Saturday, October 19, 2013

Gravity (2013)

IMDb plot summary: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.
Directed by Alfonso CuarĂ³n. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

(Spoilers ahead.) The only film I can think of which I really *would* suggest viewing it in 3D. The disorienting nature of 3D viewing fits beautifully with the story itself and the visuals, making for a truly immersive experience. (The scene where one astronaut is just spinning and spinning, with no sense of where she is, felt very much like I was there with her, instead of just watching.) Additionally, the story has a solid script and very good acting, building tension beautifully throughout. The final moment when she finally steps foot on Earth again was a perfect moment of release - such a satisfying conclusion. This may seem to be just a straightforward thriller with great visuals, but it's a really, really enjoyable one. 4 stars.

Flickchart: #426 out of 1964, below The Karate Kid (1984) and above Borat.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Picnic (1955)

IMDb plot summary: Emotions are ignited amongst the complacent townsfolk when a handsome drifter arrives in a small Kansas community on the morning of the Labour Day picnic.
Directed by Joshua Logan. Starring William Holden and Kim Novak.

I was in this play in college and didn't know if it would be weird to go back and watch this adaptation after being so close to it for awhile. It was, but not for the reasons I anticipated. It ended up being weird because I had to come to the conclusion that I do not like this play. I hadn't really allowed myself to admit it when I was in it, because I was trying so hard to immerse myself in it, but watching another adaptation years later, I find I dislike all the characters, I'm impatient with the melodrama, and nothing happens that I care about at all. Even quality actors like Rosalind Russell and William Holden don't elevate this story up to something I can enjoy. 1.5 stars.

Flickchart: #1577 out of 1963, below Sweet Revenge and above 27 Dresses.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Charulata (1964)

IMDb plot summary: Charu lives a lonely and idle life in 1870s India. Although her husband Bhupati devotes more time to his newspaper than to their marriage, he sees her loneliness and asks his brother-in-law,Umapada to keep her company. At the same time Bhupati's own brother, Amal, a would-be writer comes home finishing his college education. However, after several months, Charu and Amal's feelings for each other move beyond literary friendship.
Directed by Satyajit Ray. Starring Madhabi Mukherjee, Soumitra Chatterjee, and Shailen Mukherjee.

I feel like this was one of those movies where not being familiar with the culture was a major setback. It dealt with issues of gender, art, and politics, all which can come with very loaded agendas, and not knowing what these things meant to the characters at this time in this movie left me feeling confused. I was never sure what the movie's primary conflict even *was*, and the final few scenes were completely baffling to me in terms of what was being resolved, or left unresolved. I've clearly missed something. I just had such trouble following it, emotionally. 2 stars.

Flickchart: #1537 out of 1962, below Annie (1999) and above Color Me Kubrick.