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Donnie Darko
This is the best dystopia movie ever made. Go see it if you like that sort of thing.

It also has some of the most incredible camera work I've ever seen. A large portion of the insanely harrowing and very realistic action happens in real time with no cuts. It must have taken them weeks just to rehearse the shots. Clive Owen and all the supporting cast are great too.

Man, this movie blew me away.
Nymphadora
Haven't seen it, but the summary reminds me of one of my favorite books, The Handmaiden's Tale.
MrsAbsomphe
QUOTE(Nymphadora @ Jan 7 2007, 07:34 PM) *

The Handmaiden's Tale.


Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is one of my favorite novels.

---Tish looking-up.gif
Absomphe
Great book, unfortunately the movie was unremarkable.
Donnie Darko
Never saw the movie of it, but the book was great. There's a few similarities in Children of Men, but that's because there's similarities between Handmaid's Tale and Orwell, and every dystopia work owes a debt to Orwell.

One reason why Children of Men is such a good dystopia movie is that all the other ones have sucked except for Blade Runner, and that's more sci-fi than dystopia. 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 were terrible. When people make dystopia movies they tend to focus on all the crazy political things going on in the future and forget about the characters and their story. I actually rooted for Goldstein in the film version of 1984 because the main character was so boring. And Truffaut seemed more interested in the costumes and TV screens in F451 than making the characters real and easy to relate to. I practically fell asleep in that one.

But even without comparing Children of Men to other dystopia films, it's still a jaw-droppingly good and entirely unique movie.
ubu
I've been looking forward to seeing this one. I'm really looking forward to Lynch's Inland Empire, but in the meantime I'm happy that Children of Men is in theaters now. Alfonso Cuaron is one of my favorite directors.
salsa
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jan 7 2007, 07:25 PM) *
This is the best dystopia movie ever made. Go see it if you like that sort of thing.

It also has some of the most incredible camera work I've ever seen. A large portion of the insanely harrowing and very realistic action happens in real time with no cuts. It must have taken them weeks just to rehearse the shots. Clive Owen and all the supporting cast are great too.

Man, this movie blew me away.


Me too. Saw it last night, still stunned. Words like "masterpiece" come to mind.

See it.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(ubu @ Jan 8 2007, 01:38 PM) *

Alfonso Cuaron is one of my favorite directors.


Mine too. He hasn't done a bad movie yet. Harry Potter 3 was excellent as well. Originally he intended to turn down directing Azkaban but his friend Guillermo Del Toro (another favourite director of mine) told him he was crazy and convinced him to read the 1st 100 pages of the book, so Cuaron did, loved it and ended up directing it after all, and it's by far the best Harry Potter movie.
ubu
Speaking of Del Toro, have you seen Pan's Labrynth yet? I haven't, but I want to. I still haven't seen The Devil's Backbone. There are way too many films I need to see.
Also, I'm getting impatient with ABCO's website announcing (finally!) that El Topo and The Holy Mountain are going to be released on dvd, but no release date yet. I am happy that they're eventually coming out. Did Allen Klein die, or did he finally get tired of being a selfish dick?
Absomphe
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jan 8 2007, 09:19 AM) *


I actually rooted for Goldstein in the film version of 1984 because the main character was so boring.



I rooted for O'Brien in the book, and the two movie versions for exactly the same reason.
Jaded Prole
Good review here. I want to see this one.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(ubu @ Jan 9 2007, 02:10 AM) *

Speaking of Del Toro, have you seen Pan's Labrynth yet? I haven't, but I want to. I still haven't seen The Devil's Backbone. There are way too many films I need to see.
Also, I'm getting impatient with ABCO's website announcing (finally!) that El Topo and The Holy Mountain are going to be released on dvd, but no release date yet. I am happy that they're eventually coming out. Did Allen Klein die, or did he finally get tired of being a selfish dick?


I saw Pan's Labyrinth and it was great too. It's fairly simple, and I wish it had a few more of the surreal moments than the real, but what was in there was very effective, and definitely gets the point across. More than anything it's just a damned compelling story with amazing production design and VFX. You could easily view it as a sort of sequel to Devil's Backbone (set just before Franco, whereas Pan's Labyrinth is set right after Franco took over). Devil's Backbone is Del Toro's best movie, you must see it. It's the only horror movie I've seen I'd describe as poetic.

I have El Topo on DVD but it's an Italian release of it and only plays on region free players (I rip them to my CPU with this program called Instant Handbrake which removes region coding and then just watch it on the CPU). I'm pretty sure the delay with the El Topo and Holy Mountain DVD is that they were planning on doing a limited theatrical re-release of the remastered stuff before the DVD. I'll be honest that I could never make heads nor tails of El Topo. That movie is very memorable, but honestly rather incoherent. I'm always impressed by those sorts of movies, but I rarely find myself in the mood to watch them.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Jaded Prol @ Jan 9 2007, 10:21 AM) *

Good review here. I want to see this one.


Thanks for that link. In there is a link to an NPR interview with Alfonso describing how they pulled off the one uncut 7 minute long battle shot: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6654637

For me there was an even more amazing shot in the film where the 5 of them are in a car trying to go somewhere. I'll refrain from describing it until more people see it. All I can say is I have no clue how they fit the cameraman in the car and how they pulled off the insane stunts and choreography that ensue, all without a cut.
traineraz
Durnit, neither Children of Man nor Pan's Labyrinth are on Netflix yet. (Listed, but not available.)

Guess I'll have to wait!

I saw Rashomon last night, which is completely unrelated but my first Kurosawa film. Tonight, I get to watch Four Times That Night, which is Mario Bava's late 70s remake. Should be entertaining . . .
Donnie Darko
They're both in the theater, just released.
ubu
Donnie, judging by your screen name I'm hoping you'll know the answer to this: any idea what happened to Richard Kelly's new film? I read in Uncut (and groaned) several months to a year ago that he had a new one coming out starring Sarah Michelle Gellar (ouch) and The Rock (double ouch). Was it ever shown or released in any form?
Donnie Darko
The last project he had I was aware of was a film called "Knowing", which involved a time capsule some 3rd graders made and put crayon drawings in it and then buried it. It was dug up 10 years later, and the crayon drawings one girl made were of disasters that happened after the time capsule was buried, and there was one drawing of some cataclysmic event and had yet to happen so they try and find the girl...

I'm not sure the status of that one though, it may have been shelved, since it looks like he has some other movie called "The Box" slated for this year. The one you're mentioning I'm pretty sure went straight to video.
ubu
I just looked it up on the IMDB (which I could have done to start with, but I'm not the brightest after I've had a few drinks). It also starred Sean William Scott, Cheri Oteri, John Larroquete, and Kevin Smith. The only user to claim to have seen the film said it had an extremely convoluted plot and deserved a negative 10 rating. Someone else said it may be due to be released (I guess straight to dvd) in April (which is when Twin Peaks, Season Two is going to be released!).

If it's that bad I hope they don't release it at all, but I guess the studio is going to have to make some of the money back somehow. Maybe editing will help it. I heard horrible things about The Brown Bunny's Cannes showing, but Vincent Gallo re-edited it and I think it's halfway decent.

Even though I don't know him, I wish better things would happen for Richard Kelly. He's from the same area where I now live (on the commentary track for the original dvd release, he talks about the basis for the Grandma Death character and says where she lives-- I'm two streets over), and the fact that Donnie Darko was never shown in Richmond theaters until after it was already released on dvd is a shame.

(edited for paragraph spacing)
Stomp Brockmore
I saw Children of Men the other night, and it is a masterpiece. It's incredible really. I haven't seen anything that strong in mainstream cinema in ages. It was mindblowing at times, and the attention to detail wonderful. I loved Clive Owen's faded London Olympics 2012 shirt. The camerawork is some of the most remarkable and impressive that I've seen - the single-shot sequences (those that Donnie descriped) are jaw dropping, not just for the sheer technical achievement, but for how well focused and effective they all are. The only other filmmaker I've seen do single-shot sequences this well is the Hungarian director Béla Tarr (one of my absolute favourite directors). Specifically in his masterpiece, Werckmeister Harmonies.

Strangely, Children of Men sort of reminded me of another favourite film of mine, Come and See, a spellbinding Russian film by Elem Klimov from 1984.

I'll be incredibly shocked if another big-budget, mainstream film comes out this year that I like more than Children of Men.
Donnie Darko
It's too bad Universal isn't really promoting it and didn't put it on more screens. I think this is a movie that would do quite well if the studio just got behind it. I don't know what it is with them and dystopia movies. They similarly gave the cold shoulder to 12 Monkeys and Brazil, which were both masterpieces in their own right. Idiots. It's so rare that you find a movie that is both highly accessible and retains so much artistic integrity and originality. They have a rare gem in this movie and they're treating it like a bastard step child, even though many prominent critics have praised it. Ironically I've seen many many more ads promoting Pan's Labyrinth, which is good but not as good as Children of Men and is only on 194 screens compared to the 1,000+ Children of Men is on, and it had a much smaller budget. Children of Men actually had a pretty large budget ($79 million) so I'm baffled as to why they're not hyping it to pieces like most studios do. Don't they want to recoup their investment?
hissykitties
Oscar and I saw Children of Men last Saturday night. We were also blown away.
Kirk
Same here.
Provenance
I thought the movie quite good, really well done. It did, however, remind me a bit too much of my daily commute. Also I thought the ending a bit Hollywood-cheery.
Donnie Darko
In one way I wanted it to be bleak, with [SPOILER ALERT!] the boat not arriving and her just sitting there in the water waiting for nothing, but ultimately, the actual ending is very interesting and not exactly happy. Yeah, she found the Human Project, but who are they, and what are they going to accomplish in such a fucked up world? Nowhere is it implied that the Human Project will help humans to conceive again or even that they are all that benevolent. I think the ending overall was quite brave and sent an interesting message: she chooses an unknown over the known, because we've just seen how dismal the known is for the whole movie.
The only thing that was a bit cheesy was her naming the baby after Clive Owen's dead son, but even that was quite justifiable. He did just do a total 360 from apathy to involvement and did give his life to save hers, so the least she can do is name the baby after his kid.

I also like that the film is just as cynical about political revolutionaries as it is about the established order.

And the grim sense of humour throughout the film was brilliant too. How else can you cope with such a dingy world except through bleak humour?
grey boy
I guess I know what I'll be seeing this weekend.
Patlow
I saw it last night, and I agree, just when I needed a laugh, it delivered, but always stayed cheeky.

I enjoyed the end and the fact that every little thing wasn't explained to us, Hollywood style.

Also appreciated just the ONE ending. I saw The Departed last weekend and I think it ended FOUR times!!! HATE that. Tag endings ruin movies for me. I usually leave when I think a film should be over. I stayed too long for The Departed...
Donnie Darko
I wouldn't have wanted The Departed to end before [SPOILER ALERT DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE!] Matt Damon got what was coming to him. I liked that the four main characters all got whacked. Scorsese movies are rarely about neat beginnings or endings anyway, they're more like "let's spend some time with these fucked up people and see what happens". Plus I can think of no other way they should have ended the movie. You can't end it with Nicholson getting killed, and you can't end it with DiCaprio getting killed, there's still lose ends to tie up.
Patlow
I disagree. M. Damon could have kept on going. Why does everyone always have to "get theirs?" Real life isn't like that. It was all a little too tidy for me. I think Leo being shot was the right ending. Damon could have gotten lucky. Sometimes the bad guys DO win.

But other than the test-audience-approved-ending I thought it was wildly entertaining...
Donnie Darko
The ending wasn't that way due to test-audience approval, they wanted it that way from the beginning, even though I'm pretty sure in Infernal Affairs the bad guy gets away with it.

You're right that they don't have to be all neat and tidy, I'm a big fan of bleak and cynical endings where the bad guy does get away with it. But in this movie, everybody was tainted in one way or another except for Martin Sheen, who gets killed first. Even Wahlberg was a major major asshole and when he killed Matt Damon, he became a killer. It ain't exactly rosy. Plus Vera Farmiga is pregnant with the baby of Leo's killer. That's bleak enough for me...
Patlow
I don't need bleak. I love happy endings. I just didn't like this one. You made me feel better about it though.
Steyr850
Saw it opening night. My favorite part was the car attack scene. Never saw it coming.

My second fav was "Pull my finger".

I like being derailed.
jacal01
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jan 18 2007, 02:49 PM) *
How else can you cope with such a dinghy world except through bleak humour?

Exactly.

The parallels to the manger scene were not unintentional.
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