Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

11 July 2008

The Flock, dir. Andrew Lau (2007)

NIKKI says:
I just don't know what to say. I found The Flock interesting and chilling. I didn't find myself disliking the movie while it was on. But, I'm not sure I liked it all the same. Then again, it's not the kind of movie you walk away raving about. It's harrowing and brutal. In fact, that might be one thing I liked most about it -- it pulled few punches. Richard Gere wants Claire Danes to know just how horrible the world is that she's soon to enter, and in order for us to get what she's going through, the movie puts us through it, too. It can be hard to stomach, but it's refreshing to see a Hollywood movie do this. It reminded me of Se7en and 8mm in that way. Still, it's hard to like, and it might wrap things up a little too conveniently.

I enjoyed seeing Richard Gere as this horribly scarred man on a mission. It was a change of pace for him, and he was quietly frightening as a case worker for the department of human services who believes a recently kidnapped girl is the victim of one of the pedophiles he has to monitor.

Claire Danes was great, too, as his protege, who must learn the ropes in a matter of a few weeks. They were really good together. I've never really been into movie-actor Claire Danes and still can't help seeing her now and forever as Angela Chase. But in this I really saw what the big deal is about her. She reminds me of Gwyneth at times, though without the silver-spoon iciness that makes it hard to believe her as edgy and damaged (sorry Gwyneth, but still I love you anyway). Claire Danes just has a real stare in her eyes, a hardness about her, and she was able to play on that here.

The bad guys, though... bit too James Patterson, as Steve noted. The kidnapping ring resembled Kiss the Girls, and the twist was less a twist and more an inevitability. It was nonetheless disturbing. I think maybe the final scenes with the face-licking was slightly over the top, and the timing of all involved was rather convenient, but the point was made. There is an element to society that most of us would rather ignore than confront head-on. Gere's character, at one point, screams at a room full of sex offenders in therapy: "You made me waste my life!" And there's probably the most interesting layer of this story. Not only is the bad element out there, there are also people who spend their lives alongside them, whether tracking them, monitoring them, or assisting in their (so-called) reform.

This movie makes its point well. It's a hard road getting there, though. You might need to wash afterwards.


STEVE says:
Yeah, Nikki pretty much summed it up for us both, there: part Se7en, part 8mm, part Kiss the Girls and part Silence of the Lambs. I'm sure I could throw a few more titles in there if I looked at it again - but I don't want to, at least not for a while.

And that's not to say The Flock is derivative, necessarily - the themes in these movies will crop up again and again as this archetype is explored. You just don't expect to find so many of them in one place, is all.


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