Sping, Summer, Winter, Fall… and Spring

starstarstar

This is a heavy 3, verging on 4 stars. The story isn’t overly surprising, but it is told honestly and with very minimal dialogue. Visually it is wonderful. However, I can’t help but feel that if I knew more about Korean culture and Bhuddism, specifically, that a ton of symbolism in the movie would open up to me. It felt like we skipped along the suface of this movie, much like the lake upon which most of the action takes place. Is that a drawback or impetus to research? That will be up to you. Glad it was recommended to us… now we recommend to you…

Alice in Wonderland (2009)

starstarstarstar

Tim Burton through and through and a decidedly non-Disney feel despite the studio support. Given the problematic material, this reimagining/sequal is entertaining and has some truly wonderful performances. As a whole, it is prettier to look at than it is a good movie, but it is more of a romp than it is a movie to begin with–that Burton managed to provide a good arc amidst the madness is impressive.

The Ghost Writer

starstarstarstar

Beyond being a tense, quiet indictment of Blair/Bush, Polanski manages to create a (I think) purposefully flawed mystery that leaves you to untangle what was conspiracy, what was coincidence, and what was truth. THe more I turned it over in my head, the less sure I became, but that was mostly due to one or two rather large logic flaws in the script that leave you with contradictions. Thus why I think they were purposeful. If there is a perfect solution to this movie, we didn’t find it, but even with some of its predictability and issues, I do respect it. If you like vintage Hitchcock and conspiracy theory films (without explosions), you’ll likely enjoy this one.

Ghost World

starstarstar

Think Clerks with girls… and, and with a bit of plot. (Nope, sorry, really didn’t like or get Clerks). Not knowing the original comic, can’t speak to its authenticity, but it feels more like a slow, intense coming-of-age movie more than an adapted graphic novel. Also, this is another fun “spot the actor” film as there are a number of soon-to-be-knowns and a couple established in the supporting cast.

Daybreakers

starstarstar

If you’re willing to give the movie one absurd premise and let it go from there, there is some fun world-building and thought experiment going on. The action is on the gorey side, though it has one rather unique car chase and it isn’t afraid to play nasty with some of its characters. Wasn’t quite sure what we were going to get, but wasn’t disappointed for our time investment.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant

starstarstarstar

Overall, well conceived and filmed and, if it hadn’t bombed in theaters due to its extremely dark nature, I’d have watched the sequels. Ok, yes, this is aimed at tweens and the main hero is at the beginning of his journey (and therefore somewhat unformed). But if you can forgive HarryP in book 1, you can forgive this kid. Really expected less than we were served and there are some very nice touches throughout, though it is a bit light on the active female characters. But it doesn’t take itself too seriously all the time, which made for an entertaining viewing.

The Secret of Kells

starstarstarstar

Simply wonderful. Heavily influenced (I suspect) by the style of Genndy Tartakovsky’s Samurai Jack, but with a Celtic pallet. Much as Jack’s world is Japanese paintings come to life, so is Kells an illuminated manuscript taking form. It is a just dark enough to be entertaining for older kids and adults alike, though perhaps a bit scary for younger children. For lovers of the craft of anime, this is a must see.

Art, writing, life explained… or at least commented upon…