Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cadillac Records; A Man, A Woman and a Wall; Romance

A few short reviews starting with the below average music picture from 2008 Cadillac Records. There's just too many of these woefully simplified, abridged music based films. These films have lots of songs, drama, good times mixed with the bad and hard to believe stories. Cadillac Records is about Chess records in Chicago as they put out music by Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and others. It's pretty to look at but has no substance or anything to recommend it other than the predictable, superficial story and characters.

Now a couple of films with a lot of nudity and sex in them! A Man, A Woman and A Wall (2007) is a highly sexed, kind of pervy, low budget drama/comedy from Japan that I ended up liking way more than I expected. Maybe I was letting out my inner deviant with this one?

Directed by Masashi Yamamoto, the story involves a guy who moves into a new apartment with really thin walls. He begins to eavesdrop on his fetching neighbor. At first it's just putting his ear near the wall. Soon after he's got listening devices working and is rifling through her garbage. The woman is being harassed by a prank caller and the new neighbor begins to slowly get drawn into her world.

A Man, A Woman and a Wall has lots and lots of nudity in it. The female lead, Aoi Sola, has worked in the Japanese porn industry, so a little bit of nakedness isn't going to bother her. It also has a quirky, fun vibe to it that kept surprising me as I watched it go in unexpected directions. It's not just about a woman taking off her clothes (although she does that quite a bit!) as it's a strange romance the two have. A fun surprise.

Now a film with a lot of sex in it that isn't any fun at all: Romance. This French film from writer/director Catherine Breillat is a tortured, erotic-free look at one woman's disastrous love life. Her boyfriend won't sleep with her so she begins to take on more and more out there behavior, all the while moping around pining for the man who treats her like crap.

I remember this being pretty controversial when it came out in 1999 but it's really not that dirty. Sure, there are some graphic scenes (including all you ever might want to see in a gynecologist visit) but I've seen way dirtier in "mainstream" movies than what is in Romance. The major problem with it is it isn't a very good movie. Silly story, bad dialogue and tiresome from start to finish. Watch A Man, A Woman and a Wall if you want to see something with a lot of skin in it--at least it makes sex look like fun.

1 comment:

Bungle said...

I've never been a huge fan of Breillat, though I rather liked Fat Girl. Haven't seen Romance, and probably won't now...

Man, Woman and the Wall is now on my Netflix streaming queue. Thanks for the heads up.