Saturday, April 23, 2005

Movie: Kung Fu Hustle (2004, U.S. 2005)

What can I say? Go. Just go.

Movie: Oldboy (2003, U.S. 2005)

It’s way too soon for me to be writing about this movie. I haven’t fully recovered from the assault yet. Watching Chanwook Park’s Cannes prize-winner is like being pounded in the sternum for two hours by a middleweight.

The plot – a man mysteriously imprisoned for 15 years is just as mysteriously released and given a few days to figure out who held him captive and why – hooks you instantly. And maintains your interest throughout scenes of heart-stopping violence and heartbreaking cruelty. The relentlessly grim atmosphere isn’t merely a stylistic choice as in so many American thrillers; every character is so much a victim of mankind’s twisted need for vengeance that this insatiable desire seems to have infected the movie itself.

OLDBOY may relish its headlong trip to the dark side a little too much. But it has an intensity unmatched in any film of recent years. This one, I fear, is going to haunt me.

Miscellaneous: Mental Miscasting

This morning I mistakenly said that the voice of Winnie the Pooh in the original TV specials was provided by Sterling Hayden, not Sterling Holloway. And now I’d give anything to hear Hayden’s rendition of the character.

“I’ve had it up to here with your bellyachin’, Eeyore. You’d better start pulling your freight.”

Website Update: Guest Blogger

I’ll be in Los Angeles for the next week. But never fear. This website will never desert you in your hour of need. I’ll be turning over the reins to Rosemarie for the next few days, and by the time she’s done you probably won’t have me back. She’s a sharp observer of the pop cultural scene. Just witness the trouble she’s been causing Ryan Seacrest this week.