Monday, May 20, 2013
Running Time: 187 minutes
Directed By: Sergei M. Eisenstein
Written By: Sergei M. Eisenstein
Main Cast: Nikolay Cherkasov, Efrosinia Staritska, Vladimir Staritsky, Malyuta Skuratov, Alexei Basmanov
Click here to view the trailer
TERRIBLE? PRETTY MUCH!
No, I didn't like this movie much at all, but it didn't come as any surprise to me and shouldn't come as any surprise to you, because Sergei Eisenstein was one of the guy's, early on, that I bashed on a weekly basis, during my watching of "Strike", "October" and "The Battleship Potemkin".
Again, like "Henry V", I'm just not going to go into detail on the plot synopsis, because for the most part, a lot the plot went over my head and honestly, I couldn't be bothered to give two hoots about the history of Russia or the rule of "Ivan the Terrible", as it was presented in an extremely bland manner. With "Ivan", you're simply getting the history of a man, Ivan IV, who ruled Russia with an iron fist (and a killer goatee). Let's be honest here, based solely on that, you're going to be able to decide whether or not this movie is for you or for someone else. Are you a history buff? Do you like learning tyrannical czar's and the history of Russia? Those are questions that, if you answered 'yes', then this may be the film for you. I, on the other hand, am not a history buff and (in most cases) would much rather be told a fictional tale, a made-up story, one that can be bent and shaped as the filmmaker sees fit. In the rare occasion when I do enjoy or want to see a film about real world history, I prefer it to be a topic that I have, at least a little bit, of prior knowledge on (U.S. history and Holocaust movies, for example). Trust me, my dislike for this movie and the topic of world history is my own fault, because I live in a bubble, in Pennsylvania, USA and 95% of world topics are going to go way over my head.
However, unlike "Henry V", there was one redeeming quality in "Ivan the Terrible" and that was the camera work. Eisenstein seems to have a thing for filming close-ups of his actor's faces, seemingly directing his photographer to get in tight and capture reactions and expressions. I loved those facials, which actually reminds me that I've been meaning to bring this up. This journey has made me realize many things about my relationship to films. One of the many things I've learned as that I will always go nuts for a really good, tight, close facial expression or reaction. Cagney at the end of "Angels with Dirty Faces", Glenn Close in "Dangerous Liaisons", even the eyes of Sister Ruth in "Black Narcissus", a film that I didn't care for, but have never forgotten that crazed close-up of Kathleen Byron. In "Ivan", there are dozens of close-ups and really great ones of Nikolay Cherkasov, his goatee casting distinct shadows on the wall and a great use of a foreground/background shot, with Ivan peering over the armies.
RATING: 2/10 However, the camera work was just a hint of goodness, in an otherwise completely dreadful time at the movies. I REALLY REALLY REALLY need something fantastic to come along, especially after two HUGE stinkers.
MOVIES WATCHED: 685
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 316
May 20, 2013 6:17pm
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Running Time: 137 minutes
Directed By: Laurence Olivier
Written By: Dallas Bower, Alan Dent, from play by William Shakespeare
Main Cast: Laurence Olivier, Max Adrian, Harcourt Williams, Felix Aylmer, Robert Helpmann
V IS RIGHT OUT!
If you followed me on Twitter (@adduvall1984) then you'd know that I had a hard time getting through this one. I tweeted about it last night, when I was midway through it and today, citing that the review was coming and "wouldn't be pretty".
Look, I'm not even going to try and fool myself or anyone reading this. I have absolutely no freaking clue what "Henry V" was about, except to say that it was, indeed, about Henry V. So instead of trying to fake my way through a plot synopsis, let me just get right into the criticism and I'll just pull the trigger on this one quick and get it over with. First and foremost, why don't I know what this film is about, if I watched it last night? Well, for starters, the actors are talking with a Shakespearean tongue and I hate to admit it, but the language was Greek to me. I don't want to come off as uncultured, unintelligent or anything like that, but I barely understood a word of what was actually being said or what was going on. All I can tell you is that Henry V is played by Olivier, who is, no doubt, a great actor and for some reason or another, he leads the English into a war against the French - The Battle of Agincourt. Then there's my mind and how it so wanted to wander and how I just didn't care to stop it. I've never had a such a severely wandering mind as I did watching "Henry V"...I just, for the life of me, could not focus.
This film is the very definition of a boring film. Sure, the acting is top notch, I can't take that away from them and I won't even try to. They're British talent for God's sake, of course they can act and most certainly in a Shakespeare adaptation - it's what they were born to do. Acting aside and unless you're a Shakespeare fan, I'm begging you to tell me the appeal of this film. It's nothing without it's great acting (and it's not like great acting is ultra rare - they're a hundreds of movies, with hundreds of A+ performances) and it's appeal to Shakespeare fans. I just can't imagine someone who doesn't dig Shakespeare sitting down to this one and being anything but utterly and completely bored to tears. Let's put it this way: One of the most interesting scenes in the film and perhaps the one I understood the best, is the scene where Princess Katherine is being taught English by Alice (her assistant or whatever she's called). What's so bad about that? The entire scene is in FRENCH!! Think about it folks, the scene I understood the most was a scene that was in a language I do not speak, nor understand! And if ever there was a point in the film where they had my full attention, it was this point.
See, this is why I'm not a professional movie reviewer and why I probably never will be. Because this is the type of movie that they'd crucify me for not loving. Sorry kids, but I can promise you that I will never watch this film again and DAMN THE BOOK for making me watch it in the first place. This is literally ONE OF the worst movies THE BOOK has put me through and I'm so glad it's behind me. Again, I don't want to come off as ignorant or unintelligent, but this was just mind numbing.
RATING: 1/10 Probably the worst film of the season or at least tied for the worst of the season with some other piece of garbage. "Ivan the Terrible" is next and the return of Sergei M. Eisenstein to the blog...God be with me.
MOVIES WATCHED: 684
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 317
May 18, 2013 10:39pm
Friday, May 17, 2013
Running Time: 139 minutes
Directed By: David Fincher
Written By: Jim Uhls, from novel by Chuck Palahniuk
Main Cast: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Jared Leto, Meatloaf
Click here to view the trailer
I AM JACK'S NOD OF APPROVAL
You know, I probably shouldn't even be writing this. I was told, during the course of this movie, that the first two rules of Fight Club are: You DO NOT talk about Fight Club! Oh well, as long as everybody agrees to keep it on the "D.L.", I think I'm safe.
First and foremost, before I even attempt to write a plot synopsis on "Fight Club", know that Edward Norton is the Narrator and that his character is never given an official name. Therefore, I'll simply be calling him the Narrator. Kay? Now then...The whole story is told in flashback, with the audience seeing the end of the movie first and then being told basically the entire story, by the Narrator. We begin with the Narrator (Norton) and his inability to sleep. He's your pretty basic guy. He's got a nine to five office job, he's a slave to the Ikea catalogs and he has a pretty decent looking apartment. It's just that he can't sleep and despite going to doctor's, they all refuse to give him anything to help him. Then, he gets involved with support groups intended for people with terminal illnesses (testicular cancer, blood parasites, etc.). The Narrator doesn't have any of these illnesses, but going to the meetings allows him to feel SOMETHING and that allows him to sleep. He's going pretty good for a while, until he meets Marla Singer (Carter), who is also a support group faker, someone who tours the different illness groups, for one reason or another, without actually having the illnesses. With Marla there, the Narrator can't focus the way he used to and confronts her. They agree to split up the meetings and to never see each other again. Even later, the Narrator meets Tyler Durden (Pitt), an opposite copy of the Narrator, who dresses different, acts different and looks different. They have a chance encounter on an airplane, where they sit next to one another and then depart...nothing special. When the Narrator arrives home that night, he finds that his apartment has blown up in a freak accident and for reasons unknown even to him, he calls Tyler (they exchanged business cards). Tyler agrees to let the Narrator stay with him and after a while they become pretty close. Eventually, the two invent and develop Fight Club, an underground, fighting league, which ultimately turns into Project Mayhem, a terrorist group.
The first time I saw "Fight Club", I didn't like it very much. Then again, I was probably a little to young to be seeing such a confusing film anyway, so that was probably my own fault. Later, after rewatching it several times, I grew fonder of it and ultimately, I really liked it. Now that I've said that, let me remind you of what this journey is doing to my personal film tastes: breaking them down and rebuilding them. Suffice it to say, that I still really do LIKE "Fight Club", but think that it's inclusion in the top ten of the IMDB Top 250 is a little ridiculous and even more ridiculous is the fact that Empire even included it as #10, in it's list of "The 500 Greatest Movies of All-Time". Sure, it's really good, it makes you think, it's got a lot of great camerawork and it's an all around good story, but it has its flaws too and under no circumstances is it THAT good. In fact, may I just take a moment to applaud THE BOOK, which didn't even give it a full page blurb or any photos (in my edition anyway). Kudos to them for not bowing to public opinion!
So what's going on here? Maybe you stumbled across this review because you've got questions, you seek answers or you just don't know what to think and want a little clarification on what you just watched. Well, we've got a man (Edward Norton) who has a name, but we never know it. Due to his intense lack of sleep, he begins to hallucinate and furthermore, goes so far as to create an altar ego: Tyler Durden. See, Tyler is everything that the Narrator isn't, that the Narrator wants to be. He's cool, he's independent, he's great in bed, he smokes, he's good looking, he wears a pretty sweet red leather jacket, etc. Most importantly, this altar ego doesn't bow to public opinion, consumerism and doesn't meet the expectations set upon him by society. He does his own thing and that's what works for him. The altar ego is a rebel, he makes things happen, he's got a plan. That plan is Project Mayhem, a plan that is going to give a great big FUCK YOU to corporate America, without really hurting anyone...anyone that matters anyway, in his opinion.
This movie made me think about a few things. The first thing it made me think about was the fact that you RARELY see any good man vs. self movies. We see man vs. man movies all the time, man vs. nature movies all the time and even man vs. society movies are a lot more prevalent than man vs. self. Okay, so I guess we see them in much milder forms, but if ever there were an example of man vs. self, then it is "Fight Club". The other thing the movie made me think about was how terrible things get started. What started as a mere group of guys who wanted to see if they could hold their own in a fight, ended up being a terrorist cell. How many fight clubs are being started right now? Maybe they aren't even fight clubs. In my town, we have a group of guys who meet at an abandoned grocery store parking lot and race their cars. They (supposedly) call themselves the "car club". What I'm getting at is how many groups of guys get together for seemingly harmless things and end up doing dastardly deeds? If you get enough people together, sooner or later, someone's going to suggest something that's a little out there and if that someone is popular enough, the whole group will surely chime in.
A man puts a loaded gun into his mouth and pulls the trigger, for the sole purpose of killing his imaginary friend. That's "Fight Club". It's a clever, intelligent story and we may never see anything again that is as innovative, unique or original as this...unless Charlie Kaufman has something to say about it. It's impossible to be a film fan and not like this movie and all I was stating by the above paragraph, is that it certainly does have it's flaws. I'm still convinced that there are plot holes in there somewhere...somehow, there's got to be! I'm not crazy about Edward Norton either and honestly, I'd go so far as to say that this is a Brad Pitt show, who easily one ups Norton. If you want a good Norton flick, go watch "American History X", because this isn't his hour in the spotlight. I'd also say that the film is just too long. My wife sat down to watch this with me and even having seen it before, decided to bow out at about the hour and a half mark, because she just didn't care anymore. If they could've wrapped everything up in a nice, neat bow, within two hours, this would've been A LOT better....but, as it is...
RATING: 7/10 ...call it a '7'. Can't, in good conscience, go higher than that, because I think I even liked "All About My Mother" better, overall.
MOVIES WATCHED: 683
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 318
May 17, 2013 12:16am
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Running Time: 101 minutes
Directed By: Pedro Almodovar
Written By: Pedro Almodovar
Main Cast: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Antonia San Juan, Penelope Cruz, Candela Pena
Click here to view the trailer
A (LATE) MOTHER'S DAY TRIBUTE
So this past Sunday was Mother's Day and had I put two and two together, a little bit earlier, I would've watched "All About My Mother" then, instead of last night. Oh well, better late than never, as I take in Almodovar's 1999 tribute to mother's everywhere and women in general.
The film is going to be a little tricky to explain, as it implements the use of several characters to tell a pretty complex little story. We start with Manuela (Roth), who we see is a nurse who oversees donor organ transplants. We also learn right away that she has a son, Esteban, who is interested in becoming a writer. It is Esteban's 17th birthday and Manuela takes him out to a theater performance of "A Streetcar Named Desire". After the show, Esteban convinces Manuela to let him stand outside and wait for the star of the show, Huma Rojo (Paredes), so that he may get her autograph. Despite the rain, Manuela doesn't want to disappoint the kid on his birthday, so she obliges. When Huma finally comes out, she gets into a taxi right away and despite Esteban's knocks on the window, Huma and her girlfriend pull away. Esteban, determined to get her autograph chases down the taxi and is killed by another, oncoming car, which runs him down. Manuela is grief stricken, to say the least and decides to go to Barcelona, where Esteban's father is. Esteban had always wanted to know about his father, but due to his lifestyle choices (he's a transsexual prostitute), she'd always kept it from him. In Barcelona, Manuela meets up with old friend Agrado (another transsexual prostitute), meets Huma Rojo and meets a nun, Rosa (Cruz), whom she becomes very close with. I'll leave it at that, but lets just suffice it to say that the story is a brilliantly spun web, that just keeps on producing turn after turn.
I've got to be honest, despite loving "Talk to Her", I was a little hesitant to watch "All About My Mother", because I'd heard that "Talk to Her" was his most normal film and that all of his others were a little bit odd. Well, I guess you could categorize "All About My Mother" as a little different in it's style, but it still dealt with very human characters, getting into very human, real situations. I thought the film was almost AS good as "Talk to Her" and while I enjoyed his 2002 offering better overall, there were aspects of "Mother" that I liked better. I thought that this movie was much more complex, better written and possibly even better acted. Cecilia Roth was an amazing discovery for me, as I'd never heard of her before and really thought she poured her heart out here. I'm left wondering what else she's been in and where I can get a hold of it. Even Penelope Cruz, who I'd never really cared for in the past, turned in a pretty decent performance. My only question is this, which I couldn't seem to find the answer to in the little research that I did after watching this one: Were the men who played women in this film, really men? or were they women? I honestly couldn't tell and I'm really talking about Agrado here.
Look, I've been saying for days now that I'm getting a little burnt out on writing these reviews and working my way toward my short term goal of 700 watched, but "All About My Mother" actually made me grateful that I've decided to keep on truckin'. It's that type of film that makes you want to watch more films, because it makes you realize that around every corner could be your next favorite movie. "All About My Mother" isn't my new favorite movie and it did have a few flaws, however, it was good enough to give me back a little more excitement, which I'll need to finish out the season and for that I am thankful. The story is top notch and while the "Talk to Her" story was a little more simple and a little better, I thought this was right up there. It also makes me realize what a magnificent filmmaker Almodovar is and really makes me excited to see more of his pictures.
RATING: 7.5/10 Really good and hopefully I can find a nice spot for it in the upcoming TOP 20 list. Almodovar may just be the directorial find of this season.
MOVIES WATCHED: 682
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 319
May 15, 2013 12:49pm
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Running Time: 90 minutes
Directed By: Claire Denis
Written By: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau, from the story Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville
Main Cast: Denis Lavant, Gregoire Colin, Michel Subor, Richard Courcet, Nicholas Duvauchelle
Click here to view the trailer
SERVE THE GOOD CAUSE AND DIE
Pushing through, despite the urge to take a much needed break, I come to "Beau Travail" - a French, military life film from director Claire Denis.
I'll be honest, I really couldn't make heads or tails out of this one. THE BOOK notes, and I quote: "Denis tells her stories through images rather than through dialogue and plot, with a gift for color, lighting and composition that is unsurpassed". That may be the reason that this film came off as Greek to me. As mentioned above, the film is a portrait of military life, inside the French Foreign Legion. The film is a narration by one character, Sergeant Galoup (Lavant), who recalls the glory days of proudly serving as a Legionnaire. The film seems to center around a feud that Galoup had with one of the men, Gilles Sentain (Colin), a regular private and someone who Galoup may or may not have repressed homosexual feelings about, which would explain his disdain for him. In fact, the whole film seems to have an undertone of homosexuality (not that there's anything wrong with that) and THE BOOK even notes that with this film Denis is paying homage to the beauty of the male specimen, something that isn't hard to miss.
Look, I'm really not sure what to say about this film. Like an entree at a fine dining restaurant, I tried it and I simply didn't like it. It's obvious that Denis was much less concerned with telling a story, but rather using images to get her points across and it rarely worked to draw me into any sort of relationship with the film. Sure, there were a few parts where I took a keener notice, than others. For example, watching these men be put through such rigorous exercises, day in and day out and watching each one's own technique in getting through the obstacles, was, in a way, fascinating. Also (and I really didn't pick up on it until THE BOOK suggested it) I like the idea that Galoup's ill will toward Sentain is because he is jealous/attracted to him. He's supposed to be this tough, soldier type and therefore, could never bring himself to tell Sentain how he feels, so the repression of those feelings causes an upchuck of bad vibes, toward Sentain. Perhaps he's even mad with himself for feeling that way, perhaps he's never felt that way before and of course, that would be why he shoots himself at the end of the film, because he simply is disgusted with himself...maybe.
Otherwise, unless those are themes and ideas that you want to explore, I can tell you that this film just isn't worth your time, unless your a BOOK hound and are trying to pick off each one, like myself. Otherwise, skip it, because there are much better films, with more "must see" qualities out there. Also, I know I've said it before (recently, in fact), but I am just SICK TO DEATH of war films or films centered around the Army and soldiers and stuff like that. It has never been an atmosphere that has appealed to me and even as THE BOOK heightens my cinematic taste buds, it's still a genre I just can't stomach. End of story.
RATING: 3/10 A few notches for effort and for the few scenes that weren't awful, but all in all a big stinker and one that I'm glad have under my belt.
MOVIES WATCHED: 681
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 320
May 14, 2013 10:19pm
Monday, May 13, 2013
Running Time: 113 minutes
Directed By: Spike Jonze
Written By: Charlie Kaufman
Main Cast: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich, Orson Bean
Click here to view the trailer
MALKOVICH MALKOVICH MALKOVICH MALKOVICH...MALKOVICH
Another movie that I only needed to pull off my DVD shelf in order to watch, "Being John Malkovich" was an old favorite of mine, that I saw sometime near it's video release. Back then I loved it - thinking it innovative, clever, unique and original. Today...not so much.
Craig Schwartz (Cusack) is a struggling puppeteer, living with his wife Lotte (Diaz) and her many exotic, animal friends (including an iguana, a parrot and a chimp named Elijah) in New York. When his Craig's career as a puppeteer shows serious signs of turmoil, Lotte suggests that Craig get a day job, at least until the world is ready for Craig's "art". Craig reluctantly takes her advice and lands a job at the Mertin-Flemmer building, on the 7 1/2 floor, for LesterCorp, as a filing clerk. Here, Craig meets and begins to fall in love (or lust) with Maxine (Keener), a sexy co-worker who does not feel the same way about Craig. In fact, Maxine is almost disgusted by Craig, shooting him down at every turn. One night, while finishing up work at the office, Craig drops a file behind the filing cabinet. When he movies the cabinet, Craig finds a secret passageway and being just as curious as the next guy, decides to crawl inside and see what's what. What Craig finds is a portal that leads him directly into the head of acclaimed film star John Malkovich (playing himself). The "ride", however, only lasts for fifteen minutes before Craig is spit out on the side of the New Jersey turnpike. When he shares his discovery with Maxine, she sees it as an opportunity to make a little cash on the side and puts an ad in the paper - "Ever want to be someone else? Now you can!". Things get even more complicated when Maxine meets John Malkovich (face to face) and begins a romantic relationship with him and EVEN MORE complicated when Lotte goes through the portal and decides that she's a man trapped in a woman's body and forms a romantic attachment to Maxine. Must be seen to be believed.
YES! It IS a must see, I'll give THE BOOK that. It's a must see because you can't just hear about this movie without having to see it & experience it for yourself and form your own opinions. Some will hate it with a passion, some will love it and then there's me, who, after today's viewing, sees the good and the bad. The good is the concept itself, which comes from the mind of Charlie Kaufman and reminds me of what a brilliant screenwriter he is, indeed. It also makes me wonder what's going on in that man's head to churn out a story the likes of "Being John Malkovich", not to mention "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (which should've been included in THE BOOK, as well) and "Adaptation" (which used to be included in THE BOOK and upon my last viewing, I liked it a lot). The story examines several different ideas, including a man who is so lonely, pathetic and uncomfortable in his own skin, that when he finds a portal into another man's skin, he ultimately never wants to leave. Also, a woman (Lotte) who questions her own sexuality and another woman (Maxine) who is caught in the middle. It's a film that definitely has it's moments and has some of the most unique storytelling you'll ever see. Even the whole spiel about the 7 1/2 floor, is, in it's own way, brilliant. The ending is also odd (in a good way) with Mr. Lester's revelation that he's been waiting until Malkovich was ripe, before he intends to enter him permanently and continue to live inside him until the next vessel (whomever that may be) becomes of ripe age, at which point he'll repeat the process and ultimately be immortal. Is there a plot hole at the end though? If Mr. Lester can take as many of his elder friends as he wants inside Malkovich, as well as Lotte, then why does Craig have to exit for him to be able to enter? Didn't really understand that...
The bad is that the film, this time around anyway, was just so unique that, at times, it came off as utter silliness. Sure it's unique and original and all that jazz, but why do I care about these people. Let's face it the characters are one-dimensional and aren't acting in a natural manner, therefore I never formed any emotional attachment to any of them. Sure, you can argue that this is an unnatural film, therefore the characters need to be acting in an unnatural manner, but it didn't work for me, at times. Also, what about the Malkovich character? Here's this innocent guy (who just happens to be a celebrity) who, through no fault of his own, has become part of this portal that leads people into his psyche. In the end, the Malkovich character is really the one we should be feeling sorry for, because for all intents and purposes, he was killed, in order for Lester and his buddies to enter into and become him. Then there's the whole lesbian relationship between Lotte and Maxine and throughout the entire movie Maxine just came off as a bitch, who was incapable of forming any real emotional relationships, who was always looking out for her own best interests. And then you've got Craig, who is trapped inside their daughter's head, seemingly forever, like a prisoner...do Lotte and Maxine know he's in there? And what did Craig ever do wrong to be the one who, in the end, is the victim of imprisonment? Is he punished for falling in love with Maxine? This is a poor guy, who was basically bullied by her, who's only misfortune was falling for her. Okay, okay I'm ranting and raving and it's getting a little out of hand, so I better just end this.
RATING: 6.5/10 Good, but a lot less good than the last time I watched it. Perhaps it needs yet another viewing, I don't know.
MOVIES WATCHED: 680
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 321
May 13, 2013 11:33pm
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Running Time: 107 minutes
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Written By: M. Night Shyamalan
Main Cast: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Donnie Wahlberg
Click here to view the trailer
"I SEE DEAD PEOPLE"
So it's been a few days since I've been blogging and I apologize for not warning you. Truth is, I didn't even know I'd be taking a short break and furthermore, I have to tell you that I'm getting just a little burnt out and am in desperate need of a break. However, I plan to charge ahead, since I'm so close to the 700 mark and really want to get there. Now then...
Where to begin, where to begin...ah yes! We start with Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Willis), observing him in his home, after recently winning an award for being an outstanding child psychologist. He is joined by his wife, Anna (Williams) and the two seem to be a pretty picture perfect couple. As they retire to their bedroom to...well you know, they realize that someone has broken in, in their absence, and that it's actually one of Malcolm's former patients, Vincent (Wahlberg) - one that he failed to help. The patient shoots him, shoots himself and then we fast forward to the following autumn. Nowadays Malcolm's marriage has gone from the picture of perfection that it once was and is now cold & distant, as Malcolm carries around the guilt of Vincent's suicide and his failure to rectify Vincent's personal demons. Now, Malcolm has a new patient - Cole Sear (Osment), a child who seems to be losing his grip with reality and acting stranger by the day. His mother (Collette) has (seemingly) acquired the assistance of Malcolm to try and help her son cope with the issues, which are thought to be brought on by the separation of her from Cole's father. The movie examines Malcolm's tactics as he tries to reach toward the heart of Cole's issues and becomes more eerie when the true nature of Cole's issues come to light...
When "The Sixth Sense" came out, I was fifteen years old and still remember watching it for the first time and being totally surprised by the ending. I'm sure a more attentive viewer could've spotted the twist ending, as there are a boat load of clues to get you to guess what's really going on. However, I'm going to assume that a lot of people were genuinely caught off guard by the ultimate revelation. The hints are subtle enough and of course, they're much easier to spot once you know the ending: Anna pulling the cover over her shoulders when Malcolm sits beside her on the bed, the fact that Malcolm has absolutely no verbal communication with Anna or Cole's mom, etc, etc. And lets not give all the credit to the marvelous, extremely surprising ending, as this movie certainly had merit long before the revelation that Bruce Willis was indeed one of those "dead people". It was a fairly simple story about a boy who had the power to see ghosts and the revelation that, in order to get them to leave him alone, he had to help them take care of unfinished business.
You know, I can even remember scoffing at the idea of Osment being nominated for an Academy Award, but after today's rewatch of this film, I can say that he definitely deserved it. Viewing his performance with an even more cinematically trained eye was good for making me realize what a talent filled performance he gave - almost too good a performance to come out of an eleven year old boy. Everyone else does a fine job too and how fitting that I watched this on Mother's Day, as Collette portrays a very loving, concerned mother to a tee.
RATING: 8/10 Don't be surprised if my reviews get a little bit shorter from here until the 700 mark, as I'm raring to wrap this season up!
MOVIES WATCHED: 679
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 322
May 12, 2013 8:54pm