Zotis' Film Watching Diary

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I need to get back to The Seventh Seal. Wasn't in the right mood the first time, but it's definitely a movie I want to watch and finish, obviously. I've liked most of what I've seen so far from Bergman, so now when more experienced with his films it may be about the right time to get back to it.

I really liked The Seventh Seal, though I've only seen it once. I've tried a few other Bergman films, but I've just not been able to replicate that feeling. I think I've only made it to the end of a couple of those, too.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

We all listen to Death Metal

Super (2010)
Directed by James Gunn
Starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, and Kevin Bacon

This is a re-watch for me. It's the third or fourth time I've watched it. After watching it again I love it even more. I think my fascination with Ellen Page is becoming infatuation. She is so good in this. Her character is a total sociopath. This movie is great for many reasons. While the acting, for the most part, isn't masterful, it is consistently good, and I think Ellen's awkward, crazy, and emotional moments are the best. But what this movie really excels at is its balance between drama and comedy, its awkward realism, and the delivery of its subject matter. In some ways it carries on in the vein of Kick Ass, but it's quite a different flavor. There is an interesting accuracy in the portrayal of boredom, morality, and real danger in this movie. At one point the hero sits behind a garbage dumpster for two nights waiting for crime to happen, and nothing happens. At another point the hero simply gets his butt kicked. There's times where the "heroes" do things that are clearly wrong, like assaulting someone for cutting in line at a movie theater. It's an artsy movie, though I wouldn't call it a masterpiece by any stretch. Many of the villains are generic henchmen types that come off as a bit cliche. But the story, about an awkward man dawning a costume and mask to fight crime and rescue his wife from the clutches of a drug dealer, is charming.

"Ugh, this vest thing is heavy. Let me rest."

We all listen to Death Metal
I'm glad you like it too Swan. I am actually hesitating about giving it 4 or 4.5 out of 5. I think the acting from some of the extras is a bit weak though, and that kind of knocks it down a peg for me, but it has so many great moments, shock factors, and big laughs that I just can't decide if it deserves to get bumped up to 4.5 anyway. It doesn't quite make my top 100, but it was a contender that I considered for quite a while.

Super isn't perfect by any means, certainly, but I have stopped caring about "perfection" a long time ago. When it comes to personal connection and enjoyment, there's not a lot like it for me.

We all listen to Death Metal
Well, when I watch movies like Vivre Sa Vie, and The Seventh Seal, it kind of makes me start caring about perfection a lot. But I'm not incapable of enjoying flawed movies. The kind of movies I can't stand are the ones that over emphasise the most superficial elements, and completely neglect the most important elements. That's what I think movies like Transformers and Avengers do, not that there's anything wrong with a person finding enjoyment in those kind of movies. I just don't like them myself. But if a movie has terrible cinematography and mediocre acting I can still fall in love with it if certain things are charming and appealing. Martial arts movies are a perfect example.

January 2nd

I watched A Woman Under the Influence for my I Will Watch at Least One Recommendation From Each MoFo thread.
Here is the review: Linky
So glad you enjoyed A Woman Under the Influence and I agree with just about everything you said about it. It is definitely Casavettes and Rowland's masterpiece.

We all listen to Death Metal
Woman in the Dunes (1964)

I watched this because I saw it on the shelf when I was browsing the video store, and I've heard a lot of good things about it. Also I had just recently heard people talking about it in the 60's list thread. It was quite an impressive artistic film with excellent cinematography, good acting, and strong themes. I enjoyed the pacing and the way the characters were developed through their relationship. It's definitely a great film. In terms of my personal enjoyment of the film, it mostly came from appreciating the technical aspects. I enjoy watching films like that. The feelings the film gave me were like an art study more than anything else.

We all listen to Death Metal
Fanny and Alexander (1982)
Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Well, let me start by saying that this is a brilliant masterpiece. Well, as far as I can tell without understanding the original language. That certainly creates at least some barrier against understanding the quality of the acting/dialogue. But in terms of emotional portrayals there were so many outstanding scenes and the whole cast performed unanimously well, which is definitely a tribute to the quality of the directing. The sets and costumes must have costed a fortune for the extravagant wealthy lifestyles that were portrayed. The story was brilliantly told. I mean the length and manner by which they established the setting and plot was just mind blowing. I've never seen anything like it in that regard. They showed the whole family, and with such depth to all the characters. Oh, and what a portrayal of life itself! From the surface pretenses to the underlying turmoils it was all very realistic and examining some of the most interesting aspects of life.

If more of the content had been to my personal interests this would easily have become a personal favorite, but as it is I still consider this some truly great work. I should also mention that I watched the full 300+ minutes TV version.

Good review, glad you liked it Zotis!

First Bergman I watched, still the best to me. I heard that it was just a compilation of themes and previous characters and set-ups according to hardcore Bergman fans, but since I'm not that I enjoyed it just fine. I also watched the TV version. I also loved how you just disappeared into the lives of this big family, everything felt so complicated and yet so elegantly executed. A family epic you could call it.

We all listen to Death Metal
Yeah, I totally agree. I love how subtle a character Fanny was. I think the title was so strategic in the way it made you notice them more before the story even really started revolving around them. And it felt way more refined in virtually every way than The Seventh Seal. I definitely want to see more Bergman.

We all listen to Death Metal
It's broken up into episodes. I watched one episode a day, and the last two together because I really wanted to see what happened next.

We all listen to Death Metal
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
Directed by Park Chan-Wook

I found Bae Doona, playing the terrorist girlfriend, particularly interesting in this. She's cute, but also a charming spunky sociopath with a cool attitude. The plot revolves around Ryu, a deaf and mute man who works at a factory to pay his sister's hospital bills. He's trying to get his sister the kidney transplant she needs. A series of events all go horribly wrong leading him to a desperate attempt at kidnapping in order to get the money he needs, but it doesn't stop there. Everything you could imagine goes wrong and then some. The movie is an interesting twist of events that leads not only Ryu, but also a business man named Park to go on the bloodthirsty hunt for revenge. The film was very well made in all the fundamental aspects of cinematography, acting, dialogue, character development, plot structure, etc... I loved the assortment of characters and the screwed up story, and the way that everything spun together to create a really messed up set of circumstances that drew sympathy for it's whole cast. I finally finished the "Vengeance Trilogy" and I love how each movie is so different from the others.