Back from Cali

Filed under: Movie Review

Well we are back from our little get-away to California. I must say if it wasn’t for the traffic and $4.20/gal for gas, I think I would love to live near the San Diego area. It is absolutely beautiful, and I could definitely get used to 60-75 degrees year round! Especially since it is actually snowing in Maine right now!

While out relaxing in CA I was able to get some sunshine and catch up on some reading that I have wanted to do for months and months. I was pumped about that.

What was also cool was on the flight out there, they showed True Grit on the plane. While I haven’t taken a flight where a movie was provided in a long time, somehow I don’t remember them playing recent Oscar nominees!

This was a movie that was very high on my list, as I am a big Coen brothers fan. Not too mention Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon (though the Adjustment Bureau looks kinda lame). Anyway, it was awesome. The Coens never disappoint (though I didn’t see Burn After Reading), and this is certainly right up there with Fargo and The Big Lebowski.

I really don’t think I have a single complaint about the entire movie, I enjoyed the whole thing immensely. There weren’t even many traditionally-Coen snarky moments or comments, which a part of me missed because I greatly enjoy them, but it made this particular movie more effective in my mind.

If you are in the mood for an all-around great movie – good story, good directing, good acting, action, drama and character development, then this would be an excellent choice.

Now we also watched Black Swan one morning while we there (it was a little rainy out). This is classic Darren Aranofsky to me. His movies are certainly not for everyone.

He is a master at making you uncomfortable, and at also never letting you know what is real and what is a figment of the main character’s imagination. Black Swan does this particularly well.

Natalie Portman, the entire cast really, was fantastic. The story was riveting. The directing was brilliant. It was an incredible and well done movie. Having said that though, it is not the kind of movie that you will want to watch again and again. It is a movie you admire more than love.

If any of you have seen Pi or Requiem for a Dream, you will know what I mean. The Wrestler is probably the lone exception. I never saw the Fountain, so I can’t comment on that one. If you enjoy well made movies, definitely watch Black Swan as it is worth seeing, just don’t expect to feel like a normal human being afterwards.

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Posted on March 22nd, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

5 Comments

  1. Ray Says:

    The Fountain is the worst movie ever made. I think it is why he made the low budget Wrestler because no one would let him direct after that atrocity that is The Fountain. True Grit was good, but had a terrible ending, you know it!

  2. hooch turner Says:

    I saw the Wrestler and think it’s fantastic. From what I read, he had conceived of the wrestler and the swan as a single story, but then split them in two. So it’s almost like a 2 part story, with the similar(ish) theme of obsession and dying in the quest for fame/recognition. If you look up some of the symbolism that was present in the Black Swan, it seems to be really intricate. It’s all way over my head, but trained film critics have spotted some pretty fascinating details.

  3. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Ray,

    I actually didn’t mind the ending to True Grit. To me it fit the tone of the movie. It was supposed to be about redemption. While I haven’t read the book it was based on, from what I have gathered their movie version was very true to the story.
    Yeah I heard The Fountain wasn’t so great. I still want to see it for myself at some point.

  4. Brian St. Pierre Says:

    Hooch,

    I read that as well about them originally being a single story. I know there is some intense symbolism in there, and it usually becomes more apparent on repeated viewings. You might have noticed that there was a mirror or other reflective surface in pretty much every scene, for example. I am sure there are many many more, but I did pick up on that one.
    According to Natalie Portman Nina did not die at the end, so believe what you will. Either way, it was brilliantly done, yet not a movie I would choose to watch over and over.

  5. hooch turner Says:

    I probably will watch it again, as, after the 1st viewing I was wondering ‘what sort of pointless, confusing, gobbledygook was that?’. It was also a pirated copy downloaded from the internet, so that further subtracted from the quality of the experience. It was only when I started looking at interpretations of it on the internet, that it started to impress me, with all the hidden symbolism. However, I think it begs the question: should we really need to know the ins and outs of Monarch programming before watching a movie? It might be possibly pretentious of the movie maker to include all these insider references in his movie.
    Still, it’s great to be able to discuss high art, and I guess movies are one example of modern day masterpieces.

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