Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Film Week

A review of the movies I've seen this past week.

THE PASSENGER (1975)
It's not as pretty a movie, but this Michelangelo Antonioni movie reminded me a lot of his own Blow-Up. It's not as urgent a film, but in its own way it's also about a man who briefly wakes up. In this film, though, he doesn't wake up to the world outside of himself, but instead wakes up to himself. Jack Nicholson plays a reporter on assignment in North Africa who, very suddenly, steals the identity of a British national who has died in his hotel, wanders his way into an illegal arms deal, and then just spends the rest of the picture on the move, trying to see how far he can take it, how far he can escape into... something. It's never really defined what it is, or why this journey is even happening. Antonioni just creates this feeling, occasionally suspenseful, of Jack Nicholson's character desiring something more, something different, and just sort of letting it happen. It's an odd film, but one I won't soon forget. Its laid-back approach is surprisingly absorbing, but occasionally frustrating. ***1/2

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 (2011)
After seeing what fates befell first one sister and then the other, with this installment we go back to 1988 and see how their paranormal experiences began. I like these movies; I think they're surprisingly effective, and even though there are some iffy special effects shots in this one that threaten to damage the carefully constructed trick realism that makes these flicks work, it's actually the best one of these so far. ***1/2 (By the way: I've seen all of these movies on Netflix streaming the past few years. I think I enjoy them more that way; the intimacy of the home and the impression of home video recordings works better, I think, than seeing them on a big screen with a loud audience. The scares come from the stillness of the whole thing. That's why I wait for these things to come on Netflix.)

THE MAKER (2011)
Wonderful, absorbing animated short about life and what you make of it. I don't want to give it away, but it's atmospheric and lovely. ****

1 comment:

Autumn said...

I like the paranormal activity movies, they seem more plausible than most horror to me, I generally feel like the story behind the gore just doesn't quite work. With these, the characters and their responses to everything make sense to me. Even when it's not what I would do in that situation. I haven't seen any in theatres, but I think I would hate the crowd and noise since there are so many moments you are watching a silentish screen waiting for something and I'm not a screamer and not a fan of screamers. Haven't seen the 3rd but I'll watch it now!