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My Short Films

Friday, November 25, 2005

Some Quick Film Reviews For Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Constant Gardener, Elizabethtown, And 2 Other Italian Films.

It's been a while since I've written a film review, after all, the 'Sell Out Week' occurred, and I chose not to do anything that potentially will not give me any readers. But then, all these while, my film reviews ARE written for myself, just that I've grown selfish now. So, some quickies:

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Starring Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer, this is a buddy movie/film noir/action/murder mystery with postmodern voice over narratives. It's insanely fun to watch, when you see Robert Downey Jr's character rewinding some scenes cos' he missed out something, or sarcastically pointing out that some seemingly meaningless scenes are actually meaningful (dum dum dum!). So yeah, Robert Downey Jr plays a crook who, while escaping from the cops, stumbled into a film audition, and fooled the producers into thinking that he's one hell of an actor (he just got his partner killed, and he was asked to read a script which featured a scene where the guy got his partner killed... thus intense METHOD ACTING from him). He was flown to Hollywood, and met a private eye called Gay Perry (Val Kilmer, and yes, Gay Perry is gay, hence the name, I forgot the character's real name), who was supposed to be his consultant in teaching him how to act like a private eye. Then both guys got involved in a TRUE murder case. Intrigue, plot twists and hilarity ensue.

Val Kilmer, who had sucked for many many years, totally changed my perception of him here. Although he's gay, Gay Perry's totally a hardcore action hero who is beyond badass. Definitely by far Kilmer's best role ever! Downey was great too as the protagonist and narrator, but man, Val totally steals the show. Highly recommended!

The Constant Gardener
Ralph Fiennes plays the title character, a mild-mannered professor who is constantly gardening. His life was shattered when his wife (Rachel Weisz), a socially-conscious lawyer, was murdered (she died at the beginning of the film, so this ain't a spoiler) at a remote area in Kenya. He gradually found out that her death may be caused by pharmaceutical coorporations, and thus embarked on a journey to 'finish what his wife left off', while at the same time haunted by remorse and grief thanks to rumours of his late wife's infidelities, his mission would eventually change him, and allow him to know more about a wife he never knew that well when she was alive. Intense and stylish, emotional and romantic, great acting from Weisz and Fiennes (I forgive him for Avengers!), Oscar-nominated Brazillian director Fernando Meirelles simply rocked with his unconventional guerilla filmmaking style (which *cough* reminds me of my own style, being a guerilla filmmaker too). Great film.

I like Cameron Crowe, Jerry Maguire's one of my all-time favourite romantic comedies ever, Almost Famous was robbed for not having a Best Picture Oscar nomination and Vanilla Sky's freaking underrated. However, no matter how I look at it, this film is seriously a poor man's version of Garden State, Orlando Bloom, tried hard he did, just DOES NOT have the charisma to be a leading man. Too skinny, too girlish, I mean, this might be one of the more likable roles he has ever done since LoTR, but he JUST CAN'T CARRY A FILM!! Too contrived, it's just a generic romantic comedy that's better than most other romantic comedies I've seen, but just not good enough for a Crowe film.

Manuale D'Amore (Manual Of Love)
Saw this in the Italian Film Festival. This charming romantic comedy is Italy's top-grossing film in years, and I can see why. It's about four tales of love and betrayal featuring very likable characters, the first one is about a young man trying to win the affections of a disinterested beautiful woman, the second is about a middle-aged couple trying to rediscover their spark, the third is about a policewoman trying to get her revenge when she found out her husband had an affair with someone else, and the last one's about a paediatrician trying to win back his wife, who abandoned him for another guy. It's so sweet and romantic, so bustling with life that I almost want to fly to Rome immediately and roam the streets on a scooter. Hell, I loved this film so much that I immediately wanted to see another film for the Italian Film Festival the next day, which led me to drag Justin along to see...

Cantando Dietroi Paraventi (Singing Behind Screens)
This film has Chinese people in ancient Chinese costumes speaking Italian. And at the beginning, there's a nude swordsfighting chick. It started out as a performance onstage, but then the tale about a woman pirate came alive.

Oh, and it sucked.

Really, it sucked horribly.

Dukes of Hazzard was stupid and dumb, and shitty, but it generated enough negative emotions within me to hate it. But THIS, my god, THIS is like staring at a blank wall for three freaking hours, seeing people doing nothing, and then being hit in the face with a stupid copout ending (the heroine surrenders to the bad guy, and everyone lives happily ever after, and no, there's no feeling of tragedy at all, you don't see her getting killed Braveheart style, or her going hardcore and kill the main baddie before getting herself killed, nope, she just surrendered, and the film ended).

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH, IT SUCKS! I felt as bad as Monica Bellucci in Irreversible. I felt as bad as Princess Diana in a Paris Tunnel, I felt as bad as Terri Schiavo without... all right, it's tasteless enough, but when a film can prompt me to come up with such tasteless analogies, you can imagine how SHITTY it is.

So many films I've seen and Australia has yet to show Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire (my favourite book of the series), this sucks, man.

Oh, and here's a Daphne Teo gratuitious appearance.

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Picture stolen from, credit given to the site because I do not want to become as hated by my own countrymen as its owner.
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