Okay, so I've never read the graphic novel, so I can't judge it as an adaptation. So instead I'll judge it as a movie.
The reviews were all saying it was 'style over substance'. To some degree, they're right. It's beautifully directed, visually stunning (breathtaking, even, in places), and seems to have maintained a lot of the original stories, as far as I can tell, as it was very 'comic-book' in places. Unfortunately, the acting is very clunky in places, and the stories it comprises don't really leave much room to develop the characters that drive them.
There are three stories in total. The first one is split in half and encloses the other two, whilst also connecting them together and bringing everything into place. All of the narratives have a certain surreal, unbelievable aspect to them, possibly made all the more so for the clunkiness of the acting, but they're also dark enough for it not to really matter. (I'm now actually trying to remember if the first story did link to the third one and I don't think it did, but I know it definitely linked to the second one. Bah. Edit after a few minutes: Ah, now I remember. Hardigan found Nancy working in the club where Shelley was a waitress. Just to clear that one up for myself.) Visually, it's very film noir in style, very reminiscent of old gangster movies, especially so during the opening sequence, one of the most stunning bits of the entire film. The use of colour is, as expected, a very nice touch, though the trailer made it seem like it was used a lot more than it actually was.
Overall, it gave the impression that it was trying far too hard to be film noir and not really succeeding, except for the visual aspect. The actors in particular were trying the same style of acting and gruff voices and it seemed a little too forced. Even the usually good Bruce Willis wasn't on top form in this (and also didn't look even half-way old enough to be in his sixties, either), though Mickey Rourke and Brittany Murphy were both very good. I think, though, that Elijah Wood stole the show with his terrifying, silent performance, as he consistently scared the shit out of me for the entire time he was onscreen. The "HE MADE ME WATCH!!" bit in particular made me extremely uncomfortable. *shudders*
I liked the stories, in the main, though I found it very difficult to care for any of the characters or their plights, as there just wasn't enough time to develop them. Rourke's character was the most well-developed of them all, but I still wasn't overly concerned either way if he avenged Goldy's death or not. The Hardigan/Nancy plotline irritated me a bit (and coming from teH uber-shipper, that surprises even me...), and the hitman was just... random, more than anything. He seemed more a convenient plot device to tie everything together than anything else. Given the time constraints of having to cram three stories into a movie-length feature, though, I can probably let them off.
High points: the opening sequence with the woman in red and the hit man, for pure breathtaking stunningness and use of colour; Elijah Wood as freaky god-fearing cannibal boy; the contrasting use of portraying blood as red, white and yellow, dependent on the character and situation - the more graphic the violence, the more unrecognisable the blood, which sort of desensitised it; funky Samurai girl; the talking head of the dead cop (dude, that guy has issues...); Hardigan's solitary confinement in a cage, because I liked the angle of the shot; general visual amazingness.
Low points: somewhat clunky acting; under-developed characters, or not enough time to develop them entirely; no trademark car-boot shot from Tarantino. :(
Final verdict? I liked it. A lot. Sometimes, the prettiness is really all that counts. I'm going to be completely shallow about this one and base my opinion entirely on the gorgeousness of the visuals. :)
So, there we go. I would definitely recommend this one, whether you've read the graphic novel or not. I know people are saying it's close to the novels in terms of design and story, but, obviously, fans of the novels would have to find that out for themselves. Definitely go and see it.
In other news - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opens in July, yay!! The more I see of the trailers and publicity shots, the more excited I get. This one's going to be good, people. I can tell. Burton is definitely back on form, and with Johnny Depp at the helm it's going to utterly, utterly wonderful. Yes, even with the terrifying teeth. I can't wait. :D
I'm going to make a doctor's appointment. Two issues of concern, health-wise, at the moment, but before I do make the appointment, I want people to let me know if I'm just being a hypochondriac...
1) My right knee has been complaining at me for about two weeks now. It only seems to hurt when I kneel down. There's no obvious bruising, but it's that sort of pain, like I've banged it on something. It hurts just to the right of the kneecap and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. Paul reckons it's arthritis, and now I'm paranoid. :|
2) I'm tired. Constantly. No matter how much or how little or how regular sleep I get, I'm just constantly exhausted, physically and emotionally. I have been staying out later these days, but no more than I would normally, and I've been drinking more, though not to excess, but I don't think either of those could account for it. I'm still averaging about 6 to 7 hours of sleep a night and catching up on sleep at the weekend, but that doesn't seem to help either. When I do sleep, I sleep perfectly fine; there's only the occasional night when I can't sleep, and that's usually when I'm actually ill with a cold or something. I'm eating more regularly than I was at Uni. So I'm going to bite the bullet and find out if there's an actual reason for it, because this is frelling ridiculous.
3) Whilst I'm there I might also find out if there's a reason my periods are so irregular and stupid. Seriously, I can go two months with nothing at all and then it lasts about three days. I'm thinking it might be related to the tiredness.
So, you should probably anticipate either an update on said health, or a long rant about the uselessness of my doctor's surgery/the price of medicine these days.
Oh, yes. And today we had a Unit meeting again to discuss various issues, which resulted in us arguing for 10 minutes about something that wasn't even a problem because Sandra basically didn't listen to what I was saying, and because she and Amanda didn't want to do something that was in their frelling job description. Cynthia was on my side, luckily. The temptation to ask my agency to get me another position somewhere grows ever stronger, and I'm honestly only staying out of (misguided?) loyalty to a team that I can barely work with any more. The system seemed to work just fine when I started nearly a year ago (Jesus, that's depressing...) and it's all changing. I don't like change, especially when the arrangements that were in place originally still work just as well as they did before. I also don't like people interfering with my systems by rearranging the drawers so I can't find anything, or putting stuff in my in-tray for me to do when it's not completed and then complaining because it was wrong because they gave me the wrong instructions and then making out it was my fault, or giving me stuff to do that it's not even my job to do and then getting arsey when I say I won't do it right that second.
This week's going to be frelling aggravating again, I can just tell. Not to mention the fact I need to work doubly hard to get everything done before I get more piled on me next week, which isn't going to happen when the forum's right there for me to play on... So I apologise in advance to Paul for any ranty emails he may receive, and to the Inliners for any annoyed foruming...
I swear, this entry's taken far too long to complete. My brain hurts, my eyes hurt, and I should probably go to bed. Which is actually a very good plan, as it'll stop me finishing this post with a long, rambling nothingness about feeling trapped and wanting to escape, because I can feel it trying to worm its way onto the page, but I'm not going to let it. I know it won't solve anything anyway. So instead I'll end with this.
I am trapped.
I do want to run away.
But I can't. Because for all the reasons I want to, there's the same amount of reasons I can't.
And on that piece of crypticness, I shall go.