Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

Jeff Feuerzeig directed this documentary about the mentally tormented manic depressive artist Daniel Johnston. Using lots of Daniel's own early personal footage and music, we follow him through his turbulent life. We hear stories from his friends about his erratic and sometimes dangerous behavior. One of the weirdest interviews is the one featuring the lead singer of Butthole Surfers. I was inspired to check this out after seeing The Frames(Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova) perform with him on Austin City Limits. The documentary is heavy and dark, and at points I just felt overwhelmed. I was amazed by how many famous artists were touched by him, including Kurt Cobain. The documentary succeeded in taking me into his dark didn't justify it, or even really explain it in a way that was tidy and neat. It was brutal in it's honesty, much like Daniel is in creating and performing his music. I give this 7 out of 10

Friday, March 13, 2009

Death Note 2


The "Death Note" film series is based on the popular japanese manga/anime, and the two films are actually one story told in two parts. Because of this, I'm reviewing them both as one.
The story centers around Light Yagami as he discovers that writing someone's name in a notebook he found, kills them. So as the body count climbs, the police bring in the mysterious genius "L" to capture the killer(Light) known to the public as "Kira". I don't want to say to much else plot-wise, but what I will say is that this film is strong enough in it's acting that I forgot and forgave some of the bad c.g.i. work. I loved the characters, although I got really tired of watching "L" pig out on sweets non-stop. I was intriqued by the story and loved the way the characters interacted and challenged each other. I also think "L" was creepier than either one of the God's of Death. The moral dilemmas of the film do not get in the way of its storytelling, which is very solid.
I highly recommend these two films....I give them both an 9 out of 10.

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In is a new kind of vampire movie......the kind that feels real. Very stylistic and haunting, the film created by director Thomas Alfredson succeeds in proving you can shock without showing everything. It's the little amount of action you see and the way it's shot which amazes the viewer....
There is one scene in this film that I will never forget. Like the shower scene in Psycho, or the opening segment in Jaws, there are moments in this film people will be talking about years from now.
Go see it! I give it a 9 out of 10!