Monday, March 22, 2010

Top and Bottom of 2009 - #3

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Is the story cliche? Maybe. Is the plot too contrived? Possibly. Is the film highly improbable? Most definitely. But it is still an immensely entertaining film about growing up and finding lost love, set to some snazzy music. Danny Boyle is in top form here, infusing every scene with his signature style, giving it an energy that would be lacking had a lesser director made this film. I also love his use of subtitles. Instead of relegating them to the bottom of the screen in a boring yellow text, they were placed all over the screen wherever there was empty space, often with a box around them to help separate the words from the background. My eye was naturally drawn to them, making them the easiest subtitles I have ever read. It was almost like watching a moving comic book (and I mean that in a good way).

Southland Tales (2006)
This movie is one giant mess. Nothing makes sense and writer/director Richard Kelly goes haphazardly from one scene to another with each new scene having little bearing on those surrounding it. And every time he tries to explain something it only makes everything more confusing. The characters are all either dull or so over the top that they are completely unbelievable. And since there is glaring Budweiser product placement in almost every scene, it felt like I was watching the most bizarre, confusing, poorly written, poorly acted, inconsistent, unbelievable, and downright dirty beer commercial I have ever seen.

Coming up next: two movies about a man who is just trying to get away from it all.

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