Let the Right One In (2008)
Grade: A- | 1st Viewing
Before seeing Matt Reevesâ€™ Let Me In, I felt obligated to watch the original Swedish telling of the vampire story and Iâ€™m very glad that I did. Thomas Alfredsonâ€™s vampire film is one of the finest of the genre that I have ever seen. The life of a vampire is a life of isolation and Alfredson captures that perfectly by pulling the camera back and setting the characters against a stark Swedish setting. Each of the attack scenes is filmed with a long shot, which creates a detached feeling throughout the film.
Johan Soderkvistâ€™s haunting score was perfectly complementary to Hoyte van Hoytemaâ€™s cinematography. Alfredson does the editing himself and he perfectly times the cuts and audio swells. The best scene by far comes at the ending when Oskar is re-united with Eli while in a pool. It has a few moments that donâ€™t work, for instance the cat attack scene, but overall I prefer it to the American remake and it is one of the finest vampire films I have ever seen.
28 Days Laterâ€¦ (2002)
Grade: A | 3rd Viewing
This was one of those under $10 Blu-Ray bargains that I simply could not pass up. However, I was disappointed to see how the film transferred to High Definition. I knew that it was filmed with a Canon XL-1 with a low resolution to intentionally create a murky look, but the contrast was awful and low-lighted scenes were fuzzy. In short, I wouldnâ€™t recommend purchasing this movie in any format higher than DVD.
The movie, however, is a completely different story. Not only does Danny Boyleâ€™s 28 Days Laterâ€¦ revolutionize the zombie genre, but it really grasped the technologically transforming society of the early aughts by formatting the film like a video game. The camera angles often appear like a first person shooter and the narrative seems to have different levels of difficulty culminating with the face-off against a final boss. Itâ€™s one of the smartest horror movies and a great watch for Halloween.
Grade: B | 1st Viewing
This documentary would make a great double feature with The Social Network as the two films are thematically very similar. Catfish uses the idea that our society has lost the ability to communicate in a digital age and takes it one step further by showing Facebook used for blatant and intentional deception. The marketing campaign for the film has stressed keeping the secret and I would highly recommend not allowing anyone to spoil this movie for you because the result is fascinating and intriguing.
In order to avoid spoilers I will not go into much depth about the themes of the film, but I will say that after the secret is revealed the pieces come together in the viewerâ€™s mind so quickly that the rest of the film felt like it was dragging. However, it is incredibly revealing about the definition of truth in the digital age.
The Social Network (2010)
Grade: A- | 2nd Viewing
After seeing The Social Network for a second time, my initial criticisms about the editing did not seem as bothersome. I still felt like the mid-dialogue cuts were a gimmick, but the overall filmâ€™s quality distracted from it well-enough. However, I was significantly less impressed with Andrew Garfieldâ€™s character after a second viewing. Garfield himself delivers and excellent performance, but I never felt like the stakes were high enough to make Eduardo Saverin important. Despite Mark Zuckerbergâ€™s emotional pleas that he â€œneedsâ€ Saverin, I never felt that his contributions to Facebook were anything more than a financial startup.
Needless to say while I still love Garfield, his performance is not my favorite of this movie. Of the supporting actors in the film, my new favorite is Armin Hammer who plays both of the Winklevoss twins. Itâ€™s so enjoyable watching the twins fail in their endeavors and Hammer portrays them with such befuddled eloquence that one canâ€™t help but be in constant stitches.
What did you see this weekend?