November 25, 2009

2012 (2009)

yay for destruction! It's good to see that they managed to get some real actors up in this thing. Totally worth the big screen for the effects. so what if michaelangelo's the creation of adam isn't really in St. Peter's Basilica, it cracks right in between their fingers and it's totally awesome! Also Stephen McHattie as the captain of the arks is spot on, including his cute little battlestar galactica/babylon 5 uniform.
overall awesome disaster flick.

The Brothers Bloom (2008)

Billed as a quirky con-man piece, I was really afraid that this would be yet another piece of Wes Andersonian drivel, especially with Brody having just starred in The Darjeeling Limited (which I did not entirely hate). Thankfully though, Rian Johnson put his special charm in this second feature, creating a mix of adventure, drama and (to my delight) a pseudo-steampunk period piece. Sure this, much like Johnsons's first feature, Brick, seems to happen in the present time, but the characters insist on wearing vests, fedoras and travel on steam boats and trains. It is odd but it works in a charming kind of way. The film is not without flaws, notably the many twists and turns which desensitize us to anything which might happen next, but broadly, its heart is at the right place. With notably bigger cast, locations and budget, the film looks like it went through a good amount of post production, at least in comparison to Brick, but it somehow works. Overall I enjoyed it tremendously, and the ending didn't disappoint too much, despite getting the feeling that Jonson tried having his cake and eating it too, essentially creating a film with both a sad and happy ending at once, dare I say, for lack of a replacement for 'bittersweet' (which wouldn't entirely be accurate). Rinko Kikuchi was a delight too, despite the lack of dialogue, but what she lacked in dialogue she made up in Karaoke and blowing up dolls with C4.

Antichrist (2009)

Genius! Definitely my favourite von Trier yet! In this masterpiece he seamlessly blends aesthetic, atmosphere, plot and sound (of primary importance) to create something like never before seen yet which has von Trier's fingerprints all over it. From the creepy forest sex, to talking biblical animals, witchcraft astrology, slow-mo black and white baby suicide opera and the blood ejaculating penis to the full frontal female circumcision, this is definitely one of the better films of 2009. Of course, Dafoe and Gainsbourg are amazing with brave performances, despite the "porno doubles" prosthetics. I could have done without the whole handheld camera jumpcut Dogme stuff, but the amazing tableaus more than make up for it. Very well von Trier!