Sun, Oct 29, 2000

: Braveheart

Author: Randall Wallace

Director: Mel Gibson

Amazing, impressive movie. I’d never got around to watching this, but I rented the DVD. Quite worth it for the widescreen picture alone. Fascinating story of Scotsman hero William Wallace, who kicked the English out of Scotland in the 13th Century. Incredible battle scenes, but most impressive was the well-told epic story — even the complex politics of the era was understandable. Wallace himself remains somewhat single-dimensional (everything relates to his career as a war leader), and I found his dalliance with the Princess of Wales difficult to believe, but overall an inspiring story.

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: U-571

WWII action flick. Impressive special effects and performances, with a cool story: a group of American submariners board a disabled German sub in order to steal an Enigma coding machine, but during the mission their own sub is destroyed, so they’re forced to try and repair and use the German sub. Exciting with non-stop action. The DVD is fantastic with surround sound — I loved hearing the creak of submarine metal straining echoing all around me, and feeling the room shake every time a depth charge exploded. The DVD has plenty of extras, like director’s commentary and about a dozen short documentaries.

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: Crash

Author: David Cronenberg, Book by J.C. Ballard

Director: David Cronenberg

Yuppies get their sexual kicks from car crashes. Unusual premise, yes, but I expected the film to explain it. It didn’t. I guess you can’t really explain sexual arousal, but by the end of the film I was so disconnected with the characters I didn’t care if they lived or died. They were just weird (and not a good weird — more like sick). What kind of moron runs his girlfriend off the road so she crashes just so he can get off on it? An interesting sidenote: book author Ballard also wrote Empire of the Sun, which was made into the Spielberg’s award-winning film. Maybe the book worked, but the film didn’t. Unusual for Cronenberg, who usually does so well explaining the bizarre.

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: Sisters

Director: Brian DePalma

Basically an hommage to Hitchcock. It’s well-done, but tends to feel like a remake even though it’s new material. The plot’s a complex mess about separated siamese twin sisters and murder. A woman reporter witnesses a murder (shades of Rear Window), but has trouble proving it. Ending is pretty cool, which includes reporter being placed in an insane asylum where everything she says is just proof that she’s belongs there.

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: Martin

Author: George Romero

Director: George Romero

Story about a 17-year-old vampire. Unusual, well-done, but slow-moving, and for some reason, not really my taste. I found it rather boring.

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