Thursday, January 1, 2009

movies which i spent new year's watching

No breaking out any bottles or after hours jaunts through the city for me, thank you. Here are the movies I watched for the last day or so:

1. Let The Right One In (2008)

This movie is from Sweden, and it's about a tween boy who befriends and eventually falls for the vampire girl next door. This movie takes every vampire myth out there and turns them into something wholly believable, from having to invite them into your home to their ageless immortality. The acting is very good, with really subtle performances from the kids. Twilight? Puh-leez. This movie kicks Twilight's ass so hard (and really, why bother comparing the two?), and anyone hard pressed to find a good, warm and human horror/love story would do well to check this out.

2. Akira (1988)

Most of you would have long heard of or watched this anime gem from long ago. But as I've stated on this blog a few months back, the Japanese mastered and innovated the classical animation form in ways the rest of the world still hasn't caught up on (much in the same way Pixar revolutionized and leads in computer animation). The themes of cyberpunk apocalyptica fused with tragedy and extreme acts of violence holds up really well today, and is sure to bring back nostlagic feelings for movies like Blade Runner and Total Recall. Amazing, awe-inspiring gem of anime, this is. And absolutely essential viewing.

3. Paranoid Park (2007)

Director and screenwriter Gus Van Sant is more famous this year for his Milk biopic starring Oscar hopeful Sean Penn, but last year he also made this movie, about inner city skaters, teenagers dealing with issues like peer pressure and divorce, and ultimately about how to assuage a guilty conscience. I wouldn't really keep this movie in my "must-keep" bin, but for what it's worth, the direction and desolate mood throughout the movie is really, really solid. Plus points for including two (!) Elliott Smith songs in the soundtrack, including Angeles, for one of the more essential scenes. At a little less than an hour and a half long, this movie should keep you fairly entertained on a bored afternoon.

4. City of God (2002)

Oh my goodness, so, so good. This is one of the best movies of our generation. I could watch this over and over and always find something new to appreciate. If you're a fan of The Wire, especially the first season, you'll love this movie. It's a simple tale in the sense that the plot doesn't lose a single thread, and the storytelling is superb, both in narration, acting and directing. You can't help but love Rocket and Benny. Li'l Dice is one of the best villains on film, and you will root for Knockout Ned. It's the cinematic equivalent of seeing a really good story come to life, with all of its players in lucid detail. This is a must see.

***This is completely unrelated, but the first season of Sons of Anarchy wrapped up about a month ago, so now's a good time to catch up on it. I'd say it's one of the best original series to come out in 2008, and was definitely a lot better than watching Volume 3 of Heroes. Shit that was a waste of time! My geekiness for that show is not yet at season 2 lows, but it's getting there..

So how did 1430 and 2009 start for everyone? I hope you're all well.

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