Jack Black is an actor, whom I believe, is highly overrated as a lead. He is a fine supporting actor, capable of injecting a wealth of vitality and humor into the films in which he's a part. His talent works purely in small doses, and his domination of a feature film is more annoying than humorous (see "School of Rock"). He is quite capable of generating laughs, yet I've found his humor more irritating as the size of his role increases. "Nacho Libre" is a different story however.
It seems fitting that the director of "Napoleon Dynamite" would go on to direct a film like "Nacho Libre" who is the only title character I can see that would have the potential to be even more annoying. I can't say as I've seen the latter, although by reason of personal preference, and not of sloth. "Napoleon Dynamite" was more than enough of Jared Hess for my tastes. Actually five minutes of that picture would do more than satiate me.
"Night and Fog" is one of the most emotionally powerful films I have ever experienced. It is a film which approaches its unpleasant subject matter with such minimalism, in order to make it that much more powerful. While only 33 minutes long, "Night and Fog" is perhaps the greatest film ever made documenting the events which occurred in World War II Germany.
Killer Animal movies are hard to come by. Let me rephrase that GOOD killer animal movies are hard to come by. The genre itself seems to produce numerous film, mostly DTV these days, but so few of them are any good that one could rightfully dismiss this sub-genre as derivative, boring, too political, or just plain bad; and you would be right.
There's a certain something about Asian horror films that just gets me all warm and tingly. It was Takashi Shimizu's film "Ju-On" that brought this all about. A film in which the director's style and craft take over and create something amazing despite the film's other significant shortcomings, which include a simple story that is made needlessly complex through a nearly incomprehensible non-linear format. The reason why "Ju-On" was so successful in my eyes is simply because Shimizu had such an incredible handle on the atmosphere created throughout the film. The film was creepy as hell, and nearly every scene invented a feeling of dread and terror that would swell in your stomach to the point that you were just aching for the scene's grand reveal. It was the first time I can remember being genuinely frightened after a film's closing sequences. "Noroi" is the first and only film since "Ju-On" which has affected me in a similar way.
I seem to have a sort of dilemma at the point of writing this review. You see, when I view an independent short film, the film usually falls into either the category of very good, or very bad. In my experience, there have been few short films that sit on any sort of ‘middle ground'. The film is usually either very well crafted in nearly every respect, or some sort of abysmal failure that can't seem to get anything right (Luckily, I've had to write very few negative reviews on independent shorts). Regardless of the film's overall quality, I don't often have a problem pointing out the film's positive or negative aspects. In the case of "Now You See Me, Now You Don't", however, I fear that by revealing details of the plot I may lessen the film's emotional impact, so I will attempt to reveal as little as possible about the film. This may make for a slightly shorter review than usual.