Friday, November 03, 2006


The Grudge 2

It has its creepy moments, since it takes elements from naturally creepy Japanese horror imagery (and the director is that of the original), but The Grudge 2 is nothing special as a horror movie. The acting is all right, the story is so-so, and the fright level is less than what true horror fans would want. As a whole, the film is lukewarm, watchable but ultimately lacking flavor. It could have been better. Grade: C+

World Trade Center

Oliver Stone has atoned for his sin that was Alexander. World Trade Center is a touching, well edited piece that evokes emotions without being overly sappy (though there are points that slightly are). The cast is generally very capable, with Nicolas Cage, a former Oscar winner, being particularly good in his role. The calm before the storm, when Stone shows the quiescent New York before the crashes, makes the succeeding tragedies and triumphs all the more poignant. Just like United 93 before it, this film relies on human emotion and simple techniques rather than on flash. Grade: B+

Marie An

Let me start by saying that it's not as bad as the early reviews say it is. Marie Antoinette is beyond any doubt the most visually beautiful film that I've seen this year so far, and that's saying a lot, since I've seen The Banquet. Its costumes and set pieces and makeup designs are breathtaking. The story is mostly involving, and Kirsten Dunst is worthy of compliments for her understated performance. But the sheer length of the movie and many of its scenes... Sofia Coppola's extravagance spills over to some scenes, making them drag on and on and on long past the point where their expository value has been milked for all their worth. More judicious editing would have made this film at least three times better. There are, however, some very strong sequences that show Coppola's artistry. The score, which is mostly modern rock, may prove distracting and even inappropriate at times, but it is not as big a deterrent as I had expected it to be. Grade: B

Images from IMDb

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