cinegab

Cinegab is a blog site devoted to movies or the entertainment industry directly or indirectly. A place where fans of movies and film can discuss the ins and outs of the art form.

30 September 2005

Review: The Man Who Knew Too Little

This was probably about the 4th or 5th time I have seen The Man Who Knew Too Little. I am a big fan of Bill Murray comedies, and while I do like The Man Who Knew Too Little, it justed isn't as good as some of Murray's others like Groundhog Day and What About Bob.

The Premise of this movie is that a man(Murray) travels to London on a surprise visit to his brother played by Peter Gallagher. Once there Murray's character is sent to a real life theater experience but gets mixed up with a real life mafia experience. The whole time Murray's character believes he is acting and that all the people around him are acting as well, and in turn the mafia members believe that he is really a secret US agent. Obviously this is grounds for great comedy.

The movie is definitely better than most comedies out there and there are a few scenes that are as funny as just about anything that Bill Murray has done, but this movie is just that - only funny at parts. The other Murray comedies I listed above have a genuine sweetness to them because the audience develops an attachment to Murray's character and roots for him to win. In The Man Who Knew Too Little I never got that feeling for Murray's character. Neverless, it was funny and the climax was especially funny. If you are a fan of Bill Murray this is definitely a movie worth watching, but don't expect to love it the same as some of his other classics.

2 and a half stars

29 September 2005

Review: Rear Window

I have never been disapointed by an Alfred Hitchcock film and Rear Window was no exception, although I still have many more of his movies yet to watch. I had seen this movie years ago but remembered little of it except that I enjoyed it.

Rear Window is a movie about a man with a brocken leg that has been couped up in his New York City apartment for six weeks in a wheelchair with nothing to do but watch the neighbors through the window. The movie has several small storylines going on that mesh well with the overall story of a possible witnessed murder. This possible murder was witnessed by the main character, L. B. Jefferies, played by James Stewart. This movie has a small cast and is filmed entirely on a set made to look like a series of New York City apartments in the fifties. This all worked very well in the movie to give the audience a voyeuristic sense of what was going on. As an audience member you get the feeling that you are caught up in the small apartment and get a sense of how easily we all contain voyeurism-like traits of our own. (Maybe this is why reality television is so popular.)

Alfred Hitchcock is a master at expressing a story by film in many ways. The first shot of the movie tells you about all the characters, who they are, what they do, and what their ambitions are without a single word of dialogue. Hitchock uses set design, camera angles, costume, lighting, and more to interweave the several small storylines with the main story to make it all just make perfect sense in the end.

James Stewart was a joy to watch as he normally is. I wouldn't consider him an excellent actor but he plays parts in such a way that make the characters likable and interesting. This is the only movie I have seen with Grace Kelly and as far as I am concerned she didn't add or take away much of anything to the film. I will have to see more of her work before I make much more of a decision how good of an actress she is. Her filmography can be found here.

It's not too often that movies can make me feel a great deal of suspense these days and that is exactly what Rear Window did for me. The movie has a very suspenseful final scene which I found Thoroughly enjoyable. I know now, or rather I have been reminded that when I am looking for a movie with good suspense that any Hitchcock movie will do.

3 and a half stars

28 September 2005

Review: Salinuie Chueok (Memories of Murder)

(Spoilers Ahead)

Salinui Chueok or in English, Memories of Murder is an excellent Korean film. This is a true story made into a movie about the first known Korean serial killer. It was released in Korea in 2003 and directed by Joon-ho Bong.

This is the third Korean movie I have seen and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. I will definitely be spending more time watching Korean cinema in the future. I think that the most fascinating thing about this movie is that it is hardly similar in any way to American crime drama movies. It was very intriguing to watch the way in which the Korean culture (or at least the culture portrayed on film) depicted crime solving and the contrast to what I am used to seeing in American crime solving. All of this is was very refreshing.

While I am not at all familiar with Korean actors, I was really impressed with the acting in this film. There were three main detectives in this movie all working to solve the crime. Each one of the detectives brought an exciting, intriguing chemistry to the film. The man who played the main detective is named Song Kang-ho. Here is a short biography on him.

There wasn't a single moment during the movie that I wasn't fully entrenched into it's storyline. These days with so many recycled plot lines in movies that's a difficult feat.

The ending was left very open ended, although this crime was never fully solved and the killer was never caught, so the real life story is still very much open ended as well. So in other words, it didn't have a Hollywood ending, which can be very energizing in a today's film world.

I didn't know anything about the movie beforehand, so I was expecting the ending to have a big twist like most crime movies do anymore. The fact that I felt entirely content when there was no twist when I was expecting one proves to me that a good story is a good story and doesn't need any tweaking.

I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys independent or foreign movies. Each scene was shot well and there was a great amount of suspense throughout. It's rare that a movie get me to feel much suspense these days.

Here is a great site for Korean cinema information

3 and a half stars