Wednesday, June 20, 2007

DVD Thoughts: The Violent Visionary Edition...

R, 2006, 90%

General Thoughts: No, better way to start off the Violent Visionary Edition of DVD thoughts than with Mr. Mel Gibson who could easily be it's poster child. Braveheart, Passion of the Christ, and now Apocalypto. Make no mistake, this movie is extremely gory. But as with the others the violence is anything but gratuitous, it serves a very direct purpose. To show the depth of evil and the intensity of survival. Put simply, this movie is incredible. The message about purpose, commitment, and love is beautiful and engaging. I've rarely felt so connected to a main character which is even more incredible when you consider he didn't speak a word of English the entire movie. I don't think I blinked the entire film. If you can stand the blood and guts (and naked natives) this is one of best movies I've ever seen.


Overall Grade: A- (90%)

Flags of Our Fathers
R, 2006, 86%

General Thoughts: War films generally fall into one of two categories for me. Unnecessarily grim and nihilistic (the "War is Hell" variety), or mournful but respectful. I have no use for the former, but the latter are genuinely affecting and worthy. "We Were Soldiers" sits at the top of my list in that category (yes, even ahead of "Saving Private Ryan") and I am never not moved to think of what servicemen and women past and presence have done for me. Again, with "Flags of our Fathers" we have a director (Clint Eastwood) who is willing to use violence to make his point, but still has an amazing feel for the human element. This movie isn't nearly perfect, there is some pacing trouble (something I've always found with Eastwood) and some of the acting is a bit over the top. Having said that, this movie is possibly worth seeing just for insight into the true story of these guys who found themselves inadvertently at the center of a fund raising effort just for raising a flag. I love historical films, even more so when the story is one I'm unfamiliar with.

MCQ: B/D+/B+

Overall Grade: B (86%)

The Fountain
PG-13, 2006, 76%

General Thoughts: Weird. "The Fountain" is one of those strange artistic visions that takes a bit of getting used to. It seems to wander in and out of three stories that all involve our main two players. There seems to be a moral about cherishing the life you have instead of wasting it searching for more, but it's kind of buried in a logistical nightmare of a script. I give them credit for shooting for something different, but honestly I think it's a little too strange for most. Still, I enjoyed the performances (Hugh Jackman is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors.) and the cinematography and art design were stunning. Overall, I probably enjoyed this one more than you will, which isn't a good sign considering I only just kinda liked it.


Overall Grade: C (76%)

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