April 23, 2007

Business as usual

Sorry about the lack of updates over the weekend, but I was swamped. As I mentioned in the comments to the Hilary Swank entry below I was busy during Friday day and at night I had a friend's 21st dinner which went late. Then me and Hannah stayed up all night watching Twin Peaks until the killer of Laura Palmer was finally revealed to her. I know I had already seen the second season (about 5 years ago), but due to the much better quality of the DVDs and my general forgetfulness it was like watching it through new eyes. Although there were several bits that made me chuckle/sad because I knew what was actually going on (such as the mysterious Chinese businessman). We were majorly tired at 8am so we didn't watch any more. We didn't get see see Joan Chen dissolve into a puddle, David Duchovny in drag or any number of doppelgangers that seem to appear throughout the rest of the series. Anyway. Then I was busy most of Saturday and Sunday I had work from 6.30 in the morning which makes me grumpy.

So, hopefully it's back to business as usual. It's nice to know that most of you guys kept coming back to check the place out. That's awesome.

So, I remember in an entry I made some time recently somebody (sorry, I don't remember who or what thread) asked if I could write some comments on two movies I saw recently - Vince Ward's River Queen and Harvey Weinstein's George Hickenlooper's Factory Girl.

It's kind of amusing that this person chose these two films because they're both very similar.

River Queen is a film by Vincent Ward that had a very notorious filming shoot. Vincent Ward was kicked off the film at some point a replaced by his cinematographer Alun Bollinger (and a great cinematographer he is). Ward was then reinstated during the post-production stage. There were also reports of Samantha Morton's diva antics and everyone getting ridiculously sick amongst and the film was apparently ripped to shreds. It shows. Especially in the first and third acts. There really does appear to have been a lot just simply cut right out. The end is particularly bizarre as the film suddenly just cuts to several years into the future and then ends.

The second act is actually quite well done. There's some very interesting stuff there and I just wish the rest of the film was up to snuff. The cinematography is just wonderful - Bollinger knows just was moss-covered rocks or vine-covered rockfaces to film. However, the same can't be said for the music score, which is sort of a disaster. I think it made my ears bleed, a little. The music did get a laugh out of me a few times though because it was so ridiculously over the top. Oh, and Keifer Sutherland is terrible, too. I'm not sure what he was doing there, but it wasn't good. Samantha Morton was fine, as was Cliff Curtis (recently seen in the less-messy-but-still-messy Sunshine). Stephen Rae is barely in it to even bother commenting (a result of the first act being butchered, I presume).

Factory Girl is another mess of a movie, but one I liked more purely because I'm more interested in the topic at hand. It's pretty darn obvious that Harvey Weinstein and the Biopic of Doom were at play here. I have a sense that director George Hickenlooper had a much different version in mind. One that revolved a lot more around the Factory (Andy Warhol's social hangout for artists), but that Harvey Weinstein decided to throw in truly bizarre dialogues between Edie Sedgewick (Sienna Miller) and a therapist and trying to amp up the silly romance subplot between Sedgewick and Bob Dylan, played with dead-in-the-water excitement by Hayden Christensen. Did he even want to be there to make this movie? He hardly seems to care.

Thankfully the music and costume design is all pretty good, even if it is more "retro chic" that actual period accurate. Sienna Miller is actually very good as Sedgewick, and she gets some big moments towards the end to make up more than enough Oscar-clips (Hi Harvey, again!) and I really liked Guy Pearce as Warhol. Still, it's only a movie for those who are interested in the era of Warhol. And even then it's hardly a detailed and accurate account (I assume).

River Queen, C+, Factory Girl, B-

2 comments:

Woodstock said...

glad to have you back glenn! sure you had fun with laura palmer, i'm still craving to see the 1st season. same for factory girl! i've no idea when will it open in brasil, or even if it'll be in the theatres. i simply love the wharhol era and even if the film is not very accurate as you say i bet it'll be beautiful to look at; doesn't hurt either that miller is good in it; i sympathize with her.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I saw it on illegal DVD actually. I'm sure it'll be released here but I was too desperate to wait.