East Bay View (a blog about several things)

now 98% free of substantive content

Monday, April 20, 2009

Brad still watches DVDs sometimes

Slumdog Millionaire: A likeable movie in which the montages are the tastiest parts. Gloopy love story? Sure, but chicken tikka masala was based on butter chicken, or so some believe. The "real India"? It shows up from time to time. "Paper Planes" plays and then they're seven years older? That's the real Bollywood. B

Twilight: Wuthering Heights, yes, but the Kate Bush version. A very teen girl pic, so reviewers used to hyping "four quadrant" flicks (that is, teen boy pics that waste Gwyneth Paltrow) had nothing to say save not-so-biting wordplays. More substantial is the criticism of the movie as anti-sex, touched upon by Dargis. To be clear: waiting a bit isn't the worst thing in the world for many teens, but if you're one of the many parents who let your spawn learn the facts of life from popcult, there's better multimedia than this. The rest of us can choose between breaking out the auteur theory and playing therapist to Stephenie Meyer, or marvelling how well Catherine Hardwicke gets her cast to play together. Best performer: actual teen Kristen Stewart. B PLUS

Let the Right One In: Before this, there were two good vampire art films ever -- both by Northern Europeans, none since 1932. After this: no change. Here, Bergman comes back from the dead, and no one has the decency to send him back. J/K: Bergman knew how to depict outsiders; their portrayal here rings so false that you suspect the filmmakers were never bullied at all. (NB: Watched this with dubbing on. The subtitles were insufficient; a version with decent subtitles is being released and will probably be more enjoyable than what I watched. Not that I'm giving it another chance.) C PLUS