Monday, 7 July 2008

Movie Reviews - The New World, 3:10 to Yuma, It Happened One Night

The New World

The Pocahontas story directed by Terrence Malick, the same guy who directed ‘The Thin Red Line’. The story has not been changed much from the original. Explorers arrive from England to America to found a settlement in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. They meet the natives and develop a choppy relationship with them. One of them, Capt. John Smith (Colin Farrell) falls in love with a local (Q'orianka Kilcher) and then leaves seeking new adventures. Believing him to be dead, the local remarries John Rolfe (Christian Bale) and later travels to England.

This movie is different from most other Hollywood fare. It could be described as what a poem would look like if made into a movie. The literal feeling that the movie induces in its viewers is one of poetry. In many parts of the movie, the storytelling consists of many not-so-related scenes cut and stitched together. In fact, a lot of the shots are stitched together to weave into the musical score. This film is not perfect, but it is an audio-visual masterpiece. It does get a bit monotonous at times, but the cinematography is brilliant.

Extra features on the DVD reveal a lot of interesting trivia. Shot on location, this entire movie was made with minimal technology; the cameras were mostly handheld, and the lighting was almost completely natural. Terrence Malick would actually follow his actors around with his camera no matter where they were, just to capture interesting shots, often to have them act in character even when not officially shooting. Colin Farrell once tested this by walking towards the crew, forcing them to dive for cover as Terrence’s camera followed him around. The crew also faced storms never seen before both in Virginia and the U.K during filming.

This movie also features Wes Studi, in perhaps his hundredth Native American role. I love this guy from the character Sphinx in Mystery Men.

3.10 to Yuma

Another movie featuring Christian Bale. The story revolves around a rancher who volunteers to help escort an outlaw to a train to prison. Complications arise as the outlaw’s gang chases them. In addition to this, they also have to deal with the outlaw’s mind games and escape plans.

A remake, this is a pretty good Hollywood western, directed by James Mangold, the man who gave us Walk the Line, Kate & Leopold, Copland and Girl Interrupted. Like all Hollywood movies, it does have its clichés, but recommended anyway for being entertaining.

Interesting trivia includes the fact that the gun on the moving stagecoach at the beginning of the film is made of rubber so that the horses don’t get tired from dragging it along. Also, special exploding capsules were used during the shootout chases in the town to make it seem that the bullets hitting the wood of the buildings created sparks or splinters, not something that would have really happened as lead bullets don’t spark and just embed themselves in wood. This artificial effect seems to be quite widely used in Hollywood. Also, budget cuts prevented the crew from building the whole town towards the end and the scaffolding featured during the final chase is really what couldn’t be completed. Another piece of interesting information includes the fact that a part of the movie was shot at one the locations of the original Batman T.V series.

It Happened One Night

This is a 1934 movie directed by Frank Capra. Claudette Colbert, playing a spoiled socialite who has recently married out of spite and just escaped from the clutches of her over protective father, takes a cross country bus trip, hoping to dodge the press, police and private detectives. She meets a reporter, played by Clark Gable, who discovers who she really is and promises not to give her up in exchange for an exclusive story. Over the course of their travels, they fall in love.


No comments:

Post a Comment