Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Machinist (2004) * Hidden Gem * * TOP 5 * * Viewed Thrice *

Hmm, there's a freckle I never noticed... *SHRIEK*

Drama Mystery Thriller (Spain)

Starring: Christian Bale (Batman Begins; Howl's Moving Castle) Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Jacket; eXistenZ)

Directed By: Brad Anderson (Session 9, an episode of "The Shield: Season 2")

Overview: Paranoia, doubt and fear grips a man as he begins losing touch with reality. A year without sleep will do that to you.

Acting: This was the film that Bale did, at 120 pounds, no special effects, right before he went to Batman Begins. In that he was 220 pounds of muscle. He said turning into that was the worst thing he's ever done for his health. All that to say that when an actor puts this much devotion into his role, he's bound to be good at it, right? All the characters, from his boss, to Miller to the waitress, the whore and the landlady, all amazing. I actually can't think how it could be better. 120 pounds, like... Jesus.
Rating: 10

Cinematography: There was always that dark hint of cold blue in the shots, a nice little filter effect that added a good element to the overall look of the film. The best scene by far is the multi-layered and all-too graphic Route 666 ride at the fair. Was it ever great, what a scene! This film have some really interesting touches and when you watch it, this'll be one of the things you'll be coming for.
Rating: 9

Script: The dialogue was good and paranoid. I can't say it was out of this world spectacular but the tale tells itself. Not many heavy dialogue moments but those that caught my attention made enough of an impact to prove this poor guys headspace isn't all there.
Rating: 8

Plot: The beginning of the character arc, where we learn about the guy's life is easily half the movie. A nice exploration. A steady escalation of troubles and paranoia, the best thills that Thrillers have to offer. Enjoy the ride, the climactic ending is well worth it. I own and love this film.
Rating: 8

Mood: Dark and bleak, just the way I like it. Lighting effect filters, music, they all set the mood perfectly. Little additions like gory accidents and fridges dripping blood? Oh yeah, big points. The music is so good that I have the soundtrack.
Rating: 9

Look, it just makes a better movie if everybody's beat up in it, I'm just sayin'

Overall Rating: 88% (A Solid Film with a Powerful Engine)

Aftertaste: Wow. Impressive rating. I didn't think it would get this high. The person I saw this with (my dad) doesn't like this kind of film. In fact he kept interjecting his opinion of 'what a loser' every 10 minutes or so. You want to enjoy this film? Watch it without my dad being there.
If you don't like well thought out intricate dark plots that end with a big revelation, then go get something else. On the other hand if you like films that get underground acclaim because it's not standard fare, do yourself a favour and rent this. Anyone with this in their repertoire would not be wasting their time.

First Reviewed November, 2005. See comments for re-viewed review.