Friday, July 16, 2010

Viewing Journal: 7/16/2010

Even though I was deathly ill with food poisoning today, I still managed to see three movies. How's that for your cinephilia!?

(2010 dir. Christopher Nolan) Date Seen: July 16 2010


Showcases many of Christopher Nolan's strengths and weaknesses as a filmmaker. It's aesthetically pleasing to look at and a structural beast for sure, but also lacking somewhat in emotional depth. It starts out pretty slow too. You have to sit through a lot of dull exposition before it really goes anywhere, but thankfully most of that stuff is broken up by fancy set pieces and dynamic action. I almost feel like Nolan dumbed the film down too much at parts. I love puzzle narratives as much as the next movie geek, but I can't stand when things are explained this easily. Heaven forbid you confuse a mainstream audience. All nitpicking aside though, I found INCEPTION to be an ambitious and entertaining ride for the most part. I'm willing to overlook most of its shortcomings. After all, it's refreshingly smart conceptually for a studio film. And It's final 30 minutes alone are worth the price of admission. I was glued to the screen almost to the point of not being able to blink during the big payoff. It really is exhilarating while it lasts.

(2008 dir. Mike Leigh) 3rd Viewing: July 16 2010

Sally Hawkins was by far the best lead performance of 2008. Her character Poppy makes me unbelievably happy when I watch this. Such a warm and hilarious human being. Never a caricature. Never this manic pixie dream girl b.s. archetype for one second. Mike Leigh still has a knack for writing female characters that feel human. The AMPAS must be sexist against women doing comedy or something. Sally got robbed.

120) 21 GRAMS
(2003 dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu) 3rd Viewing: July 16 2010

The last decent collaboration between director Alejandro Iñárritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga. And I think that was due to the near perfect cast. Naomi Watts - great as always. Benicio Del Toro is alive here in a way few actors have been post Brando. Still I can't help but feel team Iñárritu/Arriaga were running out of creative steam in the narrative department. Shame, seeing how I once described them (after viewing AMORES PERROS) as Spanish-language Kieslowskis.

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