Thursday, 31 March 2011

You give up a few things, chasing a dream.

Treasure Planet (2002)
Chosen by Sabine Woolnough who had this to say: 'Treasure Planet ist nichts besonderes, aber ich mochte es wirklich. es ist schon, ein bosewicht mit herz zu sehen.'

The dvd lent to me was a German copy and Sabine was a little worried I wouldn't be able to understand the menu to start the film. Of course the first thing the dvd does is ask for a language so with my typical snark I informed her of this.
And this is why todays introduction is not in English.
This is similar to Disney's Atlantis effort but without the interesting visual style. It works for the most part, when it plays it straight, a reasonably exciting updating of Treasure Island (though yet another Hollywood movie with daddy issues - sigh). But it has a couple of hideously annoying comic relief characters in an irritating creature that changes shape all the time and a crazy robot voiced by Martin Short.
Only one song but it is pretty crappy.

I have a slight inferiority complex

Goldfinger (1964)
Chosen by Blogalongabond

Bond's Intro: We start with a stupid duck (that the film can't wait to get rid of in a silly bit of sped up footage) that is totally pointless as a disguise but Bond kicks into badass mode very quickly. This is the most efficient and brutal we have seen him yet. Knocking out a guard, blowing some shit up deliberately (and timing the explosion to synch with lighting his cigarette - hell yeah), finally we see him actually doing his job well. For the most part anyway, he almost fucks up by sleeping with a bellydancer of course. So same old Bond.

Theme Song and Credits: Classic Bassey naturally. Ups the sex considerably, the woman are still not naked but touches of blatant, rather odd misogyny abound. A golf ball is potted down our title woman's cleavage (a simple sexual visual metaphor). A shot of her face has the mouth replaced with the Aston Martin's revolving number plates, denoting Bond's view of women as interchangable and not to be trusted.

Okay I may be reading too much into that but showing images from the movie you are about to watch (and from the earlier films) is a strange choice

The Ladies: Paradoxically both iconic (the painted Jill Masterson is as indeliable an image as any) and very dull. Pussy Galore is never as interesting as her name, appearing half way into the movie and despite turning the villains plot never really feels like she does anything. Tilly is slightly more interesting but is despatched quickly (her revenge plot picked up later and given a bit more flesh in For Your Eyes Only)

The Baddies: The daft named Auric Goldfinger ('sounds like a french nail varnish') is pretty cool. Callous and funny ('No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die') but fairly dumb (or maybe as Bond has it, just insane) his plot doesn't really make much sense. Even less so the amount of time and effort spent explaining it to a bunch of people he is literally killing straight after the show and tell. Has the classic Bond villain trait of cheating at a game ('Strict rules of Golf').
Odd Job also is grade A. Distinctive look with a cool hook. Perfect henchmen material.

License to Kill: Classic kill five minutes in with the 'Shocking' moment. But hard to say if he kills many more people in the film. Goldfinger, obviously, but that's kind of an accident (still I imagine had he not been sucked out of the plane Bond would have done him in). Maybe the guy ejected out of the car breaks his neck, and we have another of those amazingly explosive automobile's that swerves massively on some oil, hits a bump and blows up.
Still we have mirror kills with Bond also electrocuting someone at the end that has a pleasing symmetry to me.
Bond hates foreigners: Some standard Chinese goons fill the background but we don't get much thoughts on them from Bond.

Bond hates women: 'Dink say goodbye to Felix. Man talk'. slap on arse. Yeah, this one is pretty bad. Dismissive of Galore as well referring to her as a little girl and forcing himself on her. Earlier we get him using the bellydancer as a human shield, but she did set him up so I'm kinda cool with that. 

Bond's Crazy knowledge: Knows about skin suffocation with paint (even though that is wrong). Not so good on Gold 'I know it when i see it' he tells M. but makes up for it with his knowledge of alcohol - 'i'd say it was a 30 year old Fine, indifferently blended sir. With an overdose of Bon Bois.' and maths - '60 men would take 12 days to load it onto 200 hundred trucks'.

Bond's a big fat snob: 'some things just aren't done. such as drinking
dom perignon '53 above a temperature of 38 degrees farenheit that's as
bad as listening to the beatles without earmuffs' Such a nerd.

00's killed: None, but Bond does leave a trail of dead woman in his wake.

Mini Overview: Rather indifferently directed for the most part (we have an interminably long tracking shot into the hotel in miami) though it does pick up for the thrilling attack on Fort Knox and the fight with Odd Job.
This is really the start of the quintessential Bond film. A full on Q scene, a proper Bond pre-credits sequence having nothing to do with the rest of the film (I love a lot of these as fun little mini action films) but I find it a weak effort in many ways. The plot just stumbles forwards with little reason, the stakes feel quite low despite the late threat of an atomic bomb, no character has an effect on anything and it's full of stupid little things like Odd Job not taking the Gold out of the car before crushing it apparently or Bond being defeated by a mirror (such a dumb moment I like to pretend it is a commentary on Bond's narcissism).
Still the pleasures are also many, the laser table a brilliant bit and a very smooth, confidant Connery holding up the film's lesser parts.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Don't you sometimes hate yourself?

Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Chosen by Victoria Charvill who had this to say about it: 'I LOVE this film. It's some of the best scriptwriting ever, it's witty and extremely quotable. Swanson's character is fabulous, totally lost in her own world, she's incredible. Max, Erich von Stroheim, is a wonderful character too who is so protective of Desmond.'

I always hate the idea that somehow things aren't as good as they used to be. 'Comedies aren't as funny' they say. 'Science fiction isn't clever any more', 'Horror isn't scary now' they moan. This isn't a new thing of course. I expect some of the people listening to camp fire telling's of Homer's The Odyssey were all 'Bah I remember the first time I heard this, it used to have awesome battle sound effects now it's all hollow words'. There will always be good stories and bad. And people won't agree which category they fit into anyway.
Sunset Boulevard shows the bitter, crazy endgame of this horrid nostalgia.
Norma Desmond is one of the great monsters of cinema (and like some of the best villains is not unsympathetic) played with a ghoulish verve by Swanson. Stuck in the past ('They took the idols and smashed them, the Fairbankses, the Gilberts, the Valentinos! And who've we got now? Some nobodies!') without being able to see the greatness around her (Holden is amazing here, with a complex not entirely sympathetic main character).
The film is very funny, full of famously quotable lines, great performances and directed with terrific style by co-writer Billy Wilder.
They sure don't make 'em like this any more (except, you know, for all the great movies that are made every year).

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

I hate everything you stand for.

The Eagle (2011)
Chosen by me as I like to go to the cinema a lot.

Similar to last years Centurion (and referencing the same event mentioned in an early filmaday entry - The Last Legion) this is a serviceable actioner but neither Tatum or Bell are especially strong as the leads and it's all a bit too dull really.

Monday, 28 March 2011

How many of us ever know what it is to become the perfect version of ourselves?

Limitless (2011)
Chosen by me as I like to go to the cinema a lot. Though a friend on facebook had this to say, which made me laugh: 'like a feature-length American Express ad with delusions of being a Fincher film' 

This starts with a couple of bad ideas. One: that Bradley Cooper is a lazy science fiction writer, they can change the lighting and his hair all they want; he always looks like a model.
Two: the old 'you only use 20% of your brain' nonsense gets trotted out to explain the super effects of a strange clear pill.
And then never really goes anywhere. For someone who is meant to be accessing the perfect version of himself he's still all kinds of dumb (I guess there's meant to be some addiction parable going on here but the morals of the film are all over the place) and nothing seems to logically follow from anything else.
Still it was nice seeing T.V. Carpio (who gave an amazing rendition of I Want to Hold Your Hand' in Across the Universe) again even if only briefly.
Abbie Cornish and De Niro add a whole lot of nothing.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

I created my own hell

Faster (2010)
Chosen by me as i like to go to the cinema a lot.

Certainly a better gearhead movie than the recent Drive Angry and a better revenge movie than say, Taken.
It offers some moderate thrills and almost achieves that nebulous cult movie quality but just isn't quite interesting enough. It's terse sparseness is appreciated though.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

We can't be direct, so we end up saying the weirdest things.

My Dinner with Andre (1981)
Chosen by the teevee show Community (kinda, it inspired me to watch it anyway). Here's what the's review of the episode had to say about the film: 'it sounded like exactly the kind of pretentious bullshit I would enjoy at the time. (It was, but it’s a good film and well worth seeking out.)'

My favourite show currently on the air is Community - a brilliantly funny and often touching examination of friendship and pop culture. One episode decided to do a riff on the odd dinner talk movie My Dinner with Andre, a film that I had been meaning to watch for years as I'm a big fan of Wallace Shawn.
As a big Shawn fan it's hard not to be slightly disappointed in the first half as it's not so much a conversation as a monologue delivered by Andre Gregory but Shawn becomes more forceful as the evening wears on (it's not quite in real time as I believe there is a longer cut) and is obviously a constant presence.
The talk is indeed pretentious and doesn't really offer much in the way of insight but that's part of the films easy going charm.
There is a pleasing rhythm that keeps the film afloat and never boring.
Oh and the Community episode is now ten times as funny in hindsight.

Friday, 25 March 2011

♫There's a creep show creature with a double feature♫

Sharktopus (2010)
Chosen by Sabine Woolnough who had this to say: 'Well this pile of crap made me vomit blood. I'd rather watch Step Up 2 than Sharktoshit -_-. If this film has this effect on me, Dave's gonna end up looking like the victims from The Ring lol'

Is the art of a good B movie dead? It may be unfair to compare this to Joe Dante's Piranha (they share a producer in Roger Corman) as that was a step up from most B pics anyway but wit seems to be replaced by any clip that can get a whole bunch if hits on youtube (still the best way to watch this and it's ilk). Tiresome in the extreme, so lazily made, all of the cast seem dazed (stoned maybe?) and the film follows their slow meandering performances beat for beat (the reason the trailer plays well, apart from a silly surf song, is that it has the kills without any of the endless reaction shots we get in the film of people who look more bored than terrified). One man reacts to seeing a jetskier eaten with little shock then looks really annoyed that his girlfriend embraces him. To be fair I hate people touching me too, but still.
The plot's a nonsense (naturally) with a former navy seal, who can't fire a gun properly, questioning the gene splicing involved in making out titular creature more aggressive. Surely he should have known gene splicing was going on from the fact it was a fucking cross between a shark and an octopus. We're meant to find it noble when he turns down the million dollars offered to capture and not to kill the monster in one of the lamest heroic arcs committed to film.
There are touches, here and there, of humour but so leadenly delivered that even that cannot save this film from being a terrible bore.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Every man we've killed has been replaced by worse!

Munich (2005)
Chosen by me from my pile of DVDs and because I have a thing for Daniel Craig

Generally a compelling treatment of the price of violent revenge. The never ending circle of murder and pain that Israel has been both victim and perpetrator of.
The performances are great, an interestingly diverse cast including a James Bond and two James Bond villains.
One moment, playing Bana fucking his wife interspersed with a hijacking, is very silly and there are some   filmic contrivances (I don't know the real history, but a scene ratchetting up the tension with the possibility of an innocent young girl being killed seems too designed for an audience) but this is one of the better Spielberg movies, a film maker I find very talented but often can't stand his films themselves.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


Chocolate (2008)
Chosen by Lauren Parker who had this to say: 'This film is awesome, simple as. Some of the storyline is alittle silly but the fight sequences are amazing. My particular favourite is when our heroine mimics Bruce Lee, any of his fans will be able to pick up on the small little mannerisms that make the sequence so much fun to watch. This is one of my favourite recent martial arts films and I try and recommend it to everyone!'

I've not been massively keen on the recent cycle of martial arts movies from Thailand but this was a lot of fun.
The action was shot clearly without hundreds of edits and varied enough to keep interesting (I find myself getting a little bored of action movies now - sigh, growing old).
The main character seems to share the power of a couple of marvel superheroes - Echo and Taskmaster (well he's a villain mostly), copying things she has seen on screen but it's canny enough at least to show her training slightly to excuse why she is physically able to do these crazy things (it still doesn't make much sense).

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

And I would prefer a religion that didn't need priests.

Massacre in Rome (1973)
Chosen by Clarry McDonald who had this to say: 'true story of an attack on a German police battalion in Rome during the war. Very stolid, but I can listen to Richard Burton read the telephone directory.'

A deeply complex film in many ways. Burton's character is in a horrible position and wants to do right but one of the ways he thinks he can solve it well is to arbitrarily assign a list of Jewish families to be killed (in retaliation for over 30 German soldiers being ambushed and killed).
It's rather dry apart from that, but the minutiae of deciding to kill 300 plus people in cold blood is fascinating in it's mundanity.
It is rather pointed in it's critique of the Vatican during this time but Mastroianni's Priest is perhaps a little too brilliant and his actions at the end take away from the impact of the massacre rather than reinforce it.

Monday, 21 March 2011

you always take a leak with a gun in your hand? that's a good way to blow your balls off.

Maniac Cop (1988)
Chosen by Lauren Parker who had this to say: 'A film so crap its great, although not Sleepaway Camp great! It has the almighty Bruce Campbell in it so its worth a watch but to be honest if he wasn't in it I don't think I would ever have watched it until the end which is why I have no interest in the sequel. I'm pretty certain you won't enjoy it, but your blog needs Bruce!'

I tend to watch films on my own. When I come out of the cinema with people, I always fear the moment they will turn to me and ask 'what did you think?'. I hate that. I kind of switch off for a while after a film and give it a good going over in my mind. I don't blame people for asking it, it's a normal thing. I get that I'm the one being an arsehole by dismissing the question but I am who I am. So I tend to go on my own.
Also I have no friends.

Maniac Cop is one of those films that should be watched with friends. It's not shitty enough to want to automatically turn off but at every plot contrivance I felt the need to turn to someone and ask 'did i hear that right?'.
It has it's moments of wit (an incredibly obvious reference to Psycho is followed a scene later by the ostensible lead of the film being killed) and a moderately interesting idea in a killer in a cop uniform but just isn't clever or funny enough to do anything with it. Characters come and go with little rhyme nor reason and the film just sort of stumbles to it's end without making much of the promising St. Patricks Day Parade set up (featuring Sam Raimi as a news reporter).

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Good night, you filthy whore!

The Nines (2007)
Chosen by Victoria Charvill who had this to say: 'I've given Dave this one because Koala's control the weather. That and I love the concept of this film, as well as Reynolds and McCarthy. A witty script and good direction. It should appeal to the geek in you.'

A funny, mostly interesting but ultimately frustrating film.
It's hard to resolve a mystery like this satisfactorily and The Nines attempts at, well, I'm not entirely sure what it's trying to say in the end but it veers close to the recent Adjustment Bureau in dealing with a higher power.
That aside, there's some terrific stuff here. Hope Davis is as great as ever and Melissa McCarthy is wonderful, a sexy confidant performance that smooths over the cracks in the ending.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

She gave a handjob to a mystic

Submarine (2010)
Chosen by me as I like to go to the cinema a lot and I like Richard Ayoade.

Absolutely terrific. A brilliant debut film, confidant, funny, touching.
Full of a great cast giving wonderful performances anchored by an excellent Craig Roberts in the lead.
Simply wonderful, loved every second.

Friday, 18 March 2011

I'm like cat here, a no-name slob. We belong to nobody, and nobody belongs to us. We don't even belong to each other.

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Chosen by Victoria Charvill who had this to say: 'This is Hepburn's signature role, and the rest of the cast(ignoring Rooney) are brilliant too. Even when hungover and dishevelled, Holly is graceful and glamorous. Of course there's Moon River and the famous Cat scene. It's always been one of my favourites.'

Not so sure about this one. When it focuses on the word play it's pretty funny, sometimes charming and mostly likeable. Peppard and Hepburn (as a very typical manic pixie dream girl) are terrific.
But the whole thing is too slight and keeps forcing dreadful slapstick comedy (and a wholly pointless Mickey Rooney, not just offensive for the racist portrayal but offensive because it's so unfunny) into proceedings instead of giving us more to get to grips with.
Some romance comedies insert obstacles that are so arbitrary or horrid that you can have no sympathy for the characters (god help me if i see another main star leave someone on the altar I may just scream) but Breakfast at Tiffany's obstacles are so wispy that her running back in the rain to find the cat (and love!) seems rather too relaxed. The stakes feel so small.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

I wouldn't mind replacing my guns with tactical nuclear weapons.

Dominion Tank Police (1988)
Chosen by Sabine Woolnough who had this to say: 'another anime fav i grew up with ^_^ and it has tanks.'

Sometimes when watching movies you can have an incredibly clear image of the creators behind the piece. How they were making it, what they wanted to express, the kind of person they are. This image is almost certainly not even close to the truth but it is the power of art and entertainment to express not only an idea but but an idea of where that idea comes from.
I'd like to believe that if someone who didn't know me was reading these (and god only knows why they would be?) they would not only get a tiny understanding of what the film is like (I really don't go much into that beyond a general sense of whether I liked it or not, and even then some of my friends have stated they're not sure sometimes if I'm saying a film is good or not) but also a sense of what kind of person I am. Would they pick up a sense of intense white, middle class guilt? A pretentious, rather moribund iconoclast? An opinionated devil's advocate?

All of that was a pointlessly roundabout way of saying I had the strangest vision whilst watching Dominion Tank Police.
I quite clearly saw the guy doing the music on a crummy Yamaha electric keyboard, fag hanging out of his mouth, more ash than cigarette, hitting the pre-programmed beat buttons.
A fun, silly action scene needs scoring. He thinks for a second then hits button 3 - 'tssh, tssh, beep, tssh' goes the crappy electronic sound.
A crazy, out of nowhere striptease from genetically created cat women in order to distract the police starts. He nods. He knows he needs to get a little jazzy with this one. That calls for button 7 - 'boo doo be do wah'
A mysterious man appears. The cigarette finally gets it's ash tapped out. He has to pull out all the stops for this one. He flexes his fingers and hits button 4 - 'brr, beep'. The man is content.

Yeah so, I really, really hated the music in this.
Other than that it's a fun romp, full of bizarre non-sequiturs and crazy imagery (inflatable penises are put to a very strange use but prove once and for all that the cock is mightier than the tank, or something).

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

We imagine that love is meaningful. But, could it in fact be... meaningless?

Enduring Love (2004)
Chosen by Lauren Parker who had this to say about it: 'What a surprise that the book is far superior to the film in so many ways, what is a great book is made into an extremely average film. I only gave it to you because I know you're in love with Daniel Craig!'

A dull, miscast take on the crazy stalker trope. Ifans is horrid and Craig, as good as he is, is saddled with a dull idiot (without the crazy stalker angle this may have been an interesting look at failing to be a hero and the effects of grief) of a character.
Ifans' stalker is so slight and sketchy that he never really registers as a threat making the whole film inert.
Like most of these annoying stalker movies it's an ever so terribly middle class family being invaded by a lower class.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

I'm a weirdo. If you love me, you must be a weirdo too.

Born Romantic (2000)
Chosen by Clarry McDonald who had this to say: 'Brit rom-com. Enjoyed it because little rom and the com is underplayed by a stellar British cast.'

The rom and the com is underplayed so much so as to be almost non-existent I'm afraid.
Decent cast but annoyingly simplistic.
Like most romantic comedies all the characters are total arseholes (one uses chloroform on his beloved - albeit accidently), either falling in love for no reason what-so-ever or veering wildly in a game of 'will they, won't they' that makes them appear psychotic (or worse - a sit-com character).
I would sing L.O.V.E. to Olivia Williams though.

Monday, 14 March 2011

When you are young not much matters, when you find something you like that's all you got.

Kids (1995)
Chosen by Adam Grimes who had this to say: 'As a kid myself i remember the first time i watched this movie, i was fascinated how it shocked me, i wasnt sure weither the love these people or hate them for being so full on. I loved its gritty in-depth take on teenagers growing up with nothing better to do other than smoke drugs skateboard and screw.. No not like skins.this film freaked me out, made me laugh and gave me a hangover the next day.'

Still packing a punch over 15 years on (the recent controversy over the American remake of Skins reminds me a little of the fuss over this movie), this came out when I was first really getting into film so I recall the hubbub quite clearly.
It is a rather remarkable film in many ways. The young cast are totally watchable even when utterly horrid (Leo Fitzpatrick's Telly is a monster whether he knows he is HIV positive or not), Sevigny and Rosario Dawson especially good.
Shot with a raw simpleness that carries the film, it feels real (though so far removed from my childhood I have about as much in common with it as I do Avatar) despite some convenient plotting and extreme nature.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Scientists are scrambling to try and understand it

Battle: Los Angeles (2011

A dull, repetitive Hoo Rah for the US Marine Corp. It strives for the immediacy of films like Blackhawk Down, but like that film is just a constant barrage of noise that has no real variety in tone (but unlike that film has not got the excuse of being based on real events) and plods along to it's dumb, inevitable conclusion.
Very much like Skyline it pretends to jump straight in to the action but then backtracks 24 hours for a slow, pointless introduction of characters that you won't recall the names of even ten minutes later, let alone when they are killed off in messy, second hand fight sequences.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Deserted or dead, either way, we can forget them

The Bunker (2001)
Chosen by Darron Bowley (the first of many WWII films from him) who had this to say: 'One of only a few movies that focus on the Germans rather than the Allies. I like it's attempt to be vague about what's going on; is it ghosts, gas or fevered paranoia? Nice to see a good british cast too. Overall though, I felt it lacked some Oomph in the tension and scare dept. Ultimately, not really a war film and not really a horror either but an enjoyable little diversion non the less.'

Decent and mostly effective little chiller but very slight.
It's ambiguity is interesting but I think favours a supernatural reading as this group of soldiers falls apart a bit too easily and conveniently.
The acting is nicely underplayed for the most part, not getting too bogged down with histrionic screaming as these bottle/siege stories often fall into.

Friday, 11 March 2011

You know something? You read too many comic books.

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Chosen by Lauren Parker who had this to say: 'At last a film choice I can firmly stand by, this is one of my favourite films of all time and luckily its a choice alot of people actually agree with. It's one of those perfect films that I can watch over and over again and it was the film that started my obsession with James Dean as a teenager. I defy anyone to not feel moved by his performance and the police station scene at the beginning has always been one of my favourite pieces of cinema just for his acting. So I really hope you like it or I can no longer be your friend.'

Filling in some gaps in my viewing is a big reason for doing this filmaday lark so I'm happy to have finally seen this.
Especially seeing as it is rather terrific. Filled with great performances (Chief from Get Smart makes for a like-ably sympathetic policeman) and a great melodramatic script.
Dean's iconic status may make it hard to realise just how good he was, he positively sizzles with rage but also compassion. Apart from the goons, everyone is given depth and shades of character, they may not feel like real people but they do feel like interesting people (far more important anyway).
Stone Cold Classic.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Well, I've wrestled with reality for 35 years, Doctor, and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it.

Harvey (1950)
Chosen by Victoria Charvill who had this to say about it: 'One of James Stewarts' best films and an absolute classic that everybody should watch.'

James Stewart is fantastic in this funny but flawed classic.
It often betrays it's theatrical roots with some stodgy staging and performances that are too broad, lacking subtlety where a smarter, quieter take would bring out some of the great dialogue much better.
Still, a terrific movie, well worth a watch even if just for Stewart.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Sorrow is nothing but worn out joy

Old Joy (2006)
Chosen by Ian Love who had this to say about it: 'I don't know why I recommended this to Dave really, It's just a very cool road trip movie with a very cool soundtrack from the legendary Yo La Tengo and features a great performance from singer songwriter Will Oldham aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy!'

A very, very slight wisp of a film. Two friends go to a hot spring in the mountains and come home - that's it. But short enough to not bore, certainly. Indeed it was quite fascinating in many ways. Quiet, reflective, ambiguous with a splendid dreamy soundtrack and beautiful location shooting.
A hard film to love perhaps, as it's a mere snapshot of a friendship, nothing more to get to grips with but that is very pleasing in it's own way.
I had never even heard of this film (of course the same was true of Big Stan) and is exactly the sort of thing I wanted to achieve with this endeavour.
This won't be among my favourites of the year I dare say, but absolutely makes doing this blog worthwhile.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Seems like you want to run away.

I am Number Four (2011)
Chosen by me because I like to go the cinema a lot and this was the first thing on after Rango finished.

I am Number Poor.
I am number Two.

Okay I've run out of rubbishy puns, but the film does suck.
Basically a crappy Buffy knock off  (but what, five years too late? a kid uses an X-Files reference almost ten years after it finished and maybe 13 since it had any cultural relevance) with very little to recommend it. Olyphant sleepwalks his way through a nothing role and Pettyfer is a bland pretty boy saddled with horrid dialogue.
Most of the action is messy and dull but a couple of moments stand out.
The end threatens more films to come but who really cares?

Monday, 7 March 2011

I will find the water, Beans. I promise you.

Rango (2011)
Chosen by me as I like to go to the cinema a lot.

The second Pirates of the Caribbean sequel has a lengthy sequence set in Limbo. Feeling like a Terry Gilliam scene I liked it but it was totally wrong for the movie, stopping the film dead (no pun intended) for way too long for no gain beyond some interesting visuals.
Rango is like a film long version of that scene (Verbinski rips off his own imagery explicitly for one bit also involving a character in a potential afterlife). But as the theme is a through line throughout Rango it works here much better.
Rango is filled with extraordinary images, often quite, quite beautiful but with an odd, often melancholic tone. It riffs heavily on Chinatown and many Westerns, a resonance that may be missed by a young audience but one that was certainly appreciated by me.
It's humour is peculiar, often focussed on death which gives the simple story (another take on the Three Amigos style idiots pretending to be heroes trope) a morbid depth, a sense of existential whimsy.
A great voice cast support Depp's best performance for a long time.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Take that barnacle off his lip.

Steamboat Bill Jnr. (1928)
Chosen by me from my stack of unwatched DVDs.

Well 'gimmick week' comes to an end (I've decided it would be a working week not a full one - don't judge me) and it proved very popular. So thanks to everyone for taking part and being enthusiastic. I found it a real pain in the arse to do, but don't rule out a return before the year is out if I get bored again.

Much like The General I didn't really get on with this film. Too long without any good gags. 50 mins of rubbishy jokes about hats but at least the last 15 minutes does kick up a gear. We have the famous bit of the side of a building falling over Keaton, which is a terrific visual and the running around in the wind perhaps outstays it's welcome a little but is generally funny.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

These doors belong to the people chasing us

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
Chosen by me as I like to go to the cinema a lot

Are you there God it's me, David.

Me: Hello, God?
God: Oh it's you. Look stop pestering me about creating Octocats. It's a dumb idea.
Me: No it's not about that (though they would be awesome), it's about your new movie.
God: Oh it's good isn't it? I'm rather pleased with it I must say.
Me: Yeah I can see why. It's pretty pro you. But I'm not sure it was that good really.
God: It was an excellent romp, full of good performances and filled with challenging ideas on fate and my role in dictating the world.
Me: Oh I agree on the performances, Damon and Blunt were splendid together (shame they had to be pulled apart arbitrarily by plot so often really).
God: Yes indeed, I may not need to smite you with lightening after all.
Me: Well I would hold off on the mercy, as I'm not sure the rest of the film worked especially well.
God: Hmmm.
Me: It seems to suggest that the love bond between two people is enough to have God yourself rearrange your plans and let free will blossom from great trust.
God: Yes beautiful right? And how magnanimous of me.
Me: Err, yeah right. But actually the reason they are together is because one of your earlier plans forces them to be 'soul mates' so it's not really free will is it?
God: Well, no but...
Me: But nothing. The ending is completely empty and meaningless, actually saying the total opposite of what it thinks it is saying.
God: No it is a testament to the power of love
Me: Except it's not love is it because you made it happen? And even if that were not the case it's a bunch of bullshit. Why is that such an important thing anyway? People make many terrific and amazing decisions that aren't about wanting to play a game of hide the sausage but no, the Hollywood narrative must be all about a man and woman coupling, shacking up and rutting like rabbits. I put it to you God, that Hollywood is even more powerful at creating than yourself.
God: Right, I'm pretty certain that is blasphemy. One righteous wrath of God heading your way.
Me; Oh shi...

Friday, 4 March 2011

Spider Shot countered!

Project A-Ko (1986)
Chosen by Sabine Woolnough who had this to say about it: 'pretty much my fav anime film when i was young (akira is my 1st fav!)'

I started today's gimmick by spelling out the name of the person who lent me the film down the side of the page, but thought that was a bit dull (and couldn't quite get the formatting right) so added another gimmick on by running the sentences through an online translator to Japanese and then back to English. Enjoy.

The most stupid animated cartoon ridiculous thing which is a pleasure of enormous quantity.
Ako has the scene of some pleasant fights and a sense of humor odd attractively.
I can write a blast as a whim at a fair old pace with a style forward.
About its getting the girl who outwardly comes out of nowhere (so far) probably mind of Scot pill Grimm who had it seems to have been influence on strange quarrel.
Naturally its being a strange custom such (get the crotch shot of all over about two seconds and we schoolgirls);, however, is too odd to be obscene.
I am totally like the love and the splendid contents which I sometimes look, and are luxurious.

And the original:

Supremely silly anime nonsense that is a huge amount of fun.
A-ko has some delightful fight scenes and an endearingly goofy sense of humour.
Blasting along at a fair old pace with whimsy and style.
It seems to have been an influence on Scott Pilgrim, perhaps, with it's bonkers fights over       winning a girl seemingly coming from nowhere.
Naturally it has it's peculiarities (about two seconds in and we get a crotch shot of a               school girl) but is too goofy to be salacious.
Excellent stuff, totally lovable and at times gorgeous to look at.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

A little guilt goes a long way

The Machinist (2004)
Chosen by Victoria Charvill who had this to say about it: 'Although a little disturbing to see Bale so thin, there are two sides to his performance, the physical and his psychological. It is certainly one of his best performances and really makes Reznik come to life'

T h e   c e n t r a l   m y s t e r y   i s   a   l i t t l e   t o o   o n   t h e   n  o s e   
(t w i s t   m o v i e s   o f t e n   f a l l   i n t o   t h i s,   a s   a n   e n d i _ _   t h a t   d o e s n' t   c h e a t   w i l l   n e v e r   _ e   a s   c r a _ y   a s   t h e   e a r l i e r   a c t s  -  D a v i d   L y n c _   d o e s   i t    _ y   _ o t  
_ i v i _ _   a   d a m n   i f   t h e   v i e w e r   r e a l i s e s   w h a t   i s   _ o i n _   o n   o r   n o t),   s t i l l,  i t   i s   w e l l   t o l d.
A n   a i r   o f   h o r r i d   _ r i m e   a n d   m i s e r y   c o v e r s   e v e r y   s c e n e   a n d   _ a l e    i s   t e r r i _ i c,  s c o r i n _   t h e   i n s a n i t y     
e f f e c t i v e l y.

E (me), A (Paul), T (Rosie), I (Peter) H (Vicky) S (Steven), N (Carl), D (Ruth),C (Vicky) O (Laura), V (Andy) R (Leigh and Fiendil - I'm not sure who you are I realise), F (Rosie), L (Sam) Y (Vicky) W and M (Sam)

And we have our first incorrect letter - Epsilon (Nick, that wag). So four lives left.

Your choice - 

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

My name? If you knew that, you'd be as clever as me.

Layer Cake (2004)
Chosen by me technically, but supplied by James Bloodworth who had this to say about it: 'Stepping out from his usual producing duties, Matthew Vaughn ventures into familiar territory with his first directorial effort. Layer Cake tells the story of effectively a drug dealer who is trying to leave his murky life behind and how his perfectly balanced world starts to disintegrate around him. Whilst potentially lacking the wit and charm of "Lock, Stock..", I would describe Layer Cake as Lock, Stock for grown ups. Sporting a British cast, all participants are work man like and adequate in their roles but the burden of the film falls firmly onto Daniel Craig's shoulders and it's not hard to see how this film allegedly got him the role of James Bond. Craig gives a cool to measured performance throughout. Matthew Vaughn would go onto direct some of my favourite films of recent years, namely Stardust, Kick-Ass and the upcoming X-Men First Class.'

I've decided this week shall be gimmicky review week after yesterday's song parody (which proved quite popular, getting a number of views and comments - the facebook link anyway, not here. Of course that may have just been because of my desperate cry for attention) so today's shall be in Haiku form.

Decent but empty
Rips end off Carlito's Way?
Craig is brilliant.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Candlelight, privacy, music. Can't think of a better place for hand-to-hand combat.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Chosen by Sabine Woolnough who had this to say: 'simply the best disney film ever.....EVER! and has the best and most complex villain ever, not to mention the best villain song too!'

♫ Somewhere out there is a movie I like
Something to really please me and make me laugh tonight

That movie is not here, a rather dull affair
Hunchback is really rather an odd choice for Disney to share

And even though I know I'm not the target audience
I hate to say the songs in this are really, really pants

And can I say that Demi Moore is totally miscast
The others actors are not bad, Kline seems to have a blast

Somewhere out there is a film that's true
Then I will be happy, somewhere out there
But it seems not from yoooouuuuuuuuu

Yeah it's not a Disney song but whatever, I get to put a Community clip in.