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Articles tagged with: revenge

Cinema and Television, Nov/Dec 2009 »

[12 Nov 2009 | No Comment | 4,250 Views]
Journey Through <i>Kill Bill</i>: Part 1 & 2

Steve P’s Journey Through Kill Bill was originally written for and published on Genrebusters. Part 1 and 2 are reposted on Playtime by permission of the author.
Part 1 – Opening and Chapter 1

I am not a Quentin Tarantino fan. Unlike some of my friends, I haven’t watched much of his work. Oh sure, I’ve seen enough of “Reservoir Dogs” to get the reference from an episode of the BBC comedy “Coupling”. And I’ve seen parts of “Pulp Fiction,” though I prefer Kevin Rubio’s parody of the …

Cinema and Television, July 2009 »

[16 Jul 2009 | One Comment | 2,613 Views]
Open Your Mouth and Scream “Ahhh!”: <i>Drag Me to Hell</i>‘s Oral Fixation

Beyond the excess of his fright scenes (ghosts appearing at a seance, a catfight in a tool shed, a fake-wake from a bad dream), this is one of Raimi’s most tightly constructed films — predictable and thematically consistent, if repellent. Aesop didn’t need to resort to supernaturally fetishistic vignettes of domestic abuse and carjacking to make his points; Raimi’s aspirations to be a contemporary fabulist are undercut by both his moral rigidity and blinders toward his own neurotic obsessions. If he had a firmer grip on the nuance required of good moralists and ethicists, perhaps he would have succeeded.

Cinema and Television, July 2009 »

[2 Jul 2009 | 2 Comments | 38,780 Views]
Big, Stupid Soul-Suckers from Mars (Now a Major Motion Picture!)

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a film that assumes its target audience actively desires to have no taste or aesthetic standard. It assumes that the viewer’s reservoir of self-awareness tops out at the recognition that all they want out of life is a big, stupid movie about stupid characters and big robots that beat the shit out of each other. It is a movie so big and so stupid and so damn long that it very nearly forgets about halfway through that it is a movie whose sole purpose for existence is to sell toys and entertain people with big, stupid robot battles and exquisitely rendered explosions. How do you forget something that elementary?

Cinema and Television, June 2009 »

[13 Jun 2009 | One Comment | 1,227 Views]
Action as Easy as <i>1 2 3</i>

Remakes (or in this case, second remakes) are handicapped from the get-go.  Playtime compatriot Daniel Swensen has already outlined the pitfalls of modern updates, and the new Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 falls in line on its tracks like the titular subway train. One can see the infinitely tense possibilities of the skeletal scenario of Morton Freedgood’s (alias John Godey’s) 1973 novel on which each movie has been based: four men hijack a NYC subway car and hold its passengers hostage; the head criminal has found a way to …

April 2009, Cinema and Television »

[22 Apr 2009 | No Comment | 1,067 Views]
4 Fast 2 Serious

Henri-Georges Clouzot probably didn’t expect Wages of Fear to be condensed into a thrilling, 10-minute prologue for the third sequel to a film most notable for a young, bald thug declaring that he lives his life a quarter mile at a time. Yet here comes Fast & Furious, whose tagline promises, “New model. Original parts.” The impressive sequence details the brazen highway heist of a gasoline truck by the first film’s antihero, Dominic Toretto, and his crew of high-speed bandits. Dom’s girlfriend nimbly assists in the heist, only to be written out of the picture when the screenplay requires Dom to embark upon a vengeance quest. It seems that at least one of the original parts did not come with an extended warranty.

Cinema and Television, March 2009 »

Catherine: Portrait of a Modern Woman in Jules et Jim
[18 Mar 2009 | No Comment | 3,922 Views]
Catherine: Portrait of a Modern Woman in Jules et Jim

Some critics of Francois Truffaut’s 1962 film, Jules et Jim have argued that the film’s central character, Catherine (brought to life by the incomparable Jeanne Moreau), is an impulsive and unpredictable force of nature. You cannot anticipate what she will do, and perhaps that’s why she is so enchanting to her male friends. Though there is something to this idea, I think there are too many patterns in her behaviour to it off as completely random. To the audience, she is not enchanting because she is impulsive, but rather because …

Cinema and Television, February 2009 »

Throat jabs, torture and sex slaves in gaie Paris!
[11 Feb 2009 | One Comment | 1,331 Views]
Throat jabs, torture and sex slaves in gaie Paris!

Co-written and produced by France’s own action auteur, Luc Besson, and directed by his cinematographer-cum-protege, Pierre Morel, Paris is presented as a hotbed of corruption and weak-kneed complicity. In other words: a town in desperate need of a karate-choppin’ cleanup. Apparently Jean Reno was out of the country on business, so Besson & Co. imported a giant Irishman who has, for the last several years, made a living playing doomed mentors to young heroes in Campbellian summer movies.

Cinema and Television, January 2009 »

[31 Dec 2008 | No Comment | 54,647 Views]
Masala Madness at Hotel Naseeb

One of my New Year resolutions (and probably the only one I will be able to keep) is to watch more masala movies. Masala is the Hindi word for spice or, in practice, a mixture of spices; the often complex blend of flavors that makes a dish taste just right. Masala movie making also uses a variety of flavors – including melodrama, comedy, action and musical numbers – hopefully in a combination that proves delicious, or at least doesn’t give you a stomachache.
The masala philosophy can be seen in many, …