Posts Tagged ‘seven’

Hashtag: Explain A Film Plot Badly

Posted 08 Sep 2014 — by Ezra Stead
Category Movies I Didn't Get

By Ezra Stead

Hashtag: Explain A Film Plot BadlyIn case you missed it, there was a fun little game trending on Twitter over the weekend, with the hashtag “Explain A Film Plot Badly.” It’s kind of similar to this old thing I wrote. Here are the ones I came up with, in order of when they were tweeted (answers can be found in the tags for this article, but I think you’ll get ’em all):

Kevin Spacey has a nice time drinking coffee and telling stories to a grumpy policeman.

Sigourney Weaver risks her life to save a cat.

Sam Neill learns to like children after being forced to keep two of them from being eaten. Read More

I Saw The Devil

Posted 19 Mar 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Ezra Stead

I Saw the Devil, South Korea, 2010

Directed by Jee-woon Kim

I Saw the Devil is very impressive as a work of gonzo cinema, but disappointing as a story.

I wanted to like this movie a lot more than I ultimately did. Throughout its two hour and twenty minute running time, much of which seems intentionally designed to feel like an endurance test, I observed the multitude of things on display to recommend the film: great acting, superb direction, beautiful cinematography, not to mention a visceral intensity that has made it the talk of gore-hounds everywhere since its U.S. release, which is still very limited. There is a lot to like about Jee-woon Kim’s blood-soaked revenge saga, especially for fans of South Korea’s recent wave of such films, among whom I feel I can count myself as one, at least to a point. Chan-wook Park’s Oldboy (2003) is one of my absolute favorite films of the past decade, a brilliant work of art that only gets better upon subsequent viewings; I also really like his other films that I’ve seen – Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Lady Vengeance (2005), Thirst (2009) and his short for 2003’s Three … Extremes, “Cut” – as well as Kim’s earlier film, A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), a strange but intriguing and frequently frightening psychological horror story.

So what went wrong with this one, a film that boasts a visual style on par with Park’s best and even shares one of its stars, the always compelling Min-sik Choi? I guess what it comes down to is that simplest but most important flaw that kills so many otherwise excellent films – the script, by Hoon-jung Park, just doesn’t work. It will be impossible to delve into my mixed feelings about this fascinating but fatally flawed film without a multitude of spoilers, so the interested reader is hereby advised to stop reading now unless he or she has already seen the film; despite my overall disappointment, this is absolutely required viewing for all lovers of extreme cinema. Read More

Se7en – Oh, What A Sick World

Posted 31 Aug 2009 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Jason A. Hill

Se7en, USA, 1995

Directed by David Fincher

brad pitt and morgan freemanSpoiler Alert

David Fincher’s Se7en is a crime thriller set in what appears to be urban Chicago. Two detectives on two different paths and at different stages in their careers track a methodical serial killer who leaves his victims with symbolic clues to the reasons for their murders based on the “seven deadly sins.”

Throughout the film, we are given a bleak view of the world, where it literally seems to never stop raining. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), a detective close to retirement, and David Mills (Brad Pitt), a detective just starting his career, pursue John Doe (Kevin Spacey), a psychopathic serial killer who, apparently bored with the ease and randomness of killing the old-fashioned way, needs to channel Dante, Milton and Chaucer to find inspiration for his killings. Very early on it’s clear that the detectives aren’t going to catch this killer; otherwise the film would be called Three or Four. Nope, we are going to see all seven deadly sins, and the only questions are why is John Doe doing this, and how is he going to pull it off?

The tone of the film also takes an overly sympathetic view of the killer. Every victim is discovered with more of their death focusing on their “sin,” or why, rather than how, leaving out any need for detective work. Not that super genius “Yoda” killer John Doe would leave any unintended evidence behind, anyway. And I can accept that the film is more about the killer than the cops chasing him, but why then is his motive so elusive? Is he just a sick psychotic with an irresistible flare for irony, or is he a religious nut, hell-bent on re-making the world in the biblical sense?

Even up to this point, the film can still work, but as with most films that leave me so unfulfilled, its ending is as meaningless as it is memorable. As John Doe turns his foolish police pursuers every which way but loose, he completes his murder opus and turns himself in, but only does so in order to let the full impact of his deeds be felt by Detective Mills.

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