La Jetée (1962) — Sci-fi (8/10)

April 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm (Movies) (, , )

Let’s sum it up this way: La Jetée is an influential 1962 French sci-fi short film about a prisoner during the post-apocalyptic war-torn France after the events of WW3. He goes backwards (and forwards) in time to do things to help his captors, the ruling class, rebuild their world.

Sound familiar? It’s the storyline that inspired the 1995 film 12 Monkeys, starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt.

If you watch the film on Netflix, you will get the original language (French) with subtitles. I watched this film on Hulu, and it was an English language version. Obviously, Criterion would not set the English language version as the “main” version if it wasn’t of quality. As I was watching it, I thought this dub was quite seamless, and that’s not usually how I feel on such things (the Disney-prepared Studio Ghibli dubs are good, as well).

The film clocks in at about 28 minutes, and so it isn’t very long. I would recommend you check this one out.

Oh! It now occurs to me (I did this on purpose) that I have left out on major detail. Maybe you’re thinking that this film sounds nice and what not but, really, what makes it standout? I will tell you what makes it memorable in my mind. The entire film, except for about 5 short seconds, is told as a series of still images. There is an unknown narrator that provides the exposition and dialog. I found it very interesting how my imagination was filling in the gaps where one would expect a film-like execution rather than individual frames.



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They Live (1988) — Sci-Fi (5/10)

January 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm (Movies) (, , )


Once again, what the heck is the deal with 80’s cinema? Seriously, it’s all rubbish (or at least most American films from this time). The cinematography is at its worst, the acting is reprehensible and I want people to look normal, ugh!

This movie falls into that trap. The aliens look like they’re from Mars Attacks, and everything is slow-moving and uninteresting. This movie, They Live, has the audacity to pretend that there are major lessons to learn and that humanity is better off for having watched this fim. I completely disagree!

There is what feels like a 10-minute fist fight between two guys that just doesn’t go anywhere. There’s NO point other than just being macho in the 80’s! They beat each other to a bloody pulp until the hero-thing wins by some divine favor. Sunglasses let you see aliens? Cool idea, MAYBE, but this movie is just ridiculous. They get teleported to the alien HQ and then they wreak havor until they’ve one… and don’t forget that the woman that OBVIOUSLY betrayed you will actually be on your side until you think… oh wait. She really wasn’t on your side. DANG!

Seriously, skip over this film. They Live was directed by John Carpenter, and I happen to think his film The Thing is one of the best sci-fi films I have ever seen. Go straight to that one and skip over this average dreck.


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