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outrageous film reviewer
Grizzly Man



This is a documentary about Timothy Treadwell, a man who lived among bears for 13 summers straight until his demise in 2003 at the hands of a bear.

The only word that can be used to describe this documentary is disturbing. There is no silver lining to this documentary. It is all very sad. It is directed by Werner Herzog and by looking at his filmography you can tell why this subject interested him. The film has a very grim look at life.The true tragedy of this documentary is the subject himself. He is a failed actor from California. A failed audition for a part he really wanted is what finally broke him. So he decided to leave California and head to Alaska bear sanctuary and live around bears. In the beginning of the documentary it feels like he is a crazy person who lost his way in life and is just wandering through jungle and could be killed at any moment. But slowly you realize that the artist in him had to come out anyway it can. Its very sad. He couldn't get acting jobs in California and so he went to Alaska in search of a place where he could feel special and unique compared to millions of failed artists in California. So he decided to do something that most people wouldn't dare try. That's the core of artists mindset. They want to do something that gets attention. But the price they are willing pay is what differentiates normal people who can never achieve insane amount of wealth and fame from artists who do.

The whole sanctuary is pretty dangerous. It is in the middle of nowhere and its vast. The beautiful landscape is in stark contrast to the deadly wildlife that lives in it. The thing about bears is that they don't particularly look scary by themselves. But they are some of the most dangerous predators on the planet. Something like a Tiger or a Lion don't look at human's as food. They are very territorial and their goal is to subdue whoever enters their land. So big cats maul. But bears are the only land animals that look at human's as food. The thing about wild animals, especially bears is that they are ruthless and in-compassionate. When they look at you, they don't look at a friend or an acquaintance even though you have been around them for years. They look at you either as a prey or non-prey. The same thing happened to Timothy. He went there for several years but all along he was just a new unknown thing to them. That's the unique thing this documentary brought to the medium. Most wildlife national geographic documentaries are dispassionate about putting their fingers on ruthlessness of nature because they fear losing support from humans in supporting wildlife both financially and ecologically. But Werner Herzog is not that. He is a filmmaker that wants to say what he wants to say.

Midway through the movie Herzog shows the footage of two wild bears fight for dominance. It is the most aggressive,primal and raw bear fight ever captured on camera. One has to follow bears for 100s of hours to get a footage like that. The fight is so brutal that you can see the fur on their skin being ripped apart and fall down. Moreover one of the bears takes a crap mid fight and keeps going. What the filmmakers intend to show through this footage is just how ruthless the bears are and they are nothing more than a wild animal that either kills you or doesn't. Bears are huge. One of the main things the director explores through the movie is the disconnect between humans and animals and why its all for nothing. Throughout his stay in Alaska, Timothy thought that he is helping and saving the bears. But what he failed to realize is that his desire to help or save bears is extremely superficial and selfish. He wanted to feel special and has a higher purpose. So he started pretending like he is taking care of bears. He might be honest to himself but as a whole it felt very self servicing. As someone in the documentary put it, he did more harm than good being there.

When I watched this documentary I didn't know how famous this guy was. Apparently he is a bit famous. He appeared on Letterman show. So due to his popularity there is certain intrigue in the way he was killed and people started to look for the mysterious circumstances in which he was killed and mythical irony in all this. So I was genuinely surprised to see lot of conspiracy articles on the web related to his death. Here are the facts. On the day of his death he was accompanied by his girlfriend. It is the end of spring. So they have to leave because of the climate, bears go into hibernation and he has no purpose staying there. Since he has been living there for several years, he is able to identify and distinguish different bears. Some are more friendlier than others. As the legend goes, on the last day of his stay there Timothy got into a fight with an airline attendant and decided to get back to the park and stay there for a week and then leave the sanctuary. So, him and his girlfriend camp in a location which is essentially a grizzly maze. By doing so they are at the park later than usual.They should have left the sanctuary by then. What apparently happened is, all the bears they knew went into hibernation and a number of new bears started moving into the location that late into the year. Ironically one of the last bears timothy captured in his video footage seems to be struggling to catch a fish and had to swim deep into water to get a dead salmon. That in a way indicates desperation in the bear and hunger. The speculation is that the last bear he caught in his camera footage is the one that killed him. Bear tend to eat a lot of food before hibernation. The conspiracies come from the fact that had he not gone back to the sanctuary he would have survived and fate made him to go back. Moreover it was just a day before he asked a passenger flight to come pick him up. So freedom was so close when he lost his life.

My theory is this. He is a guy who for his own selfish reasons went to Alaska. He wanted attention because he is an artist at heart. If not hollywood he will go find fame somewhere else. Once in Alaska, going into sanctuary with guns seemed too tame for him. He wanted to feel more special than any human alive so he threw safety out of the window. Theoretically speaking, going from california to alaska is too big of a lifestyle leap for his fate to catch up. So he entered Alaska with a lot of luck. I mean, what are the odds that a struggling actor in Los Angeles will end up in Alaska. So, for god to rearrange his fate and time of death it took 13 years. Once inside the sanctuary, he went unnoticed because bears already have been living without him and so they didn't need him. Moreover they had plenty of food. The footage over multiple years contains lot of videos where he is sad and frustrated. But the reasons for frustration is not what he says it is. He is a guy who is mad at the world for dealing him a bad hand, but he claims to be angry over the treatment of wildlife by humans. It almost feels like he doesnt wanna face the truth that he is a failed artist. On the fateful day it was a combination of his personal demons bubbling to the surface along with his girlfriend being unsatisfied with his life that led him to test his luck by setting up a tent in grizzly maze. It is always advised to set up tents where bears can see them from far so that they can stay away from the tents. But setting up in the grizzly maze means that the bear won't see the tent until its too close. All these circumstances fell in place for a hungry grizzly to eat him and his girlfriend. A hungry desperate bear is the most dangerous predator. The way they operate is simple. Once they are hungry, they come and snatch a person with no hesitation. Bear is the only predator that keeps charging even if it hears a gunshot. They just wander and wander nearby and suddenly they come and snatch you away. So before they knew it, Timothy and his girlfriend were eaten by grizzly. I was never surprised that his girlfriend died while trying to protect Timothy instead of escaping because a girl who dates a guy like Timothy and willing to spend several days with him in a bear infested sanctuary is already screwed up in the head. So the only rational way it could have ended is what happened in the real life.



Interesting review @aronisred. I can see you put a lot of thought into it. Based on your review, I don't know that I want to see the movie of this ill fated Grizzly Man. As a nature lover myself, I' ve always been wary of the type of person who claims to have a rapport or mastery over wild animals that goes beyond the animal 's circle of safety ( their safety, not ours). People like this man, Steve Irwin and Segfried and Roy, imo overstep the bounds of what should be a respectful but guarded relationship between man(kind) and beast. It's still sad when these folks have a harmful or tragic experience, but not unforeseen .

Btw I have always considered bears to be the most fearsome of any animal I might encounter on my nature walks, whether locally or in national parks. . Fortunately I have never encountered a grizzly, but I sure strive to give even a black bear a wide berth.

Well, thanks for informing me about this movie. Btw I think your post really should be in the Movie Review threads or perhaps the Rate the Last Movie You Saw thread. You may want to ask Yoda to place it there, or just post your reviews there in the future, so more people can enjoy reading them.



Ah - that was quick. Glad to see the review re-posted here. And I suspect the thanks go to @Yoda.



aronisred's Avatar
outrageous film reviewer
Tucker: The Man and His Dream



The story of Preston Tucker as he realizes his dream of making cars with innovative revolutionary ideas.

This is a rise and fall story. Francis Ford Coppola decided to keep the tone of the movie lighter. That is one of the biggest drawbacks of the movie. The bare-bones story in the movie involves a semi-wealthy entrepreneur who had some success making army gear tries to venture into car manufacturing industry. His dream consists of putting engine in the back of the car and enhance the safety regulations in the cars. So he decided to make those cars and sell them in large scale. Over the course of realizing his dream he faces hurdles in terms of meeting deadlines and intervention from politicians with ties to rival auto companies.

Throughout the movie I kept feeling that he didn't struggle enough for his dreams. When certain rise and fall stories don't have the dramatic punch needed then it is better to leave them alone as opposed to make a movie about them. I honestly didn't see a movie in the story. The general argument against such criticism is not to critique a movie negatively just because it didn't give you what you wanted. But I disagree. Movie's success can be measured in terms of memorability and box office. Any movie that is infinitely re-watchable is worth making. But middle of the road movies like this are simply not worth making. The movie is weirdly goofy. It starts with a semi documentary footage that gives exposition about the background of the Tucker. So, to begin with, this guy is already rich. Throughout the movie you never get the feeling that this guy is incredibly obsessed about his vision. His obsession may be a truthful portrayal but not cinematic enough.

The movie has positives in terms of entertainment value but the emotional dramatic wow factor is sorely missing in the movie. I think this movie in part sums up Francis ford Coppola's career. He is a very primal director. Godfather movies are a series of escalating chess moves with deadly consequences. They sort of show how American is born through the lens of ruthless gangster violence. Apocalypse now shows a very primal view of war and how if affects people. There are no logistical jargon or military mambo jambo in the movie. Once it starts it just becomes about a soldier traveling to reach his destination. Those two genres have enough flesh on the bones without including the technical jargon to overcome the superficial nature of the approach of the movie. But something like Car manufacturing or racing is a genre where the real meat is on the race tracks/automobiles. The moment you focus on court cases or business dealings, it becomes a generic movie. This movie falls into that trap and forgets about what makes cars unique. Scripts should be written with that in mind. But I think Coppola thought he was being clever because he is telling this story and drawing parallels to the process of movie making and how people who have no skills in the field of car making/filmmaking take over the company from under the noses of filmmakers/car makers and run them into the ground. But the problem with that is the movie way too convenient for its own good and it just doesn't cut it. A movie about a man's dream to build a new car is just too normal. It is not even about invention of the first car. It is just another car. The guy has roof over the head and food on the table . So it doesn't even feel like everything was taken away from him.

The most bad-ass part of car racing/manufacturing involves pit crew. They are grease monkeys who are some of the most skilled drivers as they have to test drive and work on unfinished cars. This movie relegates then to marginal characters with no screen time given to various phases of car manufacturing. I think it's partly because the thing they are making is just another design of a car. I think the movie feels more like its about a guy who ruffles feathers where he is not supposed to and not about someone who has this grand vision and is trying to make it happen. He saw that the cars could be improved and decided to make them where as his far more powerful and established competitors don't want that to happen. I partly watched this movie because of Ford v. Ferrari movie coming up. I just hope that the movie doesn't turn into anything like this. That's why it is so hard to make a great movie about racing without making it look generic. You try and search for drama in elements other than racing and the more you do it the more generic it becomes. Apart from that its a safe watch.



aronisred's Avatar
outrageous film reviewer
Tumbbad



I watched this movie based on a recommendation from someone who's seen it at Fantastic fest in Alamo drafthouse. It is a morality tale on greed but it is disguised as fantasy horror.

The review for this movie could easily go in lot of different directions. So I would like to keep it focused. The movie is based on a made up folklore. To my surprise, despite being made up it is very rich. It is very hard to poke holes at the mythology. According to it, the goddess of wealth and food curses her oldest son,Hastar for being extremely greedy and trying to steal both gold and grain. As part of the curse he is erased from history books and is hidden in her womb. The curse prevents him from accessing any form of food but he gets to keep the gold since he stole it already. So it is as if he never existed. A long time later a family finds out about him and starts worshipping him. All the rest of the children of the goddess, who themselves are gods are angry that this forgotten son is being worshipped and starts raining on the village,Tumbbad ever since. So the family and the village to certain extent is facing the wrath of gods.

The movie is split into 3 parts based on different stages in the life of our protagonist. His name is Vinayk. I think his point of view is the best way into this story. Part 1, when Vinayk is a teenager we learn that his mother is a young widow and she is giving sexual favors to an old man for over a decade in exchange for financial support. But the old man, who happens to be the heir of a wealthy family has been careless with his spendings and used up all the family wealth. The only thing left is a gold coin that the woman is hoping to earn for her service. In a way she is grasping at straws by that point.It turns out that the old man is the descendent of the family that worshipped Hastar and brought down curse upon the village. This family has a dark secret that is eventually revealed over the course of the movie. What we do know is that the old man has spent his entire life trying to find treasure that is rumored to be buried under the family mansion. But it is nowhere to be found. Vinayk's mom is tasked with feeding the great grandmother of the old man who is suffering from some sort of mysterious condition but is miraculously alive for few centuries. The grandmother stays isolated in a locked room in an outhouse away from the mansion that is used by Vinayk's family. The old woman is considered dangerous and is chained to the wall. She is fed and occasionally when she wakes up the family is told to utter a phrase involving Hastar to put her back to sleep. After the death of Old man and before Vinayk's family could leave the town, Vinayk's younger brother is involved in an accident. When the mother takes the younger son to doctor, she leaves Vinayk alone in the house to feed the old woman and tells him to use the name Hastar if the Old woman tries to attack him. But unfortunately he forgets the name and gets into trouble with the Old woman. She is horribly disfigured and before she could eat him he recollects the name Hastar and uses it to put her to sleep. From this encounter we realize that the old woman is under some kind of curse and vinayk also learns that the old woman knows about the treasure in the mansion. The mother returns home with the news of her son's death and they leave the village next morning with vinayk being forced by his mother to take an oath to never return to the village. During this first part we notice that Vinayk is a very selfish person even at a young age and also very greedy. He doesn't even care for the safety of his brother before his death. The only reason he gets into trouble with the old woman is because she was able to lure him into her room using her knowledge of the treasure.

Part 2, the most important part of the movie. A 20 something Vinayk is seen returning to the village after 15 years and the first place he visits is his old house. By this point the house is consumed by flora. There are twigs and branches everywhere. In all this he is able to find his grandmother who is pinned to the ground by a tree growing out of her rendering her immobile and still alive. He gets information regarding the treasure in exchange for freeing her from the curse by burning her alive. The brilliancy of the script is that at this point in the movie we see him searching for the entrance to the treasure chest based on the information given by the grandmother and once he finds it the movie cuts back to his home in another village. What we do notice is that he returns with gold coins. This introduces us to the second most important relationship in the movie, the first being between the treasure and vinayk. This is between a money lender and vinayk. The reason why this relationship works so well is because its complicated and it revolves around wealth. One of the catalysts apart from greed that forces vinayak to go back to his house are his debts. So when he comes back with gold coins and clears the debt this gets the attention of money lender. As time passes by, in just a few weeks tables turns and the money lender owes money to vinayk for his gold coins. The character of the money lender is very greedy. We see him trying to fish for information regarding the source of the gold coins but he doesn't get anything from Vinayk. On occasions even Vinayk offers to give him financial assistance if needed. But the money lender is too greedy for his own good. He wants in on Vinayk's source. By this point in the movie we do realize that Vinayk is busy with his own life and he is extremely wealthy and indulging himself in all vices. He is not too bothered about Money lender pestering him for his income source. But the straw that broke the camel's back is when he realizes that the Money lender tries to trick him into not leaving the town for 2 days by sending a woman to his house to seduce him. He immediately connects the dots and concludes that the money lender went to the mansion for treasure. This poses a real threat to Vinayk. So he goes to the mansion as well. What follows next is a 5 - 10 minute sequence that is the highlight of the movie. Vinayk lures the money lender into a well by acting as if he didn't notice anyone in the mansion and he is just going on about his job. So , it is through the eyes of the money lender that we get the first glimpse into the treasure chest. The brilliance of the movie is that until this point we see that Vinayk has found the path to the treasure and he is able to get the treasure in small amounts each time but we don't know why or how. The money lender climbs down a giant sphere made out of flesh with walls covered in blood and it seems to be moving. By this point the money lender is completely consumed by greed that he forgets that the "treasure" if exists belongs to Vinayk since it's his ancestral house and he crosses so many lines of betrayal, self preservation and fear of the unknown to reach there. All he can see at the point is a small box on the floor. Even at that point he had a chance to just walk away. But his greed forces him to open the box and sees a doll made out of flour in there. Once the doll is taken out of the box something snatches him up into the walls and we hear him screaming for his life. A while later we see Vinayk descend into the sphere and shows us how it's done. The big reveal is that the sphere happens to be the womb of the goddess and since she hides hastar from millions of his angry sibling gods trying to kill him, he is hiding in the walls of the womb. Due to the curse he can't have food. But he can have it if someone offers it to him. Apparently flour on its own is not considered food. But flour mixed with water is considered food. So vinayak draws a circle with flour and stays in it because hastar can't enter the circle and the he lures Hastar with the doll from the box and once Hastar is busy eating the doll he steals the coins from the loin cloth of hastar and climbs out of the womb before he is done eating and closes the door to the womb. The way Hastar is depicted in the movie is very interesting. He is treated as a cursed god. So his actions are very primal and he is the ultimate embodiment of greed. The moment you show him the doll , you get his full attention and he will attack and kill you for it . The reason he tries to attack whoever is in the womb after he is done eating is because they stole his gold coins. Since the money lender accidentally offers the doll by opening the box, Hastar attacks him and eats the doll. Who ever is bitten by Hastar inherits his curse of living forever and being hungry all the time but they are disfigured in the process.In a way they are his slaves and they fear him . The only way they can be freed from the curse is by burning them. Once the door is closed , Hastar is gone. This bring us to the back story of the grandmother from part 1. Throughout the movie we see crumbs of what could have happened along the family lineage. My theory based upon what is presented throughout the movies is as follows. So, a long time ago one of the members of the family must have found the entrance to the womb. Something must have happened that resulted in the family figuring out that a touch from the god could curse anyone but at the same time you can steal from the god if he is distracted long enough. Generation after generation the family lineage must have been consumed by greed and stole the gold from the god. You can even see the lengths to which the families went to retrieve gold coins from the womb. The grandmother is a casualty of the hunger for gold. Here is what could have happened to her. Once her husband dies she is forced to be one of the one's who go into the womb to fetch the gold in exchange for sparing her from being banished from the village. That is what used to happen to women after their husband's death back in the day. We also see paintings of women fully covered in clothing with just their faces exposed grinding flour on the walls of the mansion. So the family lineage for generations must have not banished their widows and instead used them to get gold from the womb. How fricking disturbing is that. The cycle ended with the grandmother. It looks like when she is bitten, someone must have decided that they have had enough and closed the path to the womb and hid it by building a well along the path. So the stealing of gold must have stopped once the grand mother is bitten by Hastar. In addition to that they decided they couldn't kill her because of pity and so they left her alive by feeding her for generations. They also stopped passing on the information to future generations regarding the womb. So the secret died with the generation that spared the grandmother until the grandmother reveals the information to Vinayk. But one key thing to remember is that they are dealing with a god. It is not from this world. They are essentially stealing from a god by tempting him with food. Vinayk is just following a set of rules made by humans to deal with something supernatural.

Part 3, this part picks up a decade after vinayk has eliminated the money lender and now he has a son. Vinayk has indulged himself in all forms of vices and is recognizing that he is getting too old to continue going into the womb. Because the task is so physical. One of the things that makes Vinayk such a great anti-hero and protagonist of the movie is his obsession and courage. Every time he goes into the womb he is risking his life. A lot of things have to go right for him to survive each time. The rope can't break, he can't slip while climbing, he can't be too slow for Hastar to catch him and he can't afford to be unprepared when hastar notices the flour doll. All this takes practice and preparation. So in a way he earned that gold. When the time comes for him to pass on these duties to his son he expects his son to be prepared. But a life full of wealth and decadence has made him an abusive parent and uncaring husband. The curse from the god has manifested itself into a slight leg disability in their son. In a way the gods who attacked Hastar are cursing Vinayk for taking the gold by making his son slightly disabled. But nonetheless he doesn't get the cue and takes his son with him to the womb after he has had practice. But what we notice is that his son is greedier than him. We notice the son exhibiting very bad tendencies from a very early age. He put their whole mission at jeopardy when he brings the doll on a trial run. He steals coins from Hastar during his very first trial run when Vinayk is unprepared. So we immediately notice that the greed is growing with generations. But Vinayk just considers it an anomaly. The unlimited supply of wealth has made Vinayk out of touch with reality that he forgets India has got independence. Due to the new laws from Indian government the mansion will be demolished and a village will be built in that area. The son being his greedy self suggest that they take multiple dolls with them so that they can buy enough time to steal as much gold as they can. These two events act as catalysts for Vinayk to loose his sense of caution and give in to his greed by taking lot of dolls into the womb along with his son. But since he doesn't fully know what he is dealing with , for each doll they bring, a new Hastar appears. So they get overwhelmed by a lot of Hastars essentials making their escape impossible. So Vinayk must make a choice between saving his own life or saving his son's life. By that point he is forced to face his greed that has consumed him his whole adult life. He finally decides to sacrifice himself by using himself as bait and luring all the hastars outside the womb and kill them with flour. This clears up the route for his son to get out of the womb. Once his son reaches the surface he witnesses his father transform into his
cursed self and this finally makes his son give up on the gold leave the mansion once for all.

So the genius of the movie is that it is a fable taking place in real time. The lead in the movie is such an awesome character because he goes into this nightmare and comes out alive for such a long time until his greed gets the better of him. You see how long a layman survives in there using the example of money lender. He couldn't even climb down the rope properly and falls down. Imagine the first time Vinayk had to encounter Hastar , what a nightmare that must have been to climb out knowing that , that thing is after you. So he overcame all that all by himself and risked his life. At the same time he is incredibly misogynistic and treats his family as ****. All this makes for a very interesting descent into the darkness of human psyche. The movie is very atmospheric.



aronisred's Avatar
outrageous film reviewer
Once Upon a time in...Hollywood



A slice in the life of fading TV star and his stunt double in the months leading up to Charles Manson murders in 1969 Hollywood, Los Angeles.

So, when I first watched the movie I kinda hated it. Felt it was pretty meandering and boring. But on the second watch I didn't feel like I wanted to kill myself at all. It was kinda entertaining. One of the reasons I didn't like it the first time around is because it was not the kind of movie I was expecting it to be. There are only two spectacles in Tarantino's career until now. Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Both of them are made for close to 100 million $. So when I heard that the budget of this movie is close to 100 million $ I thought that it was gonna be a spectacle but it ended up being more of a hang out movie. Most of the money went into world building that kinda fades into background as the story takes place. So you will see shots of Los Angeles as it looked like in 1969 but its not spectacularly different from present. There is that contradiction at the middle of this movie.So it's basically a 90 million $ death proof.

In real life the Sharon Tate-Manson murders are very much a surprise to Hollywood. Hollywood is a weird place to work. It is cutthroat. People are nice in front of you and stab you in the back. So they have their own stuff to deal with. Moreover the Manson murders are so random that it caught the victims off guard. The movie treats it just like that. It doesn't build up to any murder or to a grand finale involving manson. It's more of a footnote to the story. Charles manson is in the movie for 30 seconds only.

The movie takes place over the course of 3 days in 1969. The first 2 days are back to back. The third day is 6 months later on August 8th 1969 aka the day of the tate-labianca murders. Most of the story takes place in the first 2 days. We follow fading TV actor Rick Dalton(DiCaprio) and his Stunt Double Cliff Booth(Pitt) as they slowly realize that first they are in very bad place in hollywood with less career opportunities than ever before and they are not able to recognize the changing landscape around them both in terms of the friends they made in the past and the way people that succeed them operate like hippies on street or younger actors on set. One realizes while shooting a TV show and through his agent whereas the other learns it through his adventures in Los Angeles & on movie sets. They decides to leave for Italy by the end of 2 days to make italian westerns for six months and come back on the day of the murders.

The movie has no plot. It has scenes with characters doing stuff. Some scenes work where as some don't. There is a scene in the middle where Pitt hitches a ride to a woman who happens to be part of manson family and once they get to the Spahn ranch where she is staying there is a tense scene that lasts for 10 minutes which felt very mexican standoffish and it works. The scenes with Rick Dalton are good but not as good as one's with Cliff Booth because they mostly consisted of him struggling to act and finally deciding to avoid the embarrassment he faced on the set that day by going to a different country where he is still kinda famous. Almost all of the memorable scenes in the movie come from Cliff Booth even in the ending. He also has a scene with Bruce Lee where they dare each other to fight. Its cool. But there is no connective arc to the movie and Sharon Tate's character felt unnecessary. Because nothing dramatic or major happens with her character. She is just living her life. There are a lot of movies within movie and TV shows within movie and they have been used to a point of unnecessity because even on my second watch I felt that the movie dragged a lot. Tarantino must have been interested in them but not audience.

The movie that most reminded me of this was Adam Mckay's Vice. There are narrations and scenes within scenes that feel cute upto a certain point and works but this movie kinda runs them into the ground. Same thing happens with narration.If you live in Los Angeles then you will feel like you are being transported mildly to a time and place that's different. But beyond few neon signs on streets and few stores with old designs and looks, Los Angeles is not much different between 1969 and 2019. I enjoyed it more on a second watch but still felt quite a few parts of movie to be boring and meandering. The ending is violent and bloody and played for only laughs. No more comments on that in this section of review. It's one of his weaker movies.

Order from best to worst
Inglourious Basterds
Django Unchained
Pulp Fiction
Hateful Eight
Jackie Brown
Kill Bill 1 & 2
Once upon a time in...Hollywood
Reservoir Dogs
Death Proof



aronisred's Avatar
outrageous film reviewer
Memento



A man with short term memory loss tries to take revenge on the person who raped and murdered his wife and injured him(that led to his condition).

The movie switches between two storylines. One is a linear story told from the perspective of the protagonist, who obviously suffers from memory loss issues and the other is told backwards in chunks of 3-10 minute scenes, so in this second storyline, the ending is the beginning. By now many people have dissected the story to death, so I will keep it simple, as far as plot is concerned. It's the story of a man's revenge who is incapable of remembering that he ever exacted his revenge even if he did. So, over the course of the movie we realize that lot of shady characters are taking advantage of his situation for their benefit. Over the course of the movie we see him figuring out what he has done few minutes ago either with the help of polaroids or instinctively or spontaneously and use that knowledge to work forward, this makes for a very interesting thriller. It also helps us in understanding his condition because we know about things just the way he does. So we know what is happening now without knowing what happened before it. The twist in the movie left me a little cold because of its semi-conventional nature and also because the movie lays the blame on the protagonist himself for various puzzle pieces in the mystery at the heart of the movie. Nonetheless, it's a very thrilling movie and a must see.

Now the aspect of the movie I do want to elaborate is the concept of protagonist in the movie and the tone and feel of the movie. For a while now I have been trying to find a common theme/aspect among all the movies that become memorable over time with very strong ardent fan base and the one thing I can think of is the concept of a hero or anti-hero. No movie without a clear cut hero/anti-hero has never gained strong fan base especially with men. Audience need 1 character to follow for significant portion of the movie. You can follow other characters for 5 or 10 minutes but not the whole movie. This concept is nowhere more apparent than with the filmography of christopher nolan. The "limitations" of this hero concept is that the more heroic the protagonist is the better the movie feels. If the hero of the story is a bum then the movie doesn't work for general audience. But as long as a director is capable of making the protagonist feel heroic/anti-heroic at the end of the day, the movie works. I personally think the protagonist in this movie, Leonard Shelby played by Guy Pearce is one of best in movies ever.

Let's see the physical aspects of the protagonist. He is ripped as hell, he is blonde, he has a very defined cheekbones, he has the right amount of tattoos on his body and his dress is bluish grayish shirt and coat. I mean, that's the perfect dress code for a hero in a movie. He even has a polaroid camera that he carries around with him and hides in his jacket with a shoulder strap which looks so cool. And he also beats up and subdues two guys that are bigger than him. His psychological problems as too complicated and too specific that they stop feeling like a disability and start feeling, dare I say sexy and makes him unique. It's like having different colored pupil. The hurdles and challenges faced by protagonist never feel like something faced by a lazy person or bum, they feel more like obstacles faced by a detective while solving a crime. That is genius. So even his struggle to get to the next moment in the day feels like watching a perfectly abled and smart person figuring out stuff. As the character says in the movie, it takes discipline to make it work. Chris Nolan seems to believe that no matter how absurd or unfortunate condition you are in, it is how you react to that situation/challenge that will either make you are hero to root for or a loser. There is a really unique and weirdly badass scene where the protagonist forgets why he is running while running and he looks at a man running parallely to him on the other side of a van, so first he thinks he is chasing that guy and then once he is getting shot at, he realizes he is being chased. In this movie Chris Nolan expertly familiarizes audience with the protagonist's memory condition by showing us scenes where doctors try to treat a patient with the same condition and also by showing how the hero deals with it. That's something we often see in Nolan movies. Never introduce a strange concept to audience and end the movie with just basics in that concept. Always take audience 2 or 3 steps further into the concept. Its like, if you introduce audience to alphabets then end the movie after showing them how paragraphs and sentences work. So they will feel like they are experts in something new and that's a good feeling to leave audience with. So with this techniques Nolan makes the protagonist feel more badass than most other movie heroes and all his emotions feel earned.

Speaking of the tone and feel of the movie, this is an independent movie made for less than 10 million $. But it never feels cheap. Even to this day it feels very rich. The locations in the movie are very specific and are in close ups so you don't see any structures that can date the movie. The brooding protagonist and locations in the movie went on to become the indicators of auteur style of nolan in his future filmography. You can make an indie drama with same budget and feel cheap. But I think its the combination of locations in the movie(San francisco/LA/Las vegas), the look of the protagonist and characters in the movie and the cinematography(both day and night) in the movie made the movie look much richer than its budget can afford. Even the protagonist's car is a Jaguar xk8 and it looks so cool.

So, in conclusion, this is a freaking great movie and its the work of a master filmmaker. He is not only thinking about how it will look at the time he made the movie but also about how it will look in the future. Many filmmakers are just happy to have made the movie but only the ones who are confident of their vision and legacy will take these kind of things into consideration. It also shows that unique singular visions can have heroes and anti-heroes. Many of the indie directors that want to be auteurs try to make ensemble movies. The downside of this move is, vast majority of the audience, especially men between 15-40 dont like that. They want a hero/anti-hero in the story to root for and once they achieve their goal or purpose, endorphins/adrenaline will be released in audience and THAT is what makes them a lifelong diehard fans of the movie. They seeks those reactions everytime they watch the movie. It's like a drug you get while watching the movie and Chris Nolan movies offer that.



aronisred's Avatar
outrageous film reviewer
Memento



A man with short term memory loss tries to take revenge on the person who raped and murdered his wife and injured him(that led to his condition).

The movie switches between two storylines. One is a linear story told from the perspective of the protagonist, who obviously suffers from memory loss issues and the other is told backwards in chunks of 3-10 minute scenes, so in this second storyline, the ending is the beginning. By now many people have dissected the story to death, so I will keep it simple, as far as plot is concerned. It's the story of a man's revenge who is incapable of remembering that he ever exacted his revenge incase he ever did get his revenge. So, over the course of the movie we realize that lot of shady characters are taking advantage of his situation for their benefit. Over the course of the movie we see him figuring out what he has done few minutes ago either with the help of polaroids or instinctively or spontaneously and use that knowledge to work forward, this makes for a very interesting thriller. It also helps us in understanding his condition because we know about things just the way he does. So we know what is happening now without knowing what happened before it. The twist in the movie left me a little cold because of its semi-conventional nature and also because the movie lays the blame on the protagonist himself for various puzzle pieces in the mystery at the heart of the movie. Nonetheless, it's a very thrilling movie and a must see.

Now the aspect of the movie I do want to elaborate is the concept of protagonist in the movie and the tone and feel of the movie. For a while now I have been trying to find a common theme/aspect among all the movies that become memorable over time with very strong ardent fan base and the one thing I can think of is the concept of a hero or anti-hero. No movie without a clear cut hero/anti-hero has never gained strong fan base especially with men. Audience need 1 character to follow for significant portion of the movie. You can follow other characters for 5 or 10 minutes but not the whole movie. This concept is nowhere more apparent than with the filmography of christopher nolan. The "limitations" of this hero concept is that the more heroic the protagonist is the better the movie feels. If the hero of the story is a bum then the movie doesn't work for general audience. But as long as a director is capable of making the protagonist feel heroic/anti-heroic at the end of the day, the movie works. I personally think the protagonist in this movie, Leonard Shelby played by Guy Pearce is one of best in movies ever.

Let's see the physical aspects of the protagonist. He is ripped as hell, he is blonde, he has a very defined cheekbones, he has the right amount of tattoos on his body and his dress is bluish grayish shirt and coat. I mean, that's the perfect dress code for a hero in a movie. He even has a polaroid camera that he carries around with him and hides in his jacket with a shoulder strap which looks so cool. And he also beats up and subdues two guys that are bigger than him. His psychological problems as too complicated and too specific that they stop feeling like a disability and start feeling, dare I say sexy and makes him unique. It's like having different colored pupil. The hurdles and challenges faced by protagonist never feel like something faced by a lazy person or bum, they feel more like obstacles faced by a detective while solving a crime. That is genius. So even his struggle to get to the next moment in the day feels like watching a perfectly abled and smart person figuring out stuff. As the character says in the movie, it takes discipline to make it work. Chris Nolan seems to believe that no matter how absurd or unfortunate condition you are in, it is how you react to that situation/challenge that will either make you are hero to root for or a loser. There is a really unique and weirdly badass scene where the protagonist forgets why he is running while running and he looks at a man running parallely to him on the other side of a van, so first he thinks he is chasing that guy and then once he is getting shot at, he realizes he is being chased. In this movie Chris Nolan expertly familiarizes audience with the protagonist's memory condition by showing us scenes where doctors try to treat a patient with the same condition and also by showing how the hero deals with it. That's something we often see in Nolan movies. Never introduce a strange concept to audience and end the movie with just basics in that concept. Always take audience 2 or 3 steps further into the concept. Its like, if you introduce audience to alphabets then end the movie after showing them how paragraphs and sentences work. So they will feel like they are experts in something new and that's a good feeling to leave audience with. So with this techniques Nolan makes the protagonist feel more badass than most other movie heroes and all his emotions feel earned.

Speaking of the tone and feel of the movie, this is an independent movie made for less than 10 million $. But it never feels cheap. Even to this day it feels very rich. The locations in the movie are very specific and are in close ups so you don't see any structures that can date the movie. The brooding protagonist and locations in the movie went on to become the indicators of auteur style of nolan in his future filmography. You can make an indie drama with same budget and feel cheap. But I think its the combination of locations in the movie(San francisco/LA/Las vegas), the look of the protagonist and characters in the movie and the cinematography(both day and night) in the movie made the movie look much richer than its budget can afford. Even the protagonist's car is a Jaguar xk8 and it looks so cool.

So, in conclusion, this is a freaking great movie and its the work of a master filmmaker. He is not only thinking about how it will look at the time he made the movie but also about how it will look in the future. Many filmmakers are just happy to have made the movie but only the ones who are confident of their vision and legacy will take these kind of things into consideration. It also shows that unique singular visions can have heroes and anti-heroes. Many of the indie directors that want to be auteurs try to make ensemble movies. The downside of this move is, vast majority of the audience, especially men between 15-40 dont like that. They want a hero/anti-hero in the story to root for and once they achieve their goal or purpose, endorphins/adrenaline will be released in audience and THAT is what makes them a lifelong diehard fans of the movie. They seeks those reactions everytime they watch the movie. It's like a drug you get while watching the movie and Chris Nolan movies offer that.
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