Monday, December 14, 2009

Weekend Movie-Viewing -- the puzzle edition

I hadn't set out to use my mind at all this weekend but alas...there it all was: my mind and some movies that needed puzzling out.

The second movie I saw -- the first i'll mention here-- is a Japanese movie called Puzzle. (Did you like my seque from the first sentence into that title?) In the toughest class of a really difficult high school, 19 kids are enduring a hard difficult teacher who is telling them that they should consider each other enemies. The class and life is a competition and it's all about being competitive and winning. He is hard and passionate. So much so that only 10 folks are left in his class. The 11th kid was just about to transfer to a totally different school -- because of the humiliation of failing-- and wouldn't you know it? kid and hard teacher are kidnapped by masked hostages and put on the school via school-cam. Masked hostages ask for class 3A. Class 3A is told that masked hostages want to play a game. They have 24 hours to find 2000 pieces of a puzzle....located all around the school. And if not, well... death to the hostages.

Well there's some stress and discussion about whether they should or not but a gunshot to 11th student pretty much tells them it's all serious. And they know better than to call the cops or else the hostages will be killed. Not that they like the prof...but they like the kid. Talk about a movie that had me on the tip of my toes..edge of my seat...and which was so infuriating.

And why -- so you ask-- is it infuriating?

Two reasons.

The first:
This film has about eleven main characters. But throughout the film the visuals are behind the
auditory stuff. So in the beginning we have quick cuts from character A to the others. And as they talk to the cops they're all talking about each other -- What they all did as they try to escape the hostage takers and find the puzzle. But since the sound lags after the visuals
or before's like we hear a guy's voice...but we see a woman. And guy is talking about a character who flashes on after he talks but then it's not really in time with the character he's talking about so we see other pictures. So i'm just so confused about who is who? i am i to get to know the subtleties of personalities. The only guy I can kinda understand is the main character bec ause he's on screen long before all the intros take place
And a class rebel slacker type who wears very loud hippie type clothing.

But then the second was so infuriating as to be devastating:
There I was, watching the film and giving a play-by-play to my friend Jessica with whom I was Chatting (I-M-ing) at the time. And suddenly when we got to the last part of the flick: NADA! There was no last part. It wasn't uploaded or whatever. The devastation was horrible. Why, do you ask, was I so devastated? Because this was one of the best little flicks I'd see in awhile. Because there were twists and turns and surprises EVERYWHERE, because I was on the edge of my chair...and then ending.

I'm still in shock and hurt and upset. I suppose I could imagine the ending...but ....

This is the link. The movie described on the linked page is NOT the above movie... but the movie begins on this page.

Then there was Fracture with Ryan Gosling. I am such a major Ryan Gosling fan. Hey, the kid's got such an attitude. He always has this smug smirk on his face. How can I not like him?

In this movie he stars with Anthony Hopkins. Anthony's character is one of these guys who thinks about the smallest details so when he commits a murder against his philandering wife he has set matters up in such a way that Ryan's prosecuter character cannot possibly prosecute him... unless he finds a small fracture in the plan. Of course the good guy wins in the end. And we spend much of our time trying to puzzle out how things will work. Like that as an ending.

I also wanted to see this. Yet another puzzle movie. Japanese time-travel. And a cult favorite. But after the devastation and the grief of the Puzzle debacle, I went up to bed to stare at the wall. Will have to see this later.

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