Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Here are some brief reviews of films
In which V. sums up the movies she and M. saw over the past couple of weeks.

1. Batman Begins

Premise: Duh, it's Batman. From the beginning.

Review: I have seen this three times, and would gladly see it three more. I mean, duh, it's Batman. You can't go wrong with Batman. Well, actually I suppose you can, if you count the entire series of films from the 80s-90s. Except the one with the Riddler, I liked that one. But I am soooo digressing right now.

2. The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Premise: Emily Rose dies during an exorcism. What's up with that?

Review: See a few posts down. I recommend this one.

3. Cry Wolf

Premise: Some spoiled rich kids at prep school invent stories about a serial killer and email them to the whole school, and then the invented serial killer seemingly comes to life and starts picking them off one by one.

Review: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I should note, expectations of this were pretty low. On the plus side, it had Jon Bon Jovi in it. On the negative side, it was pretty much exactly like every other "kill the pretty teenagers" film ever made. Well, no, there was a twist. I'll give credit for the twist. And M. takes issue with the fact that films about American prep schools always have to have a British exchange student in them. But hey, he can tell you about that himself.

4. Flightplan

Premise: Jodie Foster loses child on transatlantic flight; air crew react as though she is a complete nutter.

Review: This was an okay film. But the plot was almost 100% ripped off from "Bunny Lake Is Missing," which is a superior and more creepy film. Flightplan wasn't creepy, it was just kind of mildly tense. Cos you KNOW the daughter has to be real and you KNOW Jodie Foster isn't a nutter, otherwise where's the plot? On the plus side: explosions! On the negative side: it gets pretty old watching Jodie Foster run around for two hours shouting WHERE'S MY DAUGHTER?!?! OMG HER DAD JUST DIED!!!!!11!

5. Red Eye

Premise: Attractive yet cruel man holds pretty girl hostage on an airplane in order to force her to go along with some convoluted assassination plot.

Review: Yeah, this was good. Kind of loses a bit of credibility once they get off the plane, but still, enjoyable. We were sitting in front of a woman who desperately tried to engage us in conversation before the film, and then during the film she would clap loudly whenever the attractive yet cruel bad guy got kicked in the nuts, etc. And she laughed loudly at things that weren't really THAT funny. Which kind of led me to wonder, WTF?

Oh wait, I'm supposed to be reviewing the film, not the nutter sitting behind us. The film: good. Not brilliant, but very good. Go watch it. Yeah.

6. War of the Worlds

Premise: Aliens vs Tom Cruise

Review: You know who wins. See also: explosions, mayhem, strife, irritating female child. Good entertainment, in that "blow shit up" huge blockbuster kind of way.

7. A History of Violence

Premise: Good upstanding small-town man kills in self-defense; things get out of control.

Review: I can't give away much of the plot of this without spoiling the film for you. I really liked this. It's serious and thought-provoking. The point of the film seems to be this: our society has been conditioned to accept that violence against "bad guys" is acceptable. More than acceptable, even... worthy of praise.

This film tries to show that violence is VIOLENCE, and it doesn't matter who the good guys or bad guys are... there are always consequences, and things aren't always so black and white.

By the end of the film you're left wondering: who ARE the good guys? Are there any good guys at all? You're shown some quite brutal and excessive violence - which yes, may seem a bit unrealistic and cartoonish, but I think that's exactly the point. I'm not saying this well, I'll attempt to sum up. Americans watch all these films in which we're encouraged to cheer when the bad guys get what's coming to them. But in this film, Cronenberg manages to make you feel absolutely sick about it. Some people in our audience DID laugh and cheer at the violence, and I found that repulsive. They're living examples of the point the film wants to make.

I'm not saying that we should never laugh or cheer when bad guys bite it in a film. Just that this particular film had a very good message about violence and our reactions to it. Where should we draw the line? And what is all of this doing to people and peoples' mindsets? Anyway. I said it was thought provoking, and these are some of the thoughts that it provokes. Moving on...

8. The Fog

Premise: Remake of outstanding John Carpenter film.

Review: No. Just... no.

Whoah, we saw eight films. I had no idea.