Directed by Jessica Yu.
Release Year: ?
Review Date: 1/30/07
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Jessica Yu,
who won an award for one of her short films ten years ago, has made
a feature documentary that is truly one of the strangest/coolest
docs I have ever seen, a new film called "Protagonist."
Following the stories of four unrelated men whose personal tales
follow the Greek story structure outlined by Aristotle, the film
weaves between the individual stories of the four men with puppetry
to illustrate how each portion of the Greek structure would be
conveyed to audiences.
The four men who we follow become slightly
more connected as the film runs along; a bank robber, a German
terrorist, a kung fu student and an "ex-gay" evangelist run through
their narratives and as each one comes closer to a denouement, it
becomes easier to see where the men come from. Yu also mixes
lots of still and video photography from the mens' personal
archives, to achieve a very personal, very touching work that plays
well to both niche audiences and the masses quite well.
This one is so different that I can't even
explain it very well, except to say that you should check it out
once it gets picked, and if not, add it to the queue..."Protagonist"
is good stuff.
Rating: $9.50 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard