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Weekend of dark movies!

The Smoosh went to the movies twice this weekend, and saw Children of Men and Pan's Labyrinth. Both movies were very enjoyable, and both movies were much darker than I'd expected.

I won't rehash the plots, 'cuz you all can find that information in the above links. However I will say that if grim, dystopian futures or urban decay appeal to you (I'm looking at you, tacit), then Children of Men is a must-see. I tend to favor sci-fi where the human race is on the brink of extinction, and while there are no killer robots in sight CoM nevertheless fits the bill nicely.

Interestingly (to me), I was constantly reminded of Half-Life 2. The mood, the settings, and many of the plot elements could almost have been copied straight from the game. (I mean this as a strong compliment, BTW.) I almost expected to see lambdas spraypainted among the graffiti. The writing, acting, and direction were all top notch. I loved this movie, and will be getting the DVD as soon as it's available.

Pan's Labyrinth, while not as much my style, was also very good. This movie was full of surprises for me, to the point where one could almost make a claim that the marketing is deceptive.

First surprise- it's not in English. Granted, I hadn't seen a lot of ads for it, but until the subtitles started I had no idea that it was entirely in Spanish. This was not unwelcome, as I'm accustomed to subtitles and captioning (and my hearing sucks), plus the refresher course in Spanish was kind of nice. It was just unexpected.

Also unexpected was the whole tone of the movie. I went in expecting a cross between Labyrinth and Mirror Mask. Nuh uh. This is more like a cross between Labyrinth and The Diary of Anne Frank, only less happy-go-lucky. Make no mistake- while this is a fantasy movie with a little girl as the central character, this is not a kid's movie (IMHO). There are more nazis than faeries, and the faeries have a lot more to fear than Hoggle's spray can! The movie also has generous amounts of torture, maiming, and graphic violence- including violence against children.

Again, the movie is well done, and if you're not squeamish and like fantasy that's darker and a little more psychological than the norm then you'll really enjoy it.

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