Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Natali is a girl's name!

Today I watched Cypher, a Canadian sci-fi thriller directed by Vincenzo Natali (of Cube fame) and starring a bunch of cool Canadian actors and one Lucy Liu in a red wig. The movie tells the story of a dorky, boring guy who starts a new job as a corporate spy of sorts, mostly recording boring lectures at boring conferences. Only what the people who hired him really want is for him to get a job at the rival company and become a secret agent. Or do they? Maybe it's the second company who made the first company hire him in the first place, and they want him as a double agent? Could be. Or perhaps some other spy dude with no allegiance to anyone in particular is responsible for the whole brainwashing mess our hero got himself into? Who knows! And like that's not enough, you also get a weird chick who keeps ordering him around and asking him to trust her, like anyone can really trust someone they're attracted to. Well, the result is simply one of the most awesome movies I've seen lately. It's almost like a Philip K. Dick novel coming to life and looking very very pretty. There's not a lot of action in it, and some of the CG special effects look pretty fake, but that's hardly the point here. It's very smart, very sleek and never boring, and for a relatively low budget film that was never really screened in North American theaters it looks just terrific, with some really interesting designs and very cool color schemes (the first part of the movie looks almost completely desaturated, but when you do get some color it just pops out of your screen). Jeremy Northam does a very good job playing the main character, and I completely bought his performance the whole time. I don't find Lucy Liu particularly attractive, but she does look weird enough to play the role of the mysterious femme fatale with adequate success. David Hewlett (Cube, Natali's Nothing) is always fun to see, despite the small size of his role here. The few minutes he's on screen are some of the most creepy and tense moments in the whole film. I really like Vincenzo Natali. Cube was a brilliant little picture, but everybody knows that, and Nothing was a really fun little surreal fantasy comedy that was never fully appreciated, so I'm kinda kicking myself for waiting this long to watch Cypher. Splice, Natali's latest film, came out in North America last month, but I doubt it'll ever be shown here in cinemas. I really really really want to see it though. It's got the adorable Sarah Polley (yum!), Adrien Brody, and a horribly deformed genetically spliced mutant! It just doesn't get much cooler than that. Oh well. I guess that's what gawd invented 720p downloads for.

David Hewlett being crazy-cool

I've already ordered a copy of Cypher on DVD, along with Repo! The Genetic Opera. I love cool musicals. Too bad there are so few of them out there. I can count The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and now Repo. That's three. They should really make more musicals that aren't just for broads and poofs.

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