Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rentals

by Brian
Been watching a few more DVDs than usual lately.

M: I keep telling myself that I’m going to start up a Netflix account one of these days, and when I do, the Fritz Lang titles will flow like a rushing river. I loved M, and I loved Metropolis when I was lucky enough to catch in during a theatrical reissue a few years ago. Originally released in 1931, it plays like it was made a good 20 years later. It’s well beyond any American movie I’ve seen from the same time period, whether in terms of direction, acting, sound … you name it. And all praise and glory be to the Criterion Collection for their wonderful DVD.

Blue Velvet: Obviously compelling, but I can completely understand why Ebert hated it. I don’t feel as strongly as he does (did?) about it, but I think it’s a little bit too cartoonish to be taken seriously and a little too serious to be taken cartoonishly, and Lynch wasn’t really able to get those ends to meet.

Amores perros: I basically feel the same way about this as I do 21 Grams and Babel: impressed but not enamored. All told, it worked better than those two, but there’s something frustrating about González Iñárritu that I can’t quite put my finger on. His characters always feel just the slightest bit prop-like, and it’s hard to feel too engaged with what happens to them.

The Devil’s Backbone: Pretty fantastic, but in a surprisingly low-key kind of way. I seem to recall it being marketed as a horror movie, and the current DVD cover makes it look like a Rob Zombie movie. Much like the very awesome Pan’s Labyrinth, however, director Guillermo del Toro regards his heroes very warmly, and finds apprehension and dread in the outside world around them, while eschewing horror movie conventions. I’d retroactively add it to the list of 2001’s best, if I had such a list in the first place.

3-Iron: Kim Ki-Duk films will also be forthcoming when I open the fabled Netflix account. I enjoyed his Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring a few years back, but missed 3-Iron during its theatrical run in 2005. Based on a recommendation from Nick, I picked it up in the video store, and loved it so much that I didn’t even mind that a key image from the movie was spoiled on the DVD cover (and theatrical poster). Thanks, Nick.

8 Comments:

Blogger Nick said...

Thanks, Nick.

Yes, yes, I rule.

1/16/2007 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

I thought I recommended 3 Iron?
I went to look it up on the old forums and they're gone. I suspect Nick was doing the same thing...

1/16/2007 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Sorry if I unfairly excluded you, Count. I was recalling an old conservation between Nick and I about his top 10 list for last year.

1/16/2007 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

I went to look it up on the old forums and they're gone. I suspect Nick was doing the same thing...

Yeup. Imagine my surprise when it wasn't there anymore.

I was recalling an old conservation between Nick and I about his top 10 list for last year.

This conversation? (from 2005 Best and Worst, page 3)

Still, I stand by my opinions. Caché, 3-Iron and The Descent are all masterpieces. Caché and 3-Iron especially so. I think all three of them will go on to become highly regarded in the future.

Well, two out of three ain't bad, as far as recommendations go.

1/16/2007 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

That might have been the one, not sure. Seems like it was something in one of our private conversations. Did you also write something about it being a "movie movie", or something like that?

1/16/2007 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Yeah! I remember mentioning that. I said something like it was a a real movie movie, first I had seen in a long time.

That film was amazing. Shame I've only seen it once, but I'm sort of afraid it won't be as good if I see it again.

Eff. I wish Wells could have given some kind of heads up.

1/16/2007 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger Count Olaf said...

maybe i mentioned it in my mind....yeah, that's the ticket!

1/16/2007 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger jaydro said...

Blue Velvet was the David Lynch film that really made me a fan of his. Eraserhead was too much for me, I thought Dune was awful, and I had to delay seeing Blue Velvet for a long time in the '80's because I was afraid of what images from it might stick with me. But once I finally saw it, I was hooked on Lynch. Sometimes the most outrageous things Lynch does are upon reflection the most real things about his films--things we take seriously in films are often highly artificial, but we accept the artifice.

True confession: I was born in Lumberton, which is very unlike the Lumberton of Blue Velvet, since it has no lumber industry (it's just on the Lumber river). Supposedly Lynch just liked the sound of the name and used it. The film was actually shot in Wilmington, NC, which I visit about three times a year, and every time I pass by that foreboding apartment building, marveling that people actually live there. It still looks pretty seedy, despite surrounding efforts at gentrification.

2/08/2007 11:26:00 PM  

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