Games People Play
Reviewed by Arch for Funny Games at 2012-01-08 21:47:53
Does "Funny Games" meet the criteria for "nasty little flick"? Test 1: Half-way through, the viewer looks at watch and realises, "Another hour of this to go." Test 2: The viewer thinks, "I should be pondering the higher meaning of this, instead of concentrating on the action - is it one of those Clockwork Orange things?" So is "Funny Games" more of an American experience than a Central European experience? I don't think so. My guess is that many Americans would feel frustrated: "Why isn't someone kicking #!@%*#?" So what might these "Central European insights" be? Here are 11 obvious answers - you want more than 11? - write your own. #1: It's a metaphor for how the Nazis sneakily trapped Germany's Jews into a Holocaust of gradually escalating horror. #2: It's a metaphor for the trivial grievances and sickening violence of the Baader-Meinhof Gang (Gang? Who? Goto Uri Edel's brilliant semi-documentary, "The Baader Meinhof Complex"). #3: It's an exploration of "values-free" postmodernism (Foucault, etc) - what happens when "common human decency" is deemed to have no meaning? #4: "Pure logic" is by its nature treacherous. There is no such thing as pure logic anyway. #5: Once we've created the most over-privileged generation in history, and they have "everything going for them", where can they go next? #6: Inside each one of us lurks a smiling sadist and/or a cringing victim (inside every Doctor Jekyll a Mr Hyde). #7: It's a movie about movie-making, a sort of ghastly antithesis of Woody Allen's "Stardust Memories". #8: Movies are about manipulation, you fools! (the audience is trapped into a "gotcha" moment, only to have it reversed and replayed). You're "empathising with the characters"? Wrong answer! #9: The meaning of life is that life has no meaning - with the casual and passionless execution of victims. #10: Storytelling is about inserting a single non-realistic element into an otherwise meticulously realistic presentation. #11: Storytelling is really about dragging the (willing?) audience way past the "too long and drawn-out already" point. Phew! All this intellectual pontificating aside, "Funny Games" will be for some viewers an intensely involving experience, with classic horror mechanisms, snappy editing, and a nifty surprise ending. But you may come away with the feeling that Michael Haneke is altogether too talented for his own good.
From the opening moments of "Reservoir Dogs" you sense that you are watching a different kind of crime drama. The style and dialog of this picture bestows a level of intelligence upon it's characters that defies the reality of their chosen profession. Having said that,this movie is absolutely riveting in it's movements from the ordinary, to the grim, to the horrific aspects of a career criminal. Quintin Tarantino has written a tale of an almost corporate order to constructing a crime gang. The delight is in meeting these characters one by one. The particular crime is no more crucial to the film than a 7-11 stick-up. The crux of the movie is the portrayal of the rainbow of characters who find themselves involved in a life of crime. Much has been made of the violence in the movie, but it only serves to point out that all men are different......even the crooked. The director has included a number of very memorable scenes. This is not a linear film. The movie works more as a series of set pieces that weave together a story that is not as important as the individual parts that you have the pleasure of observing. This movie may take more than one viewing to truly appreciate
An Instant Classic
Reviewed by movieman444 for Pulp Fiction at 2010-01-14 13:07:51
Quentin Tarantino is a director that has changed how movies were made. Pulp Fiction is a movie that is one-of-a-kind in its time. The eccentric storytelling (using a non-linear storyline), the unbelievable acting by John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis and the ironic mix of humor and violence make this movie a classic. I recommend this movie to anyone!!
I don't necessarily think this movie was better or worse than Ang Lee's version--because the two are almost completely different animals. I actually liked Lee's 'Hulk'; Louis Letterier's 'The Incredible Hulk' is just bigger, louder, and thinner on the character development. (Oh, and the CGI in this one is amazing.) Both films are pretty good in their own ways, methinks.
Much better than the first Hulk movie (with Eric Bana); this re-do is at least headed in the right direction. But it falls short... a little too contrived and action-heavy (although with a Hulk movie, the action's obviously going to be heavy). Just not that good
One of the greatest films ever! Incredibly innovative in its sequencing, with the some of the best, albeit harsh, monologues (i.e. Samuel L. Jackson's bible quote scene) of any movie. One of those films you can't help but watch every time it is on.