Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0396171/

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While in the spirit of fables and all that jazz; I give you Perfume. A boy with a gifted nose and overwhelming obsession with the pursuit of preserving scent. Amazing cast including Alan Rickman (Sweeney Todd, Die Hard, “Snape”) and Dustin Hoffman (I ❤ Huckabees, Rain Man). This movie had me doubting it for the good majority of the film which was odd as it came highly recommended. HOWEVER, the last leg of the film was just fantastic. Once you acknowledge the fact that it’s a fable and get over his almost stoic demeanor it plays out very elegantly with an unpredictable ending that leaves you pleasantly surprised a good 5 times in a row.

I saw the trailer for this many years back and it really didn’t give me the urge to see it. In fact I wanted to avoid it. I remember seeing a naked girl in a yellowish-watery tank and figured “meh, jack the ripper but with a perfume machine” and it turned out to be rather deep and well thought it. It wasn’t one of those 2 week old screen-plays and is actually based off a best selling novel. It was European grown and deemed ‘unmarketable’ to the American audience. In short, go see it. How’s that for marketing? It’s good for satisfying one of those ‘I need an awkwardly dark movie that has a unique flavor to it and leaves me pleasantly shocked.”

8.5/10

The Legend of 1900

July 7, 2009

The Legend of 1900

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120731/

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This movie just did it for me and still does. I think I discovered it in High school if not earlier and it’s remained as one of my all time favorites. The basic concept of the movie is the story of a man who was born on a ship and was reluctant to ever leave. It also became apparent rather quickly he was gifted at piano and saw the world a tad differently than those around him.

It’s plot and underlying theme encompasses the paradox of choice. Why more choices don’t always mean more happiness. And the pursuit of one’s happiness vs the pursuit of the idea of happiness as defined by others. I linked a relevant TED video above the box-art for a good background on the paradox of choice and what you can come to expect from the film. A character’s ability to recognize and isolate himself from this paradox and his great journey as he uses his amazing gift of piano to entertain the immigrants as they head to their final destination, New York, the land of freedom and opportunity[cost]. I highly recommend watching the TED talk even if only the last half or last 30 seconds. It really polishes you up for the movie.

The genre of the film is a ‘fable’. All but the main character have this hazy almost cartoonist way of delivering their lines that frame the focus and plot in a way that I have never seen done before. Tim Roth plays his role well and despite the almost silly circumstances that unfold throughout the film, it retains this powerful flavor of a world that is imaginary by meer millimeters.

(top 5 favorite films of all time)
10/10

Bronson

July 7, 2009

BRONSON

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bronson_(prisoner)

http://us.imdb.de/title/tt1172570/

bronson

Saw this and didn’t realize it was Tom Hardy (Handsom Bob from RocknRolla) until months after the fact.  Holy crap? So it’s a movie based on the life of “Britain’s most expensive criminal”. He has spent over 20 years in solitary confinement so far in what appears to be a life sentence that started from a simple robbery that netted £26.18. His jail sentence was raised repeatedly for various in-prison actions that eventually lead to so 120+ prison transfers until it became cheaper just to create a special unit just for him.

The movie is stylized in a awkward Clockwork Orange-esque fashion that almost glorifies Charlie Bronson rather than it’s original aim at detracting from the violence of it all. But it does that too. It’s more like looking through his eyes. Bright colors, self-narrative, brilliant monologues in painted face, and all somewhat whimsical and random. It felt like a comedy encasing a documentary that highlighted a possible injustice. I had mixed feelings on it’s overall message but it was rather enthralling none-the-less.

Lots of full frontal nudity, bare-knuckle boxing, and artistically hilarious cut-scenes. The trailer is perfect for what the film is.

8/10

The Killing Gene

July 7, 2009

W Delta Z / The Killing Gene

imdb: Spoils it even from the single sentence ‘plot’.
youtube: no trailer found

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So I’ve had this movie laying around for god knows how long and refusing to watch it because the title sounded retarded. It was labeled “The Killing Gene”. Actual title is “W delta Z”. In short, it had the atmosphere of Saw with the integrity of Se7en. Not a bad blend although the movie was far closer to Se7en. Despite the box art above being in spanish, the movie is in English with an amazing cast. One of my favorites being Stellan Skarsgard (Good Will Hunting, Angels and Demons, ect). The movie had a grunge/ sifting through filth vibe with a dirty-cop undertone. I’m typically not a fan of them but this was able to break free from it with rather vivid and disturbing acts of violence.

The character development was subtle and only present within two individuals. The presumed main-character’s story arch wasn’t satisfying and ended abruptly. Overall the movie’s plot can be summed up as “innocence lost” and “poor science”. Despite not being anywhere close to the level of movies I planned on mentioning here.. the fact that it was able to remind me of Saw and The Brave One (two movies I hate) and have me think of Se7en and leave me nodding in approval just before credits is worth a small mention.

It was a movie of vindication, broken bottle rape, shots of cigarettes being lit and smoked, and regaining a grasp on life via anyways possible. Rather decent and broke away from cliche in many ways.

6.5/10

The Hurt Locker

June 21, 2009

THE HURT LOCKER

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0887912http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvMfyK9vGtI&feature

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One of the most surprising movies I’ve seen all year. The movie takes place in Iraq… yet has not even a hint of “pro America”, “anti war”, or POLITICS. It’s just a setting for something a bit deeper and more enthralling. There is no testosterone-fueled combat, big guns, or stupid “war is hell” moments. The director is a woman to boot. Probably what makes this movie feel like a breath of fresh-air compared to it’s counter parts. I honestly came close to considering it one of the top five movies I’ve ever seen. It’s at least top ten.

The ending drives this movie home and leaves you with an awkward aftertaste that takes moments to fully process and mull over.

I am also taking this time to invent a arbitrary rating system. I give this movie a
9.1 / 10