Sunday, October 05, 2008

Movies That Suck

Amores Perros
Being a foreign film enthusiast, I was ecstatic when I finally received my Amazon order of this movie. A friend of mine gushed about how this highly honored Mexican piece was one of her favorite films while another friend said that the movie is really "intense". I popped the DVD in at around 2 AM and finished a little after four in the morning. As I was watching the credits roll on the black screen, I looked around my cold, dark living room convinced that a sudden attack of wild, rabid dogs four days before my 68th birthday will be the cause of my blood-spattered death. Now, the cinematography is spectacularly brilliant, but I translated my friends' positive opinions of the movie and the fact that the word "amores" was in the title into a romantic, two dimensional escape from my loveless days. I prepared myself for hot, passionate deceit a la Unfaithful. Instead, I spent two hours observing the dark, maniacal faces of inhumanity.
My rating: 7.8/10

Y Tu Mamá También
Don't read the next sentence if you haven't watched the movie yet. So, we have two Mexican buddies from the opposite sides of the social ladder who obviously can't keep their baby batter in them for more than two hours and a boney, simple-minded woman who takes off with the two boys after her snooty snot of a husband spilled the beans about slutting it up with a number of anonymous minxes. The boney woman and two boys play with each other - literally - during a road trip to the beach. She stays behind and dies of cancer a month after the two teenagers head back home to the city, leaving their tainted friendship and unmentionable relationship behind them for life. I always wait until a movie has completely ended to get the first and final taste of what the overall feel of the piece was. Sometimes, it's an overwhelming emotion of love, regret and heart wrenching peace. But in this movie's case, it was a bittersweet feeling of weird, confused blahness that I quickly shrugged off.
My rating: 6.8/10

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
I just finished watching this movie thirty minutes ago. I swear, if I see the main character right now I would blow his skeletal, impassive head off with my dad's loaded rifle. It's not that I don't understand the idea of mixing bloodshed with piety, mostly because those two elements make up history. However, what I don't get is how those two combinations equal an orgy with more than 50,000 participants. What gives?
My rating: 2.4/10

Things We Lost in the Fire
I wish a small fire developed in my house's garage whereby in some strange, miraculous way, this movie made its way right at the heart of the scorching flames. Again, I was anxious for a movie that would temporarily carry me away to the amorous land of Saint Valentine. Although the pirated DVD cover was a glum picture of the two main actors in the flick, I had my hopes up for some back arching kisses that would leave me short of breath, "It's Halle Berry and Benicio Del Torro. It has to be hot." Well, it was not. The overlong movie is a groan-worthy downer filled with grief, frustration and is void of any type of climax.
My rating: 3.3/10

Love in the Time of Cholera
After seeing this, I made a vow to never take anyone's opinion about any movie. I must admit that I did cry a few times. Then again, I cried watching this television commercial. Apart from the horrid job of the makeup artist, the film was poorly scripted and lacked the heart and heat of the novel.
My rating: 5.4/10

The movie that made the cut:

Pan's Labyrinth
This fantastic Spanish tale blended childhood fantasy with adulthood's morbid reality, two things that make it a sad yet beautiful piece for people who haven't lost touch of youth's wonderful world of imagination.
My rating: 9.4/10

MP3's…
Crowded House – Don't Dream It's Over
Cut Copy - Feel the Love
Alanis Morissette - Hands Clean




at 9:00 AM

15 Comments

  1. Blogger Bodie Broduas posted at 9:08 AM  
    THE ORPHANAGE! Get that movie now! It's sooo good.
  2. Blogger Purgatory posted at 10:04 AM  
    you give a kids movie the highest rating!
  3. Blogger Angelo posted at 10:54 AM  
    It's always nice to know that there's another foreign movie enthusiast in the Kuwaiti Blogosphere. Although, I'm surprised you have put off watching Pan's Labyrinth all this time. The next best thing would be The Orphanage, although it doesn't have the same charm as the former film.

    Are you familiar with Pedro Almodovar films such as Talk To Her, Volver, and All About My Mother among many others? Excellent films, you will surely love them as much I did, and maybe even more.

    Offside, an Iranian film is also worth watching and it guarantees to tear your heart and soak your eyes.

    La Vie en Rose, a French movie, a biographical film about the life of the Persian singer Edith Piaf is one of the finest French films I've ever seen. Marion Cotillard's (she won the Oscar for that role) performance was just electrifying.

    The Israeli film (I hope that doesn't turn you off) The Band's Visit is just delightful. It's amazing how the movie can be so captivating with small script and short dialogues. It's what you call a "Peaceful film" and doesn't promote a propaganda and all that shit.

    Well, that's should do it for now. Enjoy your movies :)
  4. Blogger Erzulie posted at 4:13 PM  
    bodie: I heard :)

    purgatory: it's not suitable for children at all!

    angelo: I am familiar with Almodovar's films but I haven't seen any of the three you've listed yet. Volver was running in the moldy theater that I used to frequent quite often when I was in the US but i didn't get a chance to see it. I adored La vie en rose and you're so right, Cotillard's skills were magnificent. Thanks for your suggestions :)
  5. Blogger Purgatory posted at 4:30 PM  
    You dissed perfume ;p
  6. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 6:31 PM  
    Erzulie, I've always enjoyed reading your blog but never have I commented before (well maybe once). To be brutally honest it wasn't the content that attracted me as much as the way you packaged it. There was always a positive "happy-go-lucky" spin be it to your everyday frivolous stories or to those more serious raw opinions. I used to read and smile always reminded that world is still real and bi alf khier. The reason I am commenting today is because recently I have been detecting a shift of tone. A bitter one. Whatever it is try to bring back the sweet to your bitterness and stay real :)

    PS: The only movie you liked was a fantasy one.
  7. Blogger Zeecu posted at 8:08 PM  
    May I suggest the remainder of Inarritu's trilogy since you liked Amores Perros: 21 grams and Babel.

    From the east, I suggest 'Old Boy' by Chan-Wook Park. It is only the greatest movie to ever grace cinemas worldwide. Yes I'm a rabid fan of it.

    From Brazil, I suggest (slight chance that you haven't seen it) 'City of God'. If you like it, check 'City of Men' (TV series, and movie based on City of Men, equally good). Also 'Carandiru' (a tad too depressing tho).

    'Volver', as angelo suggested, is an excellent film, if not for the quirky story then for the gorgeous Penelope Cruz.

    Speaking of Iranian movies, you should definitely check 'Marmoulak' (Lizard), a comedy that has been banned one month after being shown at Iranian cinemas.

    Bas.
  8. Blogger Erzulie posted at 10:29 PM  
    purgatory: i hated, HATED perfume. it's been a really long time since i felt enraged after watching a movie. thank god it was a 750 fils dvd copy otherwise i would've been twice as mad.

    anonymous: you sound annoyingly familiar. i'm going to skip that point (fact?) and say this: i'm going through bitter times right now, sort of like an early mid-life crisis if you want to call it that. i've always been comfortable with my innate sarcasm but i didn't purposely squeeze in my newfound cynicism in my latest posts; maybe it was a subconscious move on my part, something that i possibly can't help unless someone points it out for me. i am however, always real and i plan to stay that way regardless of whoever and whatever. and you're right, i do have a happy-go-lucky thing going on (although that might not do so well in real life) but that's been dwindling over the past couple of months. i, however, do hope to get lucky and be happy in time.
    PS i know :)

    zeecu: i heard about babel. isn't brad pitt in it? 21 grams, i heard of that one too. sounds like a druggie flick. i saw city of god and it shook me to the core. thankfully, i was already in that dark, somber mood so i took the film well. it was beautifully shot. marmoulak (what a quirky name!) sounds like an interesting film to see. another iranian film that a very good friend of mine recommended to me is persepolis. it's a black and white cartoon film that's based on two comic-like books written and illustrated by marjan satrapi. oo bas :)
  9. Blogger Zeecu posted at 11:20 PM  
    Babel has Pitt in it yes, it's safely tucked on my PC waiting for that moment where I yearn for a good movie to watch.

    21 grams is not so much about drugs, the name comes from experiments done by a doc/scientist who sought in the early 1900s to measure the weight lost by a human being upon death. He weighed dying patients in an attempt to prove that the soul has actual mass (which he found to be 21 grams, more or less). Interesting premise, no?

    Persepolis I've seen the trailer of, translated animation with a unique drawing style. The main character is infatuated with Michael Jackson it appears. Is it out?

    and Perfume does indeed make no sense. It is only surpassed by Elephant as the suckiest movie ever, costing me 4 pounds in the process and 2 hours of my life that I will never get back. and get this: it got 91 or something golden s3afa awards and a 7.3 rating on imdb. They gave it a 7.3! I don't get humans sometimes.
  10. Blogger Bodie Broduas posted at 8:29 AM  
    oh shit! i forgot to tell u about the best movie ever! nine queens. best. movie. ever.
  11. Blogger Ms. Baker posted at 11:44 PM  
    Angelo is absolutely right about Pedro Almodovar's movies. He is one of my all time favorites. I always end up being blown away and speechless by the end of his films. Start with his classic "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown". You simply cannot miss "Volver" and "All About my Mother". His films are stunning because of their subject matter and in the strangely forged intimacy and camaraderie between the slightly oddball characters. Also, Almodovar is the one who first gave Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz their first breaks. Penelope's beautiful "Belle Epoque" (a tale of sisters and love) is also very good.

    To Angelo's Almodovar recommendations I would add the films of the Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou. "Raise the Red Lantern" is not just gorgeous, but complex in it's portrayal of the complicated relationships between the wives of a wealthy Chinese man (who are locked into the house/compound to be visited at his whim). Highly recommnded. Ok, just two no three more - Mira Nair's "Salaam Bombay!", Roberto Benigni's hilarious "Johnny Stecchino" and the German "Run, Lola Run".

    Really the last one: One of my favorite foreign movies of all time: The Vietnamese "The Scent of Green Papaya. Lush, beautiful, poignant, moving, gorgeous, you will understand when you see it why I love it.

    Love in the Time of Cholera: One big crapola filled stinkarooney. They botched the book :(

    Pan's Labyrinth was just amazing, so amazing, wasn't it.


    And happiness will be yours soon, my dear, dear Erzuliyah, it will and I am glad you know it.

    With regard to Anon's comment ( I had to say something, you know I wouldn't be me if I didn't): We all have our moments when we must go through our trials, difficulties and upheavals, and we all have to visit the various light or dark places within ourselves in order to move and grow. I know you have the strength, guts, and wherewithal to just be the you that you are, the you that is right here, right in the now, bending and not breaking in whatever wind that is blowing. Be however you have to in order to move where you need to, you will find no judgments here. Il-kil 3arif intay shinoo oo intay minoo, and that is saying just so very, very much :**
  12. Anonymous Dalal Arch posted at 1:29 AM  
    Since I share you passion for foreign films, Thought I should recommend a few films i watched over the summer.
    The fall 2006. its a movie by Trasem the same director of The cell but its a whole different level of film making.
    Ten by Abbas Kiarostami, one of the best persian films i've seen.
    Savage Grace 2007 by Tom Kalin. Julianne Moore at her best, I hate that no one knows about this film. its a bit disturbing though .
    Any movie by Michael Haneke is both disturbing and a master piece. You should watch Funny games the 1997 version and not the 2008, Cache' 2005 is beyond amazing and also La pianist, although I must warn you its the most disturbing of all ( I love disturbing films in case you haven't noticed :P )
    yeah, Le temps du loup is also nice.
    If you're into amarican politics or Hunter S Thompson you should watch this new documenty called Gonzo: the life and work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.
    Ok enough recommendations for one day
  13. Anonymous Cologne: Story of a Jay Walker posted at 1:46 AM  
    Perfume was fucking sick (both meanings). I love it even though i hate these types of boring medieval films.
    You can't help but feel sorry for the guy. His life was pure pain so he had to channel it out somehow.
  14. Blogger The Universal Refusenik posted at 6:42 PM  
    Good choice! You sure your initials aren't NAZ? :)

    Last Saturday, I watched the French thriller : 13 Tzameti. What can I say it blew me away!

    Next on my " to watch list " is a Pakistani film,"Khuda Ke Liye" to be followed by the Irani film - " The Circle". Lately, I am fortunate to be in the cine-goers' company near where I stay, and they've introduced me to some off-beat Marathi cinema that I can't seem to get enough of.
    " Tingya" and "Vallu" are a case in point - simple stories yet beautifully told.
  15. Blogger Erzulie posted at 10:31 PM  
    zeecu: persepolis is out. i personally loved it. i gave it to a friend of mine who's also into movies and she didn't like it. then again, her recently favored movie is "enchanted." go figure.

    ms.baker: all right im going to go ahead and say it loud and proud: i love you :)
    well, about the movies you've mentioned, i think that the list i have here will last a lifetime, literally! i have saved all the movies listed her on a word document and i'll be ordering away eventually :)

    dalal arch: wow, i never heard of any of your recommendations! will do though, will do...they sound delish :)

    cologne: *giggles at name* well, i was turned off when the shit was a damned baby. he just grabbed the other orphan's finger and sniffed it. i saw it, frowned and thought, "wtf's this?"

    universal refusenik: i'm considering posting up my address here on my blog so you guys can just drop off your used DVDs my way :P i'm looking forward to them though. i hope i can get my hands on them soon...
    PS and no, those aren't my initials :)

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