Chris Weber (cosmo313)Missouri
Chris' Recent Reviews
This film (almost) has it all: it's a suspense thriller, a mystery, a domestic (melo)drama, and even a bit of a horror film. It's widely regarded as a classic, and its influence is undeniable.
I really, really liked, but didn't quite love this film. I thought I would love it, but, alas, I did not. I mostly think it's because I wasn't totally surprised by this film, and it didn't feel totally fresh. Had I seen this when it came out (or had it been the first film I ever saw), I'd probably be singing a slightly more praising tune.
This film is still quite excellent though, and the twists are really cool. It's like a Hitchcock film, which is definite high praise. Hell, this seems like something he should have done. I guess Clouzot just beat him to the punch.
Besides a twisty and well crafted plot, there's a wonderful atmosphere at hand. The film looks gorgeous in black and white, and it adds to the spooky, odd tone of things. The direction is very sharp and lets everything unfold in a deliberate way. I really liked the performances, especially Simone Signoret's. She's fantastic.
Definitely check this one out. I was slightly underwhelmed, hence why it doesn't have a full 5 like I thought I might give it. It's still a very amazing film though that is incredibly well done and great at holding one's attention.
I have mentioned in some of my past reviews that of the many different types of film I enjoy, one of them is the type where the story takes place over the course of a few hours or a day. This is one such film. This also happens to be a film by Richard Linklater (whose work I really enjoy).
I'm not real big on romance films, but when I can find one done right, then I'm usually pretty happy. This is one of those films. This movie is almost sickeningly sweet and romantic. It's also pretty honest and realistic. This isn't some sort of feel-good fantasy, it's two souls who meet, spend a day together in a city just wandering around and talking, then part ways- possibly never to see one another again.
This, like my favorite Linklater film (Dazed and Confused) is a film I would like to/wish I would have made. It's a simple concept, and shouldn't really work, but it does. I think it does work because Linklater knows that films don't have to have plot to be good. Not much really happens here aside from walking and talking, but it feels like an immense amount of time has passed once the end credits roll.
The characters have interesting things to talk about, and a lot of this reminded me of sitting in smokey bars and greasy spoons yakking my head off over coffee or beer with friends. In a way, I feel a lot like Jesse. I try to cover up romanticism with cynicism. I however, do not have the artsy, slacker attitude or looks of Jesse (or Hawke), and am not quite as cynical, but he is a character I feel I am on a similar plane with. Julie Delpy is charmingly cute, but not a sexy bombshell. I'm okay with that. I think she's a wonderful actress (with talent and looks), and she fits the part perfectly, as does Hawke. She seems too uptight and opinionated, just like how Jesse is perhaps too much of an immature bum. Even though these two aren't the most likable people, you can't/don't hate them because they are too similar to most of the world's population.
I basically loved everything about this film. The dialogue and performances have to carry it, because there's really nothing else, but that's fine, because those are done so well. The music and camera work are also nice. Besides just walking and talking the scenery is gorgeous, and the music is just as fun to listen to as the conversations. I think I may actually hate this film because I wish I would have seen it sooner and also because this is the type of thing I'd love to do (cinematically and in real life). I'm mad that this film beat me to it.
It's a wonderful concept and the ending for me was just great. Had this been directed by some other director, most of this (if not all of it) would have been false, too sappy, and had an eyerolling worthy ending. Bravo.
Chris' Favorite Movies
My favorite film of all time. An all-time classic through and through. This, along with John Carpenter's Halloween, and Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver are the three film that first got me to become more than just a casual fan of movies, and turned me into a cinema fanatic. Many critics (especially Siskel and Ebert) saw that Tarantino had talent with this movie, but deserved to make a better one. I can see where they're coming from, but I disagree. True, an initial viewing doesn't give the viewer the finer points it has to offer, but it does evoke a strong urge to keep one watching it over and over to truly discover how brilliant it really is. As a straight up crime film, it is great, witty, original, and very cool, but when viewed as an experience, Reservoir Dogs is a brilliant, one-of-a-kind thrillride that truly is very deep, thought-provoking, and unmatched. The dialogue and music (both very original and quirky) have since become QT trademarks, and it's hard to imagine what the world of film would look like if Reservoir Dogs had never been made. Thank God I've never had a desire to have or elaborate upon such thoughts. This is one film that everyone should be required to see before they die. Not doing so is unforgivable.
Director/co-writer John Carpenter is a genius. Thanks to him and co-writer/producer Debra Hill, a little independent film was released in 1978 that has since gone on to become one of the most revered, respected, influential, imitated, and brilliant films of all time. Aside from a few continuity erors and plot holes here, and there, this film hits all the right notes, and is executed flawlessly. Oh sure, the idea of an escaped maniac terrorizing people is nothing new, but under Carpenter's masterful direction, he takes a traditional scary story, and through the use of genuine pathos, character development, wonderful acting especially from Jamie Lee Curtis(in her film debut, and the always reliable Donald Pleasance (giving a performance that has since come to embody sheer iron will and determination and the ability to do what it takes to stop evil in it's path), ridiculously high amounts of tension, suspense, and an atmosphere and score that are STILL chill inducing to this very day, he manages to craft one of the absolute finest American horror films of all time, and does so with a minimal to moderate amount of violence, allowing just enough to be shown as a pay-off for the scares he's built up in the audience's imaginations. By keeping the most of the graphic aspects of the story under wraps, the viewer is left hanging, building up further anxiety, and giving Carpenter even more credibility when it comes to freaking viewers out. As many sequels, and countless imitators and outright ripoffs as this film has inspired (including the Rob Zombie take. you would think that those filmmakers, and all future ones to come would have taken (and will) more time to study the finer points of Halloween, to see what must be done in order to create a film that is truly breathtaking in it's brilliance and the genuine horror and countless feelings of dread that it creates, and not just some violent heartless splatterfest that while shocking, doesn't scare. Despite that this film is associated with the slasher subgenre of horror films, calling this film a slasher is a true insult. If anything, this is morre of a suspenseful thriller with heavy amounts of horror elements. For all those unfortunate souls who have yet to experience John Carpenter's masterpiece, do yourself a favor, and see this film through any means necessary.