Tiny reviews: Split (2016)

For the first time, I experienced the thrill of going to the cinema with no idea of what I was about to see.
Odeon’s Screen Unseen (in this case, the horror version Scream Unseen) offers you a mysterious film preview for £5, which is not bad at all if you’re short on budget and not too picky.

As soon as the title appeared on the screen, the eagerly awaiting audience greeted it with quite many yesss (mine included) and few louder YAYs.
Apparently, water-allergic aliens and white-washed elements-bending kids weren’t enough to make people lose hope in Mr M.Night Shymalan’s new film, Split.

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The poster that basically sums up the whole plot. That’s pretty much it. Nice and simple.

IMDb rating: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 80%
Polenta’s rating: 23/24

Plot:
Read the poster.
Really, is not a ‘The Big Sleep’ kind of plot.
Oh, and the guy (well, one of them) kidnaps three girls.

Polenta’s comment:
Good direction, nice and meaningful framings, simple but catchy storyline.

Not sure how scientifically credible this is, I know nothing of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). It might not be realistic but, as Shyamalan films go, I found this pleasantly plausible. No trashy plot twists this time.
He couldn’t resist throwing in some exposition (when characters explain stuff to make you understand what’s happening) in form of an academic lecture, but the dialogues never sound unnatural. Unlike The Last Airbender. Plenty of clumsy and unnecessary exposition there.

James McAvoy is truly stunning.
You don’t get to meet all the 23+1 personalities -the film is only a couple of hours long, after all- but nearly half of them, which is still remarkable. I counted 11, might have lost count around the end. And you can tell if it’s Barry or Dennis or Patricia thanks to the crease between his eyebrows, the tensed muscles on his neck or the slightest change in his posture. You know who’s who even before he talks in different voices and changes his clothes.

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Anya Taylor-Joy is one of the kidnapped girls, Casey, which is just too pretty and adorable. That’s not really how you’d picture the outcast troubled girl that runs from home and has zero friends, but she nails the part.

Last notes:
– the usual cameo by Shymalan is there, don’t worry.
– 23 toothbrushes. Loved that.
– ending scene with another cameo and a reference I didn’t grasp.
Left me ‘wut’, but I guess it should be a big ‘woah!’ moment for those who get it.
-OMG THE ENDING CREDITS. The ending credits’ background is formed by smaller ending credits. Guess how many on the screen? 24. Yes, I counted them.

In conclusion, don’t miss it, guys. The Sixth Sense’s Shyamalan is back in all his glory.

Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (1972)

Contrary to my original plan to write about 1960s Italian horror (don’t worry, I will), this week we’ll go back to the gorgeous Meiko Kaji, whom I wrote about in the Lady Snowblood post.

No katana and kimono, this time. Let’s have a look at the first film of the Scorpion series, an example of the Japanese Pinky Violence sub-genre (in a nutshell, sexy girls killing people).

female-scorpion-701

Technical details:
Original title: Joshû 701-gô: Sasori
Director
: Shunya Itô
Writers: Fumio Kônami, Hirô Matsuda, Tooru Shinohara
Production: Kineo Yoshimine
Cast: Meiko KajiRie YokoyamaYayoi Watanabe, etc.
87 mins, colour.

(Joshû 701-gô: Sasori on IMDb)

IMDb rating: 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 85%
Toni’s rating: 1 bucket of mud and 1/2 Tarantino

Plot:

Nami is deceived by the man she loves and goes to jail, becoming prisoner number 701.
There, she endures all the worst tortures and abuses with determination, driven by her thirst for vengeance.

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Polenta’s comment:

I was expecting some extremely kitsch film when I pressed play, and this is a pretty tacky one indeed.
But man, is it a beauty!

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In case you don’t know me yet, I have a weak spot for anything (I consider) aesthetically beautiful.
With Meiko Kaji as the main character it’s an easy win.

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But a pretty lady is not the only admirable thing you will find in this film.
Here’s a quick list:

  • The expressionism: the above-mentioned bastard makes a yakuza gang rape Nami. This happens on a glass floor so that we can watch the crude scene from below, almost from the girl’s point of view.
    Soon afterwards, when she’s still lying on the floor, Nami discovers his man made this to her, and the glass underneath her lights up bright red. Her hair spreads in stop-motion around her head while a look full of hatred appears on her face. At first you’re like ‘What the heck is that.’ but when you see her eyes you think ‘Well, that gives the idea across alright.’FCS-in-colorCR
  • The symbolism: Nami’s boyfriend unwraps her from a white blanket before taking her virginity, which is shown as a blood stain that blossoms on the fabric filling up the screen. And you smirk at the resemblance with the Japanese flag.
  • More expressionism: in jail, Matsu (Nami) attempts to bring justice among the prisoners. A bitchy one, once her deception is revealed, gets pretty angry at Matsu and chases her with a broken glass. The interesting thing is that, to show just HOW much pissed of the woman is, she suddenly turns in a kabuki theatre mask.

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    Yeah well imagine *this* chasing you in the shower room…

  • More Symbolism (?): Matsu eventually escapes to complete her revenge. She visits the guys who raped her one by one to kill them and, when they recognise her, a green light shines on their faces. I’m not quite sure about the possible meaning of the colour green, but the point is: he turns, he sees her, scared face, green light, and you automatically know the guy is screwed. It works.
  • The Drama: at the very beginning, we see Matsu and Yuki, another prisoner, trying to escape. They run in the fields, chased by guards and dogs, but Yuki can’t run anymore. Matsu sees blood between her legs, but they have to be quick. So she tells her it’s only her period, it must have stopped before because of the hard life in jail. And they keep running. You’ve been watching the film for few minutes, one single scene, and you’re depressed already. Great.701scorp01

Perplexing/funny things:

– The camera that turns, spins, flips.
E.g., during the fighting scene, to make Matsu and the bastard’s figures fit in the screen, the camera shows them horizontally. Also, when Matsu is tortured, the camera starts spinning furiously.
– Everyone violently strips everyone, with no particular reason.
– The policewoman in plain clothes that tries (in vain) to talk with Matsu and ends up begging the colleagues to throw her back into jail again so she can ‘talk’ with her some more.
– Clearly no one manages to hit nothing with anything during the fight scenes.

Fun fact:
Like Lady Snowblood, this film has obviously inspired good old Quentin’s work, and songs from both the movies (sung by Meiko Kaji herself) have been used in Kill Bill’s soundtrack.

And, finally, one question:
Is it at least a bit plausible that prisoner uniforms used to be such pretty tie-dye striped dresses or is it just an homage to the hippie fashion?

Ça va sans dire, I intend to watch the sequels ASAP.

An Angel for Satan (1966)

Dear girls and boys,
this week the blog will go back to its usual b&w schlocky-tacky-trashy horror splendour.

We have already talked about Mario Bava’s sublime muse Barbara Steele in the past, but one can never have enough, right?
So, here we are. This time we’ll have a look at An Angel for Satan.

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Another wonderful specimen of a let’s-spoil-the-ending poster.

Technical details:
Original title: Un Angelo per Satana (incredibly, they translated it properly!)
Director
: Camillo Mastrocinque
Writers: Giuseppe Mangione, Camillo Mastrocinque
Production: Lilian Biancini, Giuliano Simonetti
CastBarbara SteeleClaudio Gora, Ursula Davis, Anthony Steffen, etc.
90 mins, black and white.

(An Angel for Satan on IMDb)

IMDb rating: 6.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: none whatsoever. Blimey.
Polenta’s rating: 2 meh and 1 riding crop. Yes. Naughty, I know.

Plot:
A charming sculptor is called from the Count of a small superstitious Italian village to restore a statue fished from the lake.
The peasants think the statue is cursed and are not very happy to have it out of the water.
When the Count’s young, beautiful pupil, Harriet, is back from England and they find out she looks exactly like the statue, they’re even less happy.
Is she really the reincarnation of an evil witch? Will she bring misfortune, ruin and death onto their heads?

An Angel for Satan 2

Toni’s comment:

Promising plot, isn’t it?
It’s a pity the film revealed to be, in fact, a classic watch-it-for-the-plot pseudo-porn horror.
Not much blood and gore, not that scary (even for that time’s standards), the plot is carried on here and there with three/four explanation dialogues. The rest is fanservice.

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I’m not saying this is wrong. Horror and sex have been going hand in hand since the very beginning.
The Vampire is the personification of the uncontrollable sexual impulse, witches are temptresses, and you will always find the pretty, often innocent, girl in any horror.
The problem with this film is that it overlooks quality in favour of compensating for the absence of YouPorn.

Anyway, I guess that 1960s youngsters weren’t that disappointed.

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Yes, that’s the riding crop I mentioned before. And yes, she’s naked. The fact that she’s hitting a poor mentally ill guy turns you off a bit, though.

Another couple of said scenes includes Harriet first seducing her maid and then faking a fainting to make the sculptor unfasten her night-gown, with a rather long close-up on her white chest.

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Was it normal for rich ladies to be naked while having their hair combed?

In spite of this, Barbara Steele’s performance is stunning as always.
More than in other films, I noticed that she shines particularly when she acts in a more ‘natural’ way. She’s beautiful and sexy when she poses as a sensual vamp, but even more, to me at least, when she behave spontaneously.

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Technically speaking, the direction feels a bit awkward at times.
Not many dramatic zooms, which is good, I guess. But one of the few is on the face of the above-mentioned poor guy, dead. Creepy.

The only part that made me truly shiver is when one the villagers, driven to madness, sets fire to his house to kill his own wife and children. He only realises what he’d done when he sees the body of his most dear daughter, at which point he voluntarily walks in the still burning house telling her to wait for him. Oh god, the feels.

The ending is really quick and unsatisfying.
Just as the situation is getting out of control, the mystery of the curse is revealed and, without giving you the time to fully realise what happened, the huge letters FIN invade the screen and that’s it. Oh. Ok.

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Ah, that ‘and now what’ feeling…

So, to be honest, this one has been a bit disappointing.
But do not fear!
Stay tuned, the Paranoid Celluloid will be back soon with creepier stuff!

Impossible film screenings

Hello, my paranoid friends!

Back in August, I’ve had the luck to attend a special screening of the Oscar-nominated animated short films 2015.
It was special because it was an impossible.com event.
What is impossible.com? A very very cool social network. Check it out, I’m sure you’ll love it.

I planned to write about it here, but the Power of Procrastination won once again and the new entry has never been written.
Until now.

On Tuesday evening, another screening took place in the very lovely Cafe Van Gogh (owned by a member of the above-mentioned social network) in London.
This was the time of the Oscar-nominated live-action short films 2015.

They were all so good I simply had to write something about it, so I took the chance to post a quick review of the animated shorts too.
This will make the entry quite long, but here they are anyway!

The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015: Animation (2015)

  1. Me and My Moulton
    by Torill Kove
    (Canada/Norway, 2014)1017614-5835801-1200All these three sisters want is a normal life, with stereotyped parents like all the other kids (while their mum and dad are eccentric architects) but, most of all, a bicycle.A cute, simple, colourful style to show how hard children’s life can be.
    We all know how embarrassing parents are, sometimes, right? But we love them anyway.
  2. Feast
    by Patric Osborne
    (USA, 2014)Making-of-Disney-Feast-16Winston happily gets all the junk food leftovers until his owner sets himself up with a health fanatic lady. Will the humans’ love deprive Winston of his precious delicacies forever?It’s uber cute. It’s Disney. It’s goody-two-shoes. Of course it won.
  3. The Bigger Picture
    by Daisy Jacobs
    (UK, 2014)still-2Two brothers, one successful, the other not quite so, and their old mother who need someone to take care of her.Mural painting meets stop-motion.
    Technically charming, wistfully touching. Animation can be for grown-ups too, you know.
  4. A Single Life
    by Joris Oprins, Job Roggeveen, Marieke Blaauw
    (Netherlands, 2014)thumbnail_20672Pia finds a record that allows her to time-travel in her own life.Tragicomic but not oppressive at all. Good starting point to ponder a bit about our existence.
  5. The Dam Keeper
    by Daisuke Tsutsumi, Robert Kondo
    (USA, 2014)maxresdefaultThe little pig makes sure the dam is working properly every morning before going to school. He’s always alone, the other animals bully him, until a new classmate arrives.Warm colours, cute puppet-like animals, a sweet story of friendship in a dreamy atmosphere. This is the one that makes you go ‘aww’.
  6. Sweet Cocoon
    by Matéo Bernard, Matthias Bruget, Jonathan Duret, Manon Marco, Quentin Puiraveau
    (France, 2014)Sweet-Cocoon-3D-Animated-Short-HD_ESMA_Video_PADYPADYA quite curvy caterpillar needs help from a couple of cockroaches to enter her cocoon in order to become a wonderful butterfly.’French animation is always so good! Can’t wait to see the French one.’
    Ah, la déception!
    All I wrote in my notebook while I was watching this is ‘meh’.
  7. Footprints
    by Bill Plympton
    (USA, 2014)1022918-watch-trailer-plympton-s-new-short-footprintsA man chases a mysterious monster following the footprints he found outside his house.An antsy, sketchy style for a little dystopian gem.
    Paranoid Celluloid approved.
  8. Duet
    by Glen Keane
    (USA, 2014)duet_0003_Layer-4A boy and a girl dance through life, growing up to find love in their adulthood.Aesthetically very beautiful, for sure.
    As for the content, let’s see. Girl: pink, ballet, floating tutus. Boy: blue, skateboard, free climbing.
    ‘Nuff said.
  9. Bus Story (Histoires de bus)
    by Tali
    (Canada, 2014)Histoires_de_bus_LGThis lady’s dream is not to be rich and famous. She doesn’t want jewels and power. What she really needs to be truly happy is to become a school bus driver. Waving at everyone, asking every single passenger what they brought for lunch, THOSE are the great joys of life.The animation itself is nothing extraordinary but, for some reason, I simply love this one. Every now and then it comes to my mind and I start giggling.

The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2015: Live Action (2015)

  1. Parvaneh
    by Talkhon Hamzavi
    (Switzerland, 2012)ParvanehParvaneh needs to go all the way to Zurich from the small Swiss town where she works to send money to her family in Afghanistan.
    It’s a task harder than she expected, but she faces it with determination and a new friendship helps her feeling, even if just a little bit, at home.You can’t help but feel sympathy for this young lady, struggling all alone in a country that couldn’t be more different from hers.
  2. Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)
    by Hu Wei
    (France/China, 2013)YAK-6Families of Tibetan nomads gather to have their photos taken in front of backdrops the photographer brought for the occasion.
    Traditional clothes are mixed with fashion brand ones and the backgrounds available in the catalogue vary from Tiananmen Square to the historical Potala Palace to Disneyland.Of all the shorts, this was the one that brought me to tears.
    As in the first short, cultures mixes together as the world changes. But, while is Parvaneh that chooses consciously to stop wearing the veil and tries lipstick and alcohol, here the villagers are forced in a new society that clashes with their traditions. Modernisation happens around them, whether they want it or not,  and all that is sacred and beautiful fades in concrete and prepackaged pseudo-culture.
    The moment the backdrop is rolled up to reveal the real landscape behind is truly heartbreaking, even more than one was already expecting.
  3. The Phone Call
    by Mat Kirkby
    (UK, 2013)the-phone-call-sally-hawkins-close-upHeather sits at her desk, the phone rings, she answers.
    She is ready, with a notepad and a pen, to help whoever there is on the other end because that’s what she’s there for.
    But Stan doesn’t need her to tell him that everything will be ok. He just wants someone to chat with while he waits for the pills to do their job.Very clever direction that guides your emotions and plays with them.
    Sad but sweet, heartbreaking but in a way that, somehow, you are fine with.
    Life can be painful, sometimes, and we need to accept it.
  4. Aya
    by Oded Binnun, Mihal Brezis
    (France/Israel, 2012)ShowImageWhile Aya is at the airport to pick up someone, a driver asks her to please hold his sign while he’s away for a moment. The client mistakes her for the one waiting for him. Apparently, saying ‘I’m not your driver, he should be back in a moment.’ is too boring for her. With an amused smirk, she drives the interesting stranger to Jerusalem herself.He is a jurist for a piano competition. He’s Scandinavian, professional, polite, he wears blue, he’s the Reason.
    She pretends to be a driver just for fun, she abandoned the one she was supposed to pick up at the airport, cheeky and curious, she wears red, she’s the Instinct.
    Brain and Heart, strangers to each other, together in a car.
  5. Boogaloo and Graham
    by Michael Lennox
    (UK, 2014)Boogaloo-and-Graham.jpgBelfast, 1978.
    Malachy and Jamesy receive two chicks from their father. They take good care of them and love them. Who needs something banal like a dog when you can have chickens? It may not be enough to shelter them from what’s happening around them, but even with soldiers scattered in the streets there can be a bit of tenderness in every-day life.Simple, realistic and cute.
    The audience burst in laughs at the swear words and quite colourful expressions innocently used by the children.
    Little fun fact: The kids’ dialogues, and only those, have subtitles.

    Feast and Phone Call won the Oscar in the respective categories, but the Polenta Awards go to The Dam Keeper for Animation and Butter Lamp for Live Action.

The Consequences of Feminism (1906)

Hello friends!
This week I’d like to introduce you -and myself as well- to the very first woman who became a filmmaker and studio owner, Alice Guy-Blaché.
I’ve never heard of her until few days ago, I must admit, and I still have a lot to learn. But the more I read about this girl the more I’m fascinated by her.

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She was a proper pioneer in a lot of things. Among the others, the first director -not the first woman, just the first!- to make an all-black cast film and to experiment with special effects.

How comes such an amazing personality is not as popular as, let’s say, a Georges Méliès is? Could it be because she was a woman?
After all, men have ruled the world for thousands of years. But what if it was the opposite?
Let’s find out how society would have been if women were in charge in ‘The Consequences of Feminism‘.

Few days ago, my girlfriend was pondering about the Italian terms for ‘feminism’ and ‘male chauvinism’, reflecting on how the former has no negative acceptation, and she thought it’s not fair towards men.
In Guy’s film the word acquires a negative meaning, as we see women mistreating and abusing poor defenceless men, forced to do the housework and take care of the children while the wives have a smoke at the pub.

All this overturning of social roles is hilarious.
I doubled up with laughter when the poor innocent guy, harassed by an ardent lady, went into a swoon.

But, as brilliant and fun as this film can be, I found it pretty deep, actually.
The purpose is not making the women look bad and/or the men look weak.
As a 21st century girl, grown up in a society when equality of the sexes is seen (or, at least, should be seen) as a matter of fact, I like to think the goal is to show how silly these ‘social rules’ are by simply changing places.
If you look at the wife shouting at the husband while he irons the laundry and feels sorry for him, why should the opposite be ok?
Or, if you see a guy harassing a girl and feel disgusted, why should you laugh, like I did, when the victim is the man?

Maybe miss Guy tried to communicate this message, or probably she just intended to make a funny film about swapping roles.
In any case, more than one hundred years later, this film -and its maker herself!- still can make you think about gender roles.

National Theatre Live: Frankenstein (2011)

Hi fellows!
I apologise for the very long absence. I’m back with a post about something I’m particularly fond of.
I’ve read the book, I’ve watched the questionable film by Kenneth Branagh, I reviewed the 1910 adaptation here and, finally, after months, years! of waiting, I finally had my chance to watch the National Theatre version. In fact, both of them.
Ladies and gentlemen, here is my humble attempt to review Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein.

The show poster

IMDb rating:  9.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 97%
Polenta’s rating: some placenta, gears and snow.
(Impressive ratings, uh?)

(National Theatre Live: Frankenstein on IMDb)

Plot (copied from my other review, ’cause I’m lazy):
Come on, we all know the story, right?
A wannabe doctor named Victor Frankenstein goes to college and in the spare time gives life to a creature as an attempt to defeat death. He sees the results, he runs away terrified, the poor creature follows him and asks him for a girlfriend.

Polenta’s opinion:
In this review, I’d like to focus not on how cool this adaptation is, because it is, but on the differences between the two different versions.

As you may already know, or guessed by the poster, the two main actors, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, switch roles and play alternatively Victor Frankenstein and the Creature.
The reason for this choice is that in this way the bond between creator and creature will be stronger until they’ll become so close and similar to each other that we’ll ask ourselves ‘Yes, but who created who? And who’s the real monster?’.
(But after I watched this I suspect the actual reason is that the guy playing the Creature would have been too worn-out doing that every day!)

Above: Ben as the creature, Jonny as Victor. Below: the opposite.

Above: Ben as the creature, Jonny as Victor.
Below: the opposite.

Before starting the comparison, a little premise.

The version with Cumberbatch as the Creature will be ‘the first’ and the one with Miller as the Creature will be ‘the second’.
Not because of the value of the two versions (actually yes.) but simply because I’ve seen them in that order.
This may have affected my judgement. Maybe I prefer the first version because I watched it, well, for first, so it was all new and wonderful to me (no, it’s just better.) but I’ll try to be as super partes as I can.

My verdict after watching both versions is basically:
the first Creature is more ‘physical’, the second is more ‘mental’.

This is pretty clear from the very beginning of the play, when the Creature is born. After flopping out of some big placenta-like membrane, the creature struggles in his first clunky movements. A blank new-born baby’s mind in a fully grown-up man’s body.
The first version Creature shakes for a long time in painful convulsions. You can see how much he’s suffering, and even standing is a big challenge.

Cumberbatch as the Creature

This is pretty upsetting, to be honest.

The second Creature needs less time to learn how to do that, and the pain of the body is replaced by a stronger astonishment of the mind and curiosity about all the new colours, sounds and feelings.
The second Creature tries to speak more than the first, who tends to touch things and ‘feel’ the new reality around him instead of looking at it.

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A couple of  practical examples:
The first creature, dazed by the new sensations and hungry, devour handfuls of grass.
The second tries few blades of grass and then proceeds to examine a book by playing with it (and chewing it too).
When the Creature finally meets Frankenstein and asks him to make him a companion, the first creature kneels with joined hands, begging him with all his body, while the second as a more reasonable and restrained approach.

I guess I prefer the Ben-Creature/Jonny-Victor combo also because the first is taller than the second, and the Creature is supposed to be made of human parts bigger than normal because it’s easier to put them together.

And I quite liked Jonny Lee Miller as Victor. But.
Sorry, Jonny, but even as Victor there’s a couple of scenes that change completely when played by Cumberbatch. I’ll give you an example.

SPOILER ALERT

Victor’s girlfriend, Elizabeth (OMG is that Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribbean?!?!) wants desperately him to love her back and give her some attention, but he’s too busy with his Creature, which wants a girlfriend himself.
When she begs him not to leave her alone, he stops for a moment and looks at her.

1) Jonny-Victor seems torn, he truly loves her but he must go and build a female for his Creature, instead of marrying himself with that lovely woman begging him to stay. So he stares at her longingly and says ‘You would make a beautiful wife.’

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2) Benedict-Victor has barely noticed she’s in the same room, he’s too concentrate on his shady deeds. Finally, he stares at her, lifts her arm carefully, observes it for a while with an incisive look and mutters almost to himself ‘You would make a beautiful wife.’

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You see what I mean? The very same line, but that second time gave me shivers I haven’t felt the first.

In many other things, the second version looks more ‘playful’ than the first.
While they didn’t in the first version, people smiled and laughed at a very cute Creature, childish and sweet.
Actually, Jonny Lee Miller said he tried to make his Creature behave like a child.
That’s why, although I prefer the other version in general, the part when he’s discovering the world is truly touching.
Even if they both have exactly the same lines, the second Creature looks particularly adorable. Like, when the old blind man tells him he knows it’s getting dark because the nightingale is chirping, and he answers ‘The bird makes the dark?! That’s impossible!’.
Or when the man asks him how’s the moon, he replies ‘Solitary. And sad. Like me.’
And you go ‘aww’.

delacey

He also learns what the snow is, and he’s so fascinated by it that he can’t stay put, listening to his daily lesson, and runs to catch the snowflakes.
The snow will be back twice. First, as a comparison when, happy and excited to meet his bride, the Creature says ‘All memory of hell will melt like snow’. And, for the second and last time, when he’s chased by Victor to the North Pole, when they’ll face their end together surrounded by ice.

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In summary, both versions are just amazing.
I left the cinema completely devastated in body and mind, couldn’t stop thinking about it and still can’t.
And I’m so pissed off they’re not going to release a DVD, because everyone should be able to watch them.

In case you have the chance to go and see both, do it. It’s worth it, and spotting the differences makes it even more interesting (but should you be able to buy just one ticket, I bet you know which one I would suggest you).

Here’s the trailer

And I’ll leave you with a quote, because it’s classy and because that part chilled me to the bone.

Slowly I learnt the ways of humans: how to ruin, how to hate, how to debase, how to humiliate. And at the feet of my master I learnt the highest of human skills, the skill no other creature owns: I finally learnt how to lie.

Films I’ve recently watched

Aside

Hi guys!
Sorry for the unannounced hiatus the blog’s been trough.
For this week’s post I had to decide which movie I should review from those I’ve watched recently, but it would have been unfair to choose just one of them.
So, here they are!

Fight Club (1999)

The film poster.

For those out there who haven’t seen it yet, watch it.
Possibly after you’ve read the book.
Which I haven’t, actually, but I’ve read Invisible Monsters from Chuck Palahniuk and it’s amazing.
You just can’t describe by words how talented this guy is, really.

IMDb’s rating: 8.9/10
Polenta’s rating: a Starbuck’s paper cup and a gun.

 

La Belle Verte (1996)

The film poster.

The film poster.

This is a very cute French movie about a planet where people have learned how to live in full harmony with nature. They send one of them on Earth to warn humans and teach them how to be more respectful of their own planet, with pretty hilarious results.

A scene from the film.

A scene from the film.

This is a no-frills movie, simple, clean, with a low budget but a nice and sober use of a little bit of CG when needed. The message is strong, clear but shown in a funny and optimistic way.

IMDb’s rating: 7.1/10
Polenta’s rating: a flower and a violin.

 

Stranger than Fiction (2006)

The film poster.

The film poster.

An IRS auditor suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear: narration that begins to affect his entire life, from his work to his love-interest, to his death. (from IMBd)

Harold and his beloved everyday routine. A true infographic eyecandy.

Harold and his beloved everyday routine.
A true infographic eye-candy.

Too deep for a simple Sunday-afternoon comedy, too funny for an existential drama.
I love it.

IMDb’s rating: 7.7/10
Polenta’s rating: 60% laughters 40% angst.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

The film poster.

The film poster.

As far as I’m concerned, I love this new Spider-Man.
I don’t know and I don’t care if it’s more or less faithful to the comic, I like this version way more than the Sam Raimi’s trilogy.
It has a good cast, good pace, spectacular framings and the new supercool Harry Osborn looks so much like the main character of my favourite books (sorry, James).

IMDBs rating: 7.4/10
Polenta’s rating: a static line and lots of sparks.

 

Omohide poro poro (Only yesterday – 1991)

The film poster. 'I'm going on a journey with myself.'

The film poster.
‘I’m going on a journey with myself.’

Taeko leaves Tokyo for ten days to go to the countryside for the safflower harvest.
The original title’s meaning is ‘dripping memories’, like those who come to Taeko’s mind about her childhood, one by one, like drops of rain.

It’s a Studio Ghibli’s film, ’nuff said.
Not one of the most famous, but it has that typical lovely nostalgic feeling.

IMDb’s rating: 7.8/10
Polenta’s rating: A straw hat and an old train station.

 

That’s all for today, my dears.
Maybe one day I’ll review a couple of this films, they really deserve it.
Thanks for reading, see you soon!