Monday, December 1, 2008

Triple Feature: Charlie Bartlett, Electroma, and The Seventh Seal

This past holiday weekend I watched 3 different genre movies, recommended by 3 different people. . .

First up, we have a dramatic comedy recommended by a fellow Blogger ~ Jolly Roger ~ you can visit his page at:

Genre - Comedy/Drama
Year Released - 2007
Running Time - 97 minutes
Directed by Jon Poll
Written by Gustin Nash
Cast Includes:
Anton Yelchin (he will be playing Chekov in next year's Star Trek XI, as well as Kyle Reese in Terminator: Salvation)
Robert Downey Jr.(Natural Born Killers, U. S. Marshals, Iron Man, Tropic Thunder)
Hope Davis (Arlington Road, The Weatherman)
Kat Dennings (who plays Nora in this year's Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist)

Rating: 4 Skulls

Plot Summary:
This comedy follows the exploits of Charlie Bartlett, a miserable high school student who finds a novel way to fit in with his classmates: by pretending to be the school psychiatrist, dispensing advice and the occasional prescription medicine.
Charlie's sympathetic ear and ready access to drugs make him popular with the students, but his activities soon attract the unwelcome attention of the school principal.

Charlie dispensing medication (above) and advice (below)

I am not sure whether this movie came out this year, or last year (Netflix has the year as 2007 - one of the posters states August, the other February - perhaps it was slated to be released in August of '07, and was pushed to February of '08) either way, I had never heard of this movie until Jolly Roger left me a comment on my review of Tropical Thunder, stating that this movie, along with Step Brothers, are his two favorite comedies this year. . . So, I decided to check it out.

While funny, at times, this movie seems more of a Drama than a Comedy, to me, however I definitely enjoyed it, and I too recommend it, if you have never seen it.
[A couple of my favorite parts are when Charlie is put on Ritalin, and when he promotes the "Greatest After School Fights" after getting the tar beat of him as well - too funny!]

Here's the Trailer:

Thanks for the recommendation Jolly Roger!

Next up, we have a recommendation from a friend of mine, on MySpace ~ Sergio, from Greece:
This one is called Electroma [aka: Daft Punk's Electroma] and is a bit different in the fact that the entire movie is dialogue free.Genre - Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Year Released - 2006
Running Time - 72 minutes
Directed by Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homen-Christo
Written by Thomas Bangalter, Guy-Manuel De Homen-Christo, Paul Hahn, and Cedric Hervet
Cast Includes: Peter Hurteau and Michael Reich

Rating: 3 Skulls

Plot Summary:
Electronic music duo Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel De Homen-Christo) directs this experimental silent feature about two robots on a quest to become human. After a failed attempt to adopt a human facade, the robots find themselves wandering outcasts.

The Two Robots

I am not at all familiar with the band Daft Punk [in fact, I had never even heard of them] nor am I sure that I completely "got" what this movie is attempting to portray, however I did find it very interesting, and it was visually 'there' so I just kept watching it. :-)

I do want to mention a particular part - there is a scene where the robots are having human faces built, out of some sort of latex material, right over their giant helmet heads - which, in turn, made for giant/over-sized looking human heads! I was watching this with my two-year-old son in the room, and he was a little perturbed by the looks of their heads/faces - he kept saying he didn't like the "head-people" To make matters worse, when the robots left the lab, the sun started to melt their faces, and my son had to cover his eyes, he was so freaked out!

Here's the Trailer:

Sergio, if you end up reading this, thanks for the recommendation!

Last, but not least, we have my last recommendation - again, from another friend on MySpace - Roxanne, in California:
Foreign Film from Sweden - Swedish Title: Det Sjunde Ingseglet
Language - Swedish (you can choose either English Subtitles or English Dubbing)

Genre - Drama
Year Released - 1957
Running Time - 96 minutes
Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Written by Ingmar Bergman
Cast Includes:
Max van Sydow (whose other notable performances include Father Merrin in The Exorcist 1 & 2, King Osric in Conan the Barbarian, and Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon)
Bengt Ekerot, Gunnar Bjornstrand, Bibi Andersson, Nils Poppe, Ake Fridell, and Inga Gill

Rating: 3 Skulls
Plot Summary:
Exhausted and disillusioned, a medieval knight makes the journey home after years of combat in the Crusades. When the black robed figure of Death confronts him, the knight challenges him to a game of chess.

First I just have to confess that this is my 1st Ingmar Bergman film.
After Roxanne recommended this movie to me, I went to add it to my Netflix Queue, and I realized that it was already in there - perhaps because it is a Criterion Collection disc, or perhaps because I just love a good game of chess! :-) [who better to play, then Death?]

Part of the Netflix summary description states that this movie is "a powerful meditation on the existence of God and the meaning of life..." I'm not sure that I found the movie to be all that deep & philosophical, however I was moved by the horror of the Black Plague - the fact that death was a constant, and the people were ravaged and dying, by the thousands! To me, that is terrifying!

For those interested in a Classic, this movie is definitely worth watching, at least once.

Here's the Trailer:

Well, that wraps up my triple-feature ~ thanks again to the three folks who recommended these movies to me. :-)



Jolly Roger said...

Glad you liked Charlie Bartlett, it did have some very dramatic parts, but the movie is so unique and the kid who plays the lead is absolutely hilarious.

I win the most skulls for my recommendation! Eat it you other people!!


thebonebreaker said...

hahahahahahahaha - too funny JR! :-)
I did like the movie - very much so!

I am now even more interested to see Yelchin portray Checkov in Star Trek XI


Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

That is SUCH a brain-baffling 3-way combination, man. I'm actually working on a triple feature review myself. I have a weakness for bargain bin cheapo crap-movie DVDs, so I thought I'd raid the local bargain bin and group a few movies together for a sort of 3-movie review/local bargain bin analysis-type thang.

thebonebreaker said...

hahahahaha ~ it just worked out that way William ~ I had three friends who recommended three totally different style films, pretty much around the same time, and they all came together via Netflix, so I just grouped them all together. . . :-)