Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Man on Film: Let the Right One In and Role Models

What follows are two untimely, brief reflections on two films that I saw a few weeks ago. Obviously, these films are not exactly fresh in my mind anymore. I probably could have written this stuff up when I was typing up that entirely masturbatory Kuffs entry last week, but I didn't. Maybe Kuffs just needed the more immediate attention. Regardless, here it goes.

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Let the Right One In (or Låt den rätte komma in in Swedish) is first and foremost the best pre-teen vampire movie you will ever see. Its source material was an international bestseller by the same name that was adapted for the screen by the novelist himself, John Ajvide Lindqvist. The story is simple enough: Oskar is a 12-year old brutally bullied outcast who befriends and becomes enamored with a mysterious girl, Eli, who has just moved in next door with her abiding fatherly guardian. Upon their arrival, people start disappearing while a sweet and innocent love blossoms between Oskar and Eli.

Directed by Tomas Alfredson, Let the Right One In deftly balances subtlety and nuance with a generous smattering of suspense while ultimately telling a cute story of love and devotion. The film is very Scandinavian in humor and pacing to go with its wintry climes, and it makes the inspired choice to have many of the onscreen horrors committed by humans, further endearing Eli to the audience.

If you get the chance, it's a great little film that should be seen before the American remake (oh, don't worry, it's already been greenlit--much to Alfredson's chagrin--and is to be helmed by Matt Reeves, the director of Cloverfield) surely tarnishes its name.

If that didn't convince you, maybe the trailer will help:


If you have already seen it, here's a little interview with the director, his diplomatic response to the remake is much more subdued than his initial response at moviezine.se later reported here.

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On an entirely different note, after three attempts I finally got to see Role Models, the latest directorial effort from David Wain of "The State" and "Stella" notoriety who previously directed the superb Wet Hot American Summer and the uneven but occasionally funny The Ten. I'd imagine just about everybody who comes here with any degree of frequency is already well aware of the film, so I'll pare my thoughts down to a reaction more than anything else.

The film was pretty funny. It came highly recommended by two readers here, and their enthusiastic reactions were probably responsible for my lofty expectations, which were not met. The kids didn't bother me, somewhat surprisingly since most kids in comedies tend to come off as too broad and/or precocious in the Cop and a Half/Problem Child/Atonement way--which are not good things if you are an adult. Seann William Scott and Paul Rudd were both funny enough, as were many of the supporting cast. There were diatribes on bullshit Starbucks-inspired coffee sizing and running jokes involving bagel dogs, both of which are topics that are near and dear to my heart. Jane Lynch always surprises me at just how funny she is in that awkward alpha-female role. I think the movie is legitimately funny. It just fell shy of my surely unreasonable expectations--which is pretty much the reason I did not ever bring myself to write an entry on Burn After Reading.

3 comments:

Weibel said...

Yeah but you hate Seann William Scott..that Anoka fuck...Paul Rudd must have been really kick ass..goes to show he can carry a movie...I have yet to see the movie..so I should not talk.

Little Brother said...

Even Seann William Scott haters (of whom I'm not a huge fan) had to think his character was funny. He wasn't the over-the-top character like Stiffler, rather, a waterdown and enjoyable guy.

Weibel, you should go see the movie cause it is good. Paul Rudd was funny, but I liked SWS character more. Hard to believe, but it's true...

KRD said...

OK. So. I've had an ongoing argument (if you can call it that) with my youngest brother for years that goes like this-- HIM: Let's watch Wet Hot American Summer again. ME: I just don't really get that movie. HIM: You don't get funny? ME: I don't think it was that funny. HIM: You just don't have a sense of humor.

I did, however, think The Ten was mostly funny. And I should like WHAS--since it is full of people I normally like a lot (the Rudd. Ken Marino. Chris Meloni.)

Explain what I am missing?

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