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.
I loved the story in this movie. It was heart breaking when he finally got that soldier's casket to his hometown and met all of the people who knew him...wow. But everyone at every airport and stop along the way acting as if they all knew he was there to deliver a dead soldier ...??? That just isn't realistic.
Top 10 in Most Quotable Movies Ever Made
Reviewed by KHL for Zoolander at 2009-01-06 14:54:55
However, I've seen this movie about 2o times...but still!
Some will love it, some will hate it. This movie was lost in the 9-11 tragedy, having been released very shortly afterwards, and thus received very little press at the time. It's basically an extenuation of the short, and hilariously funny, bits that Ben Stiller did for the VH1 Fashion Awards in the late 90s...Derek Zoolander, male model, dimwit, and ultimate world-saver. Great "supporting" cast of Owen Wilson, Will Farrell, Christine Taylor (Stiller's real-life wife), and a surprising little cameo by the fashion man himself, David Bowie ("it's a walk-off!")
I would list the quotes, but unless you've seen the flick, they would sound utterly stupid, and you can see them by going online anywhere else. Only just..."Listen to your friend Billy Zane, he's a cool dude"...
Once upon a time there were Westerns. Then one day, along came Clint Eastwood. Then another one day in 1992, he made the film Unforgiven. That movie seemed to put the lid on the coffin of the whole Western movie genre.... Appaloosa seems to mosey into theaters as if nothing ever happened. It is a downright casual film starring Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen, playing two partners who make a living upholding the law in the small-town west.