I do not remember how I found this film on Reddit, but the presence of Neil Young had me intrigued, in spite the 3.9 rating on IMDb. I figured it would perhaps not be for the ‘general audience’.
Well, it is not! “Paradox” starts as a slow, minimalist and somewhat strange film without much of a story. It is more an ‘image-scape’. A group of men are in some remote and rough part of (I think) Southern America. Modern day cowboys, but then looking for treasury. Digging in some hill they find key-boards and mobile phones, I think they are supposed to be from the past.
In this desolate landscape the men have odd conversations. There is a mysterious man with a black hat, played by Neil Young. At some point the men set out on a journey and arrive at a group of tents. There is seems that the men form a band around Neil Young and the film turns into live-performance.
After this, we go back to the minimalist and storyless film which includes a weird scene with a bus of women.
Indeed, not your average film. Much effort has been put into the visuals. There are hour-long shots compressed into seconds, close ups of plants and animals, great shots of nature. The film parts are amusing, the music parts beautiful.
A last surprise: the director is the famous actress Daryl Hannah.
My rating is way higher than on IMDb (or the same, but on a scale of 5 instead of one of 10). I am glad that Netflix also offers more experimental material and not just blockbusters. I hope I will find more such treasures.
I got these series as birthday present. It was also on my wish list, but not too high. The first season is alright, but as with most series that I see, not good enough to make me want to see season 2 or the announced third series some time soon.
Westworld is a virtual Wild West, an amusement park where people can submerge themselves in adventure. They can even go around killing people and go to the brothel, for most visitors the main attractions. Most people in Westworld are androids, robots that are almost exactly human, called “hosts”. When a host gets shot, it is repaired and sent back to the park to pick up their parts in their “loops” (part of a “narrative”) again. When ‘upstairs’ the hosts are usually clothless, an easy way to incorporate nudity into the series for an unclear reason. A host cannot kill a visitor.
In order to make them more and more human, the creators frequently update the hosts, even giving them some sort of consciousness. Then some seem to start to develop consciousness themselves. This leads to lengthy philosophical monologues about what makes humans human and what makes reality real. Of course it is in the development of an own will of the hosts that the series get their story from.
“Westworld” is an alright series that raises a few interesting questions. The events jump back and forth in time and the story is well-written with subtle references and a few surprises. Anthony Hopkins is great as one of the creators of the park. In the first episodes the score is interesting too, as it is often classical versions of pop songs.
All in all, “Westworld” made a nice watch, but like I said, I not nice enough to put the following seasons high(er) up on my to see list.
Seldom does the title of a film refer so clearly to the genre, or in this case genres. Indeed, this film is a mix between Western and scifi.
There is not too much of a story, but in a Western town with much hostility among its inhabitants, spacecrafts arrive to terrorize the town. A number of townsmen and -women are kidnapped and a party sets out to find them.
A fairly typical Hollywood film unfolds with Daniel Graig and Harrison Ford as stars, the only not-so-Hollywood element is the unlikely mix of genres. This is not presented all that surprisingly though and actually they go together fairly well.
There are quite a few similarities between Tarantino’s last film and his previous one. Both “The Hateful Eight” and “Django Unchained” are about three hours, a reason for me to not put them high on my list and in both cases the story could have been told in a shorter film. Both films are about the origins of American racism. “Django” is about the times of slavery and this time the film plays in a time just after the war between the North (that wanted to get rid off slavery) and the South (that wanted to keep it).
Another similarity is the setting. Both films have limited settings, a plantage in the older film, an inn in the later one. Both films mostly revolve around Tarantino’s highly entertaining and lengthy dialogues, weird humor and of course a bloody shootout at the end.
In “The Hateful Eight” we have two bountyhunters traveling to the same town to collect their bounty. On their way they pick up another person and a snowstorm forces them to take shelter in a remote inn. The friendly folks there prove not to be as friendly as they appear.
Like I said, the film could have been shorter, but “The Hateful Eight” is highly entertaining. Typical for a Tarantino, but I am sure that is the way he intended it.
I read some good things about this film and thought it would be a nice variation on the Western film. Actually it is a fairly straightfoward Western.
The young Scott Jay Cavendish travels accross America to find the woman he loves who left the country with her father. Jay is doing pretty well until he runs into Silas, a crude bounty hunter, or is he not as crude as he seems? The two continue the travel together, meet up with some strange people until they find the house where Rose and her father reside.
Like I said, the film is a fairly straightforward Western. There are some amusing dialogues and Maclean seems to have wanted to put some extra stress on what the American colonisers did with the indigenous people. For the rest there is not much of a story. That is not really needed either. From early on it is clear how things are going to end and yet, the final scene sticks out to the atmoshere of the rest of the film.
“Slow West” is a descent film, but I do not really find it a ‘high flyer’.
It was mostly the three hour length that made me take to long to see this film. Now having seen it, I think it could have been shorter. But “Django Unchained” is an enjoyable feature. The first half hour to an hour is brilliant, with great music, atmosphere and black, violent humour. The last two hours the novelty is off and the film is just good. That is, until the magnificent Samuel L. Jackson joins the film, see poster.
A bounty hunter releases the slave Django in order to hunt more bounty. The two get along well and form a good bounty hunting duo. Django himself has a wish of his own and in executing it, the film rolls into an extraordinarily violent finale.
Tarantino made a real old-fashioned Western with his own typical elements of very bloody violence, black humour and witty dialogues. Within all this, Tarantino also manages to bring attention to the slavery period of (American) history, racism and even brings in the Ku Klux Klan in an amusing scene. Within all the shootouts and “nigger” shouting, the viewer is still forced to consider the history of suppression.
All in all “Django Unchained” is indeed a good film, but not it does not end up very high in my favorite film list.
Yes, it took me a while to see this third Jodorowsky that my usual DVD rental has. No time for a film, did not feel like it or it was replaced and lost, but I finally did see it. “El Topo” is a Western, but not a straight-forward one. Jodorowsky again uses amateuristic splatter for violence and other elements which seem only to be there to shock. Also again is a spiritual undertone. El Topo (the main character, played by Jodorowsky himself) is a cowboy in black who seeks revenge for his murdered village. He has to find six foes that appear to be spiritual masters that (the evil?) mole (“topo”) fights and tries to overcome. On the other hand, El Topo has (again) Christ-like elements, so perhaps the situation is the other way around (the spiritual masters are heresies). It is not unlikely that the director created this ambiguity on purpose. Like the other two films of Jodorowsky that I saw “El Topo” is interesting in some elements, dated in others, sometimes a little annoying. The films may not be masterpieces in my eyes, but I do suggest you watch them at some point since they are classics in the history of film.