Friday, September 11, 2020

Hellraiser (1987)

In romance fiction, there is very little that could be considered conflict. Therefore, S&M is sometimes used as seasoning for an otherwise bland dish. Take out everything but the seasoning and you have Hellraiser.

This is one of those movies I watched in my college apartment before I realized the value of headphones. If you had passed my door late one night, you might have heard a mix of screams, rattling chains, and raspy moaning. A neighbor complained of me playing World of Warcraft. (A less lascivious assumption than could have been made.)

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Friday, August 28, 2020

Emma (2020)

The story of Jane Austen’s Emma (1815) is clearly targeted at people who spin at a lower RPM than fans of Quentin Tarantino, people who like to let inconsequential character quibbles sink in over a period of hours.

In this critic’s opinion, a film without real conflict is like a bowl of raisin bran without raisins. It’s just bran. In a way, it is refreshingly different from the norm; the film has merits. At the same time, the audience cannot be in an impatient mood when watching. Lots of ancient high-class literature, such as that of Charles Dickens, can be put into this category.

Need I contrast the bombastic explosivity of a Shakespeare play with a book of similar age? Different types of people have always lived on this planet, and with them different types of stories. Though the early 19th century was in many places an era of religious obsession and civil order, at the same time, Napoleon was tearing through much of the old world and there was plenty of spicy conflict elsewhere.

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Monday, August 24, 2020

Barbarella (1968)

Barbarella is an enchanting acid space opera and an icon of the 1960s. In the distant future when spacecraft are so advanced and so personal that they are almost literally powered by love, Jane Fonda saves the universe from Duran Duran’s doomsday machine.

The film was written as a lighthearted romp through space, a satire that never for one moment takes itself seriously. Though not emotionally impactful, watching the film gives a sense that the storytellers of the day were mildly optimistic about the future, with space liberation almost a certainty.

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)

Funky Forest: The First Contact is not an easy film to discuss. While some films are off-color, this film is slightly out of its mind. It is difficult to describe a plot that precisely summarizes any of it, let alone draw conclusions of what the film is “about”.

The charm of Funky Fores is that, in its live-action Japanese multi-director anthology form, there are a lot of things that are hard to fully comprehend. Yet, at the film’s core there is genuine emotion and character. It is something you feel more than understand, at times tasting with your mind rather than seeing with your eyes.

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Archive (2020)

Like many sci-fi flicks, Archive starts strong and ends poorly. It is not for lack of budget, but rather a lack of reason to care. Not to piss on Gavin Rothery’s feature directorial debut. The filmmaking is competent. The story is the problem.

If you are looking for relatable characters in a relatable story, you will not find that here. If you just want background noise in your living room, it’s not the worst thing you could put on. As this is an audiovisual experience, there are also shiny things to look at. Sufficient for the easily entertained.

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