Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nightcap 3/16/14: New Directors New FIlms starts Wednesday, A Raid 2 comment and links

This year’s New Directors New Films starts Wednesday at the Museum of Modern Art and Lincoln Center. In honor of that the next twelve days are going to be reviews of a good chunk of the films showing. The series has is one of highlights of any film year with tons of interesting films showing before they appear anywhere else. Last year for example the kick ass The Act of Killing screened in both the regular theatrical cut but also the preferred directors cut and  The Raid who's sequel I reviewed last night and .

As I write this we’ve seen 14 films, I’ve a ticket for one more and I’m trying to see a couple of more. So far the films run the gamut from among the best of the year to the very worst of the year with most falling inbetween. I’ll have reviews going up over the next two weeks but if you like thrilling cinematic experiences and don’t mind a bit of form over content see The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears a mediation on the Giallo genre. It’s a film that is in love with the cinema and pushes the limits of what it can do, and the genre can do to the limits. It will exhaust you in a good way. Another one to see is the taut thriller Youth. I’d take a pass on The Story of my Death which had me almost destroying my laptop when it fell off my lap when I fell asleep, and A Spell to Ward off Darkness which looks like a dull home movie with a black metal concert grafted on to the end (it had one of the highest percentages of walkout I’ve seen at a screening).

If you want to start reading on films in the series begin with Mondocurry’s piece on Of Horses and Men which ran back in December when the film played acouple of dates since it was Iceland's entry for the Oscars. The piece can be found here. Related to that look for an interview with the director to appear sometime soon since Mondo is scheduled to have sit down with him when he appears at the festival.

As I said above reviews will be running every day for most of the next two weeks so keep checking back.

This past Monday night I saw The Raid 2. Despite what some of my colleagues may think of the film I’m not a huge fan of it. I have issues some of which I laid out in the review which ran last night. However Tuesday after tweeting my disappointment with the film I got an anonymous comment on a random post on the website taking me to task for not loving the film. How could I not love the film? Raid 2 is a great film. One of the best films ever, topping the first film…this person told me and  they added that once they actually saw the film they would be back to explain why the film was so great.

I was amused.

And apparently my review got picked up on an Indonesian message board leading to a large number of hits, with some people questioning my motivation for writing a bad review. Let me set the record straight I was expressing my feeling for the film.

I’ll be curious what everyone’s reaction will be once the film hits theaters on the 28th. Expect reactions from the other members of Unseen who saw the film last night at the Museum of the Moving Image.

I should say that I’m considering do a second piece on the film once I get to see it again. I freely admit being incredibly disappointed in the film and I want to shake the specter that some have saddled me with of being negative because I expected too much. I’m not sure that’s going to happen since my first review ran about three times the length of what I posted and largely dismantled all the problems I had with the story. That many story problems don’t usually go away with a second viewing.

I do like the action, but I’m not a fan of the movie as a whole (as I’ve said like Jay Chou’s Virtual Factor bad story, great action)

I’m also toying with doing a piece on sequences in other films that are echoed in this film (Old Boy, Gantz, ect), but with Tribeca press screenings starting in a week I don’t think it’s going to happen.


And now Randi's Links

Special subway cars
Kevin Bacon explains the 80's
Honest Trailers-Frozen
Proving people are loopy The Frozen conspiracy
Greatest movie never made?
Blockbusters with hidden agendas

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