Knife in the Water 1962
Dir. Roman Polanski
I read they were going to call this ‘Single Indemnity’ at first. Which would have been amazingly hilarious, and completely accurate. It’s a total knock off of ‘Double Indemnity’ from the year previous. Apparently the knock off’s of today far more respectful, because this film showed none. But, Ann Savage, who I was desperate to see in something other than Detour, does an amazing job with a part Barbara Stanwyck already nailed. Ann Savage plays Toni Kirkland, Hugh Beaumont plays Kenny Blake, Charles Brown pays Ward McKee.
Apology for Murder 1945
Dir. Sam Newfield
Saw this on a plane. Well, 2 planes. Saw the first half on the way to Tokyo, and the second half on the way back. I love that you can find more than just he newest rom com or fucking pixar movie on planes. It’s a great chance to catch up on classics. The performances are what stand out most here to me ( that, and the clear references Tarantino makes to this film in Inglorious Basterds). I just can’t think of anyone in the present who can pull off the toughness, without the cheese, of a Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson. Bronson’s hardened, nearly expressionless face walking through the mansion amongst all the tension seems incredibly simple but so telling and powerful. A lot of macho fun, this one.
The Dirty Dozen 1967
Dir. Robert Aldrich
Saw this at the Seoul Cinematheque on my trip to Korea. This was the day after seeing Iron Man 3 in 4D, so I was ready for anything of quality. Which at that point, ‘Hangover 3’ would have qualified. Great cinematography throughout, but the stuff in the second half in Africa is really stunning.
Dir. Miguel Gomes
Finally saw a 4DX movie while in Korea. (It was also in 3D, which makes it 7D by my count!) Last time I had the opportunity, Titanic was playing, so I had to pass. This time, knowing nothing about Iron Man except it’s an action superhero movie, it seemed a good match for the experience. And I guess it was, but there was no saving aspect of the film beyond the action. The dialogue and it’s delivery, characters, story, pretty much everything were terrible.
But I was going for the 4DX. They played a little trailer for the experience at the beginning, which was great. The chairs moved, mist and blasts of air shot in your face, and weird prodding poles poked your back and neck. But that excitement quickly wore off as the film began, and everything in between the action became unbearable. For scenes when Iron Man is flying through the air the chair moves with his movements and air blows in your face, or he crashes in the water and you feel a mist, it’s certainly fun and adds to the experience. But the fighting scenes with the random prodding in the back and neck didn’t really make sense, and became super annoying.
For the right action movie, 4DX could make the experience fun and different. Not necessary but fun. So overall, I’d say 4DX is definitely 2X more gimmicky than 2D.
Iron Man 3 2013
Dir. Shane Black
I’d like to say this about all films, but this one especially is one that should be seen in a theater. Saw this at the Northwest Film Forum (My first visit there and must say it’s a very clean and cozy space. Wood decor is a sorely underused look for a cinema) There’s almost no dialogue, and the little there is sounds muffled and obscured to the point that it’s inaudible. Instead, this documentary conveys its information with long take visuals and very natural audio. Instead of a talking head explaining things away like so many docs, this one puts a camera almost uncomfortably close to its subjects, and stays there. Very refreshing for a documentary to just ‘show’ a subject in an interesting but not entirely subjective way. There’s a long take of two fishermen gutting their catch, one after the other, and as time goes by you see all these blood and guts accumulate on the sides of the container that was initially clean. The men are just there, on complete auto pilot, but it’s really a horrific scene.
Dir. Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel