One of the big problems here is that there is no build up to anything. Especially the ending, which c’moon, you already knows what’s going to happen, but in the actual fight, I saw no hype, no build-up, no intensity leading up to the fight or even in the fight. Things just kinda happened and I didn’t really care. The characters aren’t very complex and even all that compelling even though they try their damn hardest to make you feel bad for him, but bag things happening doesn’t equal character development, so it doesn’t work as a compelling boxing piece about honor and all that bullshit, but it doesn’t work as a character piece like The Wrestler.
But, I kinda enjoyed this. In a cheesy way of course, in the same way I enjoyed the Rocky sequals, except I don’t think I want to see this all the way through ever again. After the first thirty minutes, it gets pretty fucking boring and you get tired of all the bag things happening. But the cinematography was nice, especially during the fight scenes and the editing was good during the montage, also Gyllenhaal is very entertaining. So while it’s a huge piece of shit that doesn’t work, I kinda find it fun. It’s a 5/10.
Maps To The Stars by David Cronenberg is both fascinating and kinda incredibly meh. While there has been satires of Hollywood and fame for ages now, Cronenberg’s take is a lot more extreme and “shocking” but that’s also where it kinda fails, since at times it feels a little too pushy with it’s extremities. It’s an entertaining, thought-provoking and darkly funny movie, I can’t say it’s a masterpiece. The surreal, at times Lynchian-nightmarish feel of it seemed to really fit and at times, it just slowed the film down for me in a bad, semi-boring way, it seemed a little self-indulgent at points. And I really enjoy Cronenberg, Videodrome is a masterpiece, The Fly is amazing, Dead Zone is a lot fun and Eastern Promises is very intense and intelligent movie, but Maps to The Stars isn’t any of those. But it’s far from bad, what it does say about the dark pasts of people is very disturbing and interesting, but it’s message about Hollywood is tired. I enjoyed the character studies, but honestly it should’ve only focused on Julianna Moore character, not only because she had the best performance out of the cast and her character was the most fascinating but it would have made the movie a lot tighter, instead it seemed a bit all over the place, though they kinda connect, but very loosely.
It’s visually nice looking, it has some very funny moments mostly involving the Justin Bieber type character, it was a great character piece and it felt very unique in a good way. But it’s a bit all over the place, with some mediocre to bad performance, at times trying too hard to be shocking and scenes that were predictable and terrible CGI fire make the film go from great to pretty good. It’s a strong 6.5/10 or a light 7/10 from me.
Cache by Michael Haneke is a masterpiece and quite possible one of the greatest mysteries of all time. This was the second time I saw this and I love it even more. It’s one of those movies where it doesn’t seem all that complex, but once you really pay attention to detail, it’s a huge, puzzel of a movie to be solved. The camera work, while ordinary, is so precise, Haneke knows exactly what to show and what not to show with it and more importantly why a certain angle, or why exactly cut here. While this film is not for everybody, I would still recommend everybody to check this one out, because either you’ll love it or hate it, but I can’t seem to find a pattern who would and who wouldn’t. My mom, who hates endings were they leave it completely open, absolutely loves this movie. So, if you like complex mysteries that gives the final decision for you to decide and don’t mind slower pacing, this film is for you.
I love the little details, the little hints Haneke gives, like the very last shot which is so mysterious you just want to watch all over again right after. Also the big twists are so surprising, because the film is slow-paced and most of the things Haneke shoots are almost just everyday moments, Georges at work, the couple having a dinner party, their son swimming, so when a big moment happens, it feels so much bigger and more surprising, creating a bigger “wow!”. This is definitely one of those movies that I don’t want to be spoiled, but if you have seen the film, you know what “wow” moment I’m talking about, a twist so out of left field, it will make your jaw drop. But even that scene is so subtly handled. The whole film is subtle and very quiet, it doesn’t even have music. And I love the whole concept of a couple who start getting videotapes of themselves on the tapes, but the camera is always at a place, where the characters should have seen them. It’s a brilliantly creepy idea, but Haneke never goes over-the-top, he never even tip-toes at the border, he keeps it grounded and realistic, which is probably why the film is so compelling. The idea could easily be an over-the-top horror movie, but Haneke handles it with reality.
It’s an amazing mindfuck of a film that doesn’t tell you everything. It’s one hell of a masterpiece that you’ll either adore and despise. It’s a 9.5/10 from me.