Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The answers to: Substitute teacher, Richard Clark's easy-ass,
movie related pop quiz... Part deux

...and now for something completely similar:

5. Discuss a movie you were totally hyped about seeing that left you kind of empty and/or disappointed upon viewing.

I created a short list for this question that was made up mostly of sequels and prequels. Seems that most of you were on the same page:

amanda said: Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix - It was the longest book and the shortest movie. They took out so many important parts of the book that I thought it was hard to follow.

athena said: Star Wars Episode One because it shat upon all the things I listed above that I loved. My Top 5 non-Star Wars related disappointments are: Godzilla, Planet of the Apes, both Matrix sequels, Oceans 12 and the horrid adaptation of From Hell (a.k.a. From Ass) that I refuse to talk about anymore.

Both Ocean's 12 and 13 appeared on my list, as did-- of course-- Episodes I, II, and III. I loved Pirates of the Caribbean- The Curse of the Black Pearl, but that ship left nothing in its wake. Dead Man's Chest was disappointing, and the reviews of At World's End (both from critics and friends) convinced me to wait for the DVD. The James Bond franchise has long been one of my favourites, but apart from a moderate taste for Tomorrow Never Dies, the Pierce Brosnan years left me kind of cold (we wont even mention Timothy Dalton).

I was, however, more disappointed by the follow up to The Mummy. Yes, The Mummy Returns hit me kind of hard... I'm not a bit embarrassed to say that I loved the former. The Mummy was great because it knew what it was; it was a smart film because it realized how stupid it should be. I remember thinking that, just as George Lucas paid homage to the old serials when he wrote the Indiana Jones pictures, the folks behind The Mummy were aware that they were having fun with the "B-movie" formula, rather than making a B-movie.

A wink goes out to the audience to imply that "you are smart enough to follow our intentions... we're going to make this film as over-the-top as we can, and the fun we're having will translate to you." The result is a CGI blockbuster film that never forgets how important things like characters, plot, wit, and performance really are. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the two films that followed. The Mummy Returns was not only a mess of animation without the same amount of attention paid to story... It also had a kid. C'mon now, people. This is a device employed by sit-coms that have jumped the shark.

And as much as I would like to have tea and scones with the charming Dwayne "THE ROCK" Johnson (he seems like a cool guy), I don't want to suffer through 92 minutes of his attempt to carry a movie. The Scorpion King is even more abysmal than The Mummy Returns. I had high hopes for The Mummy franchise that were swiftly dashed.

6. Discuss a movie that you figured you'd be damned before seeing that subsequently impressed you more than you could have imagined.
Ok. So I wavered over a number of movies that might adequately answer this question. But it was not until I saw a DVD on the shelf at Blockbuster that I knew what to say. I was more than surprised to find that 12:08 East of Bucharest has been released, and even more surprised to find it at Blockbuster.

I saw it at the Toronto International Film Festival two years ago. I had to wake up early because it was an 8:00 a.m. screening, and I thought "Fuck... I chose this film because it's Romanian, and my dad is Romanian... I want to sleep. I don't want to watch some morose, eastern european movie. Romanians suck. Kill me now."

Well, as it turns out, Romanians don't suck, nor are they necessarily morose. 12:08 East of Bucharest is a delightful comedy, and I am pleased to see that it is readily available to rent. I urge you to check it out (and please let me know what you think).

amy said: Not White Chicks. This is a hard question because if I really thought I wouldn't like a movie I wouldn't go see it. Closer? Yeah! Closer. I thought I wouldn't like Closer because it's all about infidelity which I'm opposed to, but then it was so well done and so real and got under my skin. And now I love it.

mary said: Tremors. All of them. I hate creature movies and they're so cheesy and low budget but I love them. They're really clever and funny. They're basically buddy movies with giant man-eating monsters running around. Man I want them all on DVD!

athena said: It’s a toss up between The Notebook and Roadhouse. I can’t decide today…>

7. Ben Affleck or Matt Damon?

A lot of support for Damon in this category... some of it quite fervent:

mary said: Matt Damon, hands down. Ben Affleck has this shit-eating smirk and when he talks I feel like he hisses a little, spraying his spittle everywhere out of his big ol' mouth.

Personally, I'm an Affleck man. Matt seems to be the better actor, and he certainly has a stronger portfolio of films, but Ben wins me over with his cheeky attitude and rugged good looks.

8. What movie would you hide between your mattresses because you fear people will discover that you like it?

I am rarely embarassed by my taste in films. In fact, I have been known to praise Cabin Boy in mixed company. I will, however, admit to being a little ashamed of the degree to which I enjoy Bring it On. If I had to choose between never seeing Bring it On again or never rewatching The Godfather, I would have a lot of thinking to do.

andreus said: I'm not very shy about things I like, trashy or not. I think Erik the Viking is one of these. And Dude, Where's My Car?, which is a cinematic triumph.

elle said: Island of Dr. Moreau (1996). It’s compulsive, if it comes on TV I have to watch it.

athena said: I just admitted to liking the Notebook and Roadhouse so I really don’t have a lot of shame.

mary said: Harry Effin Potter. I love those movies way too much, and not in an entirely pure way.

amy said: Adventures in Babysitting. I watched that movie a hundred times when I was a kid and it has so much nostalgia. Upon a viewing as an adult it's actually pretty crazy racist and homophobic and terrible. But I still can't not watch it. Plus Mark from Rent is in it!

9. Favourite, or least favourite, Steven Spielberg film? Why? (see, you know the test is easy when there's a Spielberg question!!!) Extra credit for describing both.

Judging by your comments, War of the Worlds is the strongest contender for least favourite. I don't know about that. For me, War of the Worlds sails right past bad into the category my former roomate dubbed "crap-tacular". It was like Spielberg suddenly forgot how to make movies, and I so enjoyed it as I do the work of Ed Wood.

I hate A.I., mainly because it had such potential. I don't know if it would have been much more successful had Stanley Kubrik lived to film it, but it couldn't have been any more disappointing. It needed to be darker, and Spielberg's just not into dark. In fact, now that I think about it, I disliked Minority Report for much the same reasons. Plus Tom Cruise.

As for a favourite, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jurassic Park come close, but neither of them have Indiana Jones.

andreus said: I haven't seen Hook all the way through but what I did see seemed to be disasterous.

athena said: Catch Me if You Can is my fave. I loved the book, and I loved the film. It was the first time I ever liked Leo in a film.

mary said: Favourite: Casper. I had such a crush on Casper when I was little. He's like my ultimate boyfriend!

Least Favourite: E.T. OH MAN E.T. I maintain that my childhood would have been at least 35% healthier had it not introduced the idea of aliens to me. I was terrified.

10. Which actor(s)/actress(es) do you have the biggest crush(es) on, and why?

Apparently Ben Affleck (who knew?).

The very first celebrity poster I hung on my wall for reasons of crushiness was of Brooke Shields. I still kind of dig her. If I could choose anyone living or dead, though, I'd have to go with Myrna Loy. She's beautiful, to be sure, but so spunky and adorable in the Thin Man series. The fact that she is not currently alive does little to deter my feelings.

In terms of celebrities who actually breath, Keira Knightley, Rachel Weisz, and Rosario Dawson top my list. I am also willing to make certain comprimises if George Clooney ever calls.

elle has interesting choices: Callum Keith Rennie since Hard Core Logo (1996) Billy is defiantly Talent. Gerard Butler since Dracula 2000 (2000) I wanted to be bit, bad. Last but Certainly not least David Tennant I mean he’s The Doctor who does want to be taken aboard the TARDIS???

joanne does, too: Steve Buscemi, Vincent D'Onofrio, Michael Pitt, Juliette Binoche, cause they are either funny of very attractive or both.

amanda and athena are very convincing: Ryan. Reynolds. Is. The. Hottest. Man. Ever. I. Know. That. Isn’t. A. Good. Explanation. But. Who. Cares. & All time crush is Ryan Reynolds. He's absolutely beautiful.

anonymous throws in a vote for: Brad Pitt, he's gorgeous and can act in a variety of roles.

and amy might be schizophrenic: Colin Firth. Natalie Portman - We're involved her and I. Jodie Foster - She's so badass and was totally the inspiration for Scully.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The answers to: Substitute teacher, Richard Clark's easy-ass,

movie related pop quiz... Part 1

1. What is your favourite romantic comedy, and why?

Really great romantic comedies are few and far between. We seem to average one per decade these days: When Harry Met Sally in the 80's, French Kiss in the 90's, and Love, Actually in the oughts. Notting Hill (1999) also ranks amongst the highlights, but films that I enjoyed the first time around like Pretty Woman and Sleepless in Seattle have failed to impress me upon repeat viewings.

Most everything else-- and there are a lot of romantic comedies churned out every year-- falls into one of two categories: mediocrity or dreck.
When properly executed, the romantic comedy is my favourite kind of genre picture, and it's a shame to see so many half-assed productions (and I do see them all).

For complete satisfaction, I find myself going back to the screwball comedies of the 30's and 40's. There are so many great films to mention, but my absolute favourites ('cause it's a tie) are It Happened One Night and The Philadelphia Story. The dialogue junky in me appreciates the rapid fire exchanges between Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in the first picture. Their lines are charged with sexual undertones, embedded with subtext in order to skirt the rules of censorship governed by early production codes. It Happened One Night is very much a movie of its time, but its charm and wit is sure to appeal to contemporary audiences, too.

Equally appealing is the powerhouse trio of Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart, as cast in The Philadelphia Story. I can't claim to be Hepburn's biggest fan, but her performance in this film is pitch perfect. The two leading men are equally adept, Grant with his mastery of both verbal and physical comedy, and Stewart bringing his trademark charm and sensitivity to the table. Plotwise, the movie delivers a number of surprises, and with each viewing I am reminded how fresh and funny this 1940 production is, and just how many of our modern day comedies are not.

amy said: Bridget Jones's Diary. Because when I saw the movie for the first time and Mister Darcy told Bridget that he likes her, just as she is, all of my romantic ideals were created. And now my expectations are through the roof...Stupid movie.

jaclyn said: When Harry Met Sally because I love how determined they are to remain good friends and nothing more just to prove a point and also because I learned a lot about how men and women think! Plus Meg Ryan is so stubborn and silly and lovable!

athena said: Say Anything because Lloyd Dobler has ruined me forever. (Which after a lot of therapy and time I’m ok with.) But I also loved the part where Diane grows up and learns that her dad is fallible. So yeah, true love, parental fallibility and John Cusack make me a happy girl.

2. Name a movie that you watch over and over again without getting tired of, a film that you could put on at any time and enjoy. Reason(s)?

I have to mine the past to answer this question, too. There are many rich films out there that deserve repeat viewings, but the only one I can put on anytime, night or day, whether I want to watch it or not-- and get completely sucked in-- is Casablanca. Simply put, I don't think a more compelling story has been written for the screen. I wouldn't go so far as to claim that it's the best movie ever, or even my favourite, but every element of the screenplay functions to maintain intrigue. Once it's on, it's on... I can't press stop before the end.

amanda said: Shawshank Redemption - I've seen this movie more times than I can count and each and every time I watch it I love it even more. I always cry a little, laugh a little and when it's over I'm impressed that it gets me every time.

athena said: I feel like Star Wars (original trilogy only!!) is self-explanatory but I’ll do my best-

a) It’s full of mythology and spaceships. I like that…

b) It’s full of evil guys in cloaks and Han Solo. Them too….

c) R2-D2 and C3-P0. It has true love too!!

d) It’s full of redemption and friendship- my 2 favourite things in movies, with mythology and spaceships running a close second.

e) “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for … He can go about his business … Move along.”. Yes sir…
(athena rocks)

joanne said: (and this kills me!!) Troop Beverly Hills. I don't think I even need to explain why.

3. What is the first film you remember seeing in the theatre?

Like most of you who commented, my first cinematic memory is of a Disney film: The Fox and the Hound. I would've been four or five years old. Every so often my mom reminds me how much I loved it. If I've seen it since, though, I can't remember. Mayhaps it's time to rent it for the sake of nostalgia... and perhaps a review?

4. Woody Allen: yes or no?

Love him or hate him-- there doesn't seem to be any middle ground (save for a few people I know who say that they hate him but really dug Match Point). For me, it's a "yes." The first Woody Allen movie I saw was the first he directed: Take the Money and Run. I was hooked by this neurotic, witty nebbish... I related to him (for better or worse), and proceeded to watch the rest of his films in near consecutive order. Yes, there have been a few missteps, but surprisingly few considering that he's made (at least) one film a year for nearly forty.

amy said: Meh. I haven't seen any of his 'greats' only that detective sleuthy one with Scarlett and Wolverine. And it was meh.

link: a particularly amusing youtube video

Thanks to the good people at boingboing.net (a directory of wonderful things), I have not only been linked to some of the most interesting sites the web has to offer, but also to a handful of the strangest videos on youtube.

Xeni Jardin posted this link to the Japanese "Butt Biting Bug" song (Oshiri kajiri mushi) a couple of days ago.

"It gives me acid flashbacks. "Tight asses and hard asses and beaten asses and shriveled asses." In what universe do these constitute appropriate lyrics for children's music?" (Jardin, sept 29)

It is, in fact, difficult to imagine what universe these lyrics come from in the first place. Enjoy the subtitled video for yourself.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Substitute teacher, Richard Clark's easy-ass, movie related pop quiz...

DIMS steals from SLIFR to bring you this exam... Our academy feels that Clark's test is simple enough to approach without studying or sneaking to the bathroom to consult your hidden cheat-sheets. Remember: there are no wrong answers... only flawed opinions. (kidding!!)

number two typing fingers ready? Begin:

1. What is your favourite romantic comedy, and why?

2. Name a movie that you watch over and over again without getting tired of, a film that you could put on at any time and enjoy. Reason(s)?

3. What is the first film you remember seeing in the theatre?

4. Woody Allen: yes or no?

5. Discuss a movie you were totally hyped about seeing that left you kind of empty and/or disappointed upon viewing.

6. Discuss a movie that you figured you'd be damned before seeing that subsequently impressed you more than you could have imagined.

7. Ben Affleck or Matt Damon?

8. What movie would you hide between your mattresses because you fear people will discover that you like it?

9. Favourite, or least favourite, Steven Spielberg film? Why? (see, you know the test is easy when there's a Spielberg question!!!) Extra credit for describing both.

10. Which actor(s)/actress(es) do you have the biggest crush(es) on, and why?

See... pretty easy. I await your answers with bated breath, and I am eager to list my own. Please leave comments, even if you only want to address some of the questions. Results of the quiz to be posted soon.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

musing: sergio leone and the infield fly rule, mr. shoop's surfin' summer school midterm, & the movie answer man

As much as I would like to be a brilliant conversationalist, nothing could be further from the truth. Small talk has never been my forte, and as a result I have an anxious streak when it comes to meeting new people, running into old acquaintances, and/or getting my hair cut. I also suffer from a deep rooted inability to discuss my feelings, which creates obstacles in terms of developing close relationships. These issues are, however, comparatively inconsequential when measured against my limited range of interests: film, books, cooking, and film. What else, dear lord, is there to talk about?

I am fortunate, in a sense, that the subject of film is a fairly universal one. Over the past decade most of my peers have been fellow students of the cinematic arts who are more than eager to spend hours on end dissecting, debating, and criticizing along with me. During these same years I have also mingled with other friends, family members, colleagues, etc., and-- save for the rare exception-- they all tend to be avid movie-goers with insightful opinions of their own. And yet, there are times at which I feel the desire to trudge deeper into the chasm of celluloid mania than either party may be willing to venture. In instances such as these, I arrive at my destination via the world wide inter-web.

My first stop (not incidentally my "home-page") is rogerebert.suntimes.com, headquarters of-- you guessed it-- film critic Roger Ebert. In recent time, due to well publicized health issues, Mr. Ebert's contributions to the site have been few and far between. This summer, however, he has returned in top form, with a full slate of print reviews appearing both in the Chicago Sun-Times and on-line. Roger's website (I met him once... I can call him that, right?) was, albeit temporarily, a veritable ghost town. It is, once again, a bustling metropolis. If memory recalls, I have discussed my life-long admiration for Ebert in previous posts, and I'm sure I will regale him with praise again in the future. For the sake of brevity, though, let me confine myself to saying that, as excited as I am to have him back as one of our most literate film critics, I am even more elated that he has resurrected the Movie Answer Man column.

It is difficult to stifle my sense of glee when Roger Ebert responds to people-- whether they be fans or filibusters-- with his trademark wit and self-assuredness. His supporters sound as if they have established a sacred kinship based on the fact that they, well, agree with his opinions. Those who correspond in order to challenge his views seem to think that a cocky attitude will, not only impress him, but also persuade him to see the light. In either case, they seem to think they know the man intimately... What a thing to presume (I understand how it happens, but that's material for a different musing...). A thread will often continue for weeks on the same subject, allowing Ebert to address reader inquiries such as "How could you not like Transformers the movie?" and "Why do you refer to the good Transformers as 'Transformers' and not Autobots???" This little exchange regarding The Bourne Ultimatum tickled me:

Q. Is the movie critic for the Washington Post embarrassed that he was the only critic of the "cream of the crop" on Rotten Tomatoes who gave "The Bourne Ultimatum" a negative rating? He's got to be questioning himself. Carey Ford, Corsicana, Texas

A. I think it’s a badge of honor for Stephen Hunter. When only one review disagrees, read it. I did, and understand his point, even if I disagree. I asked Hunter himself, who replied: “I'm far too shallow to have doubts.”

Q. You gave "The Bourne Ultimatum" 3.5 stars. How much did the studio pay you for that? Not enough to compensate for your lost credibility. I'll never read you again. Milt Heft, Colorado Springs, Colo.

A. See above letter. There is now only one major critic in the country you can read.

The link to Ebert's Movie Answer Man can usually be found near the bottom of his page, not too far from the link to my second on-line destination: Jim Emerson's Scanners :: Blog. A brief apology is due, I think, for my referring to Roger Ebert's site as a "ghost town" during his absence. Emerson is the dutiful editor of this site, and he contributed essays and reviews quite frequently while Ebert was away. He is also an accomplished writer whose insights into film, politics, pop culture, etc. never cease to convince me that movies really matter.

Emerson strikes me as a film scholar, more than simply a critic (in the journalistic sense) or a "blogger." At the same time, his entries never read like text book passages. Well, almost never... The ongoing "opening shots project" provides a forum for both Emerson and his readers to sharpen their analytical skills:

Any good movie -- heck, even the occasional bad one -- teaches you how to watch it. And that lesson usually starts with the very first image ... The opening shot can tell us a lot about how to interpret what follows. It can even be the whole movie in miniature. I'm going to talk about some of my favorites, and how they work, and then request that you contribute your own favorites for possible publication in future Scanners columns.

(June 16, 2006)

For more than a year now, Jim's readers have been contributing on a regular basis, and their insights are posted quite frequently. It's encouraging to see such widespread interest in active spectatorship, and-- had I not found something even better to steal-- I may have thieved some of Emerson's ideas for my own blog...

I was, however, linked some time ago (through a posting on the scanners :: blog) to a site called: Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. It was here that I took the test. An exam, to be sure, but not the kind one can necessarily pass or fail. What lay before me was a compendium of questions designed to infiltrate my mind and scoop out the useless knowledge that I hold so dear. Never, in all my years as a film fanatic, had I been on the receiving end of questions so thought-provoking and, at times, obscure. I had arrived, for certain, deep within the chasm that I sought to explore.

The latest exam to appear on Dennis Cozzalio's SLIFR site is: Mr. Shoop's Surfin' Summer Midterm-- you see, all of the tests are administered by teachers from the cinema-- and it's another doozie. Take a look at a few sample questions:

1) Favorite quote from a filmmaker

10) Whether or not you have actually procreated or not, is there a movie you can think of that seriously affected the way you think about having kids of your own?

20) Name a performance that everyone needs to be reminded of, for whatever reason.

25) Is there a movie you can think of that you feel like the world would be better off without, one that should have never been made?

24) Favorite Dub Taylor performance. (Okies, even I had to look this guy up on imdb, and I still don't think I'd recognize him...)

I haven't gone so far as to reply with my answers (reader response is often posted on SILFR), but I find that many of the questions stick with me for days: "A good movie from a bad director," for instance, or, " If you had the choice of seeing three final movies, to go with your three last meals, before shuffling off this mortal coil, what would they be?" And, yes, I am geek enough to believe that my opinions should be solidified in my mind as if life or death depends upon it. But in this chasm, I am very much alone. Who, in their right mind, would accompany me on a journey into this realm of cinematic mania?

Well, perhaps I can convince a few folks when I pilfer Cozzalio's exam formula for my own purposes. While I can't expect my friends and family to have stalwart platforms regarding their favorite Rosalind Russell performance, or whether they prefer Louis B. Mayer or Harry Cohn as a studio head, I can assume that they would be eager to answer some of the more general questions, and I am genuinely interested to hear what they think.

So I will steal this "exam" idea... albeit for more elemantary purposes. I will plagarize the format in hopes that my limited readership will be inclined to respond to my questions... I will post again soon, review any comments that may have been left, and usher in the thoughts of anyone who sees it fit to contribute. As I mentioned up front, everyone sees movies, everyone holds their opinion(s), everyone wants to be heard. My apologies to Cozzalio for bastardizing his concept; please remember that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

And, to my readers: please make me feel loved. If I pour myself into the creation of this "exam", I hope to get feedback. Your comments are treasured, whether you're a film buff or an intermittant movie-goer, or, of course, anything in between. The chasm is deep, but we can meet at the entrance...

Saturday, May 05, 2007


'kay... I dunno why I'm such a big sucker for photoshop contests and the like, but I am. I frequent the site www.worth1000.com to indulge in the wacky world of photograph alteration. Whether it's making a celebrity look like a puppet or putting fur on food... always good times. Today, however, I cheated on my baby by following this link. The sex was great. "Something Awful" has a thing called "photoshop phridays" (I'm also a sucker for replacing an "f" with a "ph"), and yesterday's category was movie posters remixed in the grindhouse style. Many of the entries are quite clever. If you have a few minutes to procrastinate-- and who doesn't --I recommend checking them out.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

review: closer
dir. Mike Nichols

starring: Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, & Julia Roberts

Don't believe your friends when they ask you to be honest with them. All they really want is to be maintained in the good opinion they have of themselves - Albert Camus

I Cancelled my cable T.V. back in October. It took Rogers a while to catch up with me, however, and I have been the luck recipient of free television until just a few weeks ago. Now, I like t.v. quite a bit; a handfull of shows that are currently airing rank amongst the cream of the entertainment crop, and the garbage that is broadcast in between tends to either grip my attention (like a car wreck) or raise my ire (which means I am employing my critical skills as a viewer). Yes, the boob tube can be a pacifier for the mind, but sometimes that's necessary. The mindless flipping of channels gives me comfort in the wee small hours of insomnia.

And yet, in some ways, I feel grateful for my loss. Don't get me wrong; if I had access to the Food Network right now I'd be funneling my energy into salivating rather than this. But if there's a boon, it's that this lack of instant stimulation has re-introduced me to my own DVD collection. I tend to be selective in what I buy. I own a lot of good movies, but I am discriminate in that I will only purchase films that I know I can watch over-and-over again.

Closer, for me, is one of those films. I will concede that this is the kind of movie that you have to be in a particular mood to watch. There are certain films that you can pop in your DVD player at any time, and even if you don't feel like watching them at the time, you get sucked in. As for me, I could do Casablanca, Chungking Express, or Jurassic Park with only a breath of hesitation.

But Closer is ferocious in its examination of human behaviour, and despite the extreme nature of the relationships in the film, the emotions are identifiably true-- and not particularly easy to confront. The characters enter their relationships with a great deal of insecurity, seeking external validation, but never fully trusting the partner who claims to love them; how can someone so wonderful be in love with me? An act of infidelity becomes a catalyst for the film to explore the mind-games "lovers" will play, both with each other and with themselves, in order to preserve a relationship that is void of trust.

In many ways, Closer is painful to watch. On the one hand, it is not easy to digest the cruelty and manipulation that the characters inflict upon one another; what is, perhaps, more disturbing is recognizing that our own insecurities are apt to have led us to some similarly dark places. But the film is successful precisely because it is so honest in its depiction of the psychology that can corrupt relationships, and the all-too-common anxieties that initiate self-destructive behaviour. I wouldn't subject myself to Closer on a whim, but it provides a powerful viewing experience and I know I will return to it often.

what you might not like: this is by no means escapist film... More than one person has expressed ill will towards me for exposing them to this movie because the subject matter hit a little too close to home. So, WARNING: Objects on screen may be closer than they appear.

what you might consider: Closer is tremendously rich. It's not a roller coaster ride, but it will take you on an emotional journey. Sometimes I need to sit down and watch a "depressing" film just as I might feel like listening to a sad, sad song. I prefer not to live in sorrow, but to vacation there from time to time is not unhealthy. Human nature is complex and interesting, and a film with these same traits might be worth experiencing.