We watch lots of movies, but I'm not a good enough reviewer to bother writing up anything substantial on most of them. Still, when we come across movies that are particularly good, I at least like to put it out there as a recommendation.

We watched two movies over the past couple of nights – Perfume, the Story of a Murderer and Children of Men.

Children of Men rates very high on IMDB – it's #179 on the top 250 films of all times and rates 8.1 out of 10. To me, it wasn't quite that good. It was a better than average film, but it drags a bit from time to time and could use with a bit more editing. Still, there's good suspense, and a plot that gets you thinking about what could conceivably happen if the world were to experience some sort of turmoil like, oh, I don't know, an extended global economic recession/collapse. In any case, I wouldn't rate it quite that hight – maybe a 7.4. Recommendable if you want something that's kind of slow moving and depressing – something European-esque.

On the other hand, Perfume rates a lot lower, only 7.5 – a respectable rating for IMDB – but personally I'd pop it onto my own top 250. It's the story of a young man in 18th century France (although the acting is all in English) who has the most remarkable sense of smell and who wants to preserve scent – including the scent of women. That description isn't doing the film justice. It's more complicated than that – you sympathize with the character, despite the fact that he's a murderer. It'ss kind of like Dexter that way. The film has a sort of fairy-tale feel to it, and the visual style is beautiful. It's definitely not for everyone, but we both truly loved it. If you're looking for something a bit different, check it out.

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2 responses »

  1. margotinto says:

    I really liked Children of Men. But did you watch the extras, where the explained why they filmed it the way they did? Many of the scenes were filmed from just one camera in a continuous sequence, rather than many camera angles edited together. Hearing their explanation, and seeing the behind-the-scenes stuff made me appreciate the way it was filmed much more.

  2. With few exceptions I really don't watch DVD extras. But even so. that alone doesn't bump my rating. The visual style of CoM was quite good – the scenes in the refugee camp were particularly bleak and felt real; first-person POV in fact. But that doesn't help with my feeling that the characters were pretty one-dimensional, there was very little plot to speak of, and the dialogue was weak. The things that saved it for me were the visual style, the use of suspense (quite impressive given the lack of story), and the big piicture idea of what COULD happen – the crumbling society was really well represented. Ultimately I'll forget this film.

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