Monday, November 13, 2006

A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints


I went and saw "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints" tonight and I would recommend it to people interested in good movies.

The acting from Shia Labeouf and Chazz Palminteri is stand out. The story is interesting and engaging and the filmmaking technique was fascinating coming from a first time director.

On a scale of 1-10, I would rate it a 7 or an 8. That may not seem terribly impressive, but when you consider the fact that the highest score a typical Hollywood studio picture can attain is a 5, you see very quickly that it's generally a cut above the norm. It's better than most of the films on the top 10 at the Box Office this weekend and more films like this should be made. It's not great, but it's above average for Hollywood.

I really liked it. I thought it was really solid. There were moments in the film that completely had me. And some of the quirks of the filmmaking actually surprised me. (There was a great PT Anderson-esque moment where all the character face the camera and introduce themeselves and what defines them, what makes it more interesting is that you've already spent three reels watching them, so it's not new information. What makes it apt is because the way you see them and the way the describe themselves doesn't always match.)

It was really good.

People compare it a lot to Scorsese's "Mean Streets" and I suppose the comparisons are apt and fair, although "Mean Streets" is better, "A Guide to Recognizing Your Stands" is an amazing first time effort.

I want to see if Dito Montiel can direct anything beyond his life story, because he seemed to do at least that pretty well.

I also went to go see "The Prestige" for the third time and I can't sing its praises enough. It's just an amazing film and the brilliance of it becomes ever more apparent with each subsequent viewing. The first time you watch it, you don't realize how clever the cutting is, in fact, because you don't exactly know what happens the first time, you can't appreciate the choices in the editing until the second or third time around. Pay close attention to the choice of shots presented to you immediately following lines of voice-over from the diaries. Each cut speaks volumes to the subtext that, upon first viewing, you didn't even know was there.

I've also had the chance to see in the last week "The Departed" for a fourth time.

It's bloody amazing. Anybody who says otherwise should probably be boiled in their own pudding.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

The departed sucked.

Bryan said...

I don't know what makes you think it sucked but you're wrong. You may not have enjoyed it, but that doesn't make it a bad movie.

It was an excellent film, whether your anonymous ass liked it or not.

Anonymous said...

It did sucked whether your ass liked it or not.