- Once (2006)
- All the President's Men (1976)
- Being John Malkovich (1999)
- In the Year of the Pig (1968)
- In The Mood For Love (2000)
- Hole, The (1960)
- Tokyo Story (1953)
- Ocean’s Eleven Blu-Ray Review
- Jurassic Park (1993)
- Gilda (1946)
- Rounders (1998)
- Masque of the Red Death, The (1964)
- Django Unchained (2012)
- Fat City (1972)
- Amélie (2001)
- All That Jazz (1979)
- Night of the Hunter, The (1955)
- King of Comedy, The (1983)
- Manhattan (1979)
- Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985)
- Sullivan's Travels (1941)
- Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The (1994)
- Hecklefest Four-Word Film Reviews! August '12 - Week 4
- Playtime (1967)
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
- Haunted Castle, The (1921)
- Last Wave, The (1977)
- Naked Lunch (1991) * Weird and Wacky *
- Phantom Carriage, The (1921)
- Lolita (1962)
Requiem For a Dream (2000) * The Best Movie I Have Ever Seen * * Favorite Review * * Top Pick *
Hello all. Unfortunately, I can't contain my bias for this film. Rather than a critical review, this is more of an essay on perfection. You see, I want you to walk away with the knowledge that this film moved me immensely, and still hits hard the third time around, because this is the best movie ever made.
First of all though, a warning. I've lent this to others and I've heard such things as, "It's not THAT good", "Why are you so dark?" and "That's too heavy for me." Well to the first comment I say: not everyone can like the same thing, fine, it might not be your bag, but I know no one who actually HATED this film, and having spoken of this one so frequently, that's a bit of a surprise.
To the 'dark' comment, I don't know why I love tragedy (well I do but I won't get into it) but it's my favorite genre. Requiem for a Dream is not a fun film. It's the best lesson teaching film I've ever seen and I'm of the opinion that part of the drug speech you have with your kids when they hit 14 should include a viewing of this film. Maybe 14 is too early, but better they get shocked from a movie than from mainlining coke and popping speed.
To those who watch film like they watch reality TV, never wanting to watch a 'heavy' film, you're missing the point of such a versatile medium, and obviously this film isn't for you. The best stories are the ones that linger and impact. Disney is great for children, and we all return to it now and then, but when an injustice has been done and you want to learn more about it, a film should not make it easy on the viewer. On that note, this being the best teacher of the drug lesson ever, I'll officially reccomend that you treat yourself to Requiem for a Dream.
I guess I'll start by extolling the virtues of the 4 main actors:
Jared Leto, who you man know from Fight Club, plays the man with high ambition and some good ideas. Jared is absolutely perfect in this role. There's nothing he could do to be better. It's like he spent all his Oscar chips on this one.
His best friend, played by Marlon Wayans, is the man with the connections and gets in on the drug dealing business. Marlon's is without a doubt my favorite character. The bits about his mother are heart-wrenching, and Marlon has never been better in anything, ever.
The girlfriend, played by Jennifer Connelly, of House of Sand and Fog fame is absolutely gorgeous and her portrayal of how the addiction burrows its way into her relationships is the most gripping of all the stories, since it shows the terrible side of human desire.
Finally the biggest name is academy award winner Ellen Burstyn. You may remember her from such small art- house films as The Exorcist? Ellen plays the mother, whose dream of being a contestant on a TV show drives her to lose a few pounds, with the help of a prescription.
To think that there are better roles out there is possible, but from the casting to the secondary and tertiary characters, and the little author cameo, it's all perfection.
They have a way of making the sexy look disgusting, pain hurt deep down in your bowels, and the visual effects make you nod in understanding at the mindset and overall mood of the scenes, from peace and happiness to pain and suffering. Throwing in cocaine with coffee in the "using" scenes makes beautiful sense and even the simple shots are beautiful. Yet there's no holding back from showing appropriate gore and other icky moments, though never going overboard, rather keeping it frighteningly honest. It's beautiful how perfect the entire look of this is, and there's high art in the cinematography when our characters are high. Yes, it looks like fun, it looks good, it gets the message across, then yes it turns horrible too, and we get it, even if we never touched bennies, dope or snow.
Simplicity in declaration of plans and mad retorts of strung out withdrawal in obvious emotionally charged situations are offset by serene moments of professions of love and remembrance of a sweeter time. It's not poetry in motion, but it's good, clear, precise and honest. Freaky good.
The presence of imagination, those scenes where you think they're doing something for real then it goes back to them just thinking about it is a nice touch of fantasy. Each character arc is honest and we truly have no questions about the motives of any scene, except the lingering questions at the end that bore into you for days. But be warned, be ready to either bask in the moment alone, or have your friends ready to shake this off a little. Either way, I found it absolutely exhilarating. The ending and the symbolic 'last-scene' moment is utterly brilliant. This is what storytelling should be about. Never have I seen a tale so rife with the weight of meaning.
Fear crushes your heart with an iron grip. Loneliness, longing, addiction and the desire for acceptance entwines itself into your soul and pulls at every moment of pain you've ever felt, expanding it and making it present, current, and heavy, though not without respite. The moments of joy, happiness and hope are only elevated to again be dropped from newfound heights. Because the shattering of dreams crack the characters so deeply and change so perfectly their entire beings, each in a different way, that a future free of suffering is unimagined for years for each and every one of the players... this is why Requiem for a Dream is my favorite film.
Requiem For a Dream ... Perfect title.
Performance: 10 Cinematography: 10 Script: 9 Plot: 10 Mood: 10
Overall Rating: 98%, the highest score I've ever given.