Call it the Joss effect
Watched Children of Men, a tight, gritty view of the not too distant future. Zack and I liked it quite a bit; hoever, I have to admit that the Orson Wells purist in me was a little disappointed to learn that some of those single takes were actual cobbled together with CGI. But given all the stunts and effects involved, I'm willing to give Cuaron some leeway. The tracking shots are exquistely choreographed (not exactly "beautifully" - people's heads are getting blown off) and the mise en scene is visually stunning. The plot was provocative and Clive Owen, as usual, was mesmerizing to watch. But call me jaded... sometimes I can just smell what's going to happen to each character. Like if a major actor is cast in a movie, yet the trailers don't really feature said actor. Yep, that character's dead. Sometimes, the way a character is fleshed out telegraphs his or her fate. Oh yeah, he's going to make it, she's not, she is, he's not, etc., etc. Maybe I've been spoiled with too much Joss Whedon over the years, but I like a movie to surprise me with the the fate that's dealt to the characters. I totally did not see the deaths of (spoiler alert!): Doyle (Angel), Joyce (Buffy), Wash (Serenity), Fred (Angel) and the one that broke my heart the most, Tara (Buffy). Or maybe it was Joyce. Or Angel's... but he came back. Or Oz's (non dying) departure. Um, I digress. Anyways. Pan's Labyrinth surprised me. Not exactly in a good way, though. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but definitely not a kid's movie.