Monday, August 20, 2007

The Last Classic Weekend

Well Windsor, The Lady and I made the last trip to our favourite rental shack in K-town to snag one last pair of releases before we hit the road this week [though when that may be is anyone's guess]. Behold, the selections.

I enjoy the David Fincher. I'm one of the few people who probably liked The Game more than Fight Club [Fight Club is very iconic of its time, it feels to me like the themes have been bettered in the year since]. While I never saw Panic Room, I saw enough of his music video work to know his chops were still up to snuff.

Hearing the descriptions for this movie on its release, it seemed a perfect fit to me. The story of the first serial killer to court the press and how the press dealt with it, as well as the frustrations of the cops trying to find him felt like a story made for Fincher to tell. And the results are mixed.

Fincher does a good job with the suspense, and with placing the film firmly in its time [one scene deftly shows how far investigative techniques have come, as departments in three different California counties try to figure out how to share information. Hard to do without even a fax machine], and the actors are all fine in their roles, though Robert Downey Jr. as SF Chronicle reporter Paul Avery felt underused to me. But I just can't flat out approve the movie.

There's a weird red herring three-quarters through that felt like useless padding, and when it's over you look back and realize it's a movie that doesn't really go anywhere. Which is probably how the cops looking for the Zodiac felt. For fans of Fincher or suspense it's worth a rental, but if you've never liked these kinds of movies, Zodiac won't win you over.

The Host
This one was on the list for a while. A monster movie from Korea with some shiny special effects assisted by WETA Workshop, the best thing to compare it to is the old movie Tremors, with its combination of comedy, drama and spookiness.

Inspired by an actual event, The Host tells the story of a monster that emerges from the Han River after it's polluted in South Korea and kidnaps a young girl named Hyun-seo. The movie follows the efforts of Hyun-seo's charmingly incompetent family to try and rescue her.

The coolest thing about the movie is that the monster is revealed the first 20 minutes into the flick, and will sometimes be on screen for lengthy periods of time. Guess what? It's just as creepy when the ugly S.O.B. is skulking around as when you can't get a good look at him.

The only problem really, is the same problem that plagues Asian cinema as a whole: weak. ass. ending! Honestly, would it kill somebody over there to write an ending that makes sense and has a touch of optimism? I swear.

Bonus Quickie Summation! Superbad
It's not the best movie like this you'll ever see, but you should still go see it as soon as you can. Even money says "I am McLovin" t-shirts are being printed as we speak, ready to be shipped to your local Hot Topic.

Thanks for the good times, Classic Video. Best rental store I've ever seen.


Anonymous mindme said...

Oi. Don't see D-War (which will probably open under the name Dragon Wars in North America). Horrible backyard piece o' crap. I liked The Host. In a culture that aborts female babies until they get a male baby, I couldn't help but see the ending as a kind of "happy" ending in a Korean sense. He didn't so much lose a daughter but gained a son.

4:41 AM


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