Archive for June 17th, 2008

Saw Man Bites Dog, a French ‘realistic’ cinema. Shot like a documentary, the film is about a TV crew recording the life of a ruthless killer who murders people for money. In parts hilarious and in parts gruesome, it is like Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange without the creative production design.

I’m not sure what the film talks about – whether it is society’s sure degeneration into violence and anarchy or modern society and its obsession with media, or both.  It sure is a mindfuck film. A must watch for bizzarros.

Also watched Stardust, a 2007 Matthew Vaughn film based on a graphic novel. I must admit when I sat down to watch it, I didn’t expect to like it. Sin City has spoiled me for other films in the genre. But I was pleasantly surprised. The story, a fantasy, is novel and so are the FX. Though, I have to admit, these days I am easily seduced in both these department while watching a fantasy.

These days, anything that does not ape the Lord of the Rings in the FX or the story department is good (Eragon, Narnia, Prince Caspian anyone?).

Stardust in a nutshell, is the story of a young boy, Tristan (Charlie Cox) and his search for his true love. The story is set in an imaginary English village, The Wall. The Village is so called because it is bordered on one side by a Wall, beyond which lies the kingdom of Stormhold, then undergoing a violent succession struggle.

The story begins with Tristan’s dad, Dunstan crossing over the Wall and meeting and falling in love with a beautiful girl who’s been enslaved by a witch. Ergo, nine months later, Tristan’s born. Eighteen years after that, Tristan himself crosses the Wall to catch a fallen star to present it to his one true love, Victoria (Sienna Miller), on her birthday, a week thence.

Tristan finds the fallen star which has assumed human form, Yvaine (Claire Danes). Initially bickering, the two fall in love as they journey back to the Wall in time for Victoria’s birthday. On the way, many adventures befall them as they wrestle witches, ruthless princes, lightening capturing storm pirates and more.

Though it could’ve been shorter by about 30 minutes, nevertheless, a fun film with great performances by Michelle Pfeiffer as the evil witch Lamia and Robert de Niro as the soft-as-a-pussycat-masquerading-as-fearsome cross-dressing pirate, Shakespeare.

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