Out of the last four movies I’ve watched, the one which inspired me to write a long rambling blog post was the most middle-brow one with (by far) the worst reviews. Go figure. But I thought I should just write little snippets about the other three for the record.
- The Incredibles: Was great fun, but I couldn’t think of any new or original ways to describe what was good about it, so I didn’t bother writing about it at the time. Most of my enjoyment of it was derived from the geeky thrill of identifying every homage to Watchmen, which is why I reread it just after watching the movie, and realized that any review I wrote of The Incredibles would pretty much end up being a ravefest about how amazing Watchmen is instead. My favourite part of the movie which had nothing to do with Watchmen was probably the name of the supervillain who appeared at the end – The Underminer, which I found hilarious.
- Look At Me (Comme Un Image): Hard to describe the plot, you’d best read the review I linked to. This is definitely not a film for the impatient – you never know where the story’s going, and a familiar storyline never emerges e.g. “It’s going to be about how Indiana Jones goes on a quest to find the Holy Grail” or “It’s going to be about how nerdy girl will blossom and eventually get hot guy to fall for her.” Lots of scenes seem pointless early in the film, but later on you realize that they were showing you little things about its characters which build the overall impression of them which you leave with at the end, and I think this was actually its greatest strength. The opinions I formed of the characters at the beginning had evolved very considerably by the end, and yet nothing in the way the film progressed ever seemed forced or unnatural. I wouldn’t recommend this film to everyone, and especially not to anyone who doesn’t like arthouse films, but I did enjoy it. Watch it if you like Paul Thomas Anderson films, maybe – it does that whole “different lives intertwining through a series of coincidences” thing quite well, although that isn’t really its focus.
- Shutter: Asian horror movies since Ringu have all looked really formulaic, sort of like attempts to just jump on the Asian horror bandwagon while it’s still a cash cow. While Shutter sticks to a fairly simple plot, and many of its scares are predictable enough, on the strength of the ones that aren’t, and its clever ending, I’d say this is definitely a cut above the rest. Frankly, although it isn’t as terrifying as Ringu and will probably not take the world by storm quite as much, I think it’s much more coherent as a film. If you’re not in South East Asia and haven’t heard of this Thai horror movie yet, don’t worry – I’m sure you’ll be able to watch some Hollywood remake starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ashton Kutcher in the near future.
[Speaking of Asian horror, Bedok cinema is apparently screening a film called I Know What You Did Last Raya. Intriguing.]