Saturday, August 7, 2010

Quick Critiques: August 1-7, 2010

Over at Film Misery, Alex Carlson does a weekly post on the films he's gone back and seen each week, and I think that's a good idea of something to do here. It'll remind people of a few films they haven't seen for a while, and give a nice suggestion for some home entertainment at rental price.

4+ viewing

It's been a while since I last sat down and saw this movie, and I still believe that it's an amazing filmmaking acheivement. There isn't much of a driving plot for the film. The best synopsis of the main struggle is "Two men team up to find the world's last twinkie." That's pretty much all there is to it, but there's a hell of a lot of emotional backstory, comedy, violence, and zombies along the way. It always feels very personal, and it never feels unnescessary. It's a great movie that had small aspirations. What the actors and director brought to Zombieland made it such an timeless film. Rumors were that a 3D sequel was in the works, but it looks like it'll take a while before we see that. I can definitely see this being an ongoing series that doesn't get stale.

Fringe: Season 2
2nd viewing

I've been a fan of this show from the beginning, even when it wasn't all that good. As we went towards the end of season 1 and into season 2, my expectations grew, and Fringe was able to keep things moving in a great direction. Watching the season again from start to finish, knowing how the end game is going to play out, makes all of the standalone episodes seem more important within the grand architecture of the series. The finale is still a little bit disappointing, as Part 2 moved a little too slowly, and there wasn't quite enough action to it, and William Bell's end didn't hold the same emotional resonance as the deaths on Lost. However, it's something I'm willing to live with, as it sets up for a hell of a third season. I am disappointed in the romance between Olivia and Peter. I always envisioned Olivia as a lesbian who hasn't come to terms with things about herself yet. I think it's time the series took such an extreme leap as that. It's taken such leaps before.

Spirited Away
3rd viewing

Hayao Miyazaki is still contracted to make two or three more films for Studio Ghibli before retiring, and word hasn't yet gotten out what those films will be about, or when they'll be coming. However, I still have faith that Miyazaki will give us something amazing. Until then, this film remains Hayao's masterpiece. It's a completely original and easily accessable fantasy that has art spliced into every single frame. Ghibli is known for making films that show us things that we couldn't see in a live-action film, and they succeed once again with the world they created. There's a lot that could be said about Spirited Away, but it really escapes all explanation.

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