September 1, 2004
We saw Ju-on tonight. The first half was genuinely terrifying. Shimizu has a way of capturing creepy quiet fears and visualizing them in ways that kept sending chills up my spine-- empty houses in disarray, crazy old people, scary cats, evil children, etc. Ultimately the scares wear off as the movie starts to drag with the lack of a protagonist or strong narrative. But there are a couple of scenes that will stay will you in the dark of night.
A few nights ago we enjoyed Hero. Visually speaking it is a worthy successor to Crouching Tiger and it has the Zhang Yimou touch of greatness, but it didn't quite add up for me. I just didn't care enough. But in this case I just turned off the left brain and and enjoyed it as a right brain experience.
We finally got around to watching The Manchurian Candidate last week. I almost walked . The film was so bad I felt embarrassed to be watching (and to have once worked for the producer!). The remake seemed to suck any suspense out of the original (one of my favorite films). There is nothing so silly as pretentious self-important fluff packaged as serious commentary on our times.