I’ve been meaning to write up the rest of the SIFF films I saw, as well as the Minutemen documentary We Jam Econo, but I’ve been too busy. Origins is coming up and things like WFRP, True20, and Thieves’ World demand my attention. And of course the usual litany of things I can’t yet talk about. Somehow day after day slips by and I can’t find time to write a few movie reviews. So, in place of the more detailed reviews of previous SIFF films, here are some quickies.
Mysterious Skin: Gregg Araki’s latest is a tale of two 8 year olds molested by their baseball coach and how the experience affects them as they become teenagers. While I thought his Doom Generation flick was terrible, this was pretty good.
A World Without Thieves: Stylish HK flick about a pair of scam artists and what happens when one of them gets pregnant. Most of the action takes place on a long train ride across China. While story and character are the focus, it does include some cool action sequences as well.
R-Point: This is a Korean horror film set during the Vietnam War. A patrol of South Korean soldiers is sent to a remote location to find any survivors from a lost platoon. No one mentions that the area is built over an ancient massacre site. Whoops! Hauntings and freakouts ensue. While not exactly groundbreaking, this was fairly entertaining.
El Crimen Ferpecto: Another triumph for Álex de la Iglesia, the “Ferpect Crime” is a vicious black comedy set almost entirely in a large Spanish department store. It centers on Rafael, a suave ladykiller who only wants to live in elegance. When his dreams of being floor manager are shattered, he accidentally kills his rival. He is saved by a mysterious guardian angel, but she traps him into the type of common life that he abhors. Funny and biting.
We Jam Econo: This is the story of the Minutemen, one of the great punk bands of the 80s. Like the Gits, the Minutemen’s time was cut short by the tragic death of a key member, in this case guitarist, songwriter, and singer D. Boon (killed in a van accident). Lots of great live footage of the band, interviews with everyone from Flea to Richard Hell, and the heart wrenching earnestness of Mike Watt, who still clearly misses his best friend even 20 years later. Recommended.
Batman Begins: Treated myself to the Bats on my birthday. You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but this is by far the best big screen adaptation of Batman. The franchise lives again.