July 30, 2004

Movies Seen Lately: An Unrelated List

Quickie reviews on three movies Cinecultist watched this week, which when put next to each other have no obvious relation other than their proximity of viewing. Any connection inferred would be entirely of your own doing.

Dead Ringers (1988) -- Cinecultist finds David Cronenberg intriguing but we'd never had a chance to see this feature, despite having read a bunch about it. Jeremy Irons gives such a bravura performance as the twin brother gynecologists, we're definitely going to be creeped out through next week just thinking about him and those tools for mutant women. What puts Cronenberg above and beyond your usual horror director is his sense of aethetics in terms of production design -- their futuristic examining room, the all red operating clothes, the lush appointments of their favorite restaurant all could not be more perfect. An excellent example of mid-80s technological paranoia, we highly recommend this movie if you can catch it on tv as we did or add the Criterion version to your Netflix queue.

Donnie Darko: Director's Cut (2004) -- As Josh Cultivated Stupidity and CC walked out of this movie we turned to our budding director friend to say, "Now let that be a lesson to you to know when to leave well enough alone." "Yup, sometimes less really is more," as Josh said. We still really admire Richard Kelly for producing this high quality film on a first outing and Jake Gyllenhaal still totally cute as ever, but the obviously added effects and the quotations from The Philosophy of Time Travel do nothing for the picture as a whole. Honestly, more explanation did not make for a more pleasurable viewing. CC still recommends catching it on the big screen in a midnight screening but be sure it's the old version rather than this director's cut. Unless you're a die-hard Jakie fan (and we know you're out there, we've seen our stats) and must consume all things Jake G.

Shaolin Soccer (2001) -- Our biweekly movie group (it's like a book group, only we watch movies), Cinema Ahh*some met this week to watch Matty's pick, the Chinese kungfu soccer comedy directed by and starring Stephen Chow. We know we've implied this before but now we're going to say it out right -- Miramax sucks. They purchased this movie for distribution ages ago, they sat on it and then released it as a dubbed version in the theaters for about two seconds. And it's hilarious. You really should see it if you haven't and you even just a little bit like kung fu movies. Although sadly, when you see it you probably won't get the patent-pending Cinema Ahh*some running commentary to enhance your viewing experience. If CC could bottle up some Fiona giggling and ship it to you with a copy of this DVD, we totally would.

Posted by karen at July 30, 2004 7:53 AM