October 24, 2003

Quick Reviews

I've seen a few movies lately and haven't really had a chance to post full reviews. It just takes me too long. So, instead, I'll post some quick mini-reviews FYI.

Continue reading for reviews of Kill Bill Vol.1, Rat Race, and 28 Days Later.

Kill Bill vol.1 - I'll preface this by sayign I'm not a huge Tarantino fan. That is to say, I don't go see a movie just because it's directed by Tarantino. I saw this film because his influences are coming from a place that I find very entertaining - the asian martial arts movie genre.

This is a film primarily about revenge. Uma Thurman is out to destroy the people who destroyed her life. Tarantino gives her plenty of motivation, but the extreme stylism of the film, seems, to me, to be the goal. The story, the characters, the movement, and the violence are almost like hues of paint on a canvas, resulting in a sort of painting. It's less complicated than Pulp Fiction, but perhaps that because its main character is so single-minded. I can recommend this film to people who like Japanese films, or chinese kung-fu movies. But people looking primarily for story probably are going to be a little disappointed. Plus, this is only the first half of the tale. THe second half will be showing in February.

Look for a near-unrecognizable Daryl Hannah who will probably feature more heavily in the second movie.


Rat Race - You can feel the Zucker influence in this film now and again, but this is not another Airplane. Rat Race is a pleasant, stupid comedy that grows on you as you watch it. It's an outrageous film along the lines of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (which, incidentally, I can't believe was made before I was born). John Cleese is the owner of a casino who has awarded the rest of the cast with a chance at 2 million dollars. Whoever gets there first can keep the money. It's not quite as predictable as it sounds, but almost. But, somehow, that doesn't ruin the fun much. Truth be told, it was just amusing to watch all these stars run around at their darned goofiest. From Cuba Gooding and his bus full of Lucy impersonators to Jon Lovitz and family driving Hitler's car. You'll shake your head at many of the jokes, but many you'll shake your head at and then giggle. Currently on DVD.


28 Days Later - It's a zombie film where the easy scares are passed over for more emotional worries. England has been infected with a virus called "Rage" which turns "the infected" into unthinking killing machines. Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes from a coma into this world uninfected and eventually finds a few other people staving off the crazed monsters who now roam the streets at night, and sometimes in the day. Jim and his friends are forced to fight off the creatures and later to deal with the motivations of the remaining uninfected.

There is a theme underlying here about human violence. The infected quickly become part of nature's wrath. They lose their rationality and emotions. In short, they lose their humanity. But they are far from the only source of violence in this film and on the planet. But the film is not really preachy. Rather it wants to put you in this bleak situation and let you deal with the ramifications of this version of hell. As such, this is not an uplifting film. As horror films go, the most potent sort of horror is not the scare of a cat jumping out at you, it's your knowledge of what could be if the barriers we place between us and nature and between each other were to fall away.

Posted by James at October 24, 2003 5:08 PM
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Do you own Rat Race, or did you rent it?

Posted by: Julie at October 24, 2003 9:18 PM

I rented it.

Posted by: James at October 24, 2003 10:32 PM

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