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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2007
     
    Yesterday I saw American Psycho and Zodiac, two very different films about serial killers of sorts. I'd seen parts of American Psycho before, but never the whole way through. It's decent, though I think the ending is just sorta blah. I don't especially love it, but it had it's moments (i.e. the Huey Luis/Axe killing segment).

    Zodiac was quite good, though not perfect. It's got some pacing problems and is perhaps a little too long (those two generally go together). Visually, it's less spastic than I was expecting. I always think of Fincher being very stylistic in his direction, but he uses a much more understated approach here. It's not bad at all, just unexpected, and there were definitely a lot of more subtle touches that were quite effective.

    POTENTIAL MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD

    I actually found it somewhat compelling all the way through, which really says something as we all know that the case was never really solved. Lots of the investigators involved have their own favorite suspect, and while the film ends with a note of ambiguity, it's pretty clear who the primary suspect is (though we'll never know for sure).

    Again, the pace is somwhat uneven, and I think part of that is that while the film clearly has a favorite suspect, they kinda also pay lipservice to other theories. At one point, I was reminded of Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line, as competing suspects are sort of battling it out. This, by the way, is a good thing. But again, it causes some minor issues with the pacing.

    All in all, an excellent film, but by no means perfect. It's kinda annoying that almost nothing good came out for the last few months, and then, bam, 3 films in 2 weeks (Zodiac, Black Snake Moan, and 300). Plus, you got Grindhouse coming shortly, and the Philly film festival is in early April too. Gahh...

    ~tallman
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    I know I want to see them all but I have no time. I also wanted to see the Departed too. Actually there are so many. Someday I may catchup. But it's not the same on DVD, if I watch a movie at home I end up about half the time not having the patience to sit there and watch the whole thing through. I love the theater. I like going and sitting in the front row or maybe a few back by myself. I'm one of those. Once in a while you get a cute guy that comes in and sits a few down from you (in a half full theatre) and its like watching the movie with this random person. You laugh at a part then they laugh and you can see out of the corner of your eye that they look over at you, like hey yeah were both lauhing at the same thing. Hahahah. This happens a couple more times. So cute right. Kinda nice. Then you go home. You gotta tell me that this happens to others too.
    But...Ok has this ever happened to anyone: One night I went to a movie alone, I can't remeber which one. But anyway the theater was practically empty. Like three or four people total. Then these two chicks (big ones), with a huge soda, candy and a popcorn each sit like right next to me, the seats right next to me. It confused the hell out of me. Then when the movie started they started chomping and slurping their food. it was so gross. So I got up and went out for a sec. I was polite. I didn't scoff or anything. Then I came back and sat somewhere further away. At this point I actually hear one of them say " Oh my god, she moved away from us" Like they were astonished or something. Like they wanted me sitting next to them and needed my company. They were disturbed that I had moved away. To this day I still scratch my head on that one. I had never seen these ladies before in my life. I did not know them. Nothing like that had ever happen before or has happened since.
  2.  
    Ok so I just realized that I didn't keep with the theme of the post.... Ramble ramble ramble. Oops.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeMar 4th 2007
     
    Yeah, I mean, come on! How hard would it have been to make the cute guy who laughs at the same time be a serial killer. Marley, Marley, Marley. I'm beginning to doubt your devotion to Sparkle Motion.

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2007
     
    Hmm, I hadn't realized Zodiac was directed by Fincher...that may move it up the list of movies to see in the theater.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeMar 6th 2007
     
    Zodiac isn't quite like Finchers other movies though. It's more of a slow burn. Very good, but not his best and as I said, some pacing and length issues... Worth seeing though.

    I'm actually kinda looking forward to 300 at this point... that seems like a real, theater-worthy experience. We shall see.
    • CommentAuthorSovawanea
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2007
     
    I'm also looking forward to 300. I do have some issues with violence in movies (for example, I did not see Sin City) but, when handled in the right way, I can deal with it. The previews make it look like it is completely unbelievable and that helps. Yet, it simultaneously is based on a historical account, which also helps.

    Black Snake Moan looks like a train wreck to me, I may pass completely on that one.
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2007
     
    I saw 300 last night...let me warn you, it was pretty damn violent.

    But it was also a blast...not too heavy on the plot or characters, but still fantastic to watch. I thought they did an even better job than with Sin City of adapting a graphic novel to the screen...it was just graphic novel-ly enough that the high level of violence and thin plot and character development didn't hinder the overall movie.

    I'd recommend it...especially in the theater (I read it was released on IMAX in some places).
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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2007 edited
     
    Yeah, 300 is pretty damn violent. In a lot of ways it's like the epitome of the 'guy' movie, or whatever. There's lots of violence and being strong and stereotypically manly rah rah rah. I'm with foucault though, it's a blast. It's not heavy on character/plot details. I thought it kinda dragged in the scenes with the apparently requisite Greco-Roman political scandal stuff (THE GREEKS AND ROMANS HAD DEMOCRACY AND CORRUPTION! WE GET IT, EVERY FILM THAT TAKES PLACE IN ANCIENT GREECE OR ROME, THANKS!) but the rest of it I didn't have much problem with. The visuals and characters look great. Some of the cinematography is downright amazing. In particular, there's one long take where the camera remains behind one of the Spartan soldiers as he hacks his way through on-coming attackers, then pans around as he exchanges dialogue with a fellow soldier who, conceivably, was nearby fighting as well the whole time, and the scene continues with the two of them fighting together. It's great. In fact, it's been a while since a film has made me appreciate camera angles, editing, and basically just capturing movement in a way that's beautiful as much as 300 has.

    A friend of mine was talking about another friend of his who may go see it on an IMAX theatre and we're both pretty much down to go see it again in that format.

    --

    I saw Zodiac this weekend as well, which I liked. Yeah, it felt long, but there weren't many scenes I felt unnecessary and I think the film is supposed to be more about the hunt for Zodiac and the people involved in that than Zodiac himself. When the police aren't doing much to find him anymore, the story shifts to the writer who's become obsessed and obviously the pacing is going to be considerably different for that. I think perhaps if I didn't know anything about the case and was expecting more resolution in the end, I might had a problem with the film being so long or having lengthy stretches where there's not much going on in the way of murders and oh-no!s but knowing Zodiac is never caught kept me from thinking "get on with it, find him already!"