2007 log (7)

(1 Jul) Ghosts of Cité Soleil (2007, Asger Leth) 89
(2 Jul) wool 100% (2006, Mai Tominaga) 64
(4 Jul) Deaden (2006, Christian Viel) 67
(5 Jul) Exiled (2006, Johnny To) 80
(6 Jul) Poultrygeist (2007, Lloyd Kaufman) 55
(7 Jul) Hero Tomorrow (2006, Ted Sikora) 43
(8 Jul) Mulberry Street (2007, Jim Mickle) 74
[ Part of Voir’s Fantasia coverage ]

(1 Jul) Les Aimants (2004, Yves Pelletier) [ review ] 91

(3 Jul) Adam’s Apples (2007, Anders Thomas Andersen) 72
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(4 Jul) Rescue Dawn (2007, Werner Herzog) 83
[ Ten years after devoting a documentary to it (“Little Dieter Needs to Fly”), Werner Herzog explores once again the incredible story of Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale, hot-headed), a German immigrant turned US Air Force pilot who, during his first mission, was shot down and captured by Laotian guerillas. Kept prisoner in the worst conditions for two years, he eventually organizes a daring escape, only to find that getting away from the guards was a piece of cake next to the perils of the jungle surrounding the camp. Herzog’s first Hollywood flick, while probably his most commercial (the bookends on the army ship are practically out of “Top Gun”!), remains faithful to his thematic obsessions, namely man’s insignificance in the face of nature and the return to a primitive state of survival, away from the precepts of civilization. We also recognize his quasi-documentary point of view and, paradoxically, his sense of majestic imagery. There’s even a dwarf! As for Bale, this isn’t is best performance but he’s riveting as always, and it’s interesting how this part echoes both “Empire of the Sun” (where his character was also in a POW camp) and “The Machinist” (for the disturbing loss of weight). ]

(5 Jul) Ma tante Aline (2007, Gabriel Pelletier) 5
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(9 Jul) Guys and Dolls (2007, Nick Holt) ???
[ Sweet Jesus, is this for real? This is ostensibly a straight documentary about dudes who have delusional relationships with sex dolls, treating them like they’re human and shit. If that’s true, this is the most pathetic damn thing… But it can’t be, right? This is hilariously ridiculous, like the best Christopher Guest mockumentaries. Come on, there’s a guy who’s all proud of owning two dolls, three guns and a broadsword, another who thinks he’s a super-hero because he hang-glides, one who has so many dolls he down to cramming some under his couch and this Davecat fellow who sends his synthetic girlfriend of 6 years out to a doll doctor to get repaired! Still, as far as I can tell from googling around, this IS real, which makes it an unbelievably sad science-fictionish tale. ]

(10 Jul) God Grew Tired of Us (2007, Christopher Quinn) 66
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(10 Jul) The 4th Life (2006, François Miron) 58
(12 Jul) The Wizard of Gore (2007, Jeremy Kasten) 54
(14 Jul) Zoo (2007, Robinson Devor) 67
[ Part of Voir’s Fantasia coverage ]

(11 Jul) Dans Paris (2007, Christophe Honoré) 50
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(12 Jul) joshua (2007, George Ratliff) 79
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(13 Jul) The King of Kong (2007, Seth Gordon) 72
[ Like “Guys and Dolls” (see above), this documentary is so wonderfully ridiculous that it could be a Christopher Guest flick. I was aware there were some hardcore gamers out there with their Wii and their Xbox and their PS3 and whatnot, but who knew that there were these aging dudes who still played obsessively first generation arcade games like Donkey Kong? There’s also a great narrative here, as the arrogant Kong record holder since 1982 is being challenged by couldn’t be nicer guy. Seriously, this Billy Mitchell fellow is the biggest asshole in the history of cinema! The challenger, Steve Wiebe, is clearly the better player, but Mitchell does every cowardly, bastardly thing to hold on to his stupid title. I know, I’m being silly now, getting all worked up over a Donkey Kong championship, but that’s what’s so great about the movie. It’s often hilarious to watch these grown men make so much of such an insignificant thing but at the same time, the filmmaker manages to involve you in it all the same. ]

(16 Jul) Sunshine (2007, Danny Boyle) [ review ] 75

(17 Jul) Skinwalkers (2007, Jim Isaac) 6
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(18 Jul) I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007, Dennis Dugan) 40
[ “KY Jelly, 2 for $1? HELL YEAH!”
I assume some reviewers will work themselves up about the movie being homophobic or something, but I won’t. Oh, this ain’t the most positive portrayal of homosexuality: it’s often idiotic and in bad taste, it indulges in tired stereotypes and gets a lot of mileage out of the discomfort insecure heterosexual men (here macho Brooklyn firefighters) feel towards gay people. But these things are routine symptoms of this kind of juvenile comedies; that the movie goes out of its way to throw in a message about tolerance is a step in the right direction, however clumsy and somewhat hypocritical. What sinks the movie, really, is that it’s just not that funny. This is one of Sandler’s lesser efforts. He made me laugh here and there, but I spent more time rolling my eyes or being bored. Ironically, for a film about man-on-man action, the best thing about it is all the lovely lady lumps on display, courtesy of twin sisters, a quartet of Asian Hooters girls and, of course, Jessica “Hot Damn, Woman!” Biel. ]

(19 Jul) Anchorman (2004, Adam McKay) [ review ] 85

(20 Jul) everything will be ok (2007, Don Hertzfeldt) 100
[ I saw this during DJ XL5’s Kaleidoscopic Zappin’ Party, in a gorgeous 35mm print. This is one of the most powerful examples of why film is superior to video I’ve ever seen. Hertzfeldt uses to its full potential the dreamlike state created on the viewer by images projected 24 frames per second and, for 17 minutes, he takes you on a journey into the life of one Bill. Using his usual deceivingly simple stick figure drawings, plus some photographs and colourful special effects, all of which in simultaneous multiple frames, the film immerses you completely in an altered state of mind. I’d rather not go into details about the story (which is told through perfectly worded omniscient narration), as part of the genius of the piece is how it keeps confusing and surprising you. It starts out funny and absurd, grows more and more thoughtful, then at some point it becomes practically hallucinogenic. Throughout, it’s also incredibly emotionally affecting. This is a full-on masterpiece, easily the best work of art I’ve experienced all year. Incredibly, this is only the first part of a planned trilogy. I truly wonder how Hertzfeldt could possibly top what he’s accomplished here. ]

(20 Jul) Hairspray (2007, Adam Shankman) [ review ] 44

(22 Jul) The Bourne Supremacy (2004, Paul Greengrass) [ review ] 72

(23 Jul) Café Transit (2005, Kambozia Partovi) 18
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(23 Jul) Iluminados por el fuego (2005, Tristán Bauer) 63
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(23 Jul) Hard Boiled (1992, John Woo) [ review ] 93

(24 Jul) Talk to Me (2007, Kasi Lemmons) 69
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(24 Jul) The Simpsons Movie (2007, David Silverman) 60
[ It is what it is: a long, about average episode of the show. That means that it’s certainly watchable enough, I laughed regularly and these characters remain engaging after all those years… But there’s nothing in the movie that wasn’t done better already in the series. ]

(25 Jul) Le Héros de la famille (2007, Thierry Klifa) 64
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(25 Jul) Arctic Tale (2007, Sarah Robertson) 8
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

(26 Jul) Les 3 p’tits cochons (2007, Patrick Huard) 63
[ Reviewed for Voir – also, read my interviews with Huard and the cast ]

(29 Jul) The Bourne Identity (2002, Doug Liman) [ review ] 66

(31 Jul) scorpion (2007, Julien Seri) 52
[ Reviewed for Voir ]

June / August