Posts Tagged ‘ Movies ’

[REC] 2

MILD SPOILERS TO FOLLOW.

So I finally got to see [Rec] 2 last night and have to say that I was quite happy with the movie.

[Rec] 2 you say?

You don’t recall there being a movie called [Rec]?

Well of course you don’t cause when it came out back in 2007 Sony bought up the rights and made an inferior remake that they released as Quarantine.

Sound familiar? Well [REC] was the Spanish original and it’s better, it’s easily one of the scariest movies that I’ve ever seen, the last 10 minutes or so are just pants splatteringly terrifying. And the rest of the movie is pretty awesome to boot.

And in case you were wondering [REC] stands for Record, as you’d see it through a video camera, so yeah it’s one of those hand held camera footage sort of horror films. You know like Paranormal Activity, or The Blair Witch Project.

So the first movie is about an incredibly cute reporter and her camera man who are doing a late night special on some fire fighters, and follow the firefighters to a building that’s gotten an emergency call. When they get there, they find out that things aren’t right and there’s some crazy shit going down. It would seem that there’s a sort of zombie disease going through the tenants of the building they’re in. The police show up quarantine the building and trap them inside. Things get bad very, very fast.

The movie is super intense, insane, and hardcore. It’s one of the best horror movies of all time in my opinion, it’s pure visceral edge of your seat thrills.

The sequel, available on demand right now from Amazon or the Xbox marketplace, takes place roughly 10 minutes after the first movie.

The first part of the movie follows a SWAT team into the building. It’s good to know that the characters are well armed this time around, though it only helps them out a little, cause once the infected show up, well they’re pretty much fucked too.

It’s from the beginning that the movie fully embraces the religious overtones hinted at by the ending of the first, this might put off some people, but I loved it. I find religious themed horror to be some of the most effective thematically, cause it helps the plausibility when it’s based on something billions of people actually believe in.

We find that all the implications from the end of the first film are in fact, the reasoning behind the happenings. We got some full on, crazy as fuck demonic virus spreading around here. Demonic Zombies! SCORE!

So now that things are set firmly in the supernatural, it leaves us open for even crazier scary stuff. We got demon zombie children climbing on ceilings, demon zombie children using scary demon voices, and then some faith in God versus demon action. It turns out the technichian that the SWAT team had brought with them is really like a secret undercover Priest who doesn’t take no shit from anyone, demons included.

He’s just like “SHOOT THEM IN THE HEAD!”

Which happens quite a few times. He just fuckin blows away the aforementioned ceiling crawling zombie kid. It’s awesome. Faith and shotguns are a potent mix.

The movie does detour a bit when the focus shifts to some kids who’ve gotten into the building, who just happen to also have a camera. Iit kinda messes the pace up a little, but some of the coolest parts happen from their point of view; so it’s OK, cause it just adds to the craziness. During their section, there’s an amazing part involving a demon zombie getting a bottle rocket shoved into its head.

The two storylines eventually connect and then there’s more mayhem, some more demon zombies, some more folks die, and then there’s a pretty decent twist. It’s not exactly hard to figure out, but it’s a good twist none the less. The horrifyingly emaciated zombie girl from the end of the first film returns, things get even worse for the characters and ultimately nobody has a good day.

Overall the second film isn’t quite as good as the first, but still pretty great in its own way. It gives us more of what we loved about the first, zombies and first person point of view, and builds respectably onto the mythology.

If you’re looking for some fast paced horror movies to keep you thrilled [Rec] and [Rec] 2 are great options.

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EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP the Banksy film

So we all know about Banksy right?

Guy’s pretty much the most famous street artist around. Often imitated,  the guy pretty much made modern street art into the weird popular thing that it is today. I mean half the cool stuff of his is the reason I decided to try to get into stenciling and wheatpasting.

Banksy has made a movie. It’s a documentary that’s kinda about himself, but not really. It’s called Exit Through The Gift Shop.

I saw it this past weekend at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and have to say it’s pretty awesome.

The film is really about this guy Thierry Guetta, who loved to film everything in his life. He was the sort of dude who would just have a camera on him, filming, almost 24/7, not for any real reason besides the fact that he felt compelled to do so. He’s kinda a wacky French dude, with a funny accent, some awesome facial hair, and he might be a boat-full of crazy. And he may not even be a real dude.

Thierry Guetta

He happens to be cousins with a French street artist known as Space Invader, and managed to convince his cousin to let him film him at work.

So he becomes more and more interested in street art, filming various artists, until he becomes sort of an unofficial documentarian of the street art underground. He meets various famous artists and goes around following them with his camera, but he find Banksy elusive.

You get a feel for how obsessed Thierry becomes, he apparently has thousands of tapes of just random footage, from years of taping. He’s kinda a weird guy. Eventually by providence he meets Banksy, they go around L.A. together and become companions after Banksy pulls his infamous Disneyland stunt.

So they go around together Guetta filming, Banksy letting him be document his exploits, under the condition that his face never be seen. It’s all very adventurous. Eventually Banksy tells Guetta that he should actually turn his footage into a movie, and when he does it’s supposedly a huge P.O.S.

So then Banksy takes the reigns and makes the rest of the film about Guetta’s rise as a street artist known as Mr. Brainwash. He becomes wildly successful despite the fact that much of his body of work is done by others and cannibalizes all sorts of styles and concepts. The film then documents Mr. Brainwash’s first giant art opeing in L.A., peppered with people’s opinions and various anecdotes.

The whole thing is pretty amusing, cause there’s always the sense that the entire film could be one giant hoax. Guetta is such a strange dude, and he seems kinda like a buffoon. But it is a documentary, and Guetta did sell almost a million dollars in art at his L.A. show. It’s just crazy how just by mostly copying the ideas of others, and in what seems to be a mostly random creation process, he creates stuff that sell for huge amounts.

Banksy says at one point: There’s no one like Thierry, even though his art looks like everyone else’s.

We never actually see Theirry do any real creating on his own, and whenever he’s asked questions by reporters he always gives some rambling, strange answer about how he is an artist. He always just comes across as more of a crazy dude than anything else.

It might be a giant piece of documented performance art.

The movie is unbelievably meta. It’s about the street art word, and it might be the artistic sabotage of that same street art world by someone who helped create it. We’re never sure if Banksy is really a person or a collective of artists, but the movie helps to spread the myth, the story, into the pop culture. The movie blurs the lines of what’s real and what’s been faked, and it does it brilliantly. You’re never sure what part of the story is something that might have been staged, might have been one giant, elaborate joke upon the art community.

BANKSY

Banksy stays hidden in the shadows the entire time, and by the end we don’t really know anything more about him than when it started.We just know that in doing what started out as subversive art, helped create a popular, money making movement, one that isn’t immune to his own subversion.

How much of this documentary is true, we might never know, and it’s not really worth the trouble wondering, cause honestly that’s half the point. Either the truth is stranger than fiction, or it’s all a big hoax, either way we’ve been shamed at least a little.

Exit Through The Gift Shop is a great, intriguing documentary about the world of street art, it’s funny, it’s satirical, and it may or may not be at least partially true.

MacGruber is pretty awesome

Ok so I’m not much of a fan of SNL. Any time I’ve tried watching the show in the last decade or so, I’ve been met with a horror like experience of anti-laughter.

I do love The Lonely Island, and I love what they’ve brought to the show, with the advent of digital shorts, and new videos, there’s certainly been an improvement.

I have enjoyed more SNL movies than most people though. I think Superstar is pretty funny, love Night at The Roxbury, and enjoy both Wayne’s World movies. Everyone has different tastes in comedy, I try not to judge people based on theirs, cause mine is kinda strange.

As for MacGruber I went in with mild expectations. I don’t really care for Will Forte all that much, I hadn’t seen anything regarding the character except those Pepsi commercials, but the trailer looked amusing enough. It’s got Val Kilmer as the bad guy, so that’s awesome, Powers Boothe as a general, also awesome, and Ryan Phillippe, who doesn’t seem to have aged since Way of The Gun, also awesome. So I felt confident enough about various elements of the movie that I was willing to spend 10 bucks to see it.

I can’t say I was disappointed.

MacGruber plays like a 1980’s action film with a comedy bent. It’s also wildly hilarious at times.

The movie wisely keeps MacGruber a consistent character, he starts the movie as a spaz, and pretty much ends the movie as a spaz, even though he saves the day, they don’t bother throwing in any lessons, morals, or sappy character moments. He’s an ex military superstar who gets sucked back in for one more mission when Val Kilmer steals a nuke and threatens to blow up Washington DC.

The plot is pretty straightforward and progresses about the same as your average 80’s action move. There’s even an “Assembling The Team” montage that ends with a pretty awesome moment. There’s shooting, there’s explosions, and there’s an amazing soundtrack full of soft rock songs.

The movie progresses along with Will Forte muggin, and acting ridiculous. There’s a few sequences that have Kristen Wiig dressed up in disguises that are pretty great. She pulls of wearing a beard mustache combo quite well actually.

There’s some great gross out gags, lots of swearing, and probably the best comedy sex scene ever. It’s an amazing joke so great they use it twice in a row. It’s amazing both times.

There’s even some good ole fashioned violence. MacGruber enjoys ripping out people’s throats in comedic ways, it’s satisfying in a funny horrible way. Cause he enjoys doing it just as much as the audience enjoys seeing it.

As you can see from that, some of the movie skews to the darker side of comedy. There’s a joke about why Val Kilmer’s character Dieter Von Cunth hates MacGruber that is so dark it even kinda clashes with some of the more lighthearted darkness of the rest of the movie. It’s funny, but I was all like “DAMN.”

Sure Macgruber is a little rough around the edges, not all the jokes hit, but a lot more do than don’t. It’s not one of the best comedies of all time or anything, but I can easily see myself watching it again with a bunch of friends in the future.

It’s easily one of the better comedies of 2010.

It’s a gross, profane, hilarious movie that acts as a great send up of the classic 80’s action movies that we all cherish, and it works.

I’m glad I spent 10 bucks to see it.

Universal Soldier Regeneration Is Not Very Good

The first Universal Soldier came out back in 1992, was directed by Roldand Emmerich, starred Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren, and is a pretty decent action movie.

It’s got a pretty ludicrous plot. Van Damme is killed in Vietnam while fighting with Lundgren, their bodies are preserved and they’re brought back as super soldiers in the early 90’s. Lundgren goes crazy, makes a necklace out of various people’s ears, and tries to kill Van Damme. There’s shooting, chasing, fighting and explosions, it’s fun.

Unfortunately Universal Soldier Regeneration lacks fun. And most of the movie lack Van Damme.

The movie starts out alright, with a pretty decent car chase. These two kids get kidnapped by the bad guy universal soldier and there’s shooting and smashing and it’s a good way to start the movie. It’s the next hour that drops the ball.

Cause the only reason anyone rented this movie is that they wanted to see Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren fighting again. That doesn’t happen till about 75 something minutes into the movie, so up until that point the watcher probably just doesn’t give a fuck.

So that plot has something to do with Russian people who are angry about some political prisoners or something so they kidnap the prime ministers kids, that’s what the first scene was all about. They take the kids to Chernobyl and plant some bombs that’ll blow up one of the reactors there. It’ll cause  a ton of radiation and mess up 100’s of miles of Russia or something.

It honestly feels like the movie is set in Chernobyl because the producers had an abandoned industrial looking place and some burnt out old buildings to film in.

The angry Russian guys are employing a mad scientist sort of dude who sucks at acting, and has one leftover 2nd generation universal soldier; which makes the Americans get involved, they’re concerned ya see. They send some forces who get the shit killed out of them, and then there’s a subplot with this American commando guy trying to save the kids, and I just didn’t care.

Yeah there’s some action, and the middle hour of the movie isn’t altogether boring, it’s just kinda dumb. The Americans send in the four non-Jean Claude UNISOLs that they’ve got, they all get killed by the new 2nd gen bad guy Unisol controlled by the angry Russian guys. They all get killed pretty quick. It’s just surprising, cause you know in the first movie it was kinda established that these dudes were hard to kill, but most of them die by getting stabbed, or punched a lot.

So there’s some more stuff that goes on, and the Americans get their asses handed to them, and they realize that finding Jean Cluade is like their only chance, but since he’s been in only like 2 scenes in the first hour, they have to shoot him up with some serum that’ll turn him into a killing machine. So finally after an hour of not caring we finally get to watch him in the movie.

Dolph shows up as a clone of his dude from the first movie and the excitement builds.

So the first legitimately awesome stuff happens, Jean Claude is mowing guys down, there’s this really great sequence where he takes out like an entire floor of dudes in a single shot, then he goes upstairs and proceeds to stab a ton of guys. It’s really cool, I was thinking at this point, that if the movie continued to be this cool I’d forgive the Jeane Claude free middle hour.

But alas it doesn’t continue to be that awesome.

Jean Claude randomly wanders into a room where Dolph is bothering those kids from earlier and then they fight. It’s a little bit random really. The fight is pretty cool, there’s plenty of them throwing each other into various things that break, and then bust through a couple of walls. And just when you think it’s gonna go on for a bit longer and things are going to get even more impressive, Dolph gets killed and it’s done.

So the whole reason that anyone would decide to watch the movie in the first place, a cinematic re-match between Van Damme and Lundgren is over in about 5 minutes or so.

Then Jean Clause has to fight the movie’s main bad guy, and eventually the movie ends with the viewer still sad and disappointed.

It’s not that the stuff that isn’t Jean Claude is terrible, it’s just not super great, and as a viewer I could have cared less. The action is okay, the special effects aren’t bad, and it’s a decent looking movie, Peter Hyams was the cinematographer  after all. Actually for a direct to DVD movie it’s quite good looking, most of it looks well made. So I guess for a direct to DVD action movie you could do a lot worse.

It’s just, as someone who wanted to see a fun action movie involving Jean Claude Van Damme, it was depressing to see him sidelined for an hour of the movie, so that there could be filler scenes and plot involving people that I didn’t care about.

Taxidermia Is Pretty Fucked Up

(Spoilers ahead)

Uncomfortable.

That’s how you feel watching 90% of Taxidermia.

You’ll laugh every once in a while, you’ll cringe more often, and for a good portion of the run time, you’ll wonder why you decided to watch the movie in the first place.

It’s one of those creepy, dirty, fucked up movies that comes from Europe. Like Ex Drummer. It’s like if you mixed Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and David Cronenberg into a nasty Hungarian concoction.

The movie is three vignettes set in different time periods in Hungary, following three generations of a fucked up family line.

The movie starts with a guy and a candle, it seems kinda arty. It’s flickering, the guy is playing with the fire, you wonder why he seems so entranced by it, and then he ejaculates a stream of fire out of his penis. Which you can see in the European poster for the movie to the right.

It’s pretty much right there that you have to decide to either continue watching or to go back to the Netflix menu, cause it’s pretty much all downhill from there.

This dude is our main character for the first 20 minutes or so. He’s got a harelip, is dumb, constantly being a perv, and seems to be the only soldier at an army post. He has a commander who spends all day giving him shit, but you don’t really feel bad for him cause he’s a gross creeper sort of guy. He spends about half his screen time being creepy and ‘batin. At one point he gets his dick pecked by a rooster, which is amusing, and at another point after having creepy/weird fantasies about a younger girl he ejaculates so hard that his seemen flies into space and becomes stars.

Yeah you read that right, he ejaculates into space. WTF?

His sequence ends soon enough, cause after his commander fiends him engaging in some hardcore pig carcass action he gets shot in the head. YAY he’s dead! Unfortunately if you’re still watching at this point, you’ve just had to see a guy have hallucinatory sex with a pig carcass. Ewwww.

And so the second portion of the movie begins. It’s disturbing in totally different ways than the first part! It’s about the son of the guy from part 1 growing up to be a competitive speed eater, coached by the commander from earlier. He’s on the Hungarian speed eating team, and he’s trying to be a world champ. So you get a whole bunch of morbidly obese guys eating a whole lot of food really fast, and then they hold strategy talks over their vomit troughs.

They encourage use of the cross over swallow, it helps for faster food intake.

There’s a love story of sorts involving the new morbidly obese main character falling in love with a large, morbidly obese lady. There’s a happy times montage, and then some betrayal, and then more gross scenes of fat people eating. I haven’t been as grossed out by eating in a movie since I saw Singapore Sling.

Things go on until the fats folks have a kid kid, who in turn end up being quite skinny, creepy looking, and the main character of the third part of the story. He’s like DJ Qualls, If DJ Qualls was more sketchy and evil. They guy loves him some taxidermy. He’s got his own taxidermy shop, full of dead animals and stuff.

His father, the fat dude, has turned into a monstrous, fat, abomination; similar to the fat vampire in the first Blade. He is so big he’s stuck in his apartment, unable to move, where he raises giant cats that eat margarine. Like these a big ass cats. He’s trying to train them to be championship eaters too. He’s brought cady bars by his creepy skinny son who loathes his existence, and eventually gets fed up and lets him die.

His son who is pretty much insane, stuffs his father, stuffs his father’s freaky, huge cats and then performs self taxidermy on himself. In what is probably the most sickening scene in the film, he puts himself into a self-embalming device, removes his own vital organs, leaving his body preserved. Almost the whole sequence is done in close-up, so you’re never quite sure what’s being cut, or how the process is actually being done, but it’s really gross none the less.

What follows next is just one of those ending that stays with you. The final scene is one I shall not ruin. It’s creepy, and wrong, and you just kinda don’t understand the sort of people who could have made such a movie, but it’s borderline brilliant in how wrong it is.

Taxidermia isn’t a movie I can really recommend. Cause most people wouldn’t ever watch something like this. It’s a strange Eastern European social commentary of some sort. I know it’s got some sort of meaning, I’m just not sure what most of it is. Watch Taxidermia if you’re in a bad mood, or if you hate things that are nice, or if you just want to feel a slow retch build in the pit of your stomach.

Uncomfortable. Yup, pretty much sums things up.

Taxidermia is available now for free on Netflix Watch Instantly, just in case you feel like letting your morbid curiosity get the best of you.

The Core

The Core (2003) is a disaster movie, and you’ve already seen it.

If you took elements of various ensemble disaster movies and mixed them in a blender, and then took away a little of the budget, you’d probably end up with a movie like The Core.

It fits the mold just about perfectly.

ACT 1: Scenes of mysterious bad stuff.

Then establishing various characters, some doing heroic stuff, some being scientists.

Scientists guys realize bad stuff is happening. Warn people. Come up with plan.

Meet some more side characters.

ACT 2: A Disaster that is more bad and scary than the mysterious bad stuff happens.

WE HAVE A PLAN TO STOP THE END OF THE WORLD!

CUE MONTAGE!

ACT 3: Plan goes into action!

Various unforeseen complications happen to plan.

Side Character Dies.

Plot twist from actions of side character! Didn’t see that coming!

Characters resolve some problems with each other.

Side Character Dies Dramatically.

OMG CAN THEY DO IT?

World Saved!

And that’s pretty much what you expect, and that’s pretty much what happens. The Core is essentially Armageddon, but instead of flying into space to use nuclear bombs to solve an environmental disaster they must go into the center of the Earth!

So the movie starts off with this scene of some people just dropping dead, and it’s kinda amusing an unexpected and after some science from Aaron Eckhart, we have a scene with Hilary Swank landing a space shuttle in the L.A. river. Then some bird in London get all crazy and fuck up some shit, a bus gets knocked over, little kids are crying, it’s kinda silly really, but fun. You’re like why are all these birds fuckin up shit in this movie about the core of the earth?


ELECTROMAGNETISM and SCIENCE! It’s pretty much the reason why all the bad scary stuff is going on. It shoots lightning that kills the shit outta Rome, and then it sends a radiation beam down through the heavens to melt half of San Francisco.

That’s about where the destruction ends though. There’s really not that much, those few scenes, and it isn’t actually all that impressive anymore. The CGI in The Core, has not aged well, the stuff looks about as good now as your average Sci Fi channel movie.

Oh yeah so the whole reason that all the bad scary stuff is happening is cause the core of the Earth stopped spinning due to some military shenanigans, and that fucked everything all up. So Delroy Lindo has built a spinning laser thing that melts the crap out of rocks, and he’s invented some magical alloy which he calls UNOBTANIUM that they can build stuff with. So pretty much he is singlehandedly responsible for inventing the stuff that saves the world.

So their plan is to build a giant phallic ship that will shoot lasers into the ground to melt/burrow into the core of the earth. YUP! Even less plausible than landing space shuttles on an asteroid.

The second half of the movie is essentially an example of AND THEN set piece filmaking. Bad stuff just keeps happening to keep the action moving along.

Ok so the first few minutes of the mission to save the earth go ok, AND THEN some whales show up, AND THEN there’s an underwater quake, AND THEN there’s a giant underwater whirlpool/cyclone thing…

A few hours later… AND THEN the computer screens freak out, AND THEN they crash into a giant crystal cavern, AND THEN a crystal jams the lasers, AND THEN they’ve gotta fix the ship, AND THEN it starts to cave in, AND THEN LAVA!!!!!

Stuff just keeps happening, stuff just keeps getting worse. Every time there’s a solitary moment of peace some crazy shit starts happening, like giant chunks of diamond that the Earth burrowing laser train has to avoid. It’s just not all that interesting honestly, you know which characters are gonna live and who’s gonna die, and the special effects consists of mostly a lot of yellow orange swirls with a laser train burrowing through. (A laser train of which I couldn’t find any pictures online, and as I have already returned the DVD to Netflix I don’t have a source to get one myself)

But because being outside of the laser train would kill the characters there’s not much going on besides some bad special effects shots. So we’re left a whole bunch of movie just set in the ship’s cockpit, and it just isn’t all that tense, or all that engaging.

So lots of stuff happens and they set of the nukes and then they save the world.

On the plus side I did enjoy Aaron Eckhart in the movie and there isn’t an Aerosmith them song.

The movie aint great, but it aint too terrible, besides the science being retarded and all.

I’d say that if it’s ever on TV and you’re really bored, and incapable of moving or changing the channel, you could do worse. But if you had a choice, I’d just say watch Armageddon instead.

Traffic

TRAFFIC

I’ll be the first to say that I’m not an expert on the filmography of Steven Soderbergh. I’ve only seen his Oceans films (of which Ocean’s 12 is my favorite,) and Out of Sight; but I’ve got a number of his movies in my Netlifx queue and own a copy of Solaris. I’ve quite enjoyed all five of the films of his that I’ve seen, but have not seen any of his smaller, independent films.

As for Traffic, I have to say it was quite good.

The movie tells three tales that are partially related, but never cross over enough to be distracting or seem gimmicky. All three tales are about the various ways that drugs and drug  trafficking affect people. The stories are told in a fashion by which the narrative jumps between the three vignettes at any given time, while proceeding along through each at a relatively equal pace. Each one acts as a sort of mini movie; it’s as if you took an anthology movie and intertwined all of the stories to tell in pieces but mixed linearly together. It kind of reminded me of a P.T. Anderson movie, but with fewer sprawling artsy moments.

One of the vignettes is set in Tijuana, and is about Benicio Del Toro as a police officer who gets pulled into the plans of a general manipulating the drug cartels; It’s a performance for which Del Toro won best supporting actor.

Another is about Michael Douglas as an Ohio judge, newly appointed as head of a presidential task force on drugs. The problem though is his daughter is fond of freebasing and hangs out with Topher Grace. So he has to try and balance his political life with his crumbling home life.

The third segment concerns Don Cheadle and Luis Guzman as cops who’re busting Miguel Ferrer, and then using his criminal tips to bust the husband of Catherine Zeta Jones. Jones then finds out her hubby was a drug dealer, and in an effort to preserve luxurious life and protect her kid, she decides to continue the cocaine trade.

So yea there’s a bunch of famous people in this movie.

The best thing about Traffic is that despite the fact that each of the plotlines sounds like fodder for some sort of preachy anti-drug movie of the week, the movie never denigrates into something like that. We can all pretty much agree that hardcore drugs are bad, and so the movie doesn’t have to ever get preachy, or super, exceedingly melodramatic. There’s a good bit of subtlety to the proceedings.

Each of the segments is given it’s own feel visually, which is a pretty genius move on the production’s part. The parts that take place in Mexico are very, very orange, with washed out colors and a whole lot of film grain. It gives these parts that gritty, harsh feeling that helps accentuate the immorality of what stems from the drug trade centered there. It’s a case of well filmed ugliness, which is actually a good way to describe much of the movie.

The Michael Douglas plotline is cold and blue tinted in direct contrast to the Mexico stuff. It’s kinda like the blue style of Minority Report or the theatrical version of Payback.

The Cheadle/Zeta Jones has an almost normal color scheme, except many light sources are overexposed. Like a simple table lamp will look about as bright as the sun. But due to the visually distinctive nature of the three scenarios you never have trouble figuring out which one you’re currently watching.

Generally the acting in the three stories is decent enough, with Del Toro being my favorite character. What can I say, I like the guy. He gets pretty much unlimited goodwill from me for being in Way of The Gun, which I think is one of the coolest movies of all time. Michael Douglas never really sold me, but I’ve never really been impressed with the guy, and I felt that most of the dramatic punch was put on his shoulders. I can’t really say it’s a huge problem, cause I don’t think that the movie was going for melodrama, but the human element isn’t all that emotional in the movie. It doesn’t feel like too big of a problem though, cause you’re always interested in where the movie is going to go next, you always feel that the meta story is going to continue.

The movie is filmed in a style that resemble a documentary, with focusing and hand held camera work. Overall it helps to make the whole affair feel more real, like this really could be a documentary and not a big ensemble movie. Because all the characters feel like they’re part of a bigger picture, that the story will continue with or without them. It’s to the films credit that it manages to achieve such a feeling, that it is part of something bigger. But it never sits you down and explains in a monologue “THIS IS HOW DRUGS HURT PEOPLE, BE SAD NOW”.

And because of that Traffic is pretty great.

Also there’s a scene in which Cather Zeta Jones’ character drives to Mexico and decides to become an cocaine dealer, and she has a bunch of toys made from pressure molded cocaine. That’s pretty cool too.

For being a two and a half hour movie about drug trafficking that never gets boring, preachy, or exploitative; all while being artistically creative with how it tells its three stories, I can easily recommend a viewing.