Blindspot 2017: Seven (1995)

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Plot: Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.

Rating: 8.5/10

Set in a dark and dreary city, homicide detectives Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt must investigate what is turning into a serial killer’s mad spree through town, emulating the 7 deadly sins in the most horrific of ways. Detective Freeman is retiring and after years of witnessing the horrors a decaying city can provide, he’s not too keen about taking up another job. But he somehow can’t pull away – he’s forced to worked with the new young detective and solve this last crime.

I enjoyed how dark and dreary the city was. The constant torrential downpour makes England look like a sunny palace. It’s so heavy, and combined with the decay of the city a sense of hopelessness lies in the air.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s character is a sharp contrast to the city. She’s everything the city isn’t – fresh and sweet and kind. I really liked her, how she balanced her husband out and wasn’t everywhere in the story and somehow remained so important in it.

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A thing that stands out sharply is the difference between the two detectives. Both are good men but so much difference in character. The younger detective is impulsive, perhaps because of his age. He’s by no means unintelligent but is far less cerebral than his older counterpart, who is often reflective and studies the crime and reasoning behind it well. The dynamic between the detectives shift – initially Freeman is cold shouldering his colleague (I think mostly due to impending retirement) but he begins to warm to Pitt with the case developing.

What is it about Kevin Spacey that he is so well capable to play such derange characters? It is creepy. He is creepy. So calm with an underlying menace. Madness coated in quiet demeanor. That flat of his. His belief in his work. A subtle creep. Sheesh.

How intense was the ending?! Edge of your seat business. John Doe concocted everything to make his plan infallible. I was horrified and entertained, because sheesh, what a nail biter.

Serial killers always have this dark glamour about them. It is wrong, but I have been interested in their mind games for years now – how they justify, what motivates them and how carefully they pick their victims. Seven is a film that follows one such killer in his demented ways in the best method I’ve ever seen. The film is backed by solid performances, directing, score and story to bring a thriller that will remain with you well after the end.

If you are looking for a film that will make you feel all warm and fuzzy, Seven is definitely NOT for you. It is scary and gross and relentless and keeps you nailed to your seat, but come prepared because scary man. Scary.

 

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Movie Review: Zodiac (2007)

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Plot: A San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac killer.

Rating: 8.5/10

I’ve always been more than a little fascinated with serial killers. It’s interesting to wonder why they turned off the normal path and went ballistic, what experiences and impressions turned them into what they are. I once read this “50 most notorious serial killers” type of book, and it was sooo good. I had to read some really light books before I went to bed after I read this book, but the  point is that I enjoyed it and found it fascinating. 😀

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Zodiac is aptly named for telling the story of the Zodiac killer, a mysterious and unresolved case of a series of murders that plagued America in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I was thrilled and really entertained and kept suspecting everyone. Mark Rufallo, Robert Downey Jnr. and Jake Gyllenhaal were all really impressive. I especially enjoyed the young Mark Rufallo. Being a cop in the seventies never looked that good. Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t annoy me as much as usual, which I’m sure my bestie would approve of (he’s not so bad, I just can’t for the life of me like the guy). RDJ is also such an amazing actor. Lately he’s Iron Man even when he isn’t Iron Man, and it seems such a shame that this is now what he’s destined to be his entire life.

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As for the serial killer, the events are just sufficiently shrouded in mystery to keep you hooked. I suspected everyone, even the cameraman filming the movie. The story is well laid out. This particular killer had no real modus operandi, it was just that he really liked killing. It didn’t have to be a certain way, it was just about the murders. I naturally would have liked if they included the killer right from the start, or have him part of the police force (I thought that the entire time!). However, this is based on true events, so I guess my story didn’t really go as I wanted it to for a reason.

Another thing that really impressed me was the pacing. The story kept going, it wasn’t dragged out to death, and every scene had a point, no silly plot fillers or anything. As I’ve said, the acting was particularly good and I really loved how authentically 1970’s everything seemed. The only thing is that I would have enjoyed perhaps a dramatic showdown with the killer, but that really the only thing I thought lacked. This is undoubtedly some of David Fincher’s best work, and I will go as far as to say it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen this entire year.

I think it is safe to say that I really enjoyed this. I’ve watched two really great movies so far this month (the other being Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and it makes me so happy when movies are this well done. It’s definitely a serious movie, so don’t expect anything else, but it is one of the best films I’ve seen this year.

Have you seen Zodiac? What did you think?

PS: Here is Young Mark Ruffalo with a shoulder strap. Delicious.

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Movie Review: Fight Club (1999)

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Tyler Durden: “Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”

Plot: An insomniac office worker looking for a way to change his life crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker and they form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more…

Rating: 9/10

It’s usually somewhat obvious right from the start if a movie will rock your socks or not. Sure, some movies deteriorates/improves halfway through, but it’s obvious whether I will like a movie or not about 90% of the time by just seeing the first ten minutes. Fight Club is exactly like that. I’ve seen it once before but I was young and wasn’t really paying attention at the time.

The movie starts off strongly, it is unique and it has the warped sense of humor I enjoy very much. The directing of the movie is gritty but darkly humoristic and clearly intended to make the viewer expect some form of a plot twist later on. The plot twist itself – I won’t mention too much for those that still plan to watch this – is brilliant and unexpected. Did you figure the twist out before it was revealed? Please let me know, because then you are a genius. It is so brilliant because when you DO find out little things start making sense.

The cast is spectacular. I don’t know which person impressed me more – Brad Pitt, Edward Norton or Helena Bonham Carter. I’ve always loved HBC – she is so quirky and interesting and every role she chooses suits her perfectly. I can’t see anyone working better than she did as Marla Singer. She was crazy and out of control, yet she ended up being more stable than Tyler Durden at the end of it all.

It’s quite easy to imagine that Brad Pitt is so successful because he is so wildly attractive, but that is simply not true. He is a great actor and he shows it here as Tyler Durden – he is cocky, powerful and a true anarchist. I loved his flamboyant outfits and outrageous nature.

Then there is Edward Norton… he starts out balanced, although tired, and his rapid descent into meeting rock bottom is entertaining to watch. He goes from a typical career driven man to something sinister and infinitely more interesting.

The best thing about this movie is that it is nothing what you would imagine when you see the title. The movie is about rebellion and mental illness and lack of critical elements needed for successful mind functioning and it is

Recommendation: HIGHLY