutes 12 seconds. An airplane engine is hurtling through space and time towards your bedroom. Laugh so loud it makes people wonder what's so funny. Check in under Mr. and Mrs. D. W. Griffith. Trash the hotel. Let's get drunk on the minibar.
This movie was difficult to watch. With the story together with the experimental camera and sound effects, while it created an uncertain atmosphere through the film, it became cloudy and confusing. The sound effects playing along with the vocals made the music shop scene in particular very jarring. It was difficult to find the purpose of many scenes and characters through the entirety of the film. Wouldn't recommend.
The movie had its moments of poignant reflection, but serving somewhat as a relic piece of the anxieties leading up to Y2K. So while it appealed to my nostalgia in evoking those memories, and offered some meaningful speculation of human relationship to their world and the divine, in general,one can't help but feel that it's stuck in its time.
Hal Hartley was, perhaps, the director that better understood the idea behind the "2000 seen by..." series. This film is deeply avantgarde, furiously clever on its storytelling, resourceful in the best of the ways, and brings to the table some "all american" poetics one could hardly imagine. The cast is perfect, but Thomas Jay Ryan as Satan is just a work of art by itself. A remarkable film.
The early digital gives this film an eerie atmosphere, filled with blurry and dreamy landscapes, intertwined with great acting and a very plausible plot, which makes an incredible dense and joyful film. Who can say, if Christ came back tro Earth, that he would'nt fall in love with us once again instead do juding humanity for its mistakes? P.S.: The Devil's 'stand-up mic' confessions are just amazing.