Fucky Film Review!

Archive for December, 2008

Virgin Spring

Posted by Web Manager on December 22, 2008

Ingmar Bergman 1960

Approaching Bergman’s wing of the video store is a little overwhelming. To be honest, I chose this one because of its under-90-minute running time. As a general rule, I really appreciate the 90 minute running time. Also, I rented it along with another film (MONSIEUR HIRE), so I wanted to keep the overall running time for the double feature to a minimum. Ang Lee introduces this film on the Criterion Collection DVD and does a much better job than I could talking about the film’s many fine points. That being said, I wouldn’t say you MUST see it. On the other hand, it is pretty awesome, and there are surely worse ways to spend 89 minutes of your life.


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*** Inspirational Journalism ***

Posted by Web Manager on December 21, 2008




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Bitter Moon

Posted by Web Manager on December 16, 2008

Roman Polanski 1992


Have you ever been in a destructive relationship?  The one at the center of BITTER MOON is probably more hardcore.  I say probably because I don’t know you.  I don’t know your personal situation.  But just be ready for this one.  How do you think Oscar got in that wheelchair? Snap.  Hugh Grant is a little annoying as the scandalized-slash-titillated young buck that Oscar seduces with his story and a veiled promise of a roll in the hay with Mimi  (played by Polanski’s wife Emmanuelle Seigner). All of the 80’s gadgets in Oscar’s apartment kept making me giggle (yes, giggle); he had this weird computer-phone which seemed a lot more complicated than a normal phone, and he also tossed some croissants in the microwave to impress Mimi with breakfast after one of their first encounters. Baby I’m just going to zap these croissants, put ’em on a plate with some confiture, and maybe some cheese, if I have any cheese.

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Monsieur Hire

Posted by Web Manager on December 14, 2008

Patrice Leconte 1989

There are so many good things about this sharp, sensual and highly erotic film that I’m not even going to get into the fact that it came to my attention on my mother’s recommendation. The nuances here are perfect – how M. Hire doesn’t even look up when some kids throw a ball of flour at him from the window above, the glass of wine he drains before going to the door to meet her in person, the Arabic pop music playing in the tattoo parlor, the way her fiance literally climbs over her to escape his fate. Recreational sports were surprisingly prominent: there was a scene in a bowling alley, and a heartbreaking fall on an ice skating rink. There was a crazy focus rack about half way through film, from her, to her mirror, to M. Hire watching her from his window, that I could have done without. I am kind of tired of interesting mirror shots. And I didn’t entirely understand the ending. Why was she cleaning his apartment? And while we’re at it, what’s with the mice?  But the falling tomatoes were brilliant, as was the random man with the classically interesting European face waiting on a crepe in the middle of the night.

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Le Feu Follet

Posted by Web Manager on December 11, 2008

Louis Malle 1963

A friend of mine recommended that I see this film.  She said that the protagonist reminded her of me.  It took me almost a year before I got around to seeing it, and when I did I became somewhat concerned by her comparison.  I wrote her as much in an email and she wrote back something about the ghost of christmas past in ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE, like be careful or this could be you.  So it was hard for me to watch the film for what it was and not for how much I might resemble this bourgeois recovering alcoholic.  I really loved all of the stuff he had with him in the institution, his beautiful clothes and his luger.  His despair about his wasted life was well conceived and portrayed, but I found it less than gripping.  Definitely worth watching, even if you’re not a borderline suicidal apathetic dandy like me.

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Bottle Rocket

Posted by Web Manager on December 9, 2008

Wes Anderson 1996

I first saw BOTTLE ROCKET probably around the same time most people saw it, which was soon after seeing Wes Anderson’s second film RUSHMORE. I’m not going to get into the whole Wes Anderson discussion right now, or maybe ever.  I liked BOTTLE ROCKET the first time I saw it and like it even better now, after several views in the interim. I liked Tak Kubota playing a character named “Rowboat.” I also thought it was interesting that little of the style and color palettes that have become staples in Mr. Anderson’s subsequent films were apparent in BOTTLE ROCKET, with the notable exception of the motel, especially its interiors (perfect red walls). One thing that drove me crazy on this viewing was the close-up shot of the bumper button on the pinball machine early in the film. I think I’ve seen it somewhere before, possibly in something I watched very recently, like THE VERDICT, or WHO’S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR, or maybe a classic french film — I even did a quick search on the internets but no tomatoes.

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The Ring

Posted by Web Manager on December 8, 2008

Gore Verbinski 2002

I’m not a big horror fan at all. If I get into the picture, I find that by the end my stomach has been clenched for up to two hours and I don’t feel that it’s healthy. If I don’t get into it, then it’s often a big waste of time because the filmmaking is usually pretty bad. I got into THE RING; it made my skin crawl at times, especially at the end. The production design is beautiful, as are the images we see on the deathly tape. Naomi Watts carries the entire film basically by herself, which is something she is very good at; she also does it in KING KONG, where she acts for long stretches against nothing but a green screen and a computer generated ape. It must take a lot of talent and a super attitude to do what Ms. Watts does, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed here at Fucky Film Review.  Good work.

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Good Night

Posted by Web Manager on December 5, 2008

Jake Paltrow 2007

I told a co-worker that I was thinking about dream life and she brought me this feature film I’d never heard of the next day.  I like that — when someone just brings you a film the next day instead of saying how they’re going to bring you the film sometime.  GOOD NIGHT is the kind of indie New York film you don’t hear much about and then you see, and you’re kind of encouraged and discouraged at the same time, by how good it is and how bad it is at the same time.  I kind of couldn’t get over how frumpy Gwenneth Paltrow looked.  I know that’s lame, but I kept thinking, no one but her brother (the director) would make her look so unattractive.  This detail would not have distracted me so much were it not for how little sense it made in the context of the picture.  She’s supposed to be like the great love of the protagonist’s life, but oh, their relationship isn’t going so well so she looks awful now.  The supporting cast is great – Danny DeVito plays a professional snoozer who teaches a class in lucid dreaming at a local community center, and Penelope Cruz plays the woman of the protagonist’s dreams. Cruz is one of my favorite living actresses. This part offers her little to work with, but whenever she gets half a chance (like when she shows up in the protagonist’s real life – or does she? – as a tequila drinking model, shattering his dream version of her as a tuxedo clad super woman speaking in some elf-like language) she lights it up.  The early dream sequences are good, and I liked how he was so scared of and annoyed by the guys murmuring in Italian.

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Posted by Web Manager on December 4, 2008

Andrew Stanton 2008

I don’t particularly like animated features, but I’d read a lot of good things about WALL-E. And I felt totally cool sipping a drink at a local bar with a Disney film in my pocket. I kept hoping someone would ask me what I was doing later, so I could just pull it out and say, I’m going to open a bottle of Chardonnay and watch an animated love story about two robots. The movie lived up to all that I’d read. It’s about as good a child’s movie as I can ever remember seeing. And the closing credits are beautiful – it’s worth watching just for them. There’s also a super interesting bonus documentary on the DVD about the important role that sound design played in the film. Ben Burtt did the sound design – he got his start on STAR WARS doing R2D2 and you can hear it all the way through.  The doc also featured a bunch of great old sound machines made for Disney in the 40’s, and discussed the relative merits of original sound design versus recording.

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Prime Cut

Posted by Web Manager on December 2, 2008

Michael Ritchie 1972

I was surprised to see that the director of this film, Michael Ritchie, had his own shelf at the video store. On one hand, this is the man who made FLETCH. On the other hand, this is also the man who made FLETCH LIVES. PRIME CUT is about a Chicago mobster (Lee Marvin) who gets sent down to Kansas City to a whip local bigwig slaughterhouse owner named Mary Ann (played by Gene Hackman) into shape. When he gets there he sees that in addition to skimming off Chicago’s money, Mary Ann has also been doping young farm girls and selling them into slavery.  Kansas is fucked up in this movie. Of course Sissy Spacek has no problem playing a doped up farm girl. The shootouts towards the end of the film are great in that 70’s fatalist everyone is going to die kind of way.

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