This one took a while to get going, but once it did, it was excellent. Long, but excellent.
I’m not sure I liked the ending much, but on the other hand… maybe I did? I guess I would’ve preferred something a bit more believable after such a down-to-earth setup. Oh well. It was still good.
Worth watching. Go watch it.
There’s one kind of movie that people seem to love an inordinate amount: the type with lots of posturing, cheesy one-liners, and a violent anti-hero. They get a pass by critics and fans because they’re a bit more subdued and gritty than a dumb action film, but that means that they end up with a much better reputation than they deserve.
This is one of those films.
I knew where this one was going from the moment it began. The protagonist was meant to be nuanced and deep and mysterious, but he wasn’t. He was such a standard angsty Chaotic Good. And obviously the finale was a shoot-out in which the hero’s dark roots were exposed while he killed the painfully obvious Lawful Evils.
I suppose the aim of these movies is to point out that people are shades of grey. Well, I’ve seen that told with much more subtlety and interest. We’re meant to feel like our moral systems are challenged or something, I guess, but just in case you have the moral compass of a ten-year-old, you can get by with a Dungeons and Dragons handbook.
The most interesting character was the Kid. Everything else about this film was utterly, utterly predictable.
For some reason, I wasn’t expecting much from this. I dunno why – maybe ‘cause it’s old sci fi. Maybe I assumed all old sci fi was pulpy silliness. Parts of it sure looked like, for example, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. (Though actually, now I think about it, that movie was smarter than it deserved… or its budget was less than the idea deserved, maybe.) But I tell you what: if I can ever manage to write anything with anywhere near as much layered meaning and beauty and simplicity at any point in my life, I will die one happy lady.
And, my god, was it a beautiful film. Oh, it was old, of course. 1927? I think it might be the oldest on the list. It was silent, with a constant orchestral soundtrack and quotes in white text on a black background. But somehow, something in it made it not the least bit dated. It wasn’t realistic, but it was believable, and the sets and art and themes were gorgeous. The design. That’s what it was. There’s a reason why the film’s downright iconic, especially Hel, the robot: because that design is timeless. I haven’t studied design much in my time, but what little I know leaves me floored.
And the acting! Well, not from the lead guy, actually; I just found his melodrama dated, if likely necessary given the silent medium. But two stood out as brilliant: Maria (who was also stunning – such gorgeous eyes!) and the father (who somehow managed to pull off subtlety and range in his facial expressions despite the sometimes awkwardly over-the-top things he had to do with his body). I’m genuinely shocked that such timeless skill actually existed when cinema was so young.
I kind of want to read into this film some more. I need to know if my ignorant ideas are actually accurate. Like… was the lead guy really basically Jesus? Was there a message there about how easy it is to be misled by false idols? And, having seen two of his films now, does Fritz Lang really despair so much about the darker side of humanity? And what did I miss?
My brother watched this one a few days before me and informed me quite emphatically that, above all, it was long. Well, yes, it was that. But you know what else? It was also very, very good. I’d recommend it to anyone.
As a sidenote, Peter O’Toole wasn’t just a great actor. He was also very hot. I don’t usually go for the girlier guys, but there was definitely something about him. I also like that he’s still acting.
I loved this movie!
There was an okay concept behind it. Probably most people would think it was excellent, but I tend not to put much value into an idea that pretty much everyone has in their lives, and who hasn’t thought about whether or not they would erase memories if they could? But where this movie stood out is in how well it handled the concept. It wasn’t Hollywood-sappy. It wasn’t happily-ever-after. It was true to life. The ending was dealt with maturely.
And who knew Jim Carrey could act, rather than just mug?
I’m not sure how much worth my review of this film might have, given the fact that I know very little about either old or foreign cinema. That being said, M was okay. It took a while to get started and the pacing was slow even when it was at the core of the drama. The guy who played the murderer was hammy as hell. The idea was really good, though, and the trial scene was amazing.
In the end, I enjoyed it, and I guess that means it has stood the test of time. That probably makes it worthy of its spot in the top 100.
Two things made this film stand out in particular. One: the direction. I loved it. The imagery. The scenes. Wow. The corridor fight scene was one of the best things I’ve watched in a while.
And second, that villain. I can’t remember a more twisted character in anything I’ve ever seen. He was nuts, and determined, and so angry. A perfect combination.
I’m not quite sure what to say about this film. It was weird and demented in the best possible sense. Can I say I enjoyed watching it, though? It wasn’t a fun movie. I don’t know. It was very, very good, though.
If I’d known this was a Christopher Nolan film from the beginning, I’d have been more prepared. In a way, I’m glad I didn’t. It added to the surprise.
What a mind-bending film. Unfortunately, I kind of saw the Jackman twist coming, but I definitely didn’t foresee the Bale one. I loved it. This is definitely my kind of movie.
Only one thing bothered me: Tesla. Not that he could do what was essentially real magic dressed up as science; I get steampunk as a genre, and this kind of fits that mould. Instead, it was his attitude to science – a total lack of understanding and a kind of self-loathing that I can’t imagine he or any real scientist would have. These quotes in particular:
“These things never quite work as you expect them to, Mister Angier. That’s one of the principle beauties of science.”
“The truly extraordinary is not permitted in science and industry. Perhaps you will find more luck in your field, where people are happy to be mystified.”
Yeah, you can tell the writer didn’t know or care too much about science as a whole.
That aside, I was pleasantly surprised by this film. I really thought it was going to be quite mediocre. Thank you yet again, Mr. Nolan.
God. I feel like my soul has been sucked out through the bottom of my feet.
I’d heard this was a depressing film. What I hadn’t heard was that it was so cruelly, relentlessly bleak. There were several times during the viewing that I genuinely felt as though the movie couldn’t make me any more devastated, but it just kept going. And going.
Not that this is, in any way, a bad thing. It’s a brilliant film. I just never intend to watch it again, and God help me if I ever decide to do anything harder than marijuana.
I’m glad I don’t even drink.
I imagine this movie would have had more impact on me were I not exposed to some of the more sensationalistic rhetoric spouted by Norton’s character on a near-daily basis. As it was… it was okay. Probably meant for a different audience. Like, perhaps, me five years ago.
I guess my main issue with it was that it was a bit ham-fisted. It seemed at times to almost revel in the shocking nature of what its characters believed without doing its proper job of truly analysing the viewpoint. And I didn’t really buy Norton’s character’s sudden turnaround, much less the kid’s (my god, was that fast).
I’m not saying it was bad. It wasn’t. And the acting was good. I just… eh. I don’t see it as top 100 material.