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31 July, 2005

Catching up with the flow

Since I signed up to Amazon's DVD Rental service in March, I've seen quite a few films, quite apart from those on TV or at the cinema.  I haven't had time to comment on many, but if only for my own reference, these are the films I've rented from Amazon over the past five months:

Spider-Man 2 – Reviewed here.
Lost In Translation – I'd recommend people rent it, but it's not one I'd buy myself. It's vital to know that it's about the characters, not the plot. Some have criticised the film because "nothing happens", but that's missing the point.
Layer Cake – Okay. I'd watch it on TV, and probably enjoy it, but in hindsight I wouldn't say it's worth paying to see.
Incidentally, the stockings & suspenders used to promote the film are false advertising, and barely appear. Damn.
The Crow: City Of Angels] – Reviewed here.
Requiem For A Dream – Very powerful. Not easy viewing or exactly 'enjoyable', but worth seeing.
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow – Somewhat disappointing. Many have criticised it by comparing it to modern films, but it deliberately emulates the appearence, scripting and plot of 1930s 'cliffhanger' serials like 'Flash Gordon', and should be judged against those. However, even on those terms, I don't think it quite succeeds.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse – very good.
Body Shots – not great. I was expecting more, somehow, and it's too 'American' for my taste.
Hero – Excellent. I ordered my own copy almost immediately. A truly beautiful production, and an almost fairy tale, though novel, story. Good acting, too.
Run Lola Run – Reviewed here.
Opeth - Lamentations – I don't particularly like music DVDs, but I rented this for the hour-long documentary on the making of the 'Damnation'and 'Deliverance' albums, featuring Steven Wilson. I didn't watch the concert itself.
The Ages Of Lulu – I saw this about ten weeks ago, and barely remember it – not a good sign. It was okay, but I wouldn't really recommend it.
The Last Samurai – Rather good. I might buy my own copy if I see it in a sale some time, as I enjoyed the film and would be mildly interested to see the bonus disc (Amazon DVD Rental treats bonus discs as separate, additional choices, so I didn't order it).
Macross Plus - The Movie – I was told this was a 'must-see' example of anime, but I thought it very ordinary, in terms of story and execution.
Secretary – Disappointing. The idea that those engaged in a power relationship are emotionally handicapped or mentally ill was unnecessary and rather offensive.
Three Colours: Blue – Reviewed here.
Charlie's Angels – As insubstantial as expected, but enjoyable – which is absolutely fine, of course!
Spirited Away – Very odd, but good. I only rented the film itself, but at some point I'll buy my own copy, and watch the bonus disc too.
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! – Somewhat stylised and farcical (that's a description of the genre, not a value judgement). It was okay, but I don't understand why it's generally so highly rated.
Kagemusha – Very good.
Saw – Reviewed here.
The Unbearable Lightness Of Being – Reviewed here.
Three Colours: White – Excellent.
Three Colours: Red – I returned this unwatched since, having particularly enjoyed 'Blue' and 'White', I bought the boxed set of all three films and a documentary disc.
Cypher – Reviewed here.
Cube Zero – Very good; similar to the excellent first film, with better acting and an added perspective on the controllers of the death-trapped prison.

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