Sunday, November 29, 2009

Well, I just slept through a couple of interesting movies--I hate that. It's because I wake up too early in the morning and go to bed too late. I tend to live on about five hours sleep a night. Anyway, the first was Wes Anderson's new movie, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and from what I saw of it, it was pretty good. It's unusually offbeat and dark for a children's movie (though not for a Roald Dahl story, which this is based on) and full of the same obsessive detail that characterizes all of Wes Anderson's movies. From seeing the trailer, I was worried the stop-motion animation would get in the way of the characters (many of whom are Anderson veterans like Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Willem Dafoe), but I got caught up in it right away...until I passed out. I must say I like this trend of having quirky filmmakers like Wes Anderson and Spike Jonze (who just did Where the Wild Things Are) make stuff for kids that actually encourages them to think deeply, rather than just scream and run around. I like quiet, depressed kids.

The second movie was a Korean Western called The Good, the Bad, and the Weird, which sounds incredibly terrible, I know, but is actually a wonderful (and really well-made) Sergio Leone homage. Set in remote pre-WWII Manchuria, which was occupied at the time by the Japanese, the story is something about a stolen treasure map, with various Chinese, Japanese, and Korean gunslingers going mano-a-mano for the chance to get rich. This sounds exotic, but the setting and tone are pure spaghetti Western--or kimchi Western, as my friend Steve Ahlquist called it. He also said this is the highest-budgeted movie to come out of South Korea, and it shows--it's a real epic. I wish I'd been awake to see the whole thing, but my friends and I had just finished a huge Thanksgiving feast at Steve's house, and the food knocked me out. But between this film and the recent Korean monster movie The Host, I think Korean filmmakers have proven they can do anything Hollywood can do...and maybe even do it better.



Post a Comment

<< Home