Saturday, April 24, 2010

Top and Bottom of the Aughts - #9

Best
Brick (2005)
Brick takes all the elements of the classic film noirs of the 1940s and places them in a modern high school setting. What results is a surprisingly successful hybrid that is fully engaging. The plot is full of twists and surprises, the violence is sudden, realistic, and brutal, and our hero even wears glasses. While it takes a while to get used to the unique rhythms and dialog, it is still highly rewarding to those who are willing to make the effort to immerse themselves in the world it creates.

Worst
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
The trailer for this movie was intriguing. Frame after frame of enticing visuals promised a film in which a world of wonder would be unfolded before our eyes. Well, some of the visuals delivered as promised, but the story left much to be desired and then some. The filmmakers were too busy trying to come up with cool things to put in their movie and forgot to tell a cohesive story. Plot points are replaced with unmemorable fight scenes and a ludicrous sequence in which our heroes literally race the sunrise. On foot. Characters are little more than cardboard cutouts and the world presented in the movie is subject to the arbitrary whims of the filmmakers, with nothing fleshed out enough to create any kind of cohesive internal logic. Overall it is an overblown mess that is quickly forgotten.

Coming up next: A film that creates a wold of fantasy, wonder, and danger and one that tries to do it and fails.

2 comments:

vespreardens said...

Usually I don't get out to see smaller independent films, for whatever reason, but I did see Brick, and it was fairly good. It was very impressive for a low-budget thing. I remember though that I spent a disproportionately large amount of time trying to figure out exactly where they filmed it, because some of it looked really familiar... probably because I've been to and through San Clemente several times.

Herch said...

Everyone who saw Brick at Sundance was raving about it, and I've always liked film noirs, so I was eager to check it out. Interestingly enough, though I'm rarely Mr. Gung-Ho about independent movies, Sundance is now 2 for 2 on this top 10 list.