4 Barebones Movie Reviews

Tuesday, 7 January 2003

4 bare­bones movie re­views:

Le Pacte des Loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf)

This French film is of­ten com­pared to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and it is sim­i­lar in­so­far as the fight se­quences are well chore­o­graphed by Tak-ngai Yeung and shot in the Hong Kong style. It was also flam­boy­antly edited by an­other Asian, David Wu. But, as I said, it is a French film and takes place in France. The plot is a bit crinkly and a bit thread­bare in spots, as it ap­pears the di­rec­tor had too many di­rec­tions he wanted to go in and couldn’t de­cide to nar­row it down enough. Chevalier Gr goire de Fronsac, the king’s nat­u­ral­ist, and his na­tive American blood brother Mani are called in to the French coun­tryside to in­ves­ti­gate the mys­te­ri­ous maul­ings of women and chil­dren by a beast. Of course, the Lords and Church of­fi­cials do not lis­ten to him or the sur­viv­ing vic­tims and in­sist it is just a wit­tle bitty wolfikins. Politics, re­li­gion, and a bor­dello wench named Sylvia all have a hand in the pot and Fronsac’s goose just might be cooked.

The Tao of Steve

Not nearly as high in pro­duc­tion val­ues as Le Pacte, but this film isn’t con­cerned with look as much as its moral. Dex is a fa­tass no-ac­count man’s man who knocks off a bong of pot every morn­ing in­stead of drink­ing cof­fee. de­spite his obe­sity and gen­eral un­ap­peal­ing na­ture, he gets ab­solutely any woman he wants. his rules are the Tao of Steve:

1. Be Desireless
2. Be Excellent
3. Begone

He doesn’t have a prob­lem with this life un­til he meets Syd and is smit­ten. Little does he know of the past be­tween them. Will she do­mes­ti­cate this boor­ish loutish oafish man? I sup­pose I had no need to say it four times.

Donnie Darko

This is a damn good movie. A tor­mented high school boy named Donnie Darko hal­lu­ci­nates a gi­ant deathshead hare who tells him to do things and pre­dicts the end of the world to oc­cur right be­fore Halloween. Everyone treats Donnie like a ra­bid an­i­mal, even to some ex­tent his girl­friend. I think she gets off on the fact that he is a nut­ball. This treat­ment only in­creases his alien­ation. He learns about Time Travel from Grandmother Death, un­cov­ers a child pornog­ra­phy ring led by a mo­ti­va­tional speaker, and isn’t very com­mit­ted to Sparkle Motion. But hey, its all in a days work when you’re await­ing the end of your world.

Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run)

German pop-cul­ture post­mod­ernist MTV mu­sic video. Lola has 20 min­utes to get $100,000 or else his boyfriend gets killed. Now, I saw the dubbed ver­sion of this, which does not add to my movie ex­pe­ri­ence. It is like a un­suc­cess­ful pro­to­type of the TV show 24. I think it tries to make a state­ment about how lit­tle in­stances of con­tact can de­ter­mine fu­ture events. Caramelized chaos the­ory. and Lola sorta has this su­per scream­ing power. Needless to say it runs through 3 dif­fer­ent ver­sions of the 20 min­ute pe­riod end­ing with the oblig­at­ory happy clo­sure. It is post­mod­ernism with­out a project, Lola is rennt in two. God that was a hor­ri­ble pun.