Friday, February 15, 2008

Lawyers, Sex Dolls, and a Schizo

Michael Clayton (2007, Tony Gilroy) - ****

This seems to be the love/hate film of the moment along with Juno most likely due to the high praise that both films have received and some people thinking that they don't deserve the praise. I belong to the group of people that believe that Clayton deserves all the praise it has received. It really is one of the most rewarding watches that I have had lately and I admire how the film has the balls to alienate it's audience through out most of the film while everything falls into place and by the final minute everything makes sense for a very "fuck yes!" type of ending.. As much as Diablo Cody's script is the favorite to win the Oscar for best original screenplay, I think that Gilroy deserves it. This really is a perfectly crafted film. I cant wait to rewatch it again while knowing how everything will play out. Oh, and Wilkinson is worthy of the praise and nomination that he received. He makes a role that could have easily been over the top very human and "makes" the film. Very,very,very solid film.

Lars and the Real Girl (2007, Craig Gillespie) - ****

There are certain films which I cant help but enjoy, love, and give 4 stars to even though they may have some minor flaws and this is mostly due to me just being too touched by it to deny it anything less than 4 stars. I go with my heart in these cases and this is exactly what happened with Lars and the Real Girl. I really fell in love with this one and it's overall sweetness and good vibes that it throws at you. Gosling knocks it so out of the park that it is ridiculous and this performance further proves that he really is the next best thing. It may not be the best film of last year but it is one of my favorites.
Clean, Shaven (1995, Lodge Kerrigan) - uh....woah...

A couple of years ago I rented a film named Keane just because I didn't have anything in mind to rent and it looked like it might be good. It turned out to be one of the most haunting and tragic films that I have stumbled upon and it is one of those films that I try to pimp out as much as possible when ever there is an opportunity to do so. I still don't know why the film doesn't have more of a cult following. A couple of months ago I decided to check out what other films the director had done and through there I was happy to find that his debut film was a criterion release and also a favorite of John Waters. So, I put it on my queue and played the waiting game because of it's wait status and now about 5 months later I have seen it and part of me wishes that I hadnt.

I dont get disturbed by movies all too easily. I really cant think of too many movies off the top of my head that I have seen past the age of 10 that have really and truly disturbed me while watching them. I think Henry and Paradise Lost would be the closest ones that I can think of but other than that...nothing. Well, that has now changed. Clean, Shaven is one of the most if not the most disturbing film that I have yet to see. This film is on a whole other level of fucked upness and after watching it I can really see why it is easy to compare it to Repulsion or Eraserhead.

After one of the most shocking and demented openings I have ever seen to a film we are treated to a 77 minute dark journey into the mind of schizophrenic man and the detective who is trying to catch him. Telling why he is trying to catch him would ruin the "fun". This all plays out while we mostly find ourselves follwoing the schizophrenic man on a quest to find something..telling would spoil it once again. This really is one of the films were it is better to not know what you are getting into and just having to embrace yourself for the ride.

I dont know what else to say. I am currently waiting on a friend of mine to watch it that way we can discuss it because this is also one of those kinds of films where despite it's creepiness and disturbing tone, there is a ton more going on underneath it and as soon as the credits roll you want to turn to your side and ask a person "So....what did you think about that scene where _____ ?"

I was shocked, intriqued, puzzled, and during one particular scene literally acting like one of those oh-so-5 minute ago reaction videos to 2girls1cup The scene I am talking about will never leave my memory and is easily the most. I also just want say that the use of sound in this film is brilliant and one of the best uses for it that I have yet to see.

I really don't know what to think of it all. I hate it when people are quick to jump to a conclusion to such a challenging film upon first viewing but even after seeing it a 2nd time with an excellent commentary track by Steven Soderbergh (who is a huge fan and produced Keane) and the director..I still don't know. It's been a couple of days and I have thought about it some more...and still I don't know what to make of it. I feel that it really is a brilliant film but is on a level where your brain struggles to wrap around all of it and it's many layers and to me that is a mark of an outstanding film.

This is also one of the best debut films that I can think of as well. A true one-of-a-kind film that is a must see.I think that even if you end up hating it, you will not soon forget it.

I also love this oh-so-great teaser/trailer for it. Check it out.

And just because Lodge Kerrigan is the man...check out the trailer for the very overlooked Keane, which is not only overlooked but features one of my favorite performances ever by Damien Lewis. You can already see his greatness in the 2 minute trailer. I just have to pimp it out some more.

No comments: