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12-03-2012, 08:47 AM
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Poked the bear!!!!!
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Montreal, QC
Country: Canada
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The 400 Blows: 8/10
It took me quite a long time to get around to this classic. It was good - didn't blow me away but I liked it. It wasn't altogether entirely what I was expecting, but I'm not really sure what I was expecting. I actually found a lot of similarities between this movie and The White Ribbon...not sure if that's a valid comparison or not but there you have it.

Knife in the Water: 7/10
After Truffaut's first, Polanski's first. I like "closed room" settings, so Polanski putting a man, his wife, a drifter they picked up and a knife on a sailboat appealed to me. It did drag a bit - the tension builds slowly (sometimes not at all) and comes to an inevitable climax. I won't spoil the ending but I did wish that it had been done differently. As it is, I liked it, but I thought there was something that could've been done to make it more powerful. The soundtrack is excellent, a weird jazzy thing that sometimes seems ill-fitting, but I liked it.

The American: 6/10
Been wanting to see this one for a while. Hollywood goes Slow? I'm in. Well, director Anton Corbijn has a good eye for visuals, impressively filming beautiful landscapes in Sweden and Italy, but as a director, his style seems lacking. Witness Nicolas Winding Refn doing a similar thing much better a few years later with Drive. Heck, even Jim Jarmusch did it better a year earlier with The Limits of Control. Also, both those movies had fantastic soundtracks, something which I thought really let down The American (strange, given Corbijn's history as a music video director and his previous feature on Joy Division).
Finally, I just didn't buy George Clooney in the role of a cold-blooded killer, no matter how hard he set his jaw. With his cocktail party looks and dark brown sweaters, it was a poor fit from day one, though I can see why he would want to try the role.
So it didn't really come together for me, but I can see what Corbijn was aiming for. I think it was an interesting effort if not a success.

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