pseudogeek: The face of a peach-faced lovebird.  (Default)
Those following Kate Beaton on tumblr has probably already seen this, but the animation Tout en haut du monde looks pretty interesting.

pseudogeek: The face of a peach-faced lovebird.  (Default)
It received many negative reviews, some of them arguing that the opening scene was the only exciting scene, was refined and well written, but the rest was low-budget fast food, boring and etc.

I beg to differ.

This movie is a bait-and switch. It is a deconstruction of the usual crime thriller, so you cannot rate it as if it is a thriller. In the first part, it showed the usual crime part, the art of violence we are used to see. Then it showed us behind the act of brilliant calculated violence, not just where they calculate, but also where they wait and chose to not act because the conditions were not prefect. The usual movie would give you the planning and the practising in a fun montage and the crime would be carried. Here, they held themselves until the conditions were near-perfect and the waiting montage conveyed the flatness and frustration of the waiting. Few movies actually do that. The second and third parts of the movie are slow-paced compared to the first part, which many believed to be a flaw, but I find it to be a strength because it let the viewer the time to digest. Because there are no adrenaline-filled chasing, the audience can take time to remember how the characters acted in the first part, thus letting us guessing with the protagonist if his teammates really betrayed him or not.

The characters are well written and well acted. The psychology is mostly realistic, which I like. They don't have perfect memory either, which earns bonus points from me. I mean, they are more-or-less ordinary people, so it's only natural that they don't have photographic memory. I can't thank the writer enough for not giving them photographic memory. All characters are three dimensional, with enough clues to their personality, their weakness. The protagonist is paranoid and trusts no one, but seems to care for the old man because he's an old acquaintance. The girl lies, hides details and spies on other teammates, but she is caring. The fat guy does his part of work with care and is good at and willing to following directives. We have enough clues to their behaviour patterns and foreshadowings only look like foreshadowings after what they foreshadowed happened, which means they were done right.

Accidents, the theme and the title of the movie (the original title was in Chinese, where nouns do not have different form for singular and plural), as well as the idea that some of them are not accidents, are played right. I've seen bloggers who guessed way to far and the whole thing was planned by same master bad, which in my opinion was falling into the same trap the protagonist had fallen into: excessive paranoia. Because the protagonist's paranoid and his job was making murders that looked like accidents, all "accidents" look like murder to him, no matter what they actually are. All hints that are remotely similar to clues are taken as clues. The audience, or at least part of them, are the same: because this is that kind of movie, of course they must be planned. It's the same trap. What if they actually were accidents? Look at the protagonist. His paranoia is excessive and crippling. In another movie he might have been right. Here, which I believe is a deconstruction of that genre of movie, his paranoia is realistically a flaw. It might have helped him when he was doing his job, but when it comes to solving the problem of who is trying to kill him he failed because everyone looked like a killer in his eyes.

My personal take is that, outside their job, it was all accidents: his wife, the fat guy, the girl. He was just too paranoid.

However, the old man got his senile dementia a bit too fast. In a movie where everything was mostly realistic, this stood out as strange. If you're the type to believe it was all planned, then he was definitely a key in the serial murder. He could be a willing pawn, but mostly likely he was an unwilling pawn who was drugged into dementia then had his memory tempered. Hints: his memory holes, the medication, the phone call. Do you think a old man who fell from the second floor is capable to call his friend on a cellphone? Adrenaline rush, maybe, but it's possible that he called before he fell when he was being threatened, but forgot that event after he fell because of his dementia. Notice how he told the protagonist "They [at the hospital] told me that I fell because of the pills I took." He didn't remember how he fell, he just said what they told him and accepted it as truth. He remembered that his mini basket balls fell and hit the bus, but he didn't remember how they fell. How did they come out from the bag? No specification on that.

Still, the old man could be accident too. Dementia is kind of tricky. If it's rapidly progressive dementia from Alzheimer's or Creutzfeldt–Jakob, the weeks it took for them to wait for the perfect conditions would be enough for it to develop. He did forget a cigarette at crime scene once, even if he remembered soon after, so perhaps he was already starting to get out of focus before the severe bout of dementia. As for how the balls fell out, well, this is in Hong Kong, his bag might have been made in China.

Final verdict: To me, this movie is not fast-food. It not a classic material, but definitively not junk. I'd say it's a fairly decent meal, good enough for cult classic status. A pretty good meal, actually. A-
pseudogeek: The face of a peach-faced lovebird.  (Default)
In highschool a female French teacher told us about a story where the king castrated his general/trusted man/favourite man when he learned that the general was having an affair with the queen. She refused to give us more information, saying that we'll know once we are old enough, because we were only, like 12? Today I stumbled upon the movie A Frozen Flower and why, it matches the description.

And it was basically porn with plot.

No wonder why she refused to tell us more. I mean, she didn't even give us the name of the story?
pseudogeek: The face of a peach-faced lovebird.  (Default)
Ok, clearly, I'm five or something. But this one is really adorable. It's a Japanese children's picture book turned movie about dinosaurs.

I have to complain about all the fauna that are totally out of place though.


pseudogeek: The face of a peach-faced lovebird.  (Default)

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