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RE: Films of 2011 List - 6/2/2011 5:06:25 PM   
Groovy Mule

 

Posts: 1098
Joined: 26/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Groovy Mule

Haven't finished catching up with 2010 films yet but have managed to catch my first film of 2011 and it's a good way to start the year:

  1. The King's Speech (Hooper) 10
  2. Black Swan (Aronofsky) 9
  3. Blue Valentine (Cianfrance) 8
  4. 127 Hours (Boyle) 8
  5. NEDs (Mullan) 8
  6. Get Low (Schneider) 8
  7. Brighton Rock (Joffe) 6
  8. Morning Glory (Mitchell) 6
  9. The Next Three Days (Haggis) 5
  10. Conviction (Goldwyn) 5
  11. The Dilemma (Howard) 2

The King's Speech was something of a revelation.  The trailer looked a bit staid but all of the performances (with the exception of Tim Spall's rather misjudged portrayal of Churchill who is admittedly a tough person to pull off) are superb and the script is pretty funny.  Where it really works is in working in elements of suspense so that you really root for Colin Firth's Bertie.  I was also impressed with Tom Hooper's direction with his use of unusual camera angles and close ups and what appeared to be slightly undersized props to portray Bertie's unease.  At the screening I saw in Leicester Square there was a spontaneous round of applause at the end of the film so it clearly went down well.


_____________________________

Check out my movie blog - Box Office Challenge and reviews

http://londonmovieguy.wordpress.com/

(in reply to Groovy Mule)
Post #: 61
RE: Films of 2011 List - 7/2/2011 9:33:39 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3966
Joined: 19/10/2005
THE FIGHTER

One can’t help but wonder if anything new can be done with the boxing movie, especially with the shadow of Rocky or Raging Bull constantly hanging over any new film, and indeed The Fighter, though a true story [albeit one that has had quite a few liberties taken with it!], is firmly in the Rocky mode, though the first half concentrates more on the relationship between upcoming boxer Micky and his brother Dickie. Director David O.Russell [who at last has made another decent film after Three Kings!] really catches a feel for and a sense of the blue collar world that the brothers inhabit, and the script by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson convincingly [with the possible exception of Micky’s sisters, who came across as two caricatured for me] creates rounded characters who all have their good and bad points. Most notably there's Dickie-he might be an idiot throwing his life away due to crack, but we sympathise because he’s fighting with demons and truly wants the best for his brother. The tug of war between Micky’s mother and Micky’s new girlfriend Charlene leads to some dynamite scenes, though I felt Micky could have been a bit more of an active character rather than just let everyone dominate him. As the film progresses things do become very predictable but still get pretty rousing and the boxing scenes feel very real due to being shot in a TV style manner and even with a grainy TV style picture, they have a spontaneous quality.  Performances are mostly superb throughout and Christian Bale [who totally looks like a heroin addict] has regained the spark that for me he had lost recently, though Mark Walhberg, as usual, is just okay. Maybe in the end The Fighter doesn’t quite do enough that is different, but it feels real and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t behind Micky at the end and flinching with each punch he receives!
8.5/10


TANGLED

I should have known this would be a disappointment when Disney [well the studio called Disney which doesn’t much resemble the Disney of yesteryear] in their infinite wisdom changed the title from Rapunzel to Tangled, but as a Disney fan I expect some kind of magic from each animated film.  Tangled has little of that magic, it attempts to combine a typical fairytale plot ala Sleeping Beauty with a Shrek-kind of attitude but neither really works-the main story is only mildly involving and even dull at times [with a final act that is a little rushed and almost incoherent], while the humourous  element doesn’t really work because it’s not especially funny. The heroine is inconsistently characterised and alternates between superwoman and old-style damsel in distress, while other characters are either wasted [i.e.Maximillian the horse] or start off interesting and then have little done with them  [Madame Gotell the main villain], and some  look like CG recreations of older Disney characters. Honestly, imagine Bolt as a horse?  You get Maximillian. The CG is mostly fine, with lovely backgrounds and some gorgeous hair, and the much praised lantern scene is indeed beautiful [though I didn’t bother seeing this in 3D as I didn’t want to see it darker than it should be].  However Alan Menken’s songs sound like bland rehashes of older songs and are really quite poor. Tangled does just about entertain if you forget about Disney’s great legacy and seems to be pleasing kids judging from the showing I was at, but it just seems as if Disney are playing safe almost to the point of blandness with Tangled. The Princess And The Frog was alot better than this. 5/10


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Groovy Mule)
Post #: 62
RE: Films of 2011 List - 8/2/2011 4:21:04 AM   
Wizzums

 

Posts: 29
Joined: 14/10/2010
From: What business is it of yours, friendo?
1. True Grit (Coen & Coen) 10/10
This masterful fim is superbly written, paced and directed, beautifully shot, darkly hilarious and features perfect performances form Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, but these veterans are all outdone by the revalation that is newcomer Hailee Stienfeld in the most stunning debut performance I have seen in a very long while. This masterpiece of filmmaking from the Coens (another one) is dead set to be one of my all-time favourites.

2. Black Swan (Aronofsky) 8/10
Black Swan is a surprisingly thrilling film. It has the trademark Aronofsky hard to watch moments, a career-best performance from Natalie Portman and the intensity is very high throughout. Although the plotline sometimes verges on laughably stupid melodrama, it will never let go of your attention.

3. The King's Speech (Hooper) 8/10
A smart, well written crowd-pleaser that reaches moments of brilliance when Colin Firth (who is outstanding) and Geoffrey Rush (who is also outstanding) are interacting. However the rest of the film dulls considerably in comparison.

4. The Fighter (O. Russel) 7/10
As far as plot goes, this is a stock-standard boxing film, but it is elevated considerably by great direction and superb performances by Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo and especially Christian Bale.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 63
RE: Films of 2011 List - 8/2/2011 12:47:18 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006
Great reviews all round guys!

I should fit in The Fighter, Conviction and hopefully True Grit before the end of the week, but I think I will give Tangled a miss at least at the cinema

(in reply to Wizzums)
Post #: 64
RE: Films of 2011 List - 8/2/2011 4:13:03 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3971
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
I echo the sentiments of Elephantboy, good stuff folks.  Here's my latest couple.....

HEREAFTER

Somewhere, there is a good film in here. Damon gives an impressive, understated performance throughout as a man weighed down by his "gift” and the scenes he shares with Bryce Dallas Howard are a small delight. Whilst the opening ten minutes expertly depict the sheer panic and confusion felt by people in relation to a specific real-life natural disaster.

It's just a shame then that virtually everything else is rubbish. Firstly the amount of product placement for Blackberry is extremely off-putting and the way they seem to be tied in to real life tragedies is actually quite insulting (I really doubt they were so widely available in their current form around the time of the 7/7 Attacks for example). Peter Morgan, a man whose done sterling work in the past with the likes of 'The Queen', 'Frost/Nixon' and 'the Damned United' devises a screenplay that really drops the ball here with a narrative structure that despite well-intended, feels hugely cumbersome and heavily contrived – displaying a high number of tedious sequences with clichés galore, awful dialogue and does its actors absolutely no favours in the process.  

This is particularly evident in the roles of Marcus and Jason played by the McLaren twins, who (and I'm not exaggerating here) are comfortably two of the worst actors (child or adult) that I've ever had the misfortune to see in a mainstream film and every time they open their mouths, unintentional comedy ensues.  This is something that 'Hereafter' could probably escape from if they weren't such significant roles but given they are involved in a third of the films running time and in essence provide Hereafter's emotional rawness – it's a monumental disaster. What was going through Clint's mind when he casted these two I'll never, ever know.

Whatever it was, there can be no hiding from the fact that Clint is on a bit of a downward spiral at the moment.  Here's hoping he'll address that slump in his J Edgar Hoover biopic due out next year.

4.5/10



RABBIT HOLE


Adapting plays to the silver screen tend to be a tricky process in creating something that's truly visual although not so much when it comes to screenplay and performance. 'Rabbit Hole' continues this familiar trend with a script that is witty, moving and genuine throughout – giving what appears to be a brutally honest but by no means savagely depressing portrayal of a married couple struggling to deal with the loss of a child.

The actors as well are all in top form; Kidman provides her strongest turn in what seems like years. Eckhart, if anything, is more impressive in his depiction of the more-grounded other half who displays flashes of rage at the desperate situation. Most striking of all however is relative newcomer Miles Teller who displays a brilliant showcasing of subtlety and it's his turn that is ironically the most heartbreaking and sympathetic of all. If this guy gets the right roles it's inevitable he's destined for a big future in the acting world.

Yet, keeping up with the tradition of stage to screen adaptations it's the case of direction and cinematography where 'Rabbit Hole' falls ultimately short. John Cameron Mitchell, a director who brought a fair bit of panache to his sexually-charged 'Shortbus' struggles to bring much cinematic flair to 'Rabbit Hole', resulting in a film that looks pretty flat and does little to assist the dramatic weight. One slow-motion sequence towards the end of the film depicting a specific tragic event attempts to address this (almost a nod to a particular sequence in Lars Von Trier's 'Antichrist') but instead feels out of step with the rest of the film and consequently doesn't really work despite its intentions.

In spite of this shortcoming however this is a film that's all about and dominated by the performances and the script, so in that respect it would be fair to call 'Rabbit Hole' a success – all being a somewhat muted one.  

6.5/10





_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 65
RE: Films of 2011 List - 8/2/2011 4:32:50 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3971
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
And now that I've reached double figures for 2011, here's my top 10 of the year thus far.....

1. Black Swan - 9/10

2. The King's Speech - 8/10

3. Blue Valentine - 8/10

4. 127 Hours - 7.5/10

5. Neds - 7.5/10

6. Biutiful - 6.5/10

7. Rabbit Hole - 6.5/10

8. Morning Glory - 6/10

9. Hereafter - 4.5/10

10. Barney's Version - 4.5/10


I suspect the next ten entries will probably be awards snub Never Let Me Go, boxing acting powerhouse The Fighter, the Coens latest True Grit, Simon Pegg & Nick Frost reunited in Paul, Aussie drama Animal Kingdom, for a laugh - I Am Number Four, documentary Waste Land, remake Brighton Rock, Anthony Hopkins hamming it up in The Rite, and finally, Philip K Dick probably turned to fluff in The Adjustment Bureau.


_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 66
RE: Films of 2011 List - 9/2/2011 1:06:57 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

I echo the sentiments of Elephantboy, good stuff folks.  Here's my latest couple.....

HEREAFTER

Somewhere, there is a good film in here. Damon gives an impressive, understated performance throughout as a man weighed down by his "gift” and the scenes he shares with Bryce Dallas Howard are a small delight. Whilst the opening ten minutes expertly depict the sheer panic and confusion felt by people in relation to a specific real-life natural disaster.

It's just a shame then that virtually everything else is rubbish. Firstly the amount of product placement for Blackberry is extremely off-putting and the way they seem to be tied in to real life tragedies is actually quite insulting (I really doubt they were so widely available in their current form around the time of the 7/7 Attacks for example). Peter Morgan, a man whose done sterling work in the past with the likes of 'The Queen', 'Frost/Nixon' and 'the Damned United' devises a screenplay that really drops the ball here with a narrative structure that despite well-intended, feels hugely cumbersome and heavily contrived – displaying a high number of tedious sequences with clichés galore, awful dialogue and does its actors absolutely no favours in the process.  

This is particularly evident in the roles of Marcus and Jason played by the McLaren twins, who (and I'm not exaggerating here) are comfortably two of the worst actors (child or adult) that I've ever had the misfortune to see in a mainstream film and every time they open their mouths, unintentional comedy ensues.  This is something that 'Hereafter' could probably escape from if they weren't such significant roles but given they are involved in a third of the films running time and in essence provide Hereafter's emotional rawness – it's a monumental disaster. What was going through Clint's mind when he casted these two I'll never, ever know.

Whatever it was, there can be no hiding from the fact that Clint is on a bit of a downward spiral at the moment. Here's hoping he'll address that slump in his J Edgar Hoover biopic due out next year. 4.5/10



RABBIT HOLE


Adapting plays to the silver screen tend to be a tricky process in creating something that's truly visual although not so much when it comes to screenplay and performance. 'Rabbit Hole' continues this familiar trend with a script that is witty, moving and genuine throughout – giving what appears to be a brutally honest but by no means savagely depressing portrayal of a married couple struggling to deal with the loss of a child.

The actors as well are all in top form; Kidman provides her strongest turn in what seems like years. Eckhart, if anything, is more impressive in his depiction of the more-grounded other half who displays flashes of rage at the desperate situation. Most striking of all however is relative newcomer Miles Teller who displays a brilliant showcasing of subtlety and it's his turn that is ironically the most heartbreaking and sympathetic of all. If this guy gets the right roles it's inevitable he's destined for a big future in the acting world.

Yet, keeping up with the tradition of stage to screen adaptations it's the case of direction and cinematography where 'Rabbit Hole' falls ultimately short. John Cameron Mitchell, a director who brought a fair bit of panache to his sexually-charged 'Shortbus' struggles to bring much cinematic flair to 'Rabbit Hole', resulting in a film that looks pretty flat and does little to assist the dramatic weight. One slow-motion sequence towards the end of the film depicting a specific tragic event attempts to address this (almost a nod to a particular sequence in Lars Von Trier's 'Antichrist') but instead feels out of step with the rest of the film and consequently doesn't really work despite its intentions.

In spite of this shortcoming however this is a film that's all about and dominated by the performances and the script, so in that respect it would be fair to call 'Rabbit Hole' a success – all being a somewhat muted one.  

6.5/10





I think Clint is starting to suffer in the same way as Woody Allen and Ridley Scott, but producing at least one film per year on avenge, sometimes two, your work in the end the will start to hit a down ward sprial.

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 67
RE: Films of 2011 List - 9/2/2011 6:16:47 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3966
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

I echo the sentiments of Elephantboy, good stuff folks.  Here's my latest couple.....

HEREAFTER

Somewhere, there is a good film in here. Damon gives an impressive, understated performance throughout as a man weighed down by his "gift” and the scenes he shares with Bryce Dallas Howard are a small delight. Whilst the opening ten minutes expertly depict the sheer panic and confusion felt by people in relation to a specific real-life natural disaster.

It's just a shame then that virtually everything else is rubbish. Firstly the amount of product placement for Blackberry is extremely off-putting and the way they seem to be tied in to real life tragedies is actually quite insulting (I really doubt they were so widely available in their current form around the time of the 7/7 Attacks for example). Peter Morgan, a man whose done sterling work in the past with the likes of 'The Queen', 'Frost/Nixon' and 'the Damned United' devises a screenplay that really drops the ball here with a narrative structure that despite well-intended, feels hugely cumbersome and heavily contrived – displaying a high number of tedious sequences with clichés galore, awful dialogue and does its actors absolutely no favours in the process.  

This is particularly evident in the roles of Marcus and Jason played by the McLaren twins, who (and I'm not exaggerating here) are comfortably two of the worst actors (child or adult) that I've ever had the misfortune to see in a mainstream film and every time they open their mouths, unintentional comedy ensues.  This is something that 'Hereafter' could probably escape from if they weren't such significant roles but given they are involved in a third of the films running time and in essence provide Hereafter's emotional rawness – it's a monumental disaster. What was going through Clint's mind when he casted these two I'll never, ever know.

Whatever it was, there can be no hiding from the fact that Clint is on a bit of a downward spiral at the moment.  Here's hoping he'll address that slump in his J Edgar Hoover biopic due out next year.

4.5/10



RABBIT HOLE


Adapting plays to the silver screen tend to be a tricky process in creating something that's truly visual although not so much when it comes to screenplay and performance. 'Rabbit Hole' continues this familiar trend with a script that is witty, moving and genuine throughout – giving what appears to be a brutally honest but by no means savagely depressing portrayal of a married couple struggling to deal with the loss of a child.

The actors as well are all in top form; Kidman provides her strongest turn in what seems like years. Eckhart, if anything, is more impressive in his depiction of the more-grounded other half who displays flashes of rage at the desperate situation. Most striking of all however is relative newcomer Miles Teller who displays a brilliant showcasing of subtlety and it's his turn that is ironically the most heartbreaking and sympathetic of all. If this guy gets the right roles it's inevitable he's destined for a big future in the acting world.

Yet, keeping up with the tradition of stage to screen adaptations it's the case of direction and cinematography where 'Rabbit Hole' falls ultimately short. John Cameron Mitchell, a director who brought a fair bit of panache to his sexually-charged 'Shortbus' struggles to bring much cinematic flair to 'Rabbit Hole', resulting in a film that looks pretty flat and does little to assist the dramatic weight. One slow-motion sequence towards the end of the film depicting a specific tragic event attempts to address this (almost a nod to a particular sequence in Lars Von Trier's 'Antichrist') but instead feels out of step with the rest of the film and consequently doesn't really work despite its intentions.

In spite of this shortcoming however this is a film that's all about and dominated by the performances and the script, so in that respect it would be fair to call 'Rabbit Hole' a success – all being a somewhat muted one.  

6.5/10






Didn't fancy Rabbit Hole, though I have a soft spot for Nicole, as for Hereafter, I do agree with you about the kid's acting, but as you know I really liked the film and I may even raise my score!! I'm not sure I'd agree [just my opinion!] that Clint is on a downward spiral, Changeling was fine, Invictus was mediocre I agree but Hereafter a big improvement if not as good as Changeling.  Pretty good for someone around 80 [isn't he?]


< Message edited by Dr Lenera -- 9/2/2011 6:20:36 PM >


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 68
RE: Films of 2011 List - 14/2/2011 9:33:34 AM   
scarface666brooksy!!


Posts: 3544
Joined: 24/10/2007
From: The Valley of the Wind
1. The Dilemma (7.5/10) FT
2. The Fighter (9/10) FT
3. The Kings Speech (9,5.10) FT

_____________________________

My Aussie Film Thread - Film #7 - Patrick (1978)


(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 69
RE: Films of 2011 List - 16/2/2011 12:43:39 AM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3971
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
Time for another three......

NEVER LET ME GO  

It's not often you get to use the description "understated science fiction”, as predominantly within the genre cinema tends to impose a large degree of sensationalism or a high levelled concept . Directed by Mark Romanek and penned by Alex Garland, 'Never Let Me Go' (the Kazuo Ishiguro novel about a trio of clones experiencing som...e very human feelings) certainly fits that description – without a spaceship, alien, robot, gun or laser in sight.  

The understated aspect arrives in the fact that this isn't a story or a consequent film that attempts to address "why”, more a case of "how.” The characters of Kathy, Tommy and Ruth (played beautifully by Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley – yes, even her!) never question the appalling conclusion their lives are heading towards to, in fact, they accept it without question - which in turn provides 'Never Let Me Go' it's strongest and most tragic characteristic, but likely in many people's eyes also its weakest.  

For those in question, there will no doubt be a complaint along the lines of "why are they accepting this?” "Why aren't they going on the run / damaging themselves in protest” and so forth. To answer that, this isn't just a film about them accepting their destinies; it's also one about the corrupting power of brainwashing. For a third of the film's duration, we witness the origins of the leading trio's story as children at a boarding school –where they are groomed to believe that their journey to "completion” is a rightful and honourable destination. In this segment it's arguably where the film is strongest and perfectly sets up the inevitable devastation to come.  

Which is also in no small part to the efforts of both its director and screenwriter - Mark Romanek; an individual better known for some highly flashy videos for the likes of Michael Jackson, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and No Doubt, continues his restrained approach to feature films which he started with in 'One Hour Photo' and allows his actors to breathe naturally into scenes with minimal interference - collaborating with cinematographer Adam Kimmel in achieving some beautiful images in the process. Whilst Alex Garland, someone who has always conjured up intriguing premises in both his novels and screenplays but has frequently struggled to conclude them satisfyingly ('the Beach', '28 Days Later' & 'Sunshine' all key examples) has no problem here – successfully adapting the celebrated novel into a well-paced and affectively -structured film.  

As previously stated, there will be many who will be left frustrated (perhaps even bored)by the experience but for those willing to give it the chance, 'Never Let Me Go' is a expertly constructed piece enriched with moments that are both haunting and heart-breaking in equal measure. Undoubtedly cruelly-overlooked in this year's awards season.  

8/10
     


THE FIGHTER
 

One of those "triumph over adversity” stories that reeks of Hollywood award-baiting, but nevertheless, is well-worked and entertaining throughout.  

It's hard to fault any of those involved, as the cast are clinical in portraying their specific character moulds.  Wahlberg, an actor who can be so hit and miss (Boogie Nights, the Departed – hit! The Happening, the Lovely Bones – Miss!) perfectly captures the straight-laced sympathetic individual surrounded by slack-jawed idiots. Bale nails the crack-fuelled hysterical character (border-lining on caricature) which typifies the type of performance the academy love to award. Then there's the pair of Melissa Leo and the gorgeous Amy Adams, who expertly portray the womanly-figures that compete against each other in pulling Micky in opposite directions.  

Director David O. Russell too, does an extremely competent job, keeping his camera loose to give it that reality-glazed edge and encourages his actors to base their performances on improvisation – adding to the realism so to speak. The fight-scenes itself are also authentic and the usage of high-gain digitalised format manages to successfully portray the blood and sweat spilled and felt by those in the ring.  

Yet ironically like last year's Ben Affleck-directed, crime drama 'The Town' , 'The Fighter' is another example of a well-made film in a Massachusetts setting that owes a severe lot to better films of the same genre – with 'Raging Bull' and 'Rocky' being the key ones in this regard. It may be based on an actual true story, but the familiar plot beats and its award-friendly characteristics in this case result in a satisfying enough but by no means remarkable experience. 

6.5/10
     


TRUE GRIT
 

It says a lot about the Coens when they're able to make such an excellent film, yet I can still feel disappointed about the resulting outcome.  

Aesthetically, there is absolutely nothing wrong with 'True Grit.' The cast are all top notch; Bridges channels his turns in both 'The Big Lebowski' and 'Crazy Heart' with the added touch of a ruthless killer to boot. Matt Damon again continues to impress as a character actor, giving the pompous Texas Ranger Le boeuf a level of sympathy that others would struggle to achieve. Then of course there's Hailee Stenfeld,   who is absolutely terrific as the vengeful youngster Mattie Ross – and even though she really should be in the leading actress category rather than the supporting one, completely deserves an Oscar in little under two weeks time from under the noses of Leo, Adams and the rest of her rivals.  

As for direction and cinematography – it's what you would expect from a Coens film. There are frequent individual scenes of absolute joy on display (look out for a specific hanging, a recently diseased hanging from a tree, a shooting competition "of sorts” and a practising dentist that could only exist in the world of the Joel & Ethan), whilst Roger Deakins continues his fine work in making everything he shoots consistently glorious to look at (specifically in a night-time scene towards the end). Even though I technically preferred Wally Pfister's work in 'Inception', surely his time has come to be acknowledged by the Academy after so many years of nominations but no actual wins?  

So why then the disappointment? Well, I'll tell you why. 'True Grit' has been described by many as another Coens classic, and given what I determine as "classic” Coens ('Miller's Crossing', 'Fargo', 'the Big Lebowski', 'No Country For Old Men' to name a few), I had exceedingly high expectations, expectations that consequently were not met.  

This I believe is down to its source material. In fairness, I haven't read the Charles Portis novel nor seen the John Wayne-led reworking – but assuming this is a faithful adaptation of that work of fiction, I cannot imagine I would be that impressed by it. For me, the best aspect of any Coen classic is being led head-on into the dark, having no genuine idea of where exactly they were going to take you or where your journey would end up. 'True Grit' on the other hand is a film where virtually every plot point is signposted and in fact, there are moments in the narrative that I would suggest as being rather weak and lazy – something that I feel is hugely unusual for them. That for me is what ultimately lets it down.  

It is without a doubt a supremely strong example of expertly made film-making, but it lacks the unpredictability, the element of surprise or the really strong narrative for it to be deemed a true classic.  

7.5/10



< Message edited by Qwerty Norris -- 16/2/2011 12:45:55 AM >


_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to scarface666brooksy!!)
Post #: 70
RE: Films of 2011 List - 16/2/2011 11:04:22 AM   
Groovy Mule

 

Posts: 1098
Joined: 26/11/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

HEREAFTER

Somewhere, there is a good film in here. Damon gives an impressive, understated performance throughout as a man weighed down by his "gift” and the scenes he shares with Bryce Dallas Howard are a small delight. Whilst the opening ten minutes expertly depict the sheer panic and confusion felt by people in relation to a specific real-life natural disaster.

It's just a shame then that virtually everything else is rubbish. Firstly the amount of product placement for Blackberry is extremely off-putting and the way they seem to be tied in to real life tragedies is actually quite insulting (I really doubt they were so widely available in their current form around the time of the 7/7 Attacks for example). Peter Morgan, a man whose done sterling work in the past with the likes of 'The Queen', 'Frost/Nixon' and 'the Damned United' devises a screenplay that really drops the ball here with a narrative structure that despite well-intended, feels hugely cumbersome and heavily contrived – displaying a high number of tedious sequences with clichés galore, awful dialogue and does its actors absolutely no favours in the process.  

This is particularly evident in the roles of Marcus and Jason played by the McLaren twins, who (and I'm not exaggerating here) are comfortably two of the worst actors (child or adult) that I've ever had the misfortune to see in a mainstream film and every time they open their mouths, unintentional comedy ensues.  This is something that 'Hereafter' could probably escape from if they weren't such significant roles but given they are involved in a third of the films running time and in essence provide Hereafter's emotional rawness – it's a monumental disaster. What was going through Clint's mind when he casted these two I'll never, ever know.

Whatever it was, there can be no hiding from the fact that Clint is on a bit of a downward spiral at the moment.  Here's hoping he'll address that slump in his J Edgar Hoover biopic due out next year.

4.5/10



Hereafter

I echo more or less everything which QN has said about Hereafter.  This is being marketed as a Matt Damon film which it is in part (he is, after all, the best thing in it by some distance) but he is probably in the film for no more than a third of the film.  The remainder of the film takes place in Paris and London via the tsunami of 2004, somewhere in South East Asia and it is fair to say that the majority of the French section is dull with Cecile de France (all bird's nest hair and botox) coping with the after effects of the tsunami but even this section looks masterful against the London section.  The two child actors are quite possibly the worst actors I have seen ever but no-one in the London scenes is the least bit convincing.  This is summed up by Derek Jacobi, who is playing himself and seems unconvincing.

There is a good movie in here somewhere.  The signs are there, witness the scenes between Matt Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard in the cooking school which are fun and intimate and one can't help but wish that the screenplay cut the interlinking stories and focussed on this one.

Eastwood takes his share of the blame - the acting is pretty awful, Damon and Howard excepted, and the CGI is weak.  However, it is Peter Morgan's screenplay which is mainly to blame. Apparently he wrote it when he was in a difficult place in his life and it shows.  Frankly even the best director in the world couldn't save this screenplay.

3/10


_____________________________

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(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 71
RE: Films of 2011 List - 19/2/2011 6:18:43 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3966
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Qwerty Norris

Time for another three......

NEVER LET ME GO  

It's not often you get to use the description "understated science fiction”, as predominantly within the genre cinema tends to impose a large degree of sensationalism or a high levelled concept . Directed by Mark Romanek and penned by Alex Garland, 'Never Let Me Go' (the Kazuo Ishiguro novel about a trio of clones experiencing som...e very human feelings) certainly fits that description – without a spaceship, alien, robot, gun or laser in sight.  

The understated aspect arrives in the fact that this isn't a story or a consequent film that attempts to address "why”, more a case of "how.” The characters of Kathy, Tommy and Ruth (played beautifully by Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley – yes, even her!) never question the appalling conclusion their lives are heading towards to, in fact, they accept it without question - which in turn provides 'Never Let Me Go' it's strongest and most tragic characteristic, but likely in many people's eyes also its weakest.  

For those in question, there will no doubt be a complaint along the lines of "why are they accepting this?” "Why aren't they going on the run / damaging themselves in protest” and so forth. To answer that, this isn't just a film about them accepting their destinies; it's also one about the corrupting power of brainwashing. For a third of the film's duration, we witness the origins of the leading trio's story as children at a boarding school –where they are groomed to believe that their journey to "completion” is a rightful and honourable destination. In this segment it's arguably where the film is strongest and perfectly sets up the inevitable devastation to come.  

Which is also in no small part to the efforts of both its director and screenwriter - Mark Romanek; an individual better known for some highly flashy videos for the likes of Michael Jackson, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and No Doubt, continues his restrained approach to feature films which he started with in 'One Hour Photo' and allows his actors to breathe naturally into scenes with minimal interference - collaborating with cinematographer Adam Kimmel in achieving some beautiful images in the process. Whilst Alex Garland, someone who has always conjured up intriguing premises in both his novels and screenplays but has frequently struggled to conclude them satisfyingly ('the Beach', '28 Days Later' & 'Sunshine' all key examples) has no problem here – successfully adapting the celebrated novel into a well-paced and affectively -structured film.  

As previously stated, there will be many who will be left frustrated (perhaps even bored)by the experience but for those willing to give it the chance, 'Never Let Me Go' is a expertly constructed piece enriched with moments that are both haunting and heart-breaking in equal measure. Undoubtedly cruelly-overlooked in this year's awards season.  

8/10
     


THE FIGHTER
 

One of those "triumph over adversity” stories that reeks of Hollywood award-baiting, but nevertheless, is well-worked and entertaining throughout.  

It's hard to fault any of those involved, as the cast are clinical in portraying their specific character moulds.  Wahlberg, an actor who can be so hit and miss (Boogie Nights, the Departed – hit! The Happening, the Lovely Bones – Miss!) perfectly captures the straight-laced sympathetic individual surrounded by slack-jawed idiots. Bale nails the crack-fuelled hysterical character (border-lining on caricature) which typifies the type of performance the academy love to award. Then there's the pair of Melissa Leo and the gorgeous Amy Adams, who expertly portray the womanly-figures that compete against each other in pulling Micky in opposite directions.  

Director David O. Russell too, does an extremely competent job, keeping his camera loose to give it that reality-glazed edge and encourages his actors to base their performances on improvisation – adding to the realism so to speak. The fight-scenes itself are also authentic and the usage of high-gain digitalised format manages to successfully portray the blood and sweat spilled and felt by those in the ring.  

Yet ironically like last year's Ben Affleck-directed, crime drama 'The Town' , 'The Fighter' is another example of a well-made film in a Massachusetts setting that owes a severe lot to better films of the same genre – with 'Raging Bull' and 'Rocky' being the key ones in this regard. It may be based on an actual true story, but the familiar plot beats and its award-friendly characteristics in this case result in a satisfying enough but by no means remarkable experience. 

6.5/10
     


TRUE GRIT
 

It says a lot about the Coens when they're able to make such an excellent film, yet I can still feel disappointed about the resulting outcome.  

Aesthetically, there is absolutely nothing wrong with 'True Grit.' The cast are all top notch; Bridges channels his turns in both 'The Big Lebowski' and 'Crazy Heart' with the added touch of a ruthless killer to boot. Matt Damon again continues to impress as a character actor, giving the pompous Texas Ranger Le boeuf a level of sympathy that others would struggle to achieve. Then of course there's Hailee Stenfeld,   who is absolutely terrific as the vengeful youngster Mattie Ross – and even though she really should be in the leading actress category rather than the supporting one, completely deserves an Oscar in little under two weeks time from under the noses of Leo, Adams and the rest of her rivals.  

As for direction and cinematography – it's what you would expect from a Coens film. There are frequent individual scenes of absolute joy on display (look out for a specific hanging, a recently diseased hanging from a tree, a shooting competition "of sorts” and a practising dentist that could only exist in the world of the Joel & Ethan), whilst Roger Deakins continues his fine work in making everything he shoots consistently glorious to look at (specifically in a night-time scene towards the end). Even though I technically preferred Wally Pfister's work in 'Inception', surely his time has come to be acknowledged by the Academy after so many years of nominations but no actual wins?  

So why then the disappointment? Well, I'll tell you why. 'True Grit' has been described by many as another Coens classic, and given what I determine as "classic” Coens ('Miller's Crossing', 'Fargo', 'the Big Lebowski', 'No Country For Old Men' to name a few), I had exceedingly high expectations, expectations that consequently were not met.  

This I believe is down to its source material. In fairness, I haven't read the Charles Portis novel nor seen the John Wayne-led reworking – but assuming this is a faithful adaptation of that work of fiction, I cannot imagine I would be that impressed by it. For me, the best aspect of any Coen classic is being led head-on into the dark, having no genuine idea of where exactly they were going to take you or where your journey would end up. 'True Grit' on the other hand is a film where virtually every plot point is signposted and in fact, there are moments in the narrative that I would suggest as being rather weak and lazy – something that I feel is hugely unusual for them. That for me is what ultimately lets it down.  

It is without a doubt a supremely strong example of expertly made film-making, but it lacks the unpredictability, the element of surprise or the really strong narrative for it to be deemed a true classic.  

7.5/10




Three more good reviews, want to see Never Let Me Go but unsurprisingly it's not showing where I live.  As for True Grit, I will see it but am not expecting much as I really dislike the Coen Brothers' films.

Hopefully True Grit, Gnomeo And Juliet[ yeah, I know, I like animated films!!] and Paul this week!



_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 72
RE: Films of 2011 List - 24/2/2011 5:08:55 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006
Since my last update I have been in freezy Berlin for the 61st Berlin Film Festival, and as well as having a good time saw a few very intertesting new films. But first the domstic stuff.

The Fighter (David O.Russell, 115 Mins) 5.5/10
From a director like O.Russell I expected a more, interesting, and tough take on this typical boxing/family malodrama. Instead I just watched a straght forward predictable film, with a horribly contrived ending with things tied up way too neatly. Part of the problem is in the direction style, the film opens with an impressive tracking shot with the brothers walking down the street, the trouble is nearly every scene is produced in this hyper kind of way, meaning the direction and story are very uneven. Personally I found Christian Bale to be too hammy and showy, Walberg on the other hand nicely down play his performance, but the real stars acting wise are the women, both Melissa Leo and Amy Adams are excellent, and add the depth requried, if Adams wins the best supporting actress Oscar this weekend it will be well deserved. The Boxing scenes are superb as well.

Conviction (Tony Goldwyn, 107 Mins) 5/10
Just what I was expecting a predictable, safe and melodramatic TV of the week film. The acting is mostly good, Sam Rockwell once again shines in a difficult role, and I was really impressed with Minnie Driver too, Swark was a bit less convincing. It can't be called a terrible film, just a bit of a nothing one, and maybe the main problem is that no matter weather the brother is innoncent or not, he is just too unlikeable and rough around the edges to really care about or believe in.

Berlin International Film Festival Screenings

Day is Done (Thomas Imbach, 111 Mins) 6.5/10
Swiss director Imbach's film is semi-autobiographical as he has taken a collection of his phone machine masseges and used them along with images of surrounding buildings, the skyline, and ramdon people going about their day to day lives. The main balk of the story is that over the couse of the film he becomes a father, and it seems starts ducking his resposibities as many of the messages are of his partner trying to get hold of him to help out with his son. There is the feel of a elmiating, but cold Sci-fi set in a modern city, with quite a big David Lynch inference where we see the single framed eathy/dreamy shots, combined with crackling soundscapes, there also a shape use of a folk soundtrack with the likes Bob Dylan, Sid Barrett and Bright Eyes appearing. The experment does fall down half way through, where the filmmaking seems to run out of choices and just focus on one character in the street for far too long, and as it moves towards the end it does become the self-indulgent, overlong piece I was dreading from the start, plus once it dawned on me, than a lot of the stuff with his girlfriend and son was real, it left me with the feeling than the guy was a son of a bitch and why should I care? A mixed bag overall.

Odem (Lipstikka) (Jonathan Sagall, 90 Mins) 8/10
The story of two Palestinian girls who share a very personal and dark secret from their past in their home contrary, years later the meet back up in England with one it seems happily married and the other still clinging onto the past. As the film moves along we see each one's very different memories of the past. Clara Khoury and Nataly Attiya are wonderful as the leads, the brittle tension between the characters is tightly played, as they nicely feed off each with a shape and lyical script, which at first has a nice loose feel to it allowing you get into the characters, but later switching into the darker moments smootly. The calm straght forward shooting style the intermicy and rawness of the story and characters to grow. And the plot cleavingly twists the prosection you have of both women as it moves along, and has a shape twist in the tail also. Highly recommended!

The Forgiveness Of Blood (Joshua Marston, 109 Mins) 7.5/10
The new film from Marston (Maria Full Of Grace) is set in Albanian and centres on the impact on siblings Nik and Rudina when they father is accused of a murder of their neighbour, therefore because of the custom Nik must stay in doors all the time, and his sister has to go out and make money for the family. Like MFOG it takes in the smells and look of the city, as well as capturing the impression of youth, and the effort the adult world has on them growing up. There is lovely visual poetry, and atmosphric score, as the story nicely balances the more playful fun parts of being a teenager, with the tougher realities and the pain of that age epsically growing up in this sort of country. My only down point would be that the leads were a little unconvincing, Sindi Laceji serves laragely as a sounding board, and Tristan Halilaj is just too bland at times. Apart from that well worth seeing.

Medianeras (Gustavo Taretto, 91 Mins) 9/10
Debut feature and the last film I saw on the closing night of the festival. Here we follow Pilar Lopez De Ayala (In the City Of Sylvia) and Javier Drolas as two ecctric, down beat characters who live in the same city, he a web designer who works from home and speads way too much time online, and her a designer of clothes manniquins, both coming out of disatious realtionships. The film fellows their lives unfolding side by side, and serves as a sharp satire on modern Argentina, the online world, but also a very entertaining and engaging romantic comedy. The opening mologe reminded me a lot Lester's from American Beauty and Drolas' character is just as dry and oddball as anything Steve Buscemi has come up with, there are some fantastic one liners, and real touching moments too. It manages to combine the surreall magic and brooding off beat characters of a Charlie Kaufman project, with the senstive female touch of an Aldmodvar film, along with the shape comic lines of classic Woody Allen. The end is truly moving, and both sends up the genre of the romcom, while adding to it. There are lots of different movie refernences and other stuff for geeks, and in Taretto we may just have a special new voice. One of the finest debuts in years.

Coming up I will be seeing Neds, True Grit and Confessions.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 73
RE: Films of 2011 List - 24/2/2011 5:43:13 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3971
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
Good to hear from you Elephant boy and I'm exceedingly jealous you went to the Berlin Film Festival. Been to the city once before and I loved it so going to the festival would no doubt be a pretty nice experience. Did you watch the films subtitled in english or are you fluent in German? Medianeras sounds promising, any idea if it's getting UK distribution? Maybe it'll come my way for the Edinburgh Film Festival.....

Expect write ups for Paul and err....Yogi Bear, later tonight.


_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 74
RE: Films of 2011 List - 25/2/2011 1:23:21 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006
I am guessing that Yogi Bear might turn out to be one of your low lights of the year

Not sure about Medianeras and a UK release, but I will do some digging. Yeah love Berlin as a city and the festival also, hope to go back next year. Should be posting a proper report in the Festival thread I created when I get my arse in gear

Saw Neds last night, but will wait until I have seen a couple more things before I review it.

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 75
RE: Films of 2011 List - 26/2/2011 8:19:20 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3966
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: ElephantBoy

Since my last update I have been in freezy Berlin for the 61st Berlin Film Festival, and as well as having a good time saw a few very intertesting new films. But first the domstic stuff.

The Fighter (David O.Russell, 115 Mins) 5.5/10
From a director like O.Russell I expected a more, interesting, and tough take on this typical boxing/family malodrama. Instead I just watched a straght forward predictable film, with a horribly contrived ending with things tied up way too neatly. Part of the problem is in the direction style, the film opens with an impressive tracking shot with the brothers walking down the street, the trouble is nearly every scene is produced in this hyper kind of way, meaning the direction and story are very uneven. Personally I found Christian Bale to be too hammy and showy, Walberg on the other hand nicely down play his performance, but the real stars acting wise are the women, both Melissa Leo and Amy Adams are excellent, and add the depth requried, if Adams wins the best supporting actress Oscar this weekend it will be well deserved. The Boxing scenes are superb as well.

Conviction (Tony Goldwyn, 107 Mins) 5/10
Just what I was expecting a predictable, safe and melodramatic TV of the week film. The acting is mostly good, Sam Rockwell once again shines in a difficult role, and I was really impressed with Minnie Driver too, Swark was a bit less convincing. It can't be called a terrible film, just a bit of a nothing one, and maybe the main problem is that no matter weather the brother is innoncent or not, he is just too unlikeable and rough around the edges to really care about or believe in.

Berlin International Film Festival Screenings

Day is Done (Thomas Imbach, 111 Mins) 6.5/10
Swiss director Imbach's film is semi-autobiographical as he has taken a collection of his phone machine masseges and used them along with images of surrounding buildings, the skyline, and ramdon people going about their day to day lives. The main balk of the story is that over the couse of the film he becomes a father, and it seems starts ducking his resposibities as many of the messages are of his partner trying to get hold of him to help out with his son. There is the feel of a elmiating, but cold Sci-fi set in a modern city, with quite a big David Lynch inference where we see the single framed eathy/dreamy shots, combined with crackling soundscapes, there also a shape use of a folk soundtrack with the likes Bob Dylan, Sid Barrett and Bright Eyes appearing. The experment does fall down half way through, where the filmmaking seems to run out of choices and just focus on one character in the street for far too long, and as it moves towards the end it does become the self-indulgent, overlong piece I was dreading from the start, plus once it dawned on me, than a lot of the stuff with his girlfriend and son was real, it left me with the feeling than the guy was a son of a bitch and why should I care? A mixed bag overall.

Odem (Lipstikka) (Jonathan Sagall, 90 Mins) 8/10
The story of two Palestinian girls who share a very personal and dark secret from their past in their home contrary, years later the meet back up in England with one it seems happily married and the other still clinging onto the past. As the film moves along we see each one's very different memories of the past. Clara Khoury and Nataly Attiya are wonderful as the leads, the brittle tension between the characters is tightly played, as they nicely feed off each with a shape and lyical script, which at first has a nice loose feel to it allowing you get into the characters, but later switching into the darker moments smootly. The calm straght forward shooting style the intermicy and rawness of the story and characters to grow. And the plot cleavingly twists the prosection you have of both women as it moves along, and has a shape twist in the tail also. Highly recommended!

The Forgiveness Of Blood (Joshua Marston, 109 Mins) 7.5/10
The new film from Marston (Maria Full Of Grace) is set in Albanian and centres on the impact on siblings Nik and Rudina when they father is accused of a murder of their neighbour, therefore because of the custom Nik must stay in doors all the time, and his sister has to go out and make money for the family. Like MFOG it takes in the smells and look of the city, as well as capturing the impression of youth, and the effort the adult world has on them growing up. There is lovely visual poetry, and atmosphric score, as the story nicely balances the more playful fun parts of being a teenager, with the tougher realities and the pain of that age epsically growing up in this sort of country. My only down point would be that the leads were a little unconvincing, Sindi Laceji serves laragely as a sounding board, and Tristan Halilaj is just too bland at times. Apart from that well worth seeing.

Medianeras (Gustavo Taretto, 91 Mins) 9/10
Debut feature and the last film I saw on the closing night of the festival. Here we follow Pilar Lopez De Ayala (In the City Of Sylvia) and Javier Drolas as two ecctric, down beat characters who live in the same city, he a web designer who works from home and speads way too much time online, and her a designer of clothes manniquins, both coming out of disatious realtionships. The film fellows their lives unfolding side by side, and serves as a sharp satire on modern Argentina, the online world, but also a very entertaining and engaging romantic comedy. The opening mologe reminded me a lot Lester's from American Beauty and Drolas' character is just as dry and oddball as anything Steve Buscemi has come up with, there are some fantastic one liners, and real touching moments too. It manages to combine the surreall magic and brooding off beat characters of a Charlie Kaufman project, with the senstive female touch of an Aldmodvar film, along with the shape comic lines of classic Woody Allen. The end is truly moving, and both sends up the genre of the romcom, while adding to it. There are lots of different movie refernences and other stuff for geeks, and in Taretto we may just have a special new voice. One of the finest debuts in years.

Coming up I will be seeing Neds, True Grit and Confessions.


Surprised The Fighter didn't score as highly for you, not really bothered with Conviction, but some interesting films from the festival there, especially the second and last ones.  Lucky sod


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 76
RE: Films of 2011 List - 26/2/2011 8:29:00 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3966
Joined: 19/10/2005
GNOMEO AND JULIET

As usually happens with any animated movie these days that isn’t Pixar, Gnomeo and Juliet has had mainly average reviews but the audience I saw it with, full of kids and adults, loved it and rightly so, this is a terrific audience pleaser, terrific fun from beginning to end.  Of course the story of Romeo and Juliet has had countless cinematic telling and has been adapted in many ways, so perhaps we don’t need another version, but it was a stroke of eccentric genius to use garden gnomes this time [I can only one think of one other gnome film,the animated The Gnome Mobile.]  The basic story is there, and the writers cleverly have it both ways by having Shakespeare tell the proper ending [you’ll see what I mean] and giving us the happy ending films like this require to send the audience out smiling.  Complaints by purists are ridiculous and narrow minded-this is a perfect way to introduce young kids to the Bard.  This is filled with funny scenes, and I personally haven’t laughed so much at a new film in ages, though at times it’s more like a Dreamworks film, despite Disney partly producing, with lots of pop culture references and gags aimed at adults.  Now the critics don’t like this kind of thing, but sod them, I thought they all worked in this movie except maybe for a Matrix bullet time bit, which has been seen in too many films.  Despite all the irreverence, the central romance is sweet and gives proceedings an emotional centre- I cared far more about it then the romance in Tangled.  Technically this is superb, with the gnomes looking and sounding like actual solid garden gnomes, and although I don’t especially like Elton John, his songs do work in the picture and are cleverly adapted into the score.  There’s a flashback which copies Toy Story 2 but isn’t nearly as poignant, and I didn’t think enough was done with the Ozzy Osbourne-voiced Fawn-I kind of expected more Donkey from Shrek-though overall the voice cast were great.  I don’t care what anyone says, I enjoyed this more than any other of this year’s films so far, and I doubt there’ll be a better animated movie for quite a while.
9/10


TRUE GRIT

 It seems obligatory for  film fans to like the Coen Brothers, but I personally don’t like their films much at all, with their quirky characters, reams of ‘clever’ dialogue, unfunny ‘humour’,’ funny’ violence  and ‘cool’ irony. To be honest they mostly bore me senseless, although to be fair I’ve only seen about half of them.  Against the odds though, they don’t mess up True Grit, though it would be hard to totally screw up a story like this, which is partially a coming of age tale and partially a revenge saga.  Now I haven’t seen the John Wayne version, but I doubt it’s as good as this one, which is one of the gorgeous looking Westerns in ages, Roger Deatkins’ photography painting wonderful scapes of almost sepia-I especially loved the courtroom with the brown and yellow seeping through from outside.  Everything feels authentic, from the clothing to the speech, and although things proceed very slowly, the film remains engrossing.  The usual Coen touches are thankfully mostly held back, and when they do surface they seem out of place in what is a very classical story, as does their very modern cynicism, but against the odds the film ends up being rather touching at the end.  There’s less violence than expected, but you do still get a gory finger severing which the film would actually be better off without.  As usual Jeff Bridges has charisma to spare, but once again he just mumbles most of the time, which may be appropriate to the character but is very irritating.  Hailee Steinfield does okay with a difficult role but she’s too robotic in her delivery at times.  There’s a superb score by Carter Burwell partially based on hymns from the period-it’s completely the opposite of a typical Western score but works very well.   Overall this is a fine, though hardly great, Western and far better than expected, showing that perhaps the Coen Brothers, who started off fairly well with Blood Simple and Raising Arizona, have remembered how to make enjoyable movies again.
8/10


PAUL

  To be fair, the idea of two English sci fi nuts going to America and encountering a real alien isn’t a bad one, and maybe there will be a good movie made from that idea one day, but this film certainly isn’t it.  Although it begins reasonably well with some rather gentle but still sometimes funny  jibes at sci fi freaks [ I loved the toilets which say ‘Maliens’ and ‘Women’, and the sight of Pegg and Frost re enacting a bit from an episode of Star Trek in the desert is pretty funny too ], things quickly go downhill once we meet the title character.  This is one tedious movie, consisting mostly of film references to everything from Aliens to The Blues Brothers, and incredibly repetitive humour, where things that are funny at first are just repeated....and repeated....and repeated.   A person fainting at the sight of Paul-repeated ad nauseum.  A strict Christian woman who swears-repeated ad nauseum.  Mentions of anal probes-repeated ad nausuem.  It just gets very boring very quickly.  Writers Simon Pegg and Nick Frost seem to have forgotten how to write jokes and don’t seem to have a clue on what to do with their concept.  The final third throws in some reasonable action and climaxes with a Close Encounters Of The Third Kind rehash which could actually have  been quite sweet and emotional if we cared.  Pegg and Frost here display none of their past chemistry and although Paul is quite a convincing alien, he’s voiced by the obnoxious Seth Rogen.  While just hearing Rogen is better than seeing and hearing him, it’s not enough to make Paul into a likeable character. Then again, no one in this shoddy movie is likeable, which is mostly a waste of time for its makers and its audience.
3/10




_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 77
RE: Films of 2011 List - 27/2/2011 1:03:42 AM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006
Didn't see that coming GAJ your film of the year so far? And Paul getting such a low rating. Think I will see it as I love the other stuff from the Pegg/Frost team, but I don't see it being as good as those.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 78
RE: Films of 2011 List - 1/3/2011 8:37:42 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3966
Joined: 19/10/2005
I was surprised too, absolutely loved it, I do enjoy animated movies at the moment  [no, I'm not turning into Timmy Brisby!!] and will probably see Rango.  Tomorrow I will be seeing The Rite and maybe Drive Angry-yeah I know it's probably crap but as you have probably worked out I do enjoy a bad movie for a laugh once in a while!



_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 79
RE: Films of 2011 List - 1/3/2011 10:23:06 PM   
Beetlejuice!


Posts: 6763
Joined: 24/11/2005
  1. Black Swan - 10/10
  2. The King's Speech - 10/10
  3. 127 Hours - 10/10
  4. The Fighter - 10/10
  5. True Grit - 9/10
  6. Blue Valentine - 8/10
  7. Paul - 8/10
  8. Tangled - 8/10
  9. Rabbit Hole - 7/10
  10. Yogi Bear - 0/10

Good year so far but now we're in that crappy stage of the cinema year between the Oscar season and the summer blockbusters where nothing really great is on at the cinema.

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 80
RE: Films of 2011 List - 8/3/2011 1:20:39 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: Beetlejuice!

  1. Black Swan - 10/10
  2. The King's Speech - 10/10
  3. 127 Hours - 10/10
  4. The Fighter - 10/10
  5. True Grit - 9/10
  6. Blue Valentine - 8/10
  7. Paul - 8/10
  8. Tangled - 8/10
  9. Rabbit Hole - 7/10
  10. Yogi Bear - 0/10

Good year so far but now we're in that crappy stage of the cinema year between the Oscar season and the summer blockbusters where nothing really great is on at the cinema.

So by that reasoning the only good films are Awards courting dramas and dumb action fare?

(in reply to Beetlejuice!)
Post #: 81
RE: Films of 2011 List - 11/3/2011 10:12:35 PM   
Qwerty Norris


Posts: 3971
Joined: 26/10/2005
From: Edinburgh
God I need to get back to the cinema, nevermind conjure up the reviews! Uni's been a bit mental of late so I've only managed 1 trip in the past two weeks....that said, it was a very worthwhile one.

When I eventually get time to breathe, I'll get some thoughts up regarding Paul, Yogi Bear, Animal Kingdom & Archipelago soon...hopefully.


_____________________________

Qwerty's Top 10 of 2013 (so far)

1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. No
3. A Hijacking
4. Behind the Candelabra
5. In The Fog
6. Good Vibrations
7. McCullin
8. Beyond the Hills
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
10. Wreck-it Ralph

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 82
RE: Films of 2011 List - 11/3/2011 10:27:10 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
Rango (2011)
A film that references/borrows from a lot of other films such as the spaghetti western trilogy, Chinatown and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The film had its funny moments, was somewhat of an original mess of many tributes. The film dragged a bit but there was enough humour and interesting characters to make the film well worth a watch.

7.5/10

(in reply to Qwerty Norris)
Post #: 83
RE: Films of 2011 List - 12/3/2011 12:06:39 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006
7.5 sounds good to me for a Gore film

Neds (Peter Mullan, 124 Mins) 7.5/10
A very assured, stylish and gripping second feature from Mullan. Its a film where the characters and story stays true to itself, it is carefully paced, which make the shocking scenes all the more chilling, there are some fine performances from the young cast, and overall it felt a brutally honest, and hard to stomach film with few nice moments of feeling good factor.

Confessions (Kokuhaku) (Tetsuya Nakashima, 106 Mins) 5.5/10
What starts off as an earie and stylish black comedy, soon decesends into a formalic, self-obsessed mess. It is very one paced, and one tone. Another problem is while it takes after films like Battle Royale and Elephant, reather than adding to them it just seems to copy them in both style and ideas. So it looks good and does have some shocking moments, but mainly is just a confuessed mess.

Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell, 91 Mins) 7/10
The problems are a lack of pace in the story, and with it coming from a stage play, it does feel a little too stagey in places. Its quite a strange story of grief, liaced with moments of black comedy, it was haunting, and well crafted, the atmosphere quite often was chilling due to the space and lack of sound. Kidman was were cast as the stone faced, bemused mother (Oddly she doesn't have to do much suffering, which is good, because that is her weakest trait), and the supporting cast of Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest and Sandra Oh(can't believe this fine actress wastes her time on GA) are superb.

Paul (Greg Mottola, 104 Mins) 3/10
I'm with Dr L on this one, what a horrible mis-step from the Frost/Pegg team. The level of humour is terribley lame, amounting to foul langreuge for the sake of it, an over relianece on film references, and over the top visually gags. The story and director is a mess, the Alien character just felt too gimmicky like we were watching a Spielberg film, but with swearing. A fine supporting cast including Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig and Jane Lynch are wasted, Wiig epsically is given a rotten part. And I do think when you take Edgar Weight out, the Pegg/Frost duo just arn't as funny or charming. My worse film of the year to date.

Coming up I should be seeing True Grit (fully!), Never Let Me Go and Gasland

(in reply to chambanzi)
Post #: 84
RE: Films of 2011 List - 12/3/2011 1:51:18 PM   
Ultimo Lee

 

Posts: 1716
Joined: 17/7/2007
From: Manchester
Watched UK Cinema Release's 2011
(10)


1. The Fighter
2. Confessions
3. Animal Kingdom
4. 127 Hours
5. Rabbit Hole
6. It's Kind Of A Funny Story
7. Black Swan
8. Get Low
9. True Grit
10. Amer


Link UK Film Releases

Good so far, next up Tangled, Blue Valentine, Hereafter, How Do You Know and maybe Norwegian Wood

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 85
RE: Films of 2011 List - 16/3/2011 7:22:25 PM   
chrismart83


Posts: 364
Joined: 14/1/2007
1. Black Swan  9/10
2. The Fighter  8/10
3. Neds  6./10
4. Insidious 6/10
5. 127 Hours  6/10
6. Wake Wood  6/10
7. Hall Pass 6/10
8. The Rite  5/10
9. Scream 4 5/10
10. The Resident  5/10
11. Limitless  6/10
12. The Ward 5/10
13. The Hang-over 2  6/10
14. Source Code   7/10
15. The Adjustment Bureau  6/10
16. Super 8 8/10
17. Bridesmaids 8/10
18. X-Men : First Class 7/10
19. The Inbetweenres  7/10
20. Fright Night  6/10
21. Juila's Eyes  6/10
22. Friends with Benefits  6/10
23. Don't be afraid of the dark  6/10
24. Paranormal Activity 3  5/10
25. The Thing   7/10
26. 50/50   8/10
27. Submarine   6/10
28. Apollo 18   6/10
29. We need to talk about Kevin  8/10
30. Drive  6/10
31. Troll Hunters  6/10
32. Baghead  5/10
33. Dream House  6/10
34. Rise of the Apes  8/10
35. Kill List 5/10
36. Warrior  5/10
37. Moneyball  8/10


< Message edited by chrismart83 -- 8/1/2012 2:25:27 AM >


_____________________________

''You'll Never Walk Alone''

(in reply to Ultimo Lee)
Post #: 86
RE: Films of 2011 List - 16/3/2011 8:54:33 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3966
Joined: 19/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: ElephantBoy

7.5 sounds good to me for a Gore film

Neds (Peter Mullan, 124 Mins) 7.5/10
A very assured, stylish and gripping second feature from Mullan. Its a film where the characters and story stays true to itself, it is carefully paced, which make the shocking scenes all the more chilling, there are some fine performances from the young cast, and overall it felt a brutally honest, and hard to stomach film with few nice moments of feeling good factor.

Confessions (Kokuhaku) (Tetsuya Nakashima, 106 Mins) 5.5/10
What starts off as an earie and stylish black comedy, soon decesends into a formalic, self-obsessed mess. It is very one paced, and one tone. Another problem is while it takes after films like Battle Royale and Elephant, reather than adding to them it just seems to copy them in both style and ideas. So it looks good and does have some shocking moments, but mainly is just a confuessed mess.

Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell, 91 Mins) 7/10
The problems are a lack of pace in the story, and with it coming from a stage play, it does feel a little too stagey in places. Its quite a strange story of grief, liaced with moments of black comedy, it was haunting, and well crafted, the atmosphere quite often was chilling due to the space and lack of sound. Kidman was were cast as the stone faced, bemused mother (Oddly she doesn't have to do much suffering, which is good, because that is her weakest trait), and the supporting cast of Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest and Sandra Oh(can't believe this fine actress wastes her time on GA) are superb.

Paul (Greg Mottola, 104 Mins) 3/10
I'm with Dr L on this one, what a horrible mis-step from the Frost/Pegg team. The level of humour is terribley lame, amounting to foul langreuge for the sake of it, an over relianece on film references, and over the top visually gags. The story and director is a mess, the Alien character just felt too gimmicky like we were watching a Spielberg film, but with swearing. A fine supporting cast including Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig and Jane Lynch are wasted, Wiig epsically is given a rotten part. And I do think when you take Edgar Weight out, the Pegg/Frost duo just arn't as funny or charming. My worse film of the year to date.

Coming up I should be seeing True Grit (fully!), Never Let Me Go and Gasland


Neds looked good but wasn't showing anywhere near me!  Likewise Never Let Me Go. You must have better cinemas where you are!


_____________________________

check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 87
RE: Films of 2011 List - 16/3/2011 9:20:20 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 3966
Joined: 19/10/2005
Two long reviews posted from elsewhere, and three short ones just written, sadly the longer reviews are probably the films I liked least!

BATTLE:LOS ANGELES

The idea of an alien invasion is an absolutely terrifying prospect , but it's my feeling that it's never been done totally right on film [except for perhaps the first two versions of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and they are almost separate as they feature an especially subtle form of invasion].  There's been some fine films, from both versions of The War Of The Worlds to Mars Attacks, and I'm especially fond of the original V and the Japanese Battle In Outer Space, but I don't think filmmakers have ever really exploited the fear, the terror, that would arise, and really use their imagination.  Battle:Los Angeles certainly doesn't.  The fact that it was originally called Battlefield Earth:Los Angeles ought to give you an idea that it's not very good, although I wouldn't say it's quite a turkey.  Think of Black Hawk Down meets Independence Day, and you basically have it, with all the good and bad points that would come with such a combination.

After a quick Starship Troopers style opening in mid invasion, we flash back twenty four hours, and have to endure being introduced to our set of heroes.  There's a virgin, a guy getting married, and Michelle Rodriguez doing her usual tough woman thingie, but all of this is pointless because most of this information is never referred to again.  They would have been better off not bothering at all with this.  There's a fairly good build up of panic, something Independence Day also did well, with a fantastic news report bit of people on a beach being zapped and just a brief glimpse of alien things appearing in the water.  Then we get on our mission, and the rest of the movie is basically a series of skirmishes.   Now these are vivid and often exciting, but are partially undone by the dreaded shakycam. I have moaned about it before, but hey, I'm going to moan about it again.  Even though amazingly I don't like getting sore eyes and feeling sick whilst watching a film, and like to see what's going on in a film, I actually don't mind it in 'found footage' films like Cloverfield, even if quite often those films seem stupid to me.  The people filming stuff seem to be having epileptic fits!  I could just about put up with it in the Bourne films even ,but otherwise I find it incredibly annoying.  In Battle:Los Angeles, even the dialogue scenes have the camera unable to stay still for a few seconds, and it really gives the impression of bad film making and even took me out of the film.

Nonetheless things are just about watchble until about two thirds in when the dialogue, which was poor to begin with, starts to partially turn into really cheesy patriotic speeches, usually when somebody is dying.  Now, I enjoy a bit of cheese every now and again, and don't object to patriotism, but this movie becomes overloaded with it and goes beyond Independence Day. There's one hilarious bit though when Aaron Eckhart, who poor guy is given the lion's share of this stuff, goes on for five minutes psyching up his team and telling a young boy who's lost his dad that he is now a Marine, than says "but none of that's important right now”.  Did writer Christopher Berkolini  never see Airplane?  Unless of course this was meant as a jokey reference but in that case it's  really out of place.  The script is full of holes and odd things, such as why do the aliens decide to land on water?  As for the aliens, their ships are quite interesting looking but themselves just look like bad CG versions of the typical machine/humanoid thingie, and I think I noticed some machines from the Speilberg The War Of The Worlds in the distance!  There are some shockingly poor CG helicopters and explosions too, though to compensate they are some great aerial shots of the war above the city [saying that though, you keep hearing about the airforce, but you never see them except a few helicopters!].  The use of sound is also good, with really effective employing of silence at times.

Eckhart actually does the best he can with his poorly written character, while everyone else fares okayish but not enough to rise above the general mediocirity.  Jonathon Leiberman, whose Texas Chainsaw Massacre:The Beginning I really liked though few else did, is pretty good at pacing but doesn't seem to really have a grip on the film.  The incredibly untalented Brian Tyler was responsible for the score, with its tedious droning where a loud synthesiser is played over a small orchestra [something which I never see the point of].  This composer seems to almost entirely copy other composers[ [i.e.Watchmen], and here just imitates  Hans Zimmer.  Overall Battle:Los Angeles is just about enjoyable if you switch your brain off, but it really does have a great many things wrong with it and for much of its duration all I could think of is "what a missed opportunity”.
4.5/10



THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU

The Adjustment Bureau has been advertised with the quote, obviously from somebody who hasn't actually seen the film, "Bourne meets Inception”, which sounds pretty good if you ask me.  The trailer makes it out to be pretty exciting, with lots of shots of Matt Damon running and sinister people chasing him, perhaps more Bourne meets  Dark City. Well, I think the filmmakers need to be prosecuted, because this movie is NOTHING like it has been advertised.  Now having read a few reviews prior to seeing this including Empire magazine's own review, I kind of knew that it wasn't quite what it's promoted to be.  However, I had no idea whatsoever that it would also be a piece of crap.  I couldn't believe that this is based on a Philip K.Dick story, others of which have inspired great movies such as Blade Runner and Total Recall. This is a staggeringly idiotic, ineptly crafted and incredibly lazy film that some people seem to be praising because it's original.  It's not.  It's four basic ideas-we are not actually in control of our own destiny [a sci fi staple], the power of Free Will, the power of love overcoming escalating obstacles, and Doing The Right Thing, rammed together in such a clumsy cack handed way the film actually resembles several movies sewn together Frankenstein style.

I normally know I'm watching rubbish about twenty minutes into a film, but with this one I'd say it was even sooner than that.  David meets Elise in the gent's loos, and after two minutes of chat they suddenly start snogging.  Of course he now thinks he's met the love of his life, but he is being watched by the guys of the Adjustment Bureau.  Right from the offset, we are shown them following hi m around in their 50s style suits, so there is so build up or tension.  They constantly waffle to each other about how the David/Elise meeting is causing damage to time and space, and sometimes go through doors which can be anywhere and lead to other areas of the city.  After what seems like an eternity of this tedium they start to put obstacles in David's way, and he evades them, but still there is  NO TENSION.   We start to alternate with the romance, and to be fair this comes across quite well, it has a naturalistic vibe, with almost a Before Sunrise kind of feel, but the trouble is it seems like it's from a totally different film.  There is NO TENSION.  Terence Stamp starts to appear to waffle on about "ripples”, in fact it must have been in his contract to say "ripples” in every other line he says.  He has a habit of suddenly turning up in front of David, but still there's NO TENSION.  Then David makes friends with one of the Bureau, who teaches him tricks that they can do, such as going in and out of magic doors really quickly. Of course he's now better than them, because, as one of them says "spontaneity isn't one of our strong points”, a good example of the atrocious dialogue in this movie.

We finally do get a chase [though there's still NO TENSION],which involves going in and out of magic doors really quickly, and it's hilarious, partly because all I could think of was Monster's Inc. Mind you, I often found myself thinking about  other things than what was on screen, such as what shall I have for dinner tonight, or how maybe a better way of using the tenner I paid to watch this film would have been to give it to a passerby and ask him to stamp on my head.  Then suddenly it's all over, with lots of "love conquers all " guff, but to be honest I've forgotten what was said, because it was venturing close to some of the unspeakably putrid, mouldy cheese of Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. Then again, George Nolfi's stupid script is dumb throughout, such as when Stamp recounts a potted history of the human race that ignores everything outside of Western Europe and America.   It's a good example of the film's laziness.  The fantasy elements seem ridiculous because of the cack handed way we are introduced to them-there's no attempt at surprise or escalation, and of course nothing makes much sense.  Then again, the characters don't do much that makes sense either.  There's a jaw-droppingly dumb bit where David, who abandoned Elise in a hospital bed three years before, turns up at Elise's wedding asking her to come with him ,and after about ten seconds she DOES!.  Now all this may have been passable if the general tone of the film was tongue-in-cheek, but it's actually deadly serious throughout.  It's also so incredibly lazy. Everything seems half hearted, half thought through.  There seems to be no conviction, as if after a while people realised they were making a bad movie and almost gave up.

This filters down to Matt Damon's performance.  Now I've always thought him a bland actor who occasionally somehow finds it within himself to do something really good, as in parts of Hereafter, and he was born to play Bourne, but here he really looks like he'd be somewhere else.   To be honest though I can feel his pain, whilst watching this movie I often felt I wanted to be somewhere else, like on the toilet.  One thing that does lift this movie is rising star Emily Blunt, she's really natural and I helps that to me she's also drop dead gorgeous!  Out of everyone only Micheal Kelly and Terence Stamp seem to have any conviction.  The score is the usual  monotonous crap that you get in American films at the moment.   I will say that the photography is fairly good and that when the film focuses on the love story, it is just quite good.  The trouble is, it's surrounded by so much utter crap that I found the film a rather painful thing to sit through.
3/10


RANGO

Many animated films these days try to equally appeal to kids and adults alike, Rango comes with the impression that it's more for adults than for kids, which makes the kiddie orientated trailers very misleading.  Well, this adult certainly didn't find it much more adult than normal –sure, The obligatory film references cast their net wider than usual, from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to Chinatown, there's a bit of pretentious existentialism stuff [the sort of thing that was done better in Antz and many other animated films] and there's some mild swearing, but the humour is no more sophisticated than normal  [thespians sounds like lesbians-wow, how clever!] and is mostly the usual slapstick. More importantly, it's just not that entertaining. For about twenty minutes, things are really fun and funny, but as soon as our chameleon hero arrives at the town in the film it all goes downhill. Gags are constantly thrown at you but rarely seem to work, and the film is mostly content to parody the same old Western cliches that a hundred previous films have done and better. The design is very impressive and the idea of mostly ugly animals is interesting [though has obviously helped to turn off many kids], while there's a great atmospheric scene around three quarters of the way through involving Tommy Oliphaunt doing a great Clint Eastwood impression. The Star Wars like climax is very good too.  Mostly though, despite the obvious hard work put into it,Rango falls a little flat, even for someone like me who is very partial to animated movies, and seems to me to be only patchily enjoyable for kids and for adults.
5.5/10



 
UNKNOWN

  Although there most certainly is action, and Liam Neeson is another tough guy tearing around Berlin, this isn't, despite what you may have heard, much like Taken.  A slightly more sober and comple affair, it's sort of a cross between Frantic and The Bourne Identity, or maybe Total Recall and Flightplan, and  I'm told it's also very similar to a short lived TV series called Nowhere Man.  Despite being virtually made from various bits of other movie, it is a really good thriller for about the first three quarters.  The premise is initially intriguing, one really is kept guessing, there's a fair bit of suspense and director Jaume Collet-Serra does a good job in balancing the plot and action.  Unfortunately, it wraps up a little weakly, and has rather too many plot holes, though it never gets bad and remains quite exciting.  There's one of the best car chases in ages, with two cars driving in reverse at one point, although as usual with such scenes these days, it's cut to within an inch of its life.  The best scene though is a dialogue scene between two supporting characters played by Frank Langella and an excellent Bruno Ganz, which is extremely well written and also very tense-it's almost on a different level from the rest of the movie.  Though those who snobbily look down on this type of movie obviously don't agree, I really like the fact that Neeson has virtually reinvented himself as a near-60 action hero, and I don't care what anyone says he seems pretty tough to me.  Diane Kruger is a solid female lead though her character is a bit unbelievable.  Overall a solid piece of entertainment that probably weakens after one has see it but is certainly engrossing while it's on.  Which European city is Liam going to rampage around next? Rome?  London?
7/10


DRIVE ANGRY

Films which try hard to be old-style exploitation films don't often work, and Drive Angry is a case in point, though I will say that it's a million times better than the atrocious Death Proof.  At least this movie is pretty entertaining if you switch your brain off, chugging along at a reasonable pace giving you plenty of bloody action along the way, all in a tongue in cheek way which means that it's sometimes funny but suffers, as do many movies like this which try to imitate 70s Drive In movies, from a lack of conviction.  There's not much that's original either, with the most over the top scene, Nicolas Cage shooting down bad guys while having sex, pilfered from Shoot Em Up, though to be fair Clive Owen didn't have a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand in his scene!  The several fight scenes are pretty lame and the climax very disappointing, but the vehicle action, at least, seems to be mostly real.  There's an over abundance of CG elsewhere though, and most of it is not very good.  Even lamer is the 3D.  Though supposedly shot in the format, there's hardly any depth of field at all, and far too few things are thrown at the audience!  Cage is clearly having fun, but as many people have said William Fichter stands out and is really funny with his deadpan delivery.  I actually did enjoy Drive Angry while it lasted but I think the fact that it's a major studio production has actually back fired- it needed to be cheap, down and dirty, but instead it's just far too slick and seems like it's holding back. 
5/10



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check out more of my reviews on http://horrorcultfilms.co.uk/
Post #: 88
RE: Films of 2011 List - 16/3/2011 9:57:34 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54583
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: ElephantBoy

Neds (Peter Mullan, 124 Mins) 7.5/10
A very assured, stylish and gripping second feature from Mullan.

Confessions (Kokuhaku) (Tetsuya Nakashima, 106 Mins) 5.5/10
What starts off as an earie and stylish black comedy, soon decesends into a formalic, self-obsessed mess. It is very one paced, and one tone. Another problem is while it takes after films like Battle Royale and Elephant, reather than adding to them it just seems to copy them in both style and ideas. So it looks good and does have some shocking moments, but mainly is just a confuessed mess.



Third.

OBviously I completely disagree on Confessions!

What formula do you think it follows? I saw no resemblance to Elephant myself unless you're reaching for a very remote one (nuts doing the school shooting thing vs one death just almost on school property and specific payback). And you think, e.g.,  the tone in the opening 33 minutes is a similar one to the 2nd confession? Or the 3rd? Suggesting it copied BR seems to overegg it a heck of a lot as well - the justice act for minorities isn't exactly analogous to writing off teens on the edge of adulthood, nor is it dealt with the same or similar way. We're talking about the fallout from a single crime.

If anything you might want to look at the ideas of vengeance in Park's trilogy for some idea of the ideas the films playing with IMO.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 16/3/2011 9:59:02 PM >


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Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to ElephantBoy)
Post #: 89
RE: Films of 2011 List - 16/3/2011 10:48:43 PM   
ElephantBoy

 

Posts: 8533
Joined: 13/4/2006
Yeah I had a feeling Mullan might have done another one, but wasn't sure

Well IMO Confessions explores the idea of how easy it is for teenagers to excess guns/weapons on the internet and how violence is now accepted as the norm in todays society, a bit like Elephant, and I also thought it shared a simler pounderous camara style to that film, but like I said added nothing new. Another problem I had with it was that it seemed caught between being a black comedy and a thriller and never really settled on one or the other. The trouble is even if it didn't have these problems, it still had the flaw of being dull

Yeah DL I live near Lancaster which has a great picturehouse called The Dukes.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 90
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