by Jaime Grijalba.
Thanks to Bob Clark for the heading image.
At the start of this year 2013 I made a list of films that I awaited the most to be premiered in 2013, and if you take a look at it right now you can see that the three first spots have already been released in some way or another and I’ve already seen them! (If you take another look at the list, the 4th movie won’t be released this year and the 5th already aired but a copy hasn’t been made available yet). As I promised I’d do some kind of post about each movie, but I realized that if I didn’t do something quick, I’d end up with the same predicament as earlier years: rushing them at the end of the year, making poor attempts at profundity, so I decided to do something completely different. Inspired by my new account at the new movie social network: Letterboxd, where I write capsule reviews of almost every film that I see, I will follow the usual length and scope that I put myself under when I write there, and translate those capsules here. So, we will have three capsule reviews of the first three films in my list of the most awaited films of 2013. So, let’s begin.
Naming this among the least effective works of Chan-wook Park wouldn’t be far from the truth, specially when you take into consideration the amount of masterpieces that the korean director has under his belt. But at the same time, ignoring that this is among the best works of this year and maybe the most impressive debut in a foreign language that any director has ever done in the history of film (I may be exaggerating here, but what can I say, I love Park). This movie is a tense psychological test to the senses and to your own soul, directed with a clean and at the same time sinister visual style that at times rivals the references made to the masterful director Alfred Hitchcock. The movie is dark, of course, it has to be, it’s Park, it’s devoid of any feeling, the characters are irrational, they react with bloody vengeance when they are put in the corner and with the oportunity to do so. It has one of the most beautiful and horrific endings that I’ve seen in cinemas in a long time, and I really wish I could see this at a theater, it’s just that amazing.
Man of Steel (2013)
I’m not sure, I was looking forward to this mainly because of Christopher Nolan’s involvement in the production and the script, but when it was said that Zack Snyder was given much more free reign and made this picture his own, I was scared, specially after the disaster that was (is) Sucker Punch (2011), a film that I actually had high hopes for. In the end, my fears were much more related to stuff that actually didn’t have a place in the film: Snyder’s style, that only made a tiny appearance towards the last third of the film. But man, was this a dissapointment, and it grew as time goes by, because the opening sequence in Krypton is still the best thing in the film, and Russel Crowe may be the only performer that gets away completely unscratched from this endeavour. Then comes the childhood and teenage elements that are played with some mesianic self importance that works, but then comes the script that is a disaster and is completely disorganized for no reason. The last third sucks, we all know it, and I had much hope for this, but for what it was, I was entertained… I’m ready to not see this film again in my entire lifespan.
I don’t know if much has been written about this film, but I’ve had an insane curiosity for reading about what people think of this movie more than anything, and I’ve read reports from both sides, those thinking that is a great movie and those who think that it’s shit. As you might notice, I’m not with the latest group, as I think that this is maybe one of the most impressive visual experiences in theater that I’ve had this year, surpassing the 3D screening I had of Life of Pi (2012) earlier this year. This movie is like a reel, but at the same time it has a complicated brain puzzle that makes you think and keeps you alert at any choice that the camera makes, every light or character placed within the frame in a specific manner is Boyle’s way of telling us about the state of mind of every character in the film, and seeing a movie with so much visual flair but at the same time with so much thought put into it, with such a perfect way of blocking a scene, that it just makes you happy, it was a great time at the movies and I want to see it again!
Hope you enjoyed!