Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth: Public Service Announcement

A few weekends ago, Ken and I went to see Pan's Labyrinth. It's only now that I can find the nerve to talk about it...

After doing a scan of "Pan's Labyrinth, review" Google results, I saw a great majority of the reviews are absolutely glowing. [Keep in mind that Pan's was advertised as a fantasy movie.] All the trailers for Pan's are dominated by shots of the little girl, the awe-inspiring magic goat man and the dude with eyes in his hands. Now, I like a good fantasy movie or superhero movie for that matter. Lord of the Rings is an all-time favorite and like Amy says about my taste in movies, "if I didn't know you, I would have thought you were a 12-year-old boy."

But this representation of the movie was completely misleading. Over half of it isn't fantasy at all, but the harsh realities of the Spanish Civil War Guerrilla Conflict. This movie contains intense GRAPHIC violent images. I don't even want to list them, I was so shocked by it. Now I understand sometimes that you need violence to make a point. But the camera hangs 3 seconds too long on every violent scene so you actually see what Independent films cut-away from and what Hollywood movies only allude to.

I enjoy foreign films for their bold storytelling but I don't like being misled and I certainly don't like feeling 'assaulted' by graphic violence that I'm not prepared for. Now, "Kill Bill 1 & 2"?--I knew what I was getting into. Tarantino's samurai epic blood bath and the Crazy 88's--but that's not what we're talking about here.

Pan's Labyrinth has been nominated for 6 Oscars, so it's worthy of seeing ...but you've been warned.

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