not a beautiful or unique snowflake (nothings) wrote,
not a beautiful or unique snowflake
nothings

movie log

Ratings on -4 to 4 scale:
  • Pi: 0
  • Gregory's Girl: 1
  • Kingpin: -1
  • The Fisher King: 1
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: 2
  • Freeway: -3

Pi

Mathematician seeks to unlock the secret patterns of the stock market. Darren Aronofsky manages to do pretty well given a tiny budget ($60K), but just because I respect that doesn't mean I have to like it. The sequences where Max is overloaded by his headaches are really irritating in a way that I appreciated--made him very sympathetic. But, as I predicted in my comments on Requiem for a Dream, this movie falls apart with the writing. The magic number that can somehow predict the stock market? Unlikely, especially as played out here (sentience? come on). The attempt to combine kabbalistic number stuff with the wacky stock market thing is clever though. But so much of the storytelling is so transparent. For example, after the vicious encounter with the stock market people, Max gets saved by the Hasidic jews who reveal that they not only want the number, but they don't want the stock market people to have it. Why don't they? Are they more than they seem? No, that was just a bit of conflict tossed in to keep things more dramatic, but it's never explained or justified in any way. Rating (-4 to 4): 0

Gregory's Girl

Lousy football player Gregory attempts romantic pursuit of the girl who replaced him on the team. What with Local Hero my favorite movie ever, I was obliged to try some other Bill Forsyth movies. This one was ok. There were some cute bits and some sweet bits, but the dramatic arc was a bit too simple, and the comedy is too low-key, to spaced-out (that is, long time between funny bits, not psychedelic) to give me anything to really like. (The comedy in Local Hero was similarly paced, in fact.) Rating (-4 to 4): 1

Kingpin

Woody Harrelson is an ex-professional bowler down on his luck after losing use of his right hand. Sigh. What did I rate Dumb and Dumber? Why did I try this? I guess because I liked There's Something About Mary, so I was hoping... There were a few bits that were pretty funny, but so many just went way too far (removing the horse's shoes being a completely unnecessary repeat of the already not-very-funny milking the cow bit). Bill Murray is just awesome. Probably the best role I've ever seen Harrelson in, though. Rating (-4 to 4): -1

The Fisher King

Depressed Jeff Bridges and crazy Robin Williams meet years after a shooting that made them what they are. Sigh. Terry Gilliam is such a wonderful visionary, but this script just doesn't go anywhere interesting, being in the end such a cheesy romance-buddy-redemption thing, with a totally silly final act burglary. The trademark Gilliam fantasy sequences are here, but rather pointless--they make the movie rather more flashy and make for good trailer material, I suppose, but they seemed out of place to me. The Grand Central waltz scene is quite amazing, though, and I was entertained somewhat. Rating (-4 to 4): 1

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Hunter S. Thompson's alter ego Raoul Duke and his attorney Dr. Gonzo go to Las Vegas to do drugs and seek out the American Dream. This is a bit strange as a movie, because it's not really a movie. There's not much of a dramatic arc; just a lot of bad and wacky things happening. So it's not a movie in the sense of a traditional commercial film narrative. Oh, it's a film, and it's a narrative, though. Gilliam's fantasy sequence skills get turned wild here and it works out just great. Johnny Depp is as unstoppable as ever (well, ok, Sleepy Hollow was a bit silly), and Benicio Del Toro is good too. Rating (-4 to 4): 2

Freeway

20-year old Reese Witherspoone is some sort of high-school-aged girl with a hoooker mom and druggie layabout stepfather and I don't know what happens after that. I turned it off somewhere in the first act, because it was just tedious and overwritten. Did we need to see the mom get busted onscreen? (It was an obvious plausible outcome and it didn't bring us anything new to the scenario.) And what are they teaching the kids in school these days? "The cat drinks milk"?!? Isn't milk supposed to be serious bad for cats (but not kittens)? Rating (-4 to 4): -3
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