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Rock
04-11-2003, 04:28 PM
(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?!

mcchrist
04-11-2003, 04:39 PM
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.

Zodiac-Mindwarp
04-11-2003, 05:12 PM
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:

hell ya!
04-11-2003, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by mcchrist
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 point, i agree.

Rock
04-11-2003, 07:28 PM
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...

mcchrist
04-11-2003, 09:17 PM
his cinematic style is AWESOME

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.

Andrew
04-11-2003, 09:36 PM
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 :o .

The Chaostar
04-12-2003, 12:51 PM
I believe that Carpenter cannot make good movies anymore. Sad but true.

DeathDealer
04-12-2003, 06:53 PM
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.

mcchrist
04-12-2003, 11:00 PM
Oatmeal, or chocolate chip?

dwatts
04-13-2003, 01:46 AM
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.

mcchrist
04-13-2003, 09:57 AM
That does not make it “dated”, just a little more predictable.

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.

While it echoes some of his past work

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.

dwatts
04-13-2003, 01:00 PM
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.

The Chaostar
04-14-2003, 01:25 PM
Hedwig on your worst movies ever? Shame on you Mcchrist!

The Chaostar
04-14-2003, 01:30 PM
Now pass me that oatmeal.

Rainbowthief
04-22-2003, 10:54 AM
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.


Originally posted by mcchrist
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.

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.

mcchrist
04-22-2003, 11:36 AM
I agree with you, I'm just wondering if we need the term "genre" any more, or if new genres need created.

dwatts
04-22-2003, 02:56 PM
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.

legnadibrom
04-24-2003, 09:00 AM
i'm sure you're referring to only the plot
Originally posted by dwatts

I did not find Matrix very original. I’m not saying it is a bad film, but original?
.

blairmonster
04-24-2003, 10:59 PM
Originally posted by The Chaostar
Hedwig on your worst movies ever? Shame on you Mcchrist!

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 :)

blairmonster
04-24-2003, 11:06 PM
Oh, and chalk me up as another Sleepless lover. Classic stuff! The pan & scan Artisan transfer is ass, but a great movie! The first 20 is awesome...I agree dwatts. The hooker hiding in the rubbery part of the connecting cars...classic. I was on the edge of my seat!! The flute flashback seen was also great...very disturbing. Another great scene was when the one girl climbs that huge stairwell to come face to face with the killer in the security guard's uniform, brandishing a black ski mask, with creepy eyes underneath! I jumped so high in my seat!

mcchrist
04-25-2003, 06:40 AM
Hedwig on your worst movies ever? Shame on you Mcchrist!

Oh man... I can't stand musicals in general, but Hedwig was one of the worst I've ever seen. I just wanted the main character to shut the fuck up!

marcx
01-16-2004, 10:19 PM
Reviving an old thread here but--in regards to sleeples tredging up Darios past--I just rewatched this as Im on one of my Argento kicks and I fell that that is intentional. If you notice the film is about aq series of killings that happened in the the past, then started up again.....Kind of like Darios return to the giallo. The whole film is sort of like an updated greatest hits piece--like when a band you like has been out of action for a while and return to the scene to concentrate on oldfavorites.....


Anywya I love sleepless just because the marriage of image and sound is so beautiful in it...

Nasty Nate
01-19-2004, 06:06 AM
I thought Sleepless sucked. It sure didn't make me sleepless. :sleepy: I never made it all the way through it.

Ash28M
01-19-2004, 02:04 PM
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 don't think you can watch an Argento film only once and really claim to give a valid opinion on it. Every time I watch one of his films I see it from a totally different prospective. I mean i have gone from totally hating some of his films to totally loving it, the very next viewing.

dwatts
01-19-2004, 02:30 PM
Hm, maybe I should watch Deep Red again. My first viewing of the AB DVD was quite blah. Same with Cat O Nine Tails. They were okay, but not up to the standard I had been expecting. Of course, Deep Red is saddled with the longer cut, which has quite a bit of boring dialog (personal opinion, of course).

I always give Argento a chance though. Some have not grown on me with multiple viewings (Trauma, for instance) but he's always worth your time.

Ash28M
01-19-2004, 09:53 PM
Hm, maybe I should watch Deep Red again.

Actually that's the film I was referring to when I said I loved it the second viewing. Maybe you will think differently of it the second time as I did..

RyanPC
01-20-2004, 01:51 PM
I agree with Dwatts, SLEEPLESS is fantastic, and the first 20 minutes are wonderful. I liked it because it was a return to the way he used to make movies. It may not have been as flashy or nice-looking as Deep Red or Suspiria, but I enjoyed the story and Max Von Sydow is great.

wizzer
03-29-2004, 06:17 AM
just watched sleepless. i tried to watch deep red and the switching back and fourth of soundtracks made me turn it off. i haven't seen tenebre yet and i fell asleep at the end of suspiria and can't remember much of it anyway. that said, if this movie was mocking some of his past movies, i wouldn't know. so, standing on its own, i thought the movie was o.k. the kill scenes were great to me and it had a couple of scares too the one at the top of the stairs was mentioned and when the dummy popped out of the bag i jumped also the one thing that really pissed me off is when they show the writting on the guy's hand, they don't translate it into english. i still don't know what it said. i have the widescreen medusa disc but maybe it was translated for you on the artisan one. also, how the hell did the cop know to shoot the guy from downstairs? that could have been anyones head. maybe he saw the girl being held at knife point but i dunno :rolleyes: all in all i say it was o.k. i am a big fan of opera but this one didn't do anything special for me. i found my recent viewing of bird w/crystal plummage to be more entertaining also. one last gripe about this movie. i don't know how it was actually spelled, but the characters name made me giggle every time they said it: JACK-A-MOE :p

Crystal Plumage
03-29-2004, 11:16 AM
Great Argento movie.
I enjoyed this movie more than Stendahl,but since I haven't seen that the way it was meant to be (I have the Dutch = muddy disc) I can't really compare the two.I need to watch Stendahl again.....
the one thing that really pissed me off is when they show the writting on the guy's hand, they don't translate it into english. i still don't know what it said. i have the widescreen medusa disc but maybe it was translated for you on the artisan one.??????
It's just English writing and Moretti reads it out loud too:
I'm a bad boyOr are there different versions out there?
I have the Dutch disc and they used the Medusa print (including the behind the scenes doc)

wizzer
03-29-2004, 04:16 PM
Great Argento movie.
I enjoyed this movie more than Stendahl,but since I haven't seen that the way it was meant to be (I have the Dutch = muddy disc) I can't really compare the two.I need to watch Stendahl again.....
??????
It's just English writing and Moretti reads it out loud too:
I'm a bad boyOr are there different versions out there?
I have the Dutch disc and they used the Medusa print (including the behind the scenes doc)

thanks. i must have missed it if he said it aloud. also i haven't seen the dutch stendahl, but it has to be better than the troma disc. and the writting on his hand in my version of sleepless was definately in italian.

indiephantom
03-29-2004, 07:12 PM
The film is terrific. The R1 release is not. :eek2:

Luna
04-01-2004, 08:03 AM
i don't know how it was actually spelled, but the characters name made me giggle every time they said it: JACK-A-MOE :pGiacomo :D

I loved Sleepless a whole lot, especially the train sequence. Since I also have the Medusa version, I can't even begin to imagine how it looks on the R1 release. It makes me weep thinking about it.

Crystal Plumage
04-01-2004, 12:37 PM
So my question is now:Are there two different prints out there?
According to Wizzer the writing on the man's hand was in Italian,but in my version it's definitely in English.Anyone know?

wizzer
04-01-2004, 04:31 PM
i'm trying to get a screen cap of the hand to make sure mine is indeed in italian, and i cant remember where in the movie that part is now :( who's hand is it on? and when? :p

Crystal Plumage
04-01-2004, 06:16 PM
The writing is at 00:55:46

wizzer
04-01-2004, 06:47 PM
i knew i wasn't crazy (for seeing italian writting)

http://members.cox.net/wizzer3/PDVD_024.BMP

wizzer
04-01-2004, 06:53 PM
moretti also says "i'm a bad boy" so quietly, it's almost not heard.

Crystal Plumage
04-01-2004, 08:28 PM
It's a totally different take!Did they insert this into the international release or something?
I think I'll have to check out the Medusa disc since mine seems improperly framed.

wizzer
04-01-2004, 11:09 PM
It's a totally different take!Did they insert this into the international release or something?
I think I'll have to check out the Medusa disc since mine seems improperly framed.

i was looking at the two takes and thinking the framing might be off but chances are it's just a couple seconds off from yours- you know not the exact same frame. but if yours is non anamorphic and a little muddy, maybe you should give the medusa disc a try just for the quality. :) it looks great i think.

Crystal Plumage
04-02-2004, 12:48 PM
Now you mention it.My version has some sort of greenish glow over it.
It's sharp but the colors are a bit off.And it's non anamorphic.
Also my version only has the English dub and sounds awful.Only Max Von Sydow sounds ok.The rest is just plain bad.So I guess I just have to check the Italian version out sometime.
Well my version will do for now.