without a definite route

film flam: poseiden, volver, pan’s labyrinth

on February 19, 2007

it was a kinda busy week last week with a back log on the tifaux and indian market selection on the weekend, which seriously cut into my movie watching.

poseidon – more fun than i want to admit even though the dialogue is sappy and the characters are caricatures. i’m just gonna say it: i love kurt russell. not sure why, but i just love the square jaw action hero in him. no-matter how ridiculous the movie, i believe him. i was fascinated by this movie because they shot it in chronological order, which is unheard of, and they built all the sets, which isn’t unheard of, but these sets were rooms in an upside down cruise ship. so everything was, you know, upside down. i’m personally kind of terrified of water and i get anxious with drowning scenes so i covered my eyes a bit. all in all, it’s just a straightforward disaster movie. nothing too deep except the water. and that’s alright sometimes.

volver – i love how pedro almodovar uses color in his films. each frame is like a little painting. this painterly style has evolved over the years from more kitchy to something deeper where the colors signal that you’re not in a real place, but a place where magic can happen. the word “volver” means “to return,” which,  thematically, was woven deeply into every scene and every character’s motivation. but without knocking you over the head with it. i enjoyed it and penelope cruz’s performance. it’s good to know that she can be a good actress when freed from trying to speak english. more importantly? you know how some french movies make you want to go out for red wine and cigarettes afterward? this one made me crave mojitos and tapas with my mom.

pan’s labyrinth– talk about covering my eyes a bit. yow. this movie is beautiful, horrible and heartbreaking. dark, dreamlike and dangerous. the tagline is “innocence has a power evil cannot imagine,”  which is so right on target (good job tagline writers!) i can’t even begin to describe the things in this movie. director guillermo del toro prefers organic special effects to computer generated ones whenever possible and that attention to detail and…oh, i don’t know…earthiness compliments the film. the story and visuals are twisted – kind of like being in a labyrinth. you absolutely don’t know what’s around the next corner. the performances are amazing. [again, i have to complain about the oscar love given to little miss sunshine. abigail breslin is cute and all, but she couldn’t dream of giving a performance like ivana baquero as ofelia. sigh.] sergi lopez is perfectly terrifying as the captain. this movie is so not for the faint of heart. in addition to the thrilling and scary scenes of ofelia’s (maybe) imagination, there are some out and out brutal and icky torture and medical scenes that forced me to hide my head in josh’s shoulder. as we were walking out of the theatre, josh said that he needs to watch a carefree movie next. in a way, pan’s labyrinth has both a sad and happy ending depending on whether or not you believe the scenes from ofelia’s (maybe) imagination. i choose happy, ‘cuz that’s how i roll (good lord, i hate that expression).


the shorts are showing at key cinemas as is iraq in fragments. i am hatching an evil (read: genius) plan that i won’t share unless it works. josh thinks i’m crazier than ever this year, but i think i’m the same old crazy. so far, i’ve seen 20 of the 44 nominated films, 57 if you count the shorts]. the oscars are next sunday so my viewing pace will drop off…


5 responses to “film flam: poseiden, volver, pan’s labyrinth

  1. lolly says:

    Have you ever considered reviewing movies as a profession? Seriously?!! It would be a fun side job for you and who knows, maybe someday it could be Nigg and Ebert! You are so unbelievably talented with the word.

  2. lmb says:

    i think you need to share your evil/genius plan and let the people decide how crazy you are.

  3. Justin says:

    You remember the motto – “too much is never enough”

    doodle doodle dee, wubba wubba wubba

  4. Emmit's Paw says:

    The day after the Oscars for jaq is like the day after the superbowl for me: Aimless wandering, meloncholly despair and directionless gazes, the only food eaten: cucumber sandwiches (crust removed). Whatever will we do with our time….

    (I guess we’ll just have to make more movies of the boy, sigh)

  5. Nana says:

    you write brilliantly and i agree that you should probably expand your fan base. if the common folk only knew what they were missing. btw, did you see The Queen?

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