Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean 4- on Familiar Tides

Pirates of the Caribbean is just mindless entertainment.  Some of the stories are rethreads of the previous movies, with similar characters. The movie could have benefited from been shorter in length and more focused in its story lines.  I would have preferred to see more of Barbossa and less of the Orlando Bloom look-alike.  That specific story arc did not function properly in the movie.

Leaving somebody in a deserted island?  Sounds familiar...

But it is welcome that less CGI was used in this movie than in the previous ones.  Moreover, some of it was filmed here in Puerto Rico (I recognized the entrance to the Caverns of the Camuy River, as well as small island in the east of Puerto Rico.  If you are ever in Puerto Rico, go to this park, it is amazing).

This is the entrance to the Caverna Clara in Camuy.

Six stars out of ten.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Nunca había visto a nadie tan feliz/I've never seen anyone so happy" - Matador and Law of Desire

This is part of the series Hit Me With Your Best Shot at The Film Experience.

The title of this entry is the last line of spoken dialogue in the movie Matador, which summarizes some of its themes.  Curiously, it is almost a contrast to the ending of Law of Desire/La ley del deseo, in which that final death is not so happy.

I did not find Law of Desire/Ley del deseo as rich as Matador in its shots and images, although Law of Desire/Ley del deseo in my opinion is the better movie.  But two shots got my attention.   The first one is after the "showdown"  between Bibi Andersen (playing the mother) and Carmen Maura's character (Tina) during the play.  Tina, Pablo (Eusebio Poncela) and the girl are walking home, and they come upon some people washing the street.  Tina decides to be bathed in the water.

Maybe some gay things are waiting on the other side of this rainbow.
The water almost looks like a blue rainbow.   After the showdown with Bibi Andersen, Tina needed to cleanse herself.  But my favorite shot is one earlier in the movie, in which Pablo goes home with a male model who really wants to be an actor.  There, the model/actor asks if there is any cocaine available.  Pablo gives him some and we see the cocaine falling on the book La voz humana/Human Voice. This is the book that Pablo adapted in a play for Tina.

You can also see Juan (Pablo's lover) juxtaposed in this shot, going to Pablo's house for a last night before going away (and as it turns out, it is literally their last night together).  Tina washes herself in water while Juan is washed in drugs.

Now to Matador.

Since Matador explores some of the more extreme sexual practices, it is only natural that one of the best shots is Maria's first killing (that is shown in the movie).

The shot is after the jump.  Be advised that it contains some nudity and sexual content, and you should be over 18 years old to click away.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Thor: With lower expectations come great surprises

What, this is not Spiderman?
I went to Thor expecting a silly, mostly camp movie (and not in a good way).  But lo and behold, I was greatly surprised.  Thor is a very entertaining popcorn movie that did something unexpected: all the story is the origin story, with the villain intertwined in this story.  In this regard, it did not take the path most threaded by most superhero movies (almost half the movie is an origin story and the other half fighting the bad guy).

Further, a lot of the movie takes place in Asgard, not on Earth.  The visuals are remarkable, specially the rainbow bridge (Idris Elba as the gatekeeper was one of the best parts of the movie).  This, for me, made the difference.  The action and pace of the movies are good although not outstanding.  But you will have a "gay old time" at the movies.

For those of you of a certain age, below the intro to the old cartoon show:

Seven and a half stars out of ten.