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    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2012
    A few years back, I bought a fan-made recreation of the 1984 Georgio Moroder reconstruction of Metropolis.

    For many years Moroder's version was the best-available version Fritz Lang's film, but in 2005 Kino put out a DVD which had both more footage and FAR better print quality.

    The fan version ("Metropolis Redux") melded Moroder's contemporary soundtrack with the crisp 2005 footage, adding in the color tinting of the 1984 version.

    I though the recreation was pretty cool . . . but a curiosity, since Kino had since release "The complete Metropolis" with 25 minutes of long-lost footage and the full orchestral score.

    THEN Kino released THEIR official DVD of the 1984 Moroder version. Out of a mixture of curiosity and wanting to do the right thing by the musicians who did the soundtrack, I bought this DVD. Well, Blu-Ray.

    Wow, major suckage.The print quality is just awful. It's been over a decade since I lost my VHS of the Moroder version, and I'd forgotten how terrible the quality of the visuals were.

    I'm going to leave the Blu-Ray on the shelf and consider "Metropolis Redux" to be the true successor to Moroder's version.

    Even then, I suspect I'll be watching the Compete Metropolis more often. That was splendid.
    • CommentTimeMar 29th 2012
    You know one thing (among many others) I loved about that Pirates! trailer? Do you see ANY mention of David Tennant, Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Brendan Gleeson, Brian Blessed or any of the other brilliant people they have in it? No. There's not one mention of ANY of the actual actors' names. Because unlike some OTHER animation studios* they don't value the stars above the film itself.

    * I'm talking about Dreamworks and their smarmy pop-culture pap. As if you didn't know.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2012
    Last night I caught a viewing of The Raid - Redemption, a Thai cop action/martial arts flick. Review over at my blog.
  1.  (10525.4)

    On We Need To Talk About Kevin, I think the boy being hellspawn is a conscious choice by the film-makers. The book (which I haven't read) is told from the mother's P.O.V. so it's her perspective on the child that is presented to the audience. The film can't go that far – the form makes it more difficult, I would argue. But for me, it's still very much about the mother's terrible parenting, which in turn explains why Kevin becomes who he becomes. My post on the film is here. It was one of my faves of last year.

    @Ben Gwalchmai
    As was the Ides of March, which I like even more than Good Night, And Good Luck. Glad you enjoyed Young Adult as well.

    Anyone seen / read The Hunger Games? I'm in love with Jennifer Lawrence, so rather tempted...
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012 edited
    I watched Antichrist and, even though I tried, I didn't get it. Don't know if I'd want to see it again. I like films that challenge me but...sigh.
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012
    @flecky -

    Yeah, there's a crucial difference between being challenged and being baffled. One may argue that the bafflement is purposeful or caused by the viewer's lack of comprehension, but sometimes the author was reaching for challenging, and settled for baffling. Or can't manage baffling and just go right for "rocks fall, everybody dies."
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2012 edited
    I am watching /Drive/ a second time, and paying for it. I haven't done that with a movie in quite a long time.

    Ryan Gosling is just perfect, the movie is spot-on the whole way through, and for once, it is a pleasure to shell out for it. For me, it has the feel of Brubaker's /Criminal/, and does a better Jim Thompson-ish feel than the last few adaptations of that author's actual work I've seen.

    There are only about a dozen movies I will rewatch whenever they come on regular TV, and /Drive/ will be one of them.

    ETA: I would put the first 10 minutes of this movie, by itself, up against any other 10-minute short film, as a stand alone work. If you aren't sold on this movie after the first 10 minutes, then don't like fun.
  2.  (10525.8)
    I find that I don't buy too many DVDs these days ever since Netflicks came out, but the lighting and color in Drive is so beautiful, I had to buy the DVD when it came out.
  3.  (10525.9)
    Did a double movie night with a few friends, the theme of which was mind control slugs.

    Shivers and Slither. Both excellent movies.

    Also, watched the serpent and the rainbow a few days ago. What a baffling movie.
  4.  (10525.10)
    Glad we're all Drive fans here.

    I've read many articles saying that it's all surface over depth and I couldn't disagree more: for me, the film's a genre film that still manages to be about urbanity, isolation (the good sides, the flipside, the reasons for) and is a very real, very well done demonstration of 2 things -

    - what happens when you come out of isolation and reconnect with humans and;
    - the parable of the scorpion and the fox.

    It also happens that the cinematography is awesome. Especially in the 1st ten minutes.

    @InvincibleM - I've seen neither Shivers or Slither but I have a similar slug-filled [though I should warn you, they do evolve past the slug form] Korean film - The Host - and jebus is that good. I recommend.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
    Yeah, The Host is a good bit of monster-mutation spliced with some dark humour.

    @InvincibleM: I'm glad you enjoyed Shivers.
  5.  (10525.12)
    Serpent and the Rainbow makes my genitals hurt. Every. Single. Time.
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
    @gov spy Oh man, I haven't seen it in a few years now, but i watched Serpent and the Rainbow with my parents when I was a kid, and it was awesomely freaky. Became a genre favorite of mine later in High School.
  6.  (10525.14)
    @Ben Gwalchmai

    I am one of those ppl who thought it was 'surface over depth'. Did not notice the use of the parable you point out, but I'm unsure if it adds anything new to Refn's established interest in man's (or men's) capacity for violence. Got a bit bored of the style as well, and found the ending extremely flat. Tend to prefer Valhalla Rising, because it is completely out-of-the-straitjacket insane.

    All that is intended to poke you to into explaining the film to me some more, because I'm starting to suspect I didn't quite get what it was about...
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2012
    @Ben-I didn't knew the tale of the scorpion and the fox. The movie reminded me instead of the tale of the scorpion and the frog since the driver is toxic to everyone around him, even those he love.
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2012
    And Ryan Gosling saved Laurie Penny's life the other day. Just an all round good dude.
  7.  (10525.17)
    @DC - the Scorpion and The Frog is the same fable as the Scorpion and the Fox, methinks. I think they're variations on the Aesop 'The Farmer and The Viper' but I'd have to check that - either way, they're definitely variants on each other.

    @ Mercer - a chance to extol the virtues of Ryan Gosling? Although Osmosis beat me to it, I'll give it my best shot. ;)

    The Scorpion in the film [Gosling's character identified by both his secrecy, his desire for transgression, and, you know, his scorpion jacket] is toxic to everyone around him but I would argue that - especially as the further into the relationship between him & the woman & the child we get, the less he wears the jacket and the less deconstructive things he does - he doesn't want to be The Scorpion.

    It's a struggle between Eros and Thanatos, Life and Death, Day and Night - relationships and driving on.

    All of this is, of course, couched within the theories of superhighways, super-modern-cities, urbanity, isolation, and urban decay that postulate late-20th Century America as building cities that weren't made to be traversed by man but only by car. The esssentials we need from these theories [and their consequences] are all implicit in Ballard's Crash but are brought to light by Drive.

    I'd also argue that it's more than simply an exploration of the fable. He isn't just The Scorpion. He is also The Hermit.

    My reasons are manifold:
    - Even though he is in the criminal underworld, he is entirely clear, honest, and specific about what, how, and when he does it.
    - Gosling's character has 'just walked in one day' according to his employer; from this, we can see that he has left one life behind; ergo, he has made a complete journey of life - he has lived, he withdrew from the mistakes and the difficulties of humans, and then he returned to humanity more knowing of himself when he 'just walked in one day'.
    - He is exceptionally quiet, internalized, and lives alone.

    All until the intrusion of the honesty of a child and a woman. Then he sees a possibility to become something different, to return to humanity.

    Away from the character and onto the cinematographic front for a while, I'll tackle the major objection by most critics: the violence is heightened because violence is heightened, it does do fucked up things to your eyes when you're in the middle of it. We've all experienced it. The actual violence is sporadic. It's short, it's sharp, and it's nasty - like real violence. I think this is done as a juxtaposition with the light, airy lenses used when they're at a pond or the lens flare in a lift when they kiss. All of that so as to make the extremes exactly that, extreme. The lift scene is a perfect distillation of this.

    This juxtaposition of extremes is his nature but it is also what he doesn't want his nature to be, why he retreated from humanity so, and the cinematographic metaphor for his changing position from The Hermit into The Lover into The Scorpion.

    [and now I've probably typed enough...though I could definitely go on about Ron Perlman's performance and his archetype in the film, Tarot or otherwise :)]
    • CommentAuthorDC
    • CommentTimeApr 4th 2012
    Damn Ben, you nailed lots of ideas I had about the movie that I couldn't wrap my head around and write.
    I wouldn't mind reading about Perlman:)
    Yeah, the scorpion and the frog is a variation but both fit very well with the driver's tale. In the scorpion and the fox, the scorpion takes an opportunity to kill his enemy despite knowing it would kill him. He'd rather die if he can take his enemy with him.
    The scorpion and the frog is very similar but the difference is in the scorpion's motivation to kill the frog, a gentle soul who accepts to help the scorpion and which the scorpion kills because it's in his nature. He can't help it.
    I can see these two tales on the driver's relation with those he loves (the girl, the kid and the garage owner) and also with his enemies.
    • CommentAuthorSolario
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2012
    I quite liked the film, but regarding the parable:

    They play with the Scorpion and the Frog fable a lot. First off, he doesn't have the drive to kill people - it's simply a consequence of them trying to kill him. Secondly, the scorpion emblem, as you guys mentioned, is on his back - he quite literally has the scorpion on his back.

    He isn't the scorpion; he's the frog.
  8.  (10525.20)
    A fine point, Solario.

    In other film news, today I saw The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! [which may not be called that elsewhere] and it is BRILLIANT.

    You should see it because you will laugh.

    That is all.