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Some films

Posted: September 30th, 2004, by Marceline Smith

I have been forgetting to post about the films I have seen of late. Sadly no Trailerwatch as there has been nothing very interesting being shown (other than THE WORST TRAILER EVER, for L4Y3R CAK3 or however the hell they’re spelling it, which I have erased from my memory).

So, films. A couple of weeks back we rushed to the cinema to see OPEN WATER and were astonished to see how popular it was. Okay, we went on Friday night but it was in the big big room and still sold out. I thought we were the only people who cared enough about ridiculous shark movies but maybe not. The story, in case you’ve been abandoned in the middle of the ocean for a while, aha ha, is the (based on a) TRUE STORY of a couple who go diving and get forgotten about and are thus stuck in the middle of the ocean for two days while some sharks consider eating them, OH NO. All shot lo-fi for that realistic home video feel and with real live sharks and none of those fake or digital sharks (boo). It all trundled along interestingly enough for the first bit where nothing much really happened and even once they got to the abandonment in the sea bit, it continued to be quite mundane rather than ACTION and DRAMA, which was good and unexpected and realistic. In fact, the whole thing was much better than I expected except for the most important bit – the sharks! I guess understandable since they were real sharks but there wasn’t really much shark action at all. No sharks jumping out of the screen at you or biting chunks out of people. Instead there was just the sudden fin above water to make you jump and some footage of the sharks underwater. We soon realised that lots of people are scared stiff of sharks as half the audience would shriek or gasp in horror whenever any shark appeared on screen, whatever it looked like or was doing. This was most amusing when a group of people gasped in horror as footage of A LARGE TROPICAL FISH was shown. Scary. The ending was strangely ambiguous as well, or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. So, aye, worst shark movie ever. Although it’s difficult to beat the wonder that is Deep Blue Sea, that’s for sure.

The other film I saw recently was HERO which is one of those Chinese “wire-fu” martial arts movies with ponderous historical themes. Like, yes, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Sure, if you hated CTHD you’re not going to like Hero but I didn’t find them that similar as Hero seems much smaller, shorter and down to earth though lacking some of the humour and vastness. Hero tells the story of a plot to kill the king by a group of assassins and each part of the story is re-told as the hero and the king have a kind of battle of wills and work out the truth. I didn’t really make the connections at the time but each telling is colour coded with different colours for truth, fiction and perceived truth and the acting often seems to mirror this, with the fictitious scenes seeming slightly over-acted and the true ones having much more depth of feeling. There’s also the usual beautiful fighing scenes in a variety of fantastical locations including the surface of a lake and the rooftop of a building with thousands of arrows flying around. My favourite scene was the fight in an autumnal forest, the ground strewn with leaves that whirled about through the battle and you see the scene through the dying eyes of one character, the orange trees, slowly fading red. I nearly cried, it was so lovely. The story does drag a bit in places and the political parts grate a little but it’s short enough that it doesn’t matter too much.

Commentators! Recommend me some films that I would like of a similar type to Hero/CTHD/Spirited Away/Princess Mononoke etc etc. – historical, fighting, looks amazing. Cutesy monsters a bonus.

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


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