After skipping the film post last week, I thought I'd do one today. In other news, I've been knitting like crazy to try and finish my snood before it gets too warm to wear it! Hopefully I will be able to finish this week (or next...) and I'll do a post on it once it's done. For now, back to the films...
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My first rental this month was The Experiment which stars Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker (as a LOST fan I was pleasantly surprised to also see two old cast members in small roles!). I'll have a go at providing a little background for anyone who hasn't heard of it. The basic plot revolves around a group of volunteers selected from those which responded to an advert asking for men to take part in a behavioural experiment for a big cash payment. The men that are selected are taken to the test location which turns out to be a prison set up where they will be constantly watched. The men are split into roles of prisoners and guards and are left alone with only a few rules and a red light which the 'guards' are told will come on if they don't punish the prisoners in the appropriate way. Ultimately the experiment gets out of hand when the guards increase the severity of the punishments but receive no sign of this being wrong from the experiment's leaders. The film as a whole explores what happens when people are given power over others and specifically how that power can be abused within a certain situation. It also questions who the real victims of the situation are. Personally I found the concept of the story very interesting (it's based on a real-life experiment & is a remake of a German film) and the description of the plot is definitely what drew me into watching the film in the first place. The film itself I would say is quite well made and appropriately directed by Paul Scheuring who I believe is the director of Prison Break. However, I would say that the story and casting meant the film had potential to be a lot better than it was. It is, as you might expect from the plot description, quite difficult to watch at times, I actually lent the film to a friend who described it as 'disturbing'. I would definitely say it isn't for everyone, but if you enjoy psychological thriller style films or are looking for something different then you may find it interesting.
Other films I've watched this week include two of my absolute favourites, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Walk The Line, which I highly recommend and may do individual posts on at some point. In short, Walk The Line tells the story of musician Johnny Cash but please don't let that put you off if you aren't a fan, I would (and do) recommend this film to everyone. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon who won her Oscar for this very role as June Carter. Personally I enjoy listening to a bit of Cash as well as the wonderful soundtrack for the movie. I think the film is absolutely beautiful, I just love the cinematography. The colours are stunning and some of Reese's costumes are what I can only describe as dreamy. The first ten minutes are awfully sad but I love how Cash's journey is shown as a whole. On the other hand, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which stars Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer and Michelle Monaghan, is a crime/mystery-based dark comedy. The opening credits are visually brilliant and I think they really set the tone for the film. I love the way the story is told with parts out of sequence, chapter titles and witty narration to the audience from RDJ. I'm a fan of RDJ but I think it's Val Kilmer's performance as detective 'Gay Perry' that stands out this time. I have heard mixed reviews from people I know that have seen the film with some, like myself, who absolutely love it and think it's very funny and others just saying that they 'don't get it'. Has anyone seen it? I'd love to hear what you think :)
This post has turned out so much longer than I had intended it to be, I didn't expect to have as much to say about The Experiment and clearly can't resist recommending you guys some of my favourites! I may do some movie style inspiration posts for Walk The Line & (500) Days of Summer a la the one I did for Wild Target a while back. Would you be interested in something like that being a regular post? I hope I haven't bored anyone to death with this, and once again I'd appreciate any movie recommendations you have!