My thoughts on SLEEPLESS

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by Rock, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. Rock

    Rock Member

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    (NOT a review, already covered well enough by Paff in 2001, the following still contains spoilers):

    Like TRAUMA, this is another return to his past, but it appears to me that Dario Argento is running out of ideas, that he’s pretty much used up his cinematic bag of tricks, so here he goes again borrowing heavily from his own movies. Like DEEP RED, this starts off with a traumatic incident within a family’s home and uses both a nursery rhyme and a human-like doll, then jumps to a harrowing, SUSPIRIA-like double-murder scored to pulse-pounding Goblin music. The camera prowls ankle-high along a carpeted hallway, up a stairwell, and the exterior of a forbidding mansion to remind us of TENEBRAE.

    The graphic murders of mostly sleazy-looking women being stabbed and cut, punched in the face, teeth smashed against the wall (do we need anymore proof that this man truly hates women?) are among Argento’s and Sergio Stivaletti’s best work/FX…the ballerina (who gets decapitated) is most convincing, especially when her severed head hits the floor, eyes blinking, mouth drooling. The graphic murder of Giacomo’s mother (stabbed repeatedly in the mouth with what looks like a clarinet!) had me squirming in my seat. And after one victim is killed, you’ll never cut your own fingernails again without being a bit nervous about it!

    I liked the way the movie continued a bit while the end credits rolled but what the hell was Argento thinking by killing off his biggest star before the climax?!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2003
  2. mcchrist

    mcchrist A new breed of pervert!

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    I don't think he's so much out of ideas, but rather a product of the past. Meaning that his cinematic style isn't holding up too well these days. I would say that the same thing has happened to John Carpenter. Good review though.
     
  3. Nice review Rock!

    I have not bothered watching Sleepless becuase the R1 disc is full screen and I am not region free yet.

    However this sounds like a pretty violent movie and maybe worth a rental, but I just hate full screen. :mad:
     
  4. hell ya!

    hell ya! ~Go ahead, make my day~

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    Good point, i agree.
     
  5. Rock

    Rock Member

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    I have to disagree, guys, his cinematic style is AWESOME, it's his ideas and stories that desperately need updating...he needs a better screenwriter to come up with a storyline that isn't just recycling bit & pieces of his older, better movies...
     
  6. mcchrist

    mcchrist A new breed of pervert!

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    His style IS awesome, but my point is that it is also a bit dated. I think that Argento and Carpenter both need to reinvent themselves a little bit. Nothing radical, but in other words, grow up a little.
     
  7. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    I like SLEEPLESS but I agree that it's nothing particularly special. It's in my "must rewatch" pile (which is pretty large), so I'll probably watch it again soon. And yes, I am one of the chumps who bought the Artisan disc :eek: .
     
  8. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    I believe that Carpenter cannot make good movies anymore. Sad but true.
     
  9. DeathDealer

    DeathDealer I Inhale Horror

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    I think Sleepless was a very good movie for what it was. Also, My Uncle gave me the Two-Disc SE Dvd OF Sleepless with the World Of Horror Documenatary.
     
  10. mcchrist

    mcchrist A new breed of pervert!

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    Oatmeal, or chocolate chip?
     
  11. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Perhaps someone can explain to me how a Directors style gets outdated? Argento is one of a kind in the horror field – who has replaced him? Sleepless is simply “classic Argento” – which means, he was not trying to tread new ground, but rather make a film in the style of his older works. That does not make it “dated”, just a little more predictable. Honestly, from Suspiria on, one of the cool things about his work is that it resists getting at all dated.

    Given that Sleepless was 110% better than 99% of the crap being made today, we ought to embrace it. I can’t imagine Argento fans not liking it very much. All in all, this is a great film. While it echoes some of his past work – the opening 20 minutes is my favorite Argento moment, in ANY film, in ANY era.
     
  12. mcchrist

    mcchrist A new breed of pervert!

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    And that's the problem really. He has been doing the same thing since he's bagan, and quite frankly I haven't seen any growth at all. Because of this his movies are only going to diminish. He's not at his peak and he's no longer the innovator he was. Its easy to praise his past catalog, but he has gone considerably downhill and the reason being is because he hasn't grown as a filmmaker. Its the same stuff we've all seen before, and quite frankly for me it is tiring.

    That's the point! Argento is one of the best there is, but he's not going to create any more triumphs or masterpieces if his work wallows in the past. Nobody has broken any ground filmmaking wise in a very long time, we've grown stagnent, and it would be easy to blame it on the postmodern condition, but I refuse to believe that growth only means we retread the past.
     
  13. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Well, we’ll have to disagree. Argento continues to break ground – it’s just that, when he does, it stinks. Phantom of the Opera is not traditional Argento, he tried something different (humor for God’s sake!) Sadly though, I hated it.

    Argento remains a innovator to me – since no-one has been able to successfully imitate him. He’s still doing things no-one else is doing (the aforementioned opening 20 minutes is unequalled). I’m not praising past catalogue, I’m praising Sleepless, which I thought was great, both as part of his catalogue, and as a standalone experience.

    Sleepless is a triumph, and it is a masterpiece. The music, the direction is flawless. I just love the film, and honestly think, that while it echoes he past – this is not a bad thing at all. Bring what we have learned from the past, and apply it to today. If he keeps making films like Sleepless, I’ll keep on buying.
     
  14. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    Hedwig on your worst movies ever? Shame on you Mcchrist!
     
  15. The Chaostar

    The Chaostar Johnny Hallyday forever

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    Now pass me that oatmeal.
     
  16. Rainbowthief

    Rainbowthief Guest

    I was sorely disappointed by Sleepless when I first saw it, but by the fifth viewing or so, I began to warm up to it.

    I agree that Argento did his best work from the mid-seventies to late-eighties. I consider Opera his last great film and after Phantom of the Opera I worried that something was seriously wrong with him, so Sleepless was a comforting relief. His style has not evolved much, but I still think he has a great movie or two left in him. I'd really like to see him do more supernatural movies. I love Suspiria, Inferno and Phenomena. I just think his style is really complimented by stories with supernatural elements and who knows, maybe he's just run dry of giallo ideas.


    I think David Fincher is coming damn close, though. Fight Club gave me hope that some of the newer directors may break out of the rut. The problem is too many of them are content to imitate successful gimmicks like Christopher Nolan's reverse narrative in Memento, the fighting choreagraphy in the Wachowski brothers' The Matrix and Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the MTV style editing tricks of Darren Aronofsky in Pi and Requiem for a Dream. I've seen all that stuff in several movies by lesser talents since then. Takashi Miike is another director who I find very original.
     
  17. mcchrist

    mcchrist A new breed of pervert!

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    I agree with you, I'm just wondering if we need the term "genre" any more, or if new genres need created.
     
  18. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Well, I am going to continue to disagree. Saying Argento is out of ideas in Sleepless is just wrong imho. An opening 20 minute chase sequence? When has he done that before? The carpet crawl was also very well done.

    However, what are we talking about here? When we’re talking giallo, we’re talking the script. When we’re talking about Argento as a Director, we’re talking about how the film is envisioned and executed. These are very different things.

    Sleepless is a genre film - the genre itself dictates certain film elements. It’s not a fault of Argento, it’s just part of parcel of the type of film he was making.

    I did not find Matrix very original. I’m not saying it is a bad film, but original? Nah. Argento is at the end of his career (isn’t he in his late 60’s?) He has done a lot of work, and I am very comfortable with what he has done – and what he continues to do. Sleepless was a breath of fresh air after a lot of missteps.

    I just don’t see this as a “rut” of any kind. Films are about stories mainly, and there have been very few innovators. There always will be very few of them. To criticize Argento because, at the late stages of his life, he failed to make a movie like “Fight Club” is really off-the-wall. He is still one-of-a-kind, he is still unique, and no-one could have made Sleepless the way he did. So kudos to him.

    He has said he will make the third mothers film – so that is supernatural. Frankly, I follow Argento wherever he decides to go. I don’t always like the end result, but they are really his films. More Giallo, more horror, whatever he does – it will be Argento, and we’ll know it.
     
  19. legnadibrom

    legnadibrom Guest

    poop

    i'm sure you're referring to only the plot
     
  20. blairmonster

    blairmonster Guest

    Agreed! Hedwig is one of my all-time favs! The soundtrack is fucking killer! Excellent performances, and a fresh story executed with style and gusto. But, I'll save those raves for a different message board :)
     

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