Tag Archives: movie reviews
I’m convinced there’s a good war-themed horror out there somewhere. What started out as a general disappointment with Michael Mann’s The Keep has taken me through The Bunker (awful) and Deathwatch (starts out promising, quickly turns awful). From reading IMDB’s message boards, I thought Kong Su-Chang’s R-Point would answer my prayers.
It tells the story of a squad of Korean soldiers in the Vietnam war sent to investigate radio transmissions coming from a group of soldiers thought to have been killed six months previously. Which is the same setup as Deathwatch. And that’s the problem. Using the plot of Deathwatch as a foundation, R-Point tries to blend a mixture of Platoon, Apocalypse Now, The Blair Witch Project and The Shining, even going so far as to visually name-check some of these films. And among all these heavyweights, the few original things the filmmakers bring seem quite tame and undercooked.
On paper, it’s a recipe for magic: war-themed horror mixed with the nerve-shattering tension that Asian filmmakers seem able to tap into so well. In reality, R-Point is a disappointing anti-climax. Oh well, i still have high hopes for Worst Case Scenario
For me, Good Night, and Good Luck fell squarely into the same genre as Downfall: an important movie, but not necessarily a good movie. It ticks a lot of boxes and zipped along at a fair pace but never really engaged me any better than a documentary on the same subject could have. In fact, the chapter about the Murrow/McCarthy feud in John S. Friedman’s The Secret Histories did a better job of providing a context for the broadcasts than Clooney’s film and remains, for me, more entertaining.
Although perhaps that’s because I wasn’t being forced to chew down some paper-thin character development for paper-thin characters. I don’t know.
As a promotional tool to shift a boadload of Johnny Cash albums, it’s fantastic.
As a way of giving casual fans a context to the songs they’re listening to (even if that context is clearly exaggerated), it’s pretty good.
As an entertaining movie, it’s a load of my hole.
As a film, Jarhead was as schizophrenic as the marine mentality it tried to convey. It swung wildly between occasional bursts of brilliant writing into lazy references to other war movies (oh yes, Apocolypse Now and the Deer Hunter, we get it). Sometime beautiful cinematography gave way to murky, uninspired, cliched imagery. Following the same template as countless movies before it, yet structurally, it was a complete mess.
But perhaps this is part of the point it’s trying to make and it’s done so subtlely as to be barely noticable. I’d like to think so, really I would. But the clunky, heavy-handed way in which it tried to make its other points leads me to believe that the word ‘subtle’ does not exist for these filmmakers.