Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This week’s movie:

I love this type of project!

It’s difficult not to like at least some of this movie. Composed of 18 short films, averaging 8 minutes each, it’s like a collection of picture postcards from your trip to Paris. Each film is written and directed by a different team of film-makers, and shot in a different section of the city.

These aren’t hacks either. The 18 teams represent some of the best film-making talent from around the world. This includes the likes of

And actors too! Some actors even American audiences may recognizable:

…..and many others.

This movie is like your favorite book of short stories or poems – an anthology. Each one conveys a complete thought – short and concise. The stories may be thought of as independent snapshots of Paris, but they may also intersect in unexpected ways. The overall theme is to show some aspect of love with the city as a backdrop. Each takes place in a different neighborhood. Some are in English, some are in French, some are in Spanish, others are in various other languages, and at least one is in Mime (yes – those mimes!). You can’t go wrong here. If there’s a particular segment that you don’t like, not to worry. It’ll be over and on to the next one in just a few minutes. And if there’s a particular segment that you like so much that you want more – well then – it’s good to want, isn’t it?

If it all sounds too confusing – it’s not. The transition between segments is well delineated with titles. Besides, the film-making styles are so different, the transitions would be well defined even without the titles. The segments also span well defined film genres. Some are dramatic, some are funny, others are romantic, still others are mysterious – or thrilling – or scary – or whimsical. I really think there’s a high probability of finding something you like here.

So now you’re maybe considering renting this film, you may be asking yourself, “With all those film-makers and all that talent, why haven’t I ever heard of this movie?” The answer to that is sadly, someone in an office has decided that you shouldn’t hear about this movie. The truth is that this film was immensely popular in most of the rest of the world - but here in the US, these things are decided by accountants. These are people who predict what you will pay money to go see and weigh that against the cost of advertising. If they don’t advertise, people won’t know to go see it and the guy who own the multiplex cinema in your town isn’t going to show it. This film was released to very few independent theaters, usually only in large cities. The guy who decided that you wouldn’t like PARIS JE T’AIME doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Look at what’s playing at your local cineplex right now. PARIS JE T’AIME is a better film than nearly everything you might find there. Now I wouldn’t suggest that good movie don’t play in your town - some do - but very many of the best films, the most interesting films, never make there. They’ve been excluded by committee. Luckily, PARIS JE T’AIME is now available on video and you can watch it at home.

If you think I’m being cynical, as an exercise, I took a survey of the movies playing at the multiplex in my town. It has 10 screens so it just fits into my top 10 list. These are the movies that accountants have decided that you would like better than PARIS JE T’AIME. In comparison, PARIS JE T’AIME scores an 84% on the tomatometer.

  1. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (tomatometer: 3% - not a typo, that’s three percent) Another lame copy of every crappy sword-and-sorcery epic ever made. ……badly written and edited.”
  2. First Sunday (tomatometer: 16%) A pair of bumbling petty criminals ………. “A cringe-inducing, cinematic tribute to the Golden Age of Minstrelsy!”
  3. One Missed Call (2008) (tomatometer: zero%) An English language remake of a bad Asian horror flick of the same name. “As annoying as a busy signal.”
  4. The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (tomatometer: 74%) A cutesy family film that kids will love – but not much here for adults.
  5. National Treasure: Book of Secrets (tomatometer: 33%) Like National Treasure I, but not as good – and that’s saying a lot. “This just might be the silliest movie ever to feature three Academy Award winners.”
  6. P.S. I Love You (tomatometer: 21%) Romantic comedy ……at least in theory. “This is a movie that will leave you stunned and stupefied from beginning to end, if you don’t head for the exits first.” “A low point in the tear-stained history of sappy, shallow chick drivel.”
  7. Charlie Wilson’s War (tomatometer: 82%) True-ish story of the CIA covert war in Afghanistan. I haven’t seen it yet – but you can’t go wrong with Tom Hanks.
  8. Alvin and the Chipmunks (tomatometer: 24%) This is too easy. “Arguably the most irritating novelty act in record history gets a CGI-updating…and the result is pretty annoying itself.”
  9. I Am Legend (tomatometer: 67%) “Good performance by Will Smith, but it’s basically a rehash of 28 Days Later.”
  10. The Bucket List (tomatometer: 40%) Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die. “…….further proof that even our most critically lauded thespians are eminently capable of churning out garbage.”

You know what I think? I think we should hire some new accountants.


view trailer


At 1:14 AM, Blogger Isaac said...

I'll pretty much watch anything with Steve Buscemi in it


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