Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekend Movies: Musician & the Undead

La Vie En Rose
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Emmanuelle Seigner & Gerard Depardieu
Director: Oliver Dahan
Release Date: 14 February 2007
DVD Release Date: 13 November 2007
Approx Time: 141mins
Genre: Drama, Biographical, Foreign
Rated: PG-13

I picked up this movie during the Hollywood Video closing sale because it was cheap - a bulk sale - because I loved Edith Piaf's music and because I love foreign films, due to their classic Hollywood feel - when making movies meant something other than making money.

With that said, the only difference between this film and those films about American musicians (like Walk the Line, Ray, Selena, etc.) is that it's in French. That's not to say the movie isn't worth watching, but I was expecting the storytelling in an entirely different way. 

The story is told nonlinear - starting at the end, flashback to her childhood, flashforward as her career is on the verge of ending, so far and so forth. There isn't much I know about Piaf other than her music, so the film was educational and Marion Cotillard's performance of the French diva - see, I didn't even know she was a diva - was spectacular.

Final conclusion - four stars, for performance and educational purposes.

Starring: Fred Gwynne, Dale Midkiff & Denise Crosby
Director: Mary Lambert
Release Date: 21 April 1989
DVD Release Date: 26 September 2006
Approx Time: 102mins
Genre: Horror
Rated: R

Instant classic since I first watched it as a child. Other than the obvious plot holes in the story, there's nothing about this movie that isn't good. Even Herman Munster is in it. And that kid from A New Nightmare, Spawn and Full House.

Moving to a new neighborhood - a place where two lone houses face each other - the Creeds decided to settle in. Their neighbor, Jud Crandall (Gwynne), explains to their the dangerous of living in their isolated neighborhood - the road that has taken out several pets - and introduces them to misspelled Pet Sematary that's located down the path by their house. After Ellie Creed's (Blaze Berdahl) beloved pet cat is killed, Jud introduces Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) to another, darker burial ground. Not heeding any of Pascow's (Brad Greenquist) warnings, Louis buries the cat only to learn the secret beneath the earth - leaving him to wonder what the limits of this burial ground is.

Based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King, which I own but never read (shame on me), the movie is a childhood favorite. Final conclusion? Four stars.

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Moretz & Richard Jenkins
Director: Matt Reeves
Release Date: 1 October 2010
DVD Release Date: 1 February 2011
Approx Time: 116mins
Genre: Horror, Vampire
Rated: R

Let Me In, first off, isn't a remake of Let the Right One In but an US adaptation of the novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. With that said, treating this film like you would a remake would be a great injustice. I won't say that this film was better than the original adaptation, but I will say that I liked it better.

Owen (McPhee) is tired of being bullied at school, imagining his revenge when he meets the mysterious new neighbor, Abby (Moretz). While she's the strength he so desperately needs, her secret might be too much for him to handle. Meanwhile, a policeman (Elias Koteas) becomes obsessed with the random attacks spreading throughout the city. As days pass, Owen takes Abby's advice while the law closes in on the mystery.

The acting was the best I've ever seen in the vampire genre - something I needed after watching Queen of the Damned. Again, it's not better than the original, but I did like it better. Final conclusion? Five stars.

Man, I sucked with summaries. I promise I'll work on it. Until next time, happy huntin'.

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