Movies: March 2014 List

March was a slow month for me. (FYI - April is also proving to be another slow month - but i hope to catch up soon!)

I only saw 15 movies this month and more than half of them were on DVD but i am quite excited because i was able to finally get to see in full the controversial 1990s film "Kids" from notorious filmmaker Larry Clark.

I posted a quick review of "Kids" on my Facebook page and here's what i said about it:

"The movie has not lost its edge 19 years into its life. It is still shocking, disturbing and even disgusting but it is a timeless portrait of a culture in decline (or in transition, if you will.) If you are still wondering why the likes of Miley Cyrus can perform lewdly on live TV, this movie will provide you the answer -- and more! An important piece of American cinema! Watch it but be warned: It's not gonna be easy."

From one notorious 90s director to a contemporary provocateur, Lar Von Trier's latest film, the highly-controversial "Nymphomaniac" finally reached US shores and I was among those who watched it on its opening night. I have seen both volumes and I was not disappointed. It's a masterpiece!

And from the Philippines, I saw two new movies that surprised me for their bold (I am using the word in Filipino cinema setting) attempt at providing a fresh narrative style to their genres that have proven to be successful at luring local audiences to the cinema.

"When the Love is Gone", director Andoy Ranay's chic adaptation of Danny Zialcita's classic melodrama "Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi"), is a mostly satisfying throwback to the glossy melodramas popularized by Viva Films in the 80s. This remake is a surprise treat! The production design and photography are splendid! The narrative understandably takes a lot of detour but it was skillfully told (well, mostly) and edited. If not for the lazy kidnapping device and the anticlimactic revelation close to the end of the movie, I would have enjoyed this movie more.

Another Filipino movie that I enjoyed was "Starting Over Again" (dir. Olivia Lamasan). It's a refreshing take on the romantic-comedy genre as the story is told from the perspective of the ex-girlfriend who is desperately trying to reconnect with her lost love. The usual villain, the current girlfriend, becomes the romantic heroine and the movie ends in an unconventional manner. However, the filmmakers decision to extend the movie and provide a happy ending to the ex-girlfriend ruined the true ending of the movie: When the leading man finally gets to propose to his "true" leading lady and gets the sweet "yes" that was denied him at the start of the movie. The cameos at the end were irritating and cost the movie to lose a star rating from me.

Here are the fifteen movies I saw this month:

The Deadly Game (UK) DVD - 1 Star
Fire With Fire (US) DVD - 1 Star
Prisoners of the Sun (Australia) DVD - 1 Star
Starting Over Again (Philippines) - 3 Stars (I would have given this a 4-star rating)
Disconnect (US) DVD - 2 1/2 Stars
El Mar (Spain) DVD - 3 1/2 Stars
Touch of Pink (Canada) DVD - 2 Stars
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (US) - 2 1/2 Stars
When the Love is Gone (Philippines) DVD  - 3 Stars
The Last Year (US) DVD  - 1 Star
Back Soon (US) DVD - 2 Stars
Eating Out (US) DVD - 3 Stars
Kids (US) DVD - 5 Stars
Muppets: Most Wanted (US) - 3 Stars
Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 (US/Denmark) 4 1/2 Stars

My favorite movie this month is "Nymphomaniac" because it delivered everything that it teased! The movie has all the hard-core sex and graphic nudity to embarrass just about anybody but Von Trier himself yet the movie never feels tasteless at all. Not a minute! What the audience gets is an almost spiritual examination of that interconnectivity between sex and depression, lust and love, death and freedom... It is profound, funny and is as informative as it is instructional. Truly a work of a mad genius!

Raymond De Asis Lo

No comments :

Post a Comment