Film Recap Series #1

By November 15, 2009November 28th, 2011No Comments
Reading time: 5 minutes

Gosh it’s hard to update a blog. I still design and watch films, but I just haven’t gotten around to post about it. One of my biggest roadblocks is after I watch a movie, it’s usually late at night and the thought of having to format a WordPress post just makes me tired. I just want to quickly get out my thoughts on the film and document my having seen it and hopefully start a conversation about it. A full post usually is a little too much because I generally don’t have THAT much to say on a film. I’m not a critic nor a reviewer, so that’s why it’s tough for me to keep the movie posts coming.

My solution: A series of film recaps covering a week to a month’s worth of film watching all at once. I have done this on the Harmony Korine boards and I’ll actually start by reviving some of my old posts. I’ll repost them here and we’ll see where it takes us.

Originally posted in 2006:

Phenomena – Dario Argento. The only Dario film I’ve seen is Phenomena and I thought it was awesome. The soundtrack was particularly interesting. At times it seemed so out of place and humorous. Like playing Iron Maiden’s “Flash of the Blade” in the middle of a slow mo dramatic dream sequence thing. It was incredible haha. And the rest of the soundtrack by Goblin is great too. I bought it after I watched it. Memorable stuff. I have Suspiria in my netflix queue. Coming up soon. I really like Dario’s style. It wasn’t particularly “scary” per say. But he did come up with some really memorable moments. Like the knife weilding chimp. And also Jennifer Connelly’s character was great too. I can’t wait to see more. Good to see some fans of his work.

Deep Red – Dario Argento: At first I couldn’t get it straight what language they wanted to speak in. It seemed none of the languages I selected matched up with the video. I finally settled on Italian with English subtitles and it was much better. Even though some people spoke English, it dubbed them over in italian. But the English was just too “cartoony” to listen to. I was so distracted by it lol. Anyway, I wasn’t particularly impressed with Deep Red. Phenomena was better – more my style. Deep Red was interesting and creepy at times. But all in all, it played out like a typical slasher-who-done-it flick. Maybe that’s the charm of it. But I would give it 3/5 stars.

Fast Food Nation: – Richard Linklater. Just saw this today, and I liked it for the most part. I generally like Linklater’s filmmaking style and his characters. And I was curious to see how he would pull off a dramatization of the non-fiction book, and he did a good job in my opinion. It was definitely bloody and disgusting in the slaughterhouse kind of way. There were a LOT of different characters in the film and at some points there was Linklater’s trademark dialogue where characters would debate and throw ideas back and forth. It was certainly powerful, at the end. I won’t spoil it, but they certainly made everyone in the audience walk out like a depressed piece of shit.

Wassup Rockers – Larry Clark. The only thing edgy about this film is the soundtrack being mostly really lo-fi, basement-style hardcore punk. I liked the main group of characters. I could relate to them more than his characters in other films. But for the documentary style aesthetic he had going, it certainly featured a lot of unbelievable scenes. Like when one of their homies gets arrested, he’s forgotten for the rest of the film. Or when the other gets shot, they are sad for a minute, but then it’s forgotten.

The Beverly Hills characters aren’t well developed or written at all. The hispanic kids just skate around and mind their own business for the most part, but you’ve got the played-up Beverly Hills characters that just want to fuck with them for no apparent reason. Like they have nothing better to do.When I look back on the film, I really liked the main characters. They felt like good friends. But I think the fact that they were “punks” was played up way too much.I mean, they were treated like total outcasts, when all they were doing was skating. They were wearing Spitfire and Emerica shirts – and how different from the mainstream is that? In my neighborhood, people wouldn’t even notice or care. Haven’t beverly hills folks seen a skater before?

So Clark’s attempt at making an accessible film worked for the most part. Anyone can watch this and they shouldn’t be shocked by any controversial content. But without the controversial content, Clark’s films are bland in my opinion. The romance scenes are cute and they are the best parts in the film. I’ll give him that. It’s like there was an honest and sincere connection between Kiko and that Beverly Hill’s chick. But then the bullies ran in and started beating the shit out of them. Then they escaped trouble yet again on skateboards to the tune of hardcore punk.

That reminds me. You know when you see a student film and they try to put in all their favorite songs regardless of how it fit with the film? Wassup Rockers kinda felt like that.

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