Review of The Fighter

2010/12/12

The Good:

It is not very often when a boxer movie tries to be both Raging Bull and The Rocky that comes close to succeed. David Russell did so with The Fighter. Christian Bale came close to his memorable performance in the Machinist with a much fuller and more colorful character in his supporting role that feel at times more as a lead role. Mark Wahlberg is no second class either.  The references to Boston is hilarious.

Fight ring footage-like scenes were appropriate and only add to the rousing story. There have been too much of this and other “reality” “amateur” filming lately in many films which only make one wonders why bother to leave YouTube for a more relevant subject, than devoting 2 hours in a theater.

The Bad:

Am I asking too much from an american movie to be at least mindful about life authenticity in its ending.  My first reaction after the screening a couple of weeks ago to another movie buff was: it is no Bicycle Thief.  Fortunately, Dicky’s redemption  is not a boxing title.

 

This will do very well in box office. And you should go watch it.


Review of Blue Valentine

2010/12/12

The good:

Engaging performances, good flow of story line with time shifting back and forth. The very effort of such a slow paced close-up on a way too common depressive social and cultural phenomenon of divorce deserves applause.

 

The bad:

It is not enough to just have an  ending without resolution and without glimpse of happiness. It has to be compelling. Sure you’ve taken the risk of all escapist movie goers not liking it by being authentic to life itself and by showing through your cool and compassionate lenses – a good and brave effort. Also annoying is the long love making scene in the diner, a justified scene of the confused minds and hearts and desires by the two; but too drown out.


Movie review – The Messenger

2009/11/23

The Good

* The lessons are all cliches, but true. It’s great to be able to deliver the rather conventional meanings through the drama of a movie
* The director was able to pull it off due to the great acting by Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Steve Buscemi
* Along with Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker”, this Moverman’s directorial debut is much needed for the thinking and reflective public (small as it is, certainly noticeable in New York City)

The Bad

Several key scenes that had my hope build-up but failed to delivery

* The kitchen scene with Olivia
* The post fist fight, drunken road trip, singing Home on the Range
* The “morning after” scene in the woods after the Wedding party crusher
* The “coming out” scene on the coach watching Tornado on TV with Will’s War story told to Tony. Though the scene was saved by Tony’s cry with a good camera angle and Will’s controlled respect. Kind of late in the story to bond for friendship sake, don’t you think? The shock of the horror of the war, and irony of being a decorated hero…  Didn’t we just have half dozen episodes of those?

The Ugly

* A warm ending with hope in Oklahoma?
* As controlled as the movie tries, too much were going on which strangely make one feels not enough is there.  It’s so understandable that you want to do so much with your first feature film; or the marketing company got the final say, etc. etc. But a steady hand in the editor and/or director could turn these materials into a better film.

25 All Time Favorite Movies

2009/11/23

  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989)
  • Annie Hall (1977)
  • As Good as It Gets (1997)
  • The Big Lebowski (1998)
  • Born Into Brothels (2004)
  • Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
  • City of God (2002)Cidade de Deus
  • The City of Lost Children (1995) La cité des enfants perdus
  • The Crying Game: Collector’s Edition (1992)
  • Delicatessen (1991)
  • The Doors (1991)
  • Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)
  • The Fifth Element (1997)
  • Forrest Gump (1994)
  • Gandhi (1982)
  • Heavy Metal (1981)
  • Indie Sex (2-Disc Series) (2007)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • The Lives of Others (2007) Das Leben der Anderen
  • Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • Spirited Away (2001) Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi
  • Talk to Her (2002)Hable Con Ella
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being: SE (1988)