The Straight Story

Not sure how to write reviews on Mulholland Drive and Lost Highway, I decided instead I would watch Straight Story, one of Lynch's simpler films, much like The Elephant Man it is based on a true story. So it's always a little hard to know where the truth ends and the fiction begins, but I'll try and write a nice review for what I felt was a great film.

I'm not sure if spoilers are possible for such a film, but there may be spoilers herein.

Well to start with none of the actors were too familiar to me, never hearing of Richard Farnsworth, I had only ever heard of Sissy Spacek for playing Carrie, and Harry Dean Stanton, whom I had somehow remembered from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas; playing the very small part of a judge :P ... But now that I remember I also saw Everett McGill who is older than mum :O ( no offence intended by this remark, I just thought him to be about 20 years younger :P then again, 1990 was 15 years ago :D )he never looked that old in Twin Peaks, so when I saw him in this I was surprised at how old he looked.

Anyway, on with the film. First off such a story sounded a little strange when put next to David Lynch, especially alongside Disney :o But then he did also direct Elephant Man, although that did have an almost surreal subject :/

For a short summary on the story, it is based around one Alvin Straight (Farnsworth); whose health is slowly deteriorating finds that the brother, Lyle (Stanton) whom he has not spoken to in 10 years has had a rather bad stroke. Beginning to go both blind and lame, and without a drivers license he decides that he will drive to his brother who lives in Wisconsin from Iowa on a lawn mower.

So the thing I ask myself is how will this be noticeable as Lynch's film and not some run of the mill film.. well it can :P For starters the Straight Story shows oddball characters in a small town(s). Most noticeable of these was the woman that ran over deer, that bit was so weird it made me laugh ^^ there were the strange almost random conversations, the misconception of a party between Rosie (Spacek) which made me laugh, I feel weird saying it was cute, but I do not really know how else to explain my liking of that scene.

Ok before I just start spouting more 'bits' that I liked in the film, I should explain why it was in fact good. It wasn't fast-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-action, I mention this all the time with such films, but it did not rely on sex or violence to sell the story, so maybe it didn’t do too good in the box office for this reason, but not everyone is attracted by violence and sex, some people are looking for a story, which this film has.
A very down to earth story, which I took personally as a story on the dangers of the loss of communication between siblings. As said in the film;

“There's no one knows your life better than a brother that's near your age. He knows who you are and what you are better than anyone on earth”

A awful truth when siblings tear away from each other for frivolous reasons, being a twin myself, and not apparently being very close to my ‘other half’ I realise this dangers, and I always like it when I feel that it some distant way, I can connect myself with a film. I remember also doing this with Philadelphia, thinking, wow when I die no one is going to care :P it was awful.

Some aspects that I can name for not liking were mainly the volume of Lynch's films.

The Straight Story, although very different in context to Lynch’s other films, proved just as good. Leading me to give it;

Cptalbertwesker rating 8/10*

*I say it is a great film, and it was. Although I tend not to rate over 8 for a film unless it changed my life or something ^^


Vanilla Sky

Well last night I randomly watched Vanilla Sky as it was just lying around on my computer... *cough* desk doing nothing heh... :P
And um... on with the reviewness... Spoileroonies may be present..

Well to start, I wasn't going to watch Vanilla Sky, but the subtitles on my computer were not working so The Seventh Seal was out of the question :/ unless I had suddenly learnt Swedish... Which I don't believe I have...

Anyway so I popped it on, and it was an ok film, it really reinforced the fact that Cameron Diaz could soo play Maria if they ever made a film adaptation of Silent Hill 2, she had this crazy aspect about her in the film, which I believe she could pull off, the weirdo seductive pyschosis of the Mary/Maria subject.
Anyway.. Um the film, yeah.. about half way through watching it I looked it up on imdb, like ya do. Pleasantly surprised to find that it was, yes, ANOTHER REMAKE!!! of a film not made 10+ years ago but 4 YEARS AGO, 4!!

I'm not real sure why I um... got it now, maybe I wanted to point at Tom Cruise and say "Ha! Your almost as short as me!" hehe thats real funny ^^

Anyway, I'm not too sure how to write a 'review' on this, pretty much because I haven't seen Abre los Ojos the film that it remade... is that a word :/ Anyway so I'll try my best...
Tom Cruise's acting can sometimes be a little over the top, either that or the roles I've seen him in he always plays an over the top character :P which now that I think about it, that sounds about right :P But then I guess he tries to play over the top characters so you forget about his height ^^.

I remember a few points in the film that made me laugh, there was a few random bits put in too, those were funny ^^ and I thought the bit at the start was ok, until David (Cruise) got out of the car and began running, that spoiled it for me, don't ask me why, I'm weird like that.

I thought it was... not cute, but not funny, can't think of the word. When Kurt Russel's character Dr McCabe realised that he wasn't real :P

So the story was a little weird, but very easy to understand. I suppose its like Donnie Darko in a way, because I'm sure some people would believe it is a masterpiece at confusion :/ not really. It's dealing with the sub-conscious and confusing the protagonist David into believing that some certain memories actually happened. It's not rocket-science figuring the story out, they may have dumbed it down for a Hollywood remake though, but I wouldn't know as I said before, I need to watch the original to give a constructive criticism.

Anyway, nice story, I woulda liked to see what their interpretation of the future is, but they left it open-ended like in Notorious, which gave it a nice touch...
... So what else did I like? I liked the car-crash, I may sound a little morbid but I love to see car-crashes in films/television programmes, I'm not like "Oh yeah!! Smash up a car woo!!" but more of I like sudden car-crashes, when they're more of "Whoa didn't see that coming", although I probably do see it coming :P I mean the crash in Vanilla Sky was inevitable, it was going to happen, but a crash of such stature... is that the correct word? It's not like in an action film where the protagonist then jumps out the car and goes on to fight evil. After the crash it was silent, I could see a person running to the scene in the background, not a crowd of people. I do not know if any of that paragraph made sense, but I think its best I start another one.

Well as for the 'twist' at the end, I wouldn't really call it a twist, because I kinda saw it coming, not the fact that he was dead, I didn't see that, but the fact that is was all sort of a dream :P hehe just like my story ^^. As for the other actors I don't like Timothy Spall because he's too English for my liking :P kinda poor excuse, although he was okish in that film about vampires which something to do with crocodiles in the title :/ um... thar ye go The Wisdom of Crocodiles strangely enough I really remember seeing that on TV :P I think I'd just finished watching another film, perhaps that was The Talented Mr Ripley, and then I was going to watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers which was on at the same time but I ended up watching The Wisdom of Crocodiles wow, this part sure has gone off topic ^^, I though the tech support guy was a little creepy, always gotta have a creepy guy in a film, but he was more of the guy that always sits in the corner, and the protagonist is always wary of him, wondering who he is, and why he is there. Can't say much for Penelope Cruz, first time I think I've seen her in a film :P or at least I believe it is. Therefore I have no opinion on her, or her character, thought the arms dealer bit was a nice touch though :)

Pretty good overall film, not excellent, not poor, so I give it a;

Cptalbertwesker Rating - 6/10

So I think thats all I can write, I've been up since 5:40 and now it's 7:14 I should be ready for school but I'm too devoted to my avid fans out there :P so I hope all you nobody, enjoys my ranting opinions.


The Village

Okie... this was like a review I wrote for a site, in the hopes they would pop it on the net for all to see. But to no avail the site never got up and I believe the person that was going to create it, is not anymore :/
Anyway on with the writing thing...

First off, I must say I do not like films made ‘now-a-days’ rather than films made in the forties and fifties - I grew up with these films. So it is not too often that a film is released now which I actually like. I can find almost every film enjoyable to watch, but I will not ‘like’ them. But M. Night’s works are something not that I look forward to. But something that I expect to be better than most films. To tell the truth, it took me at least 2 years to actually watch the Sixth Sense, I got Unbreakable when it was released on DVD, why I am not sure.

But I always liked it. I purchased Signs rather randomly... so as you can see I don’t wait in anticipation for his films to be released, but “The Village” was different. Now I can say before I saw the film I watched a preview of it on Film 2004 (?) and that I had actually guessed what the ‘twist’ to the story was. But I am not attracted to films so that I may be surprised by a twist. “The Village” was billed as being a horror film. Something else that I tend not to take notice of. But I watched a trailer and was intrigued. I liked the idea of a film based around a community a people, this is reinforced, because the cast is not a bunch of overly beautified people, everyone looks ‘normal’, the main character Ivy is a tomboy, thereby she is not shown as over-the-top glamorous, which I believe makes the characters a hell of a lot more believable.

People have compared Shyamalan to Hitchcock and it is in a way, more so than his other films. He relies heavily on sound and that which you don't see, also from a twist in the story that is unexpected; when you are led to believe you know who the story is about, but then it drastically changes to another character.

The actors I did not know too well. Bryce Dallas Howard was good as a blind girl. Adrian Brody was interesting as a mentally retarded person, but I found him too annoying. Joaquin Phoenix was a little confusing as a person who simply does not speak, but then I could relate to that. I liked how she would not speak of her colour; usually a film would go on and explain it, like the antagonist explaining to their archenemy how they are going to execute their plan. The naivety of the characters was something I also liked, most characters in films are very brash and extremely optimistic, I do not like that, it tends to make characters ever more unbelievable. Another very important point, which I despise many films for not doing is that it does not rely on action or sex to tell the story.

Now I don't really know what I think of the twist. The reason that I liked about the film was how I felt attached to it, more so than most films, so much that during an important part of the film I actually held hate against a character because he ruined what was a nice uneventful movie. As for the actors/actresses I can say that I felt that a few of the characters were a little confusing, simply because there was not much depth to other characters... so everyone but the main characters are a little one dimensional.

‘Those which we do not speak of’, look pretty cool to me, reminded me kinda of really big rats, and that they would look menacing to me, but then I would suppose Ivy could not see them, and the mind does exaggerate ideas, then perhaps making them a lot more intimidating.

I like the scenes with Lucius and Ivy. Melts my heart... helps to build the tension of if he will come to her rescue. Of course he would, because it’s a film. It was probably the fact that he touched her (which does have significance), and that it looks like she is doubting he will come. It is a test of his love.

There were some lines I liked especially “Sometimes we don't do things we want to do so that others won't know we want to do them” I found it funny how Lucius found it such a mouthful, but everything the statement says is true. As well as that I loved the conversation before the footrace, about ‘cheating’ reminds me of something I would say.

Alright, so those were the parts that I liked, now for what I did not like, although there is not much in the way of negative comments I must say that slow motion was used a couple of times, I really did not like this, as it didn’t feel right. Another bad point I did notice was the editing, I do not think that this was very good, but with me as long as you have a nice story; which this film has, I do not really care about the editing.
Well that was my opinion of what I believe is a good film, I hope that perhaps you will agree with me.

Cptalbertwesker rating - 8/10

Elephant eurgh (Supposed to be a sound of disgust :P)

I warn there may be spoilers herein, but I warned you

Ok, contrary to what I sometimes say, I do enjoy to watch new films as well as old. Especially when films come highly recommended. But when I read some good things about Elephant, a movie based on the idea of a sort of columbine shooting in a school; it sounded good, and especially after wining best director and film from Cannes. And I'm always a fan of independent movies as sometimes they end up to be great.... SOMETIMES.

Unlike many people, I didn't think the movie was too slow, hell it was only 80 minutes long. I didn't get bored of the long drawn out focuses on people simply walking around the school. I must say I did like how they all sort of showed what everyone was doing at the same time. But other than that, I did not like too much more. So ok, the acting was terrible, it was as bad as my acting. But I enjoy Plan 9, despite the bad acting. Bad acting is something I can deal with; if it's not horribly terrible that is.

So yeah the brunt of the film was simply following a few different students around a school. Showing one of the things I did not like about the film, the characters had no depth whatsoever, I did not think oh, they're a really nice person... I didn't even think about them. Sure I felt pity when the kid went to the toilets to get the spitwaddy things off of him. But that was most compassion that I took out of the film.

From there on in the film went down hill for me.. so a couple of kids who believe they are oppressed or something in school, decide to buy some guns while they enjoy watching a programme about Nazis and Hitler... oh my how original, and then we see them play a rather dull looking video game where they just walk around and shoot people... oh and wait, why don't they be gay as well!

Ok so we see them go into the school, and this is where my idea of bad character development comes into play... they simply go around and kill some kids... showing absolutely no remorse or anxiety towards what they are doing, even when it goes wrong... which I think is rather unbelievable... because I mean if I was planning to gun down my school, I would want all of my plan to be precise and work correctly.

Anyway back to the character development... they go around shooting these students, whom we know nothing about... sure that could be reflecting the same state of mind that these two killers are in... but really, if you want the audience's sympathy then you show some student who does nothing but good in the world, and then you show one of them killing said kid with no thought put into it, showing how they don't think to reflect on anyone they kill... so maybe this is explored a little with Michelle... I believe that was her name, because she was a shy person, relatively the same as one of them which carried out the killings. I mean she wouldn't have done anything.

And I must admit I liked the anti-climax of Benny, I don't believe he was reflecting a side of teenagers though, hell if I made the film, that is one bit which I believe is excellent, because anti-climaxs are always great to use.

CptAlbertWesker rating - 3/10

So um, I'm gonna shut up now, because I've lost my place in what I was saying, although I could rant on all day how bad I thought the film was but I would waffle on again and again... so um, please someone give their opinion on why they like it or something, because I would like to know your views.
Also please bear in mind I will be posting quite a few soon, my Elephant review is an old one, but I believe strongly in it :p

A New Leaf

With the hand in of my art exam preparatory work I have decided I will now try and devote more time to watching, and 'reviewing' films.