Sunday, October 4, 2009

Whip It, The Wind That Shakes The Barley, Eat Drink Man Woman,

Whip It
Cute cute cute. I loved the energy, i was surprised at the hip quality of it, at where it took place (texas!! aw), of the occasional delicacy that it had, sometimes reminding me of Garden State. Other than those moments, it was mostly fun. It lost momentum towards the end along with some clarity, but it was a really motivating movie that made me smile. Ellen Page is great... I regret thinking of her as a one-note actress as I sometimes do. If you really watch her she actually has alot of range, her personality and looks just seem to fall into the hip category right now. Anyway. Fun movie. Very expressive of who I think Drew Barrymore must be, which made me happy too. I guess I'll always love Drew.

The Wind That Shakes The Barley
Irish Class. Really well-done and well-expressed. I have been confused by Ireland's history before, this made things more clear. Also, surprising. I hadn't realized what a civil war sort of issue it became, or how things were conducted. The role of the Church was also interesting (and annoying). The film itself may be a little too straight-forward, lacking in subtext or subplot as things move on from a to b, but I did love the execution scene in the hills and the moral conflict felt by Cillian Murphy about the boy. His reaction to his death was very effective. The landowner man (name? haha) was a ruthless and therefore more acceptable example of the results of real war, the boy was a tragic one. The outcome of the film was also unexpected and tied into that theme/foreshadowing-- war, and those doing what they deem is right for their country and cause and moral compass, no matter what or who it involves. Very weighty issues.
I do think one thing that might have improved the movie would be a little more time spent on the relationship between the two main male characters (though i suppose they had sufficient time) as well as their relationship with Ireland as a whole. What did they love so much about their country that made them long for her freedom? We get glimpses, but I would have liked to see more. Still, a solid movie that more people should see.

Eat Drink Man Woman
I like movies about other cultures. I like movies about counterculture. I like seeing the interworkings of family, so I was into this movie. And while I know that the script liked to challenge me and surprise me, I gotta say that it fucking ticked me off by pulling the carpet out a few times. I appreciate a challenge, but not to the point that I like a movie DESPITE said challenges. Nothing major or shocking, just things that seemed to go against character really stuck out in this one and gave me reason for dissatisfaction, like digging into a meal that starts out good but leaves you with a blah aftertaste. I did like the detail of his cooking, though, and how food brought them all together (Shan Shan, ahhhh smunch). The end scene is especially sweet in that regard, and I liked to see the affection that the elder had for his daughters, even though I didn't have an especially strong attachment to any of the girls. Ah well. Maybe it was just too culturally challenging to me (though yes, i did get the idea that at least a part of it was about the westernization of these girls).

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