Spanish fly guy. Good style, but often boring movies.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) -- It got a lot of attention for being pretty, splashy, colorful, and all that (and it is), but the story and characters didn't really do anything for me.
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) -- I'm willing to accept the premise that a woman can eventually fall in love with a man who kidnaps her, which is also the premise the man (Antonio Banderas) is hoping for--that if she just gets to know him, she'll love him, and kidnapping is the only way she'll hold still long enough to do so. However, Almodóvar gives us nothing to show us why she's fallen in love. Love arising from bondage? No, not really. This isn't exactly Secretary; it's not a bondage film (though it is a beating film--he headbutts and then hits her first thing, and we're supposed to think it's funny). The turning point is when Banderas comes home beat up by drug dealers, but that's not love: that's feeling sorry for him. (That's also the point when they have their NC-17 steamy sex that everyone went nuts about for a couple of months back in 1990, though it's really not that big a deal.) But, sure enough, by the end of the movie, it's happened, and we don't know why, other than that Antonio is handsome. The movie isn't funny enough either. Scenes like the kidnapper going out to buy more comfortable ropes and gags for his captive sound funny on paper, but they don't show up funny on the screen. Like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, it's a movie that seems to be a lot of different things but ends up just being there doing nothing.
The Flower of My Secret (1995) -- As pretty and well-shot as any Almodóvar movie, but this one suffers from being a bit too literary. It's kinda like a Jean Rhys novel, but in a way that doesn't work as well on the screen as it would on the page.
All About My Mother (1999) -- Almost an overload of "hot" stuff (transvestites, pregnant nuns, etc.), but still interesting. The direction looks great.
Talk To Her (2002) -- Very interesting, well-shot, and well-acted movie about two guys in love with two women in comas. The movie has a rich texture. So far, the only Almodóvar movie I've actually liked; I liked it so much (I saw it first) that I gave many others a chance.
Volver (2006) -- If told in a different way, this could have been an okay movie, but we don't receive vital information until the very end, so we're left watching who knows what unfold for almost two hours first (with many storylines that don't go anywhere, no matter what information you know). Pretty, as always, especially with Penelope Cruz, but dull and difficult.
Copyright (c) Aug 2006 - Apr 2007 by Rusty Likes Movies