Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quick Critiques: August 22 - September 11

It's been a while since I last posted one of these, mostly because I haven't seen nearly as many films as I should. However, I think that I'm at a point in which I have just enough stability to find the time to watch a few.

Children of Men
2nd Viewing

It's a crime that I've waited this long to see this film again. It's even more of a crime that this film wasn't honored in the 2006 Best Picture race, not even edging out a nomination. Almost five years later, this film still works, and I was able to fully appreciate this work of art. This is a gritty science fiction film with twitches of beauty, a heartbreaking story of our world on the brink of chaos, and a personal piece about a man finding his faith after his only reason for it in the first place is taken away. The cinematography in Children of Men is spectacular, and nothing impresses more than the car ride scene early on in the film. We go from lighthearted, to panicked, to tragic, all in the frame of one shot. Only Cuaron could've pulled this off.

El Mariachi/Desperado
1st Viewing

I'm taking a film analysis class this semester, so you're going to be getting a great amount of different films these next few weeks. These past two weeks I've gotten the chance to see two of Robert Rodriguez's first films, both of which are pretty much the same movie. The most obvious difference between the two is their budgets, El Mariachi made on about $7000, and Desperado on nearly $7 million. A great deal of people in my class favored El Mariachi for how authentic it was, but I found that there was a great deal lacking from it. The action sequences didn't quite satisfy, and the no-name actors didn't really bring much to the table.

I much prefer the sequel starring Antonio Banderas, as it really took everything that I wasn't satisfied with in El Mariachi, and gave it much better visual flair and more engaging dialogue. Steve Buscemi makes a small appearance in this film, and I'd have liked to see a little more of him. He's a charismatic actor and was given charismatic dialogue. Selma Hayek doesn't quite outlive the stereotypical lady-accomplice role. I found the villain to be a lot more satisfactory than the previous film. The film drags on a bit in the middle, and the endings to both are anticlimactic, but I found Desperado to be a much better achievement than the previous film, and I was surprised by how much they did with $7 million.

4+ Viewing

When thinking over Pixar's past two film, it's easy to forget about this little gem. It's sad to say, but it's the truth. This film left my mind as most Pixar films do when a new Pixar film is released. However, I felt compelled to see this movie again, and it hasn't lost it at all. After all these conversations about whether WALL-E is worth watching anymore, it's still the same film, and that's a complement of the highest respect. I enjoy the first hour of this film infinitely more than the last half-hour, and I still that ending to be thoroughly enjoyable. Time goes by, and Pixar is still Pixar. That never changes.

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