without a definite route

flim flam: the fountain, the good shepherd, beowulf and grendel

on August 3, 2007

the fountain: i don’t know a lot of darren aronofsky except that he has a baby with rachel weiss, who i totally have a girl-crush on. i never saw pi or requiem for a dream. i think he’s a smarty pants filmmaker, who i hope keeps making fringe movies that some people love and some people hate. josh loved this movie. me? not really…although i am extremely happy that someone made it. it was highly watchable, but uneven. i found myself confused at times. many times. i’m not saying i’m the sharpest tack in the box, but i think i generally get things and there was much i didn’t get. i absolutely love that there was limited computer generated special effects in the movie, especially considering a big chunk of it occurs in the future, traveling through space in a tree-filled bubble ship. the macro-photography that they used to create the visuals for space was amazing. nothing short of astoundingly. technically, the film is very impressive, but the fragmented story results in poor character development. the clinical approach limited my ability to identify with any of the characters. the movie is more like visual poetry…exquisitely beautiful and almost unbearable sad and dazzlingly inventive. and also a wee bit pretentious. something that i keep thinking about and i’m not sure if it is a compliment or a complaint is that i got the sense that the fountain believes in itself more fervently than most movies out there. it doesn’t really need an audience’s approval. nigel count: 1 nigel!

the good shepherd: i would propose that robert deniro is a good director for actors. the frosty performances really helped set the stylish and complex tone of the film. all 2 hours and 37 minutes of it. sweet jebus. there were several impressive scenes, but i was left wondering where the editor was. it turtles forward with unrelenting, humorless solemnity. nice to see michael gambon do something good (so long as he is NOTdumbledore). i dont’ mean to be all hollywoody, but where the action? the suspense? matt damon is solid. angelina jolie  is plain old odd casting.

beowulf and grendel: let’s just get this done with – i rented this movie for the lovely lovely eye candy that is gerard butler and i’m not sorry. it did not fail to deliver. well…maybe a shirtless scene could have improved things ever so slightly, but i could seriously just listen to him talk for hours so i am happy to have whiled away an evening on this sort of silly movie where i couldn’t understand half of what the characters said and the half i did understand was just sort of strange. the iceland locations were beautiful and desolate and definitely created an atmosphere that fit the legend, but the dialogue was too contemporary (lots o’ cussing) and sarah polley was sorely miscast (i’m not a huge fan of her lack of expressive intonation anyway). this movie ultimately doesn’t have the grandeur or wit to make the legend come alive, but i’m not complaining.


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