August 15, 2007

The Trench

I dunno. Ebb and flows.

Busy time coming up. A new film series starting in the Vail Valley: one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Most of the notoriety comes from the ski resort, but the last three years or so a fledgling film festival has started up on its slopes that’s actually fairly impressive. Celebs like resorts – festivals like money – movie people like monied people: it all works out. The series is four films: Chungking Express, The Return, 3-Iron, and Pan’s Labyrinth. New American New Wave series starting up as well: five Saturdays. We’ll be doing Bonnie & Clyde, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Conversation, The Last Detail and The Stunt Man – as well as a cinematography series that will include pics like Hud and Days of Being Wild. It’s good because I like the work – and good, too, because I need the money.

Working on a couple of big projects – a few interesting assignments, a few that are just frustrating as fuck – and looking around at a few of my friends and peers who are going back to school, going out for drinks, going off on a lark. Checking that watch and wondering if it’s too soon for a mid-life crisis. How old was I ever going to get, anyway?

Amid a few screening duties (including Walter Hill’s still-delightful The Warriors – anyone here for an all-out revival of Hill’s works? Post-Sunshine, I was really hankering for a director’s cut of his Supernova) got a chance to watch Jack Hill’s Spider Baby, released in that annus mirabilis, 1968. Things really fucking flew apart that year in the United States, you know, bad enough that Richard stinking Nixon actually quoted Yeats in one of his speeches. He was talking about hippies, I think (most probably Abbie Hoffman in particular), but it’s gotta’ be bad for Mr. Bad Faith to assume the role as the proverbial falconer. 1968 in the movies has generational horror flicks like Rosemary’s Baby and Night of the Living Dead – and the ultimate freak-out in 2001: A Space Odyssey – too many to mention, really. The Wild Bunch is in there, right? Bonnie & Clyde and Easy Rider. . . and Altamont and Bobby Kennedy and My Lai and The Family. In a lot of ways, America is still suffering the hangover of that year. 1968.

But, oh yeah, Spider Baby is hilarious. An opening murder-by-shears is appropriately nauseating (though not overly gory by any stretch) and Lon Chaney’s sad performance as a caretaker of a family of inbred misfits recalls of all things, certain feelings elicited by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Inspired? Not quite. But definitely worth a look.

Saw The Invasion tonight and it’s just fucking bloody awful. Dumb as dirt and proselytizing, too – with every line of dialogue written by Kang and Kodos.

Saw Superbad last week and it’s not bad – mostly because I like Michael Cera.

Anyone here bite the pride bullet and go to Stardust?
Anyone here read the pieces on Antonioni and Bergman by Scorsese and Allen?

“John from Cincinnati” just got the hook – though what I’m really interested in is Alan Ball’s new Vampire series. I have hope, but frankly after “Six Feet Under”, the premise feels a little redundant. I have faith that he’ll surprise me. It’s good to have faith in something.

Here’s my lunchtime poll: best pod movie?

47 comments:

mimo70 said...

No biggie but...

Wild Bunch and Easy Rider are from '69 and Bonnie and Clyde is from '67.

Although I have a fondness for Ferrara's take on "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" - Meg Tilly, "Where ya goin' go?" bit is spooky - I prefer the version with Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams. It's creepier.

www.gottaseeitweekly.blogspot.com

This week, "The Blue Angel"

Hope you don't mind me pluggin' my blog here so incessantly.

Ciao.

Jefferson said...

I sort of do mind the blog plugs, personally, but eh, it's not my talkback.

I too liked Ferrara's remake, and I really miss Gabrielle Anwar. (Haven't seen The Tudors but I assume she's still blisteringly beautiful.) But for best pod flick, I'll go with the original Invaders From Mars. Bad enough when you're Kevin McCarthy and no one will believe you, but even worse when they won't believe you because you're just a little kid. And the metaphor of an alcoholic father probably rang true and sad to a lot of child fans in 1953.

Walter_Chaw said...

Yeah - Invaders From Mars is really an interesting picture. Extra points for knowing what the connection is to Day the Earth Stood Still.

Thanks for the specs on the dates - all of its gets mushed in there for me. I read histories of the time and get reminded of how long films used to run - and how stuff used to be revived. Like Patton playing on some double bills with M.A.S.H.. How fucked up is that?

Bill C said...

Anna Paquin is apparently the lead vamp in that Alan Ball show, so I'll be there with bells on.

Finally saw OFFSIDE. Mostly brought out the imperialist in me: fuck any culture that won't let women attend soccer games. Why didn't any of them think to wear a fake beard, though? Or at least paint one on with mascara. But that's probably dumbing down the conversation a bit.

Pwetz said...

Anybody have the opportunity to see Ki-Duk Kim's new film yet? I think his films have seen Walter's best-of lists two of the last three years, so I was wondering where this stood in comparison...

mimo70 said...

I changed my blog url...

www.gottaseeitfilmblog.blogspot.com

Thanks for your understanding.

Jefferson said...

For fuck's sake, dude ...

Yiyer said...

As a nascent semi-serious film-watcher, what exactly defines a pod movie? Extraterrestrial human mimics? Sorry for the stupid question. I saw the Ferrera version when I was about 12, I remember being excited about the nudity. Perhaps a revisit is in order. Ill check out Invaders from Mars as well, though a strong definition of the template would help my atrophied critical facilities along. Thanks.

Walter_Chaw said...

I think I'd define it as something like a movie where loved ones become. .. well. . . insidious in some way.

O'JohnLandis said...

Am I hallucinating or was this Trench post changed heavily?

I wouldn't mind the blog plugs if you didn't include the url. "I just wrote something. [Find it yourself.]" is much better than "I just wrote something. Click here."

Superbad is funny; Superbad is a structureless mess. It's a two-hour extended scene from a movie Judd Apatow made when he was 18. Michael Cera is quite good. He might be the next Jesse Eisenberg, unless he IS Jesse Eisenberg.

Ooh, pod segue.

Mark me down for the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Nothing at all wrong with the first remake (to be fair, I remember enjoying the second remake on cable a decade ago, too), and if you have to see the story in color, you could do worse. But I find allegory recycling to be distasteful, and I don't want to hear the word "zeitgeist" thrown around in this argument. The pod allegory of the original is clever and apt. From a historical perspective, I think it's dangerous to keep on remaking a movie and ONLY changing the point. It invalidates the original and makes people dumber, especially if the original point worked, and it did.

But hey, props due to The Invasion for being the worst of four versions of the same story. I saw a trailer and knew I wouldn't ever watch it.

2001 and Night of the Living Dead and Rosemary's Baby constitutes a pretty good year. Has anyone here seen all of War and Peace? Be honest...

Great, Anna Paquin and vampires on HBO. Like I fucking needed to watch another TV show...

Kurt Halfyard said...

Isn't the whole Zombie Subgenre kind of a reductive version of the Pod Movie. From Romero's Night of the Living Dead (but more Dawn) all the way up to 28 Weeks Later (the family element in that film) or for that matter, Brendan Gleeson's in 28 Days Later. For that matter, Shauns Mom and Stepdad in Shaun of the Dead.

Kurt Halfyard said...

Oh, thought I'd give a shot out to a genre shoot-em-up fav. "THE HIDDEN" staring a still fresh-faced Kyle MacLaughlin.

It's the action/cop thriller pod-flick.

Kurt Halfyard said...

OK, sorry for the deluge of comments, but I thought I'd throw out some more titles for discussion now that i've been thinking about it:

The Faculty - obvious, but true too bad the film is so forgettable.

The Stepford Wives - Nicole Kidman has now made two bad remakes of pod-flicks

Who Can Kill a Child? - Narciso Ibáñez Serrador's Sunbaked Horror has something wrong with the kids on a certain segregated island (THis film is real overlooked Gem and just came to DVD recently - Beats the tar out of John Carpenter's Village of the Damned for sure, not that is hard.

The Thing - speaking of Carpenter, his arctic remake of the Hawkes film does capture that pod feeling amongst the researchers.

Pleasantville - Am I stretching here to think that the coloureds/b&W's in the film is sort of an inversion of the whole pod-effect, shucking off the pods as you will.

Larry Cohen's criminally fun "THE STUFF" also mines the territory (however briefly) between chase sequences.

Talk amongst yourselves...

Anonymous said...

It's a lame choice, but I've always had a soft spot for Disturbing Behavior. No matter how obvious, an anti-conformist work has always interested me.

- David H.

Anonymous said...

..."a movie where loved ones become. .. well. . . insidious in some way."


Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

Ryan said...

Off topic, has anyone got any interest in the big Siskel and Ebert and Roeper video archive that they've recently put online? Not being a US citizen, I'd never even heard of Siskel before quite recently, but in watching him argue and discuss with Ebert, he seems like a pretty interesting critic. What was he like in life?

Bill C said...

Siskel was the perfect counterpoint to Ebert, and their show died with him. By all accounts, Siskel wasn't much of a writer and a love of film didn't precede his gig as a critic, but he had a good palate, and he coined a few enduring maxims that weren't just catchphrase bullshit.

Trolling that archive, I was surprised by how well I remembered so many of those reviews. Indelible stuff.

Bill C said...

Well folks, it's finally here: just received a press release for the first "tilt-and-scan" DVD that will recompose a fullscreen movie (the 1951 A CHRISTMAS CAROL) for widescreen displays.

The HDTV era: ignorance 2.0.

Jared said...

Oh Bill, that won't be it. If you don't think you're going to see 1:78:1 editions alongside every single 2:40:1 release on Blu-Ray you're dreaming. There are so many idiots who won't be content unless the image fills their screen. These are the same people who own widescreen TVs and have their DVD players set on 4x3 letterbox and wonder why it looks stretched out.

Chris said...

This guy I know just finished four years of film school with a concentration in cinematography. I caught him watching Freaks and Geeks with the image stretched laterally to fill the widescreen TV, and when I asked how, as a DP, he feels about that, he said, "Well, if it's TV, I really don't give a damn." Except he had to intentionally reset the TV to display that. Fucking morons, everywhere.

Bill C said...

Yeah, I don't get the 'taffy pullers'--it's a hell of a lot more distracting than two slivers of black down the sides of the screen to see someone look like Katherine Helmond in BRAZIL, and it deteriorates the image besides.

Jeffrey said...

It's maybe worth mentioning that SPIDER BABY was actually shot in '64, but sat on the shelf four years cuz the production company went bankrupt.

I'm forever in love with Jill Banner in this. She died way too young.

-Jeffrey Allen Rydell

Dennis said...

Spider Baby is an amusing movie, but I was hardly blown away by it either.

The best pod movie is easily Kaufman's remake. The man may sometimes come across as a pretentious pseudo-sophisticate, but that movie really is a terrifying masterpiece.

Anonymous said...

Where can I find the Scoresese and Allen pieces?

Bill C said...

They're both at the New York Times website; you'll probably have to register before you can access them.

Jefferson said...

Get yer registration-free clickthrough raht cheyah:

Woody on Bergman

Scorsese on Antonioni

Seattle Jeff said...

IN defense of people that stretch things out on the TV, my TV repair guy advised me to not always watch things on my LCD in 4:3 because it will eventually result inthe pixels on the borders freezing.

That said, I took his advice.

Until I couldn't take it anymore.

Bill C said...

That's patently untrue. There'd be no 4:3 DVDs if that were a legitimate risk. The only people who should be concerned are plasma owners (because of burn-in), and even then only if they were too dumb to turn the brightness and contrast down from where it was out of the box.

Patrick Pricken said...

I believe New York Times has opened up their archives to the public.

I don't mind pimpage, as long as it's only a part of the comment, and not the whole body.

I second Episode I as best pod movie or, failing that, Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan. If that counts.

Jeffrey said...

Seattle Jeff said...
"IN defense of people that stretch things out on the TV, my TV repair guy advised me to not always watch things on my LCD in 4:3 because it will eventually result inthe pixels on the borders freezing."

If you run into a problem with pixel memory (what your tech was describing) find a full-height 16:9 DVD (not a 'scope movie) that contains an all-white frame (fade to white in the last shot of THE SIXTH SENSE, for example), and let it run paused until the crystals get their asses back in gear. Pixel memory isn't permanent.

-Jeffrey Allen Rydell

Alex Jackson said...

Holy Shit!

I guess there is a God.

Jack Sommersby said...

Bill,

I was re-reading your as-usual-terrific review of the Alien Legacy, when I came across this little tidbit which has escaped my attention until now:

-- DOES NOT COMPUTE
How did these aliens reproduce before humans came along? --

A little confused. The giant dead alien Dallas, Lambert and Kane come across in that derelect spacecraft proves that the facehugger can "impregnate" any species it comes into contact with. It's also been theorized -- though not rock-solid but persuasive enough, mind you -- that the aliens were designed as weapons to be, say, dropped onto the area of any enemy, where the eggs would be investigated and the horrendous consequences would ensue.

Thoughts?

Bill C said...

Where ya been, Jack?

Yeah, I get e-mail about that all the time. I guess it's an easy one to rationalize, though I did hear from a guy who says they explained it in some comic book and I'm a dumbass for not having read it.

Another one I get a lot is that the xenomorph attack coinciding with Ripley's awakening in Aliens is not a deus ex machina as I claimed, because Burke sent the colonists out to search for aliens *after* Ripley's testimony. I confess that was pure falling asleep at the wheel on my part.

Jared said...

Argh, so Microsoft handed over a big briefcase full of money to Paramount to get them to be HD-DVD exclusive (even though they can't as the rights they have with certain filmmakers, notably Spielberg won't let them). I wish something would just kill HD-DVD and make it die and the cheap combo players can start coming out for people who invested in the software before it was obvious who the winner was. This is a shoddy way to stick life support into HD-DVD which has crap in the way of capacity (the single layer HD-DVDs aren't even twice the size of a Dual Layer DVD!) and doesn't support full 1080p. Hopefully Best Buy and Circuit City and hell, Amazon.com too take a cue from Target and dump HD-DVD and make them rethink this. It's extremely aggravating after settling on Blu-Ray disc and getting a PS3. If this persists people will never adopt high definition on video - they see one movie out in 3 different formats and they decide to buy the only one they already own a player in. I was already disappointed that Mulholland Dr., King Kong, Do The Right Thing and many other Universal movies won't be on Blu Ray so I can enjoy them the way they are meant to look and sound but now The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, American Beauty, and the bazillion Paramount backlog titles I want won't come out within the next 18 months on BD.

Luckily Michael Bay posted a screed against Paramount on his website saying until they undo this he won't make a sequel to Transformers. You know, that would be the only thing that would make losing Paramount to fake-HD-don't-bother-switching-from-regular-DVD worth it except for the fact that if he won't make it someone else will. I still hope it shoves a poker up their asses, Spielberg is hopping mad about it too. I'm sure FFC didn't make plans to go BD exclusive for no reason - it is the winner format with all the advantages and this is an artificial shove against what movie fans want.

I'd like to see Warner announce New Line as Blu Ray exclusive and immediately line up Pan's Labyrinth, A History of Violence and all 3 Lord of the Rings to hopefully start turning the tide back where it belonged. The market was doing a fine job of killing HD-DVD and it didn't want this.

Justin said...

Jared, I love ya (in the sense that I love everyone who chooses to participate in the vast and wonderful Film Freak Central community) but 1. HD DVD is perfectly capable of 1080p and 2. capacity aside HD DVD and Blu-ray look identical on the screen. (Trust me, I know--I have both and the Best Buy debt to prove it.) Oh, and Bay already took back his comments--apparently he saw 300 on HD DVD and love love loved it! BUt you made the right choice going with the PS3, I've heard it's the only Blu-ray player that has the capability to keep up with Blu-ray upgrades and format changes (via firmware I guess.)

Yeah--the format war is getting ugly, and I guess because it's such a tiny piece of turf right now it's getting uglier. But hanging out in home theater forums has never been more entertaining.

DaveA said...

Calling Michael Bay to the rescue... at least he will have the proper military assistance...

Of course, Sony has never paid anyone anything to support Blue Ray - that would be, like, totally unfair.

I've seen HD DVD as well as Blue Ray on a Nec CRT Projector, and they both look terrific, at least when they were properly encoded (which, by the way, was a real problem with the early Blue Ray releases). We also looked at DVDs upscaled to 1080p and postprocessed with a sharpening filter (with ffdshow on a PC) - you might laugh at this, but let me tell you that you wouldn't believe how good it looks with a proper DVD release. Therefore, I stick with DVD for the moment and let the early adopters burn their money. Capacity is overrated.

Jared said...

Sony's camp were not making the same antitrust allegations that Microsoft were making against Sony. The long and short of it is: Blu-Ray is winning for a reason. They even got a late start and still have the bump, whenever a multiplatform release of a major title comes out like 300 or The Departed it is always a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of Blu-Ray sales to HD-DVD sales. Hell, The Departed's HD-DVD didn't even have space for the Scorsese on Scorsese feature that's on disc 2 of the regular release. Having two formats means that for the non-exclusive companies they have to go through the expensive and painstaking authoring process twice instead of focusing all their energies into making the best release possible. They don't look identical to me. I actually saw Good Night and Good Luck and The Fountain in both. (A friend owns a combo player and is a huge fan of The Fountain. He bought both figuring he could give the combo disc to someone later. Good Night and Good Luck I rented on Blu-Ray after watching a store demo of the movie on HD-DVD when it launched last year) Good Night and Good Luck on HD-DVD had all of the same problems that the DVD had, blurriness and smearing and bleeding blacks. The Blu-Ray fared significantly better and maintained the contrast and style of when I saw it theatrically. I noticed less of a difference with The Fountain (no sound difference and I guess if anything the blu ray is brighter) but of course, a grayscale image is almost always the best way to test something. I don't know how anybody could be in the HD-DVD camp - at this point they are like what Divx was in 1998 just diluting the market and pushing a format that hurts consumers.

Sony in their camp has exclusively Disney, MGM, Fox, Sony (duh) and Lionsgate. HD-DVD has Universal, Paramount (to an extent) and The Weinstein Group. Not really much of a comparison to who has the longer end of that stick at the moment and for a reason. The Paramount team was working on a multiformat release of Blades of Glory and had planned a special feature that would use the capacity of the Blu-Ray disc and would not be available on HD-DVD. When they heard about the exclusivity announcement and tried to port it over they found out it was simply impossible to do it. HD-DVD is trash, it will totally undo the death of the multidisc crap and it will probably mean a return to the milking "regular" and "special edition" releases. The 15 gigabyte capacity on the combo discs like Breach, Children of Men, 300, etc.. is really lame for what's supposedly a high def format. They cost five bucks more than the blu-ray disc versions do and they have only twice the capacity of a dual layer standard DVD.

I was more than willing to upgrade from standard DVD when I saw HD cable for the first time and knew how much better certain films that have always been disappointing in their DVD releases could be. Movie fans don't need all this multiplatform garbage that's been draining the pockets of video game fans for so long. We need one single high def format and if you think Blu Ray won't outperform HD-DVD than wait until two years from now when the chasm between them is like laserdisc and DVD.

davea said...

I did not see Good Night&Good Luck, but at least the guys at highdefdigest couldn't see any difference between HD and BD. But actually, I don't care that much who will "win" this one. Even if BD has a slight edge over HD, it's negligible in my eyes. I'm in no "camp" at all and don't see how one could be in either one - I'm more in the "amused" camp. Don't blame HDDVD that you paid good money for a gaming console which also happens to play movies. Yes, I have a huge dislike against Sony since they managed to fuck up every format they've ever supported. At least Microsoft has an interested that some day we might be able to see HD content on normal computers without fiddling around with ridiculous copy protection mechanisms, whereas Sony is quite happy with the fact that you better buy a stand alone player (and preferably a PS3).

As I said, I stick with DVD and wait until I can play HD content without problems on my PC and preferably with Linux. If it's BD or HD, who knows? But somehow I have the feeling that this might turn out like the "war" between DVD+R and DVD-R ...

Anonymous said...

All of this technical mumbo jumbo. I'll just stick with DVD's like most non-AV heads until this all gets straightened out. I grew up watching VHS movies, so I can get by on the sub-standard quality of DVD's for awhile longer.

Anyway, has anyone read David Bordwell's recent piece on the shaky cam in The Bourne Ultimatum? I think I agree with it, so while lots of critics seem enamored with Greengrass' shooting style (Walter included it seems), I hope it's just a fad. Here's a link.

Bill C said...

Hey, Mel (Sienna?)--yep, it's me. Feel free to drop me an e-mail sometime - billc@filmfreakcentral.net

As for this Paramount debacle: it's only for 18 months, Spielberg made it clear it won't affect his own films (he's a Blu-ray supporter, to my surprise), and in the end there's still like an 8:3 ratio in the # of studios that support Blu-ray over/parallel to HD-DVD. This is HD-DVD's death rattle, if you ask me, unless Microsoft ninja ambushes another studio in the next month or two. Look at what Blu-ray's got lined up for fall: DIE HARD 1-4, EVIL DEAD 2, HALLOWEEN, ROBOCOP, SPIDER-MAN 1-3, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS... The list goes on, whereas the HD-DVD exclusives begin and end, for all intents and purposes, with TRANSFORMERS.

Justin said...

Well--and Heroes, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica (but I see your point.)

invasive said...

"Anyway, has anyone read David Bordwell's recent piece on the shaky cam in The Bourne Ultimatum? I think I agree with it, so while lots of critics seem enamored with Greengrass' shooting style (Walter included it seems), I hope it's just a fad."

Me too. I think the Bourne movies work *in spite* of the shaky cam, but certainly not because of it. If I had my way, the shaky-cam effect would die with Bourne Ultimatum. It's just not good action.

O'JohnLandis said...

Pretty sure HD-DVD discs are capable of 1080p, but not all HD-DVD players are. HD-DVD bothers me mainly because it's unambitious. "It's somewhat better than standard DVD right out of the box, we can market exciting 'interactive' features, people are familiar with 'DVD' in the title, and hey, the format's limited enough to come out with another iteration in five years." If nothing else, Blu-ray should get points for being the best thing possible at the time. (Like 70mm is today.)

The PS3 is a fine Blu-ray player and the Xbox 360's HD-DVD add-on is poor. Blu-ray is already pretty good and has considerable potential due to its capacity and bitrate, and writable Blu-ray really seems futuristic. (We're moving closer and closer to that 500 TB download from Live Free or Die Hard. Kinda.)

No matter how much bad press PS3 receives, it was still a smart decision to stick a next-gen optical technology in a purpose-built HD game system. Microsoft was so terrified of a high cost that they not only avoided next-gen optical, but made hard drives optional, theoretically forcing their system's games to work without guaranteed hard drive space for the entire life cycle of the system. And in typical Microsoft fashion, they've since backtracked, I think, in about as confusing a press release as it's possible to, um, release.

I guess it would have been unlikely for the HD-DVD camp to have given up at this stage, but it seems like they're really playing for a tie. And a tie is the worst case scenario for everyone. Sony owns MGM, so two studios are untouchable, and even a PS3 weakened by ignorance guarantees a larger installed base than HD-DVD is likely to get. (I'd feel bad rooting for such a massive corporation as Sony if the massive corporation on the other side wasn't Microsoft.)

We also looked at DVDs upscaled to 1080p and postprocessed with a sharpening filter (with ffdshow on a PC) - you might laugh at this, but let me tell you that you wouldn't believe how good it looks with a proper DVD release. Therefore, I stick with DVD for the moment and let the early adopters burn their money. Capacity is overrated.

A silly thing to say, though I'm not laughing. We're getting pretty far away from a celluloid image at this point, with you processing a 480p image at 1080p and then artificially sharpening it. Since we can't project 35mm in our living rooms, shouldn't there be a reasonable, modern home format that doesn't require a PC or anything as depressing as a "sharpening filter?" And it's odd that capacity doesn't matter much, seeing as you don't find many "proper" single-layer DVD releases these days. Capacity helps.

No real surprise that I think Greengrass ruined the Bourne franchise to some extent. I don't think, visually, that he knows what he's doing, and that's too bad, because in all other aspects, he kinda does. The key line in the Bordwell piece is:

"It just seems too easy."

Oh, and for the video game set, Bioshock is amazing. Think a shooter version of Myst, set in an underwater Fallout. It's gorgeous and brutal and squishy.

James Allen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Allen said...

Interesting essay about the "shaky cam." I have to admit, I loved The Bourne Ultimatum in spite of the quick cutting and shaky cam. Maybe it's from years of watching 24 or something that I've gotten used to the idea of an action thriller being shot and edited like this.

Anyway, while I was watching the film I was swept up in the kneticism of Greengrass's technique, only occasionly pausing to contemplate all the shakiness. It was pretty much in the New York car chase sequence (the last act of the film) where I finally said to myself, "can the camera shop shaking for 2 seconds?" And yes, the breakneck pace covered up some plot silliness, but I must admit all these kind of films have some plot silliness. It may be "too easy" or whatever, but I enjoyed it. What that says about me, or audiences in general, I'm not sure. Is this that bad of a thing?

Anyway, I'm going to go watch the first Mission: Impossible film to calm down (that film is edited like My Dinner with Andre compared to The Bourne Ultimatum.)

Dennis said...

28 Weeks Later utilizes the shaky cam technique far more skillfully, in that it doesn't rely solely on that style for the entire movie. For instance, (SPOILER) the opening siege wouldn't have been nearly as powerful had Carlyle's escape from the house to the boat been shot in the same style as the sequence inside the house was. That long crane shot was a brilliant piece of cinematic punctuation after the preceding chaos. (/SPOILER)

Personally, I just don't think Greengrass' style is cinematic. James Allen brought up De Palma's Mission: Impossible -- now THAT is cinema.

Anonymous said...

I found it interesting to read that Ang Lee's latest film "Lust, Caution" has earned an NC-17 rating. I guess that means it will be confined to the art houses.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i5259606488c5ad20cc20a5480de02cdc