The Film Fatale

Scroll to Info & Navigation

This may not be your area, but should I switch to blue-ray? It seems like it's become the new standard.

Asked by
Anonymous

It depends on the film and the quality of the transfer. Some older films for example do not have very good blu-ray transfers, and if it’s poor quality, they may not be worth the investment. Before I buy a blu-ray copy of a classic film, I usually read the product description to see details about the transfer, whether sound was remastered or the picture quality (color correction, print quality, etc) is vastly improved. I don’t buy blu-rays of films that aren’t totally cinematic either. A screwball comedy or a rom-com on blu-ray doesn’t exactly offer anything mind-blowing to the viewer. Unless they include special features like director commentary, behind the scenes production featurettes or other cool bonus content, the blu-ray copy of these genres isn’t usually worth splurging on. I usually buy blu-rays of action/adventure, science fiction and fantasy films, only because these particular genres tend to incorporate better sound quality and high-def picture a lot more than others. If a film is available on blu-ray from the Criterion Collection, I would recommend getting that copy as Criterion does a really great job with their remastering and some of their releases even have a “director-approved” seal of approval indicating best quality.

What did you think of Pacific Rim? I thought it looked kinda of stupid and too transformer-y to me when it came out last year but several people keep telling me how good it was so I am starting to think I might give it a chance. That cast is pretty great & I do love the director, just not sold on the concept.

Asked by
Anonymous

It’s an entertaining popcorn movie, but I wouldn’t consider it mind-blowing or amazing. I would certainly see it for yourself before casting it off based on a peripheral idea of what it is. It’s certainly not Transformers, and if you’re going to get hung up on originality, the kaiju isn’t exactly a new idea either, but Del Toro does a good job infusing and refashioning this Japanese pop culture icon with his own flair. The cast sells the story well (especially young actress Mana Ashida, who completely floored me with her performance), and the visual effects are pretty fantastic. You can read my full review of it here after you’ve seen it. It’s good, albeit not great, but I’d still recommend watching it.

favorite foreign film? best thing to watch on netflix right now?

Asked by
Anonymous

Picking one favorite foreign film is damn near impossible (and cruel, just cruel to ask, you should be ashamed of yourself, anon!) so how about I just recommend a few foreign films to watch on Netflix Instant?

In the House, Downfall, Das Boot, The Attack, Dead Snow, The Act of Killing, Nobody Knows, The Best of Youth, The Intouchables, En La Cama, Jagten (The Hunt), Adrift in Tokyo, BaranNight Watch, Shaolin Soccer, Blancanieves, Children of Heaven, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet and Something in the Air.

There are obviously a lot of popular foreign titles on Netflix Instant (Amélie, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Days of Being Wild, etc), so I’ve avoided mentioning those. I figured you’d either know them already or find them easier than the ones I’ve recommended above. Happy viewing!

What is your opinion on Emma Watson as an actress? I am only asking because I loved her in Harry Potter, but I can't stand her in anything else! I just came back from seeing Noah and I absolutely loved everything about it except for her annoying performance!

Asked by
Anonymous

I’ve seen her in the Harry Potter series, My Week with MarilynThe Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Bling Ring and This is the End. I don’t really have much of an opinion on her acting because she hasn’t made that big of an impression on me. I thought she was great in Harry Potter, but her other roles were pretty forgettable. I thought she was okay in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but that was really more of a Logan Lerman vehicle. He (and probably Ezra Miller) really shone in that film. This is the End was a fun role for her to take on, but I don’t suppose that film required too much acting. And you all know how I feel about The Bling Ring. Noah I haven’t seen yet, but I’ve heard polarizing opinions about her performance in that movie. Some are saying the film is worth the watch for Watson alone, while others (like you) seem irked by her. We’ll see.

what are a few of your favorite female villains/antagonists?

Asked by
Anonymous

Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) in Mommie Dearest, Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) from One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Barones Rodmilla de Ghent (Anjelica Huston) in Ever After, O-Ren Ishii (Lucy Liu) from Kill Bill, Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) in Harry Potter, Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) in Batman Returns, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) in The Devil Wears Prada, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Martha Baring (Jessica Lange) in Hush, Elena (Salma Hayek) in Savages, Fiona(Parker Posey) from Josie and the Pussycats,Regina George (Rachel McAdams) from Mean Girls, Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) from Election, and The Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

:) I love The Fifth Element! What's your favourite scene?

Asked by
Anonymous

Any scene with Gary Oldman is fantastic. I love the part where he’s doing the gun demo to the alien mercs. I also love the scene in Korben’s apartment, when he’s given the mission to Fhloston Paradise. The whole movie is just fun and really entertaining. Not only do Milla Jovovich and Bruce Willis have great chemistry, but I love the world that Besson created.

Thanks to your comments on Kubrick's Clockwork after someone's ask, I think I'll check it out now. I'm not from America, so the movie isn't really a part of our pop culture, so all I'd heard about it was that it was violent, but now that I understand why, I'm going to definitely check it out. I love your blog for that reason - you open my eyes to the meaning of so many movies that would probably go over my head. So thanks!

Asked by
Anonymous

image

What do you think of a clockwork orange? Did you think it was too violent like some critics thought?

Asked by
Anonymous

It was very violent, but I don’t think it was gratuitous, nor that Kubrick’s intention was to give the audience violence that was palatable. We are meant to abhor the aggression in the film, and anyone who watches the film and says “well now that was just way too much violence than I can tolerate” needs to examine that statement again. We are supposed to react negatively to what we see on screen - it’s so disturbing that if you look away, that means Kubrick did his job. Asking a director to only give us violence that we can tolerate defies the honesty of storytelling. Clockwork is an interesting movie because its protagonist is the antihero of antiheroes. You don’t want to root for him because of all the atrocities he’s done, so when he’s imprisoned and subjected to this conditioning experiment, it puts the audience in a quandary: Do you celebrate that Alex is now being violated - given a taste of his own medicine, if you will - or do you acknowledge that violence should not beget violence? Clockwork is effective because it presents moral dilemmas in shocking fashion, which forces the audience to react viscerally instead of passively. To round this out, had Kubrick dialed down on the film’s violence, it would not have had the same startling, thought-provoking effect. And to be honest, the film would not have conveyed its message as emphatically. Ask yourself this question: if what you saw on screen hadn’t shocked, disturbed or appalled you, would you be talking or thinking about these issues?

Is there any movie that you would consider a deal-breaker if a guy doesn't like it? Or a friend? I remember someone telling me that they hated Clueless, that it was mind-numbingly stupid and boring, and I was like, oh, man, how can they think that?!! haha :)

Asked by
Anonymous

No, not really. I’m just exaggerating when I say things like “If you don’t like [insert movie], we can’t be friends.” The truth is I’m not the authority on movies, so if someone doesn’t think x movie is as good as I think it is, I wouldn’t necessarily wish sudden death on them. I’d probably be disappointed, possibly a little bit perplexed, oh and perhaps quietly judge them, but I wouldn’t disown them completely. I have a friend who doesn’t like fantasy films like The Lord of the Rings, and while my soul dies every time they express disdain for the films, so far I still haven’t disassociated myself from them. I probably wouldn’t see movies with said friend as much as others I have the same taste with, but I wouldn’t cut ties completely just because we disagree. I’m more inclined to consider it a dealbreaker if a person insists that their opinion on a film is the only valid one and anyone who disagrees is beneath them. That I absolutely can’t stand. That’s where I draw the line and summon the gods to smite them.