Archive for December, 2015

21
Dec
15

Death Parade, Shana Final (Season 3)

Death Parade
Death Parade has an intriguing concept. It takes place in the afterlife, or rather the front gates of the afterlife. (Perhaps the bar of the afterlife is a little more accurate?) Anyway, when two people die at exactly the same time, they must go to a place called QuinDecim where they will be judged. One will be reincarnated and the other will go to the Void for an eternity of torment. The two people play a game, and the judgment is based on their actions in the game.
It’s an interesting concept for sure. Some of the deceased know each other intimately, others peripherally, and others don’t know one another at all. They all have died for a variety of reasons. They mostly come across as ordinary people, and no one is inherently good or bad. The characters are presented with voluminous shades of gray. As they play the game, their memories slowly return. The memories are usually painful. The arbiter of judgment, Decim, adds extra stress to the players in order to bring out their “true colors.” Their responses inform his judgment.

Continue reading ‘Death Parade, Shana Final (Season 3)’

13
Dec
15

Magnolia, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Magnolia

Magnolia is another one of those movies that showcases a ton of actors in a ton of different storylines that are supposed to intersect in interesting ways. The movie even says so itself. In the introduction the narrator says that this movie will show us the intersections, but they are more than mere coincidence. Well, that’s fucking great and all, but guess what? The stories don’t fucking intersect at all. There are no coincidences, either. There are very, very tangential interactions, for example, John C. Reilly’s character dates a girl who is Phillip Baker Hall’s daughter, and Reilly meets up with William H. Macy at the end. That’s it. That’s how the stories intersect, two of the characters from different storylines meet. They don’t actually do anything interesting. One person’s unconscious decisions don’t affect another character’s life. And then, when you get to the end of the film, suddenly it’s raining frogs everywhere for some fucking reason. And this shit goes on for three fucking hours. Ugh, what a bunch of bullshit.

Verdict: Bad

The Grand Budapest Hotel

With the exception of Rushmore, I haven’t liked any of Wes Anderson’s movies. I couldn’t finish Bottle Rocket, Moonrise Kingdom was a giant fucking turd with horrible child actors, and let’s not talk about the abysmal The Life Aquatic. Finally, though, after years and years of middling shit, Anderson has finally put together another good movie. This film has the usual whimsical characters, tweeny charm, quirky stylings, and perfectly symmetrical framings as his other films. However, the big differences here are that the story is actually interesting for once, the acting is pretty good, and the humor lands effectively. Ralph Fiennes anchors the story allowing for a plethora of cameos of Anderson’s friends (e.g. Owen Wilson, Bill Murray) along the way. I don’t really have any complaints about this one. It was good, so you should check it out.

Verdict: Good




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