Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Cinemexperience: part deux.
Spaced Out Forum > Media > Media
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159
Sean of the Dead
Notting Hill
Huge Grunt and Jewler Robots do things for a bit, and then don't or do and then it looks like its not going to be good for them but then it does become good for them. I wasn't really paying much attention.
curtinparloe
Lesbian Vampire Killers
Matthew Horne plays Shaun and James Corden plays Ed in Shaun Of The Dead 2: this time it's nowhere near as good. It wants to be comic-book-style, in that the edits are dizzyingly fast page turns, with each new scene setting described in comic-book type. The lesbian vampires are good-looking, and their deaths are very well realised, but it's difficult to empathise with the characters. Lots of puerile humour (The Vampire Queen can only be killed by the Sword of Daeldo), Paul McGann is very Postlethwaitey, fairly slapstick, and very stupid.

I've seen worse, but I can see the pitch:

Pitcher#1: "It's Shaun of the Dead, but with vampires."
Financier: "Ooh, I like that bit in Dracula when those vampire women kiss each other."
Pitcher#2: "Funny you should say that, because the vampires in this are lesbians."
Financier: "Fantastic! Just tell me we have Pegg and Frost and you can have the money today."
Pitchers look at each other.
Financier: "You don't have them? Well, without a thin guy and a big guy double act from TV, I'm not interested."
Pitcher#1: "Erm... have you heard of Corden and Horne?"
Pitcher#2: "They were in Gavin and Stacey?"
Financier: "Yeah, whatever, here's the cheque."

Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Kevin James as a security guard who can't get into Police Academy because of his hypoglycaemia, suddenly faced with a siege in his mall.
It's not bad, but I may be being lenient on it as an almost complete parody of the Die Hard films - All the set pieces and most of the story are laid out the same way (complete spoilering ahead):

-Blart takes out the bad guys one by one
-he hides in a duct
-the army dude trying to end the seige is part of the gang
-the main bad guy - Vek - pretends to be Blart's friend
-The head security guard outside talks secretly with Blart
-The asshole who wants his girl gives stuff away to the bad guys
-Vek finds out about having Blart's daughter in the siege through a photograph
-There's a guy who keeps calling Blart
-Blart has a bad moment when he's injured (not his feet though)
-He taunts the gang through a radio
-The main cop on the outside is a git until the army shows up, then he sides with Blart, and gets some cool lines in the denouement
-I could go on...[/list]

Kevin James is fairly likeable for the most part, which goes a long way towards saving this. I'll be interested in seeing how Seth Rogen manages in Observe and Report.

One thing I noticed in both films was a certain awkwardness in the editing, like a shot's being held for extra time to make it funnier, and it just comes across as distracting. I hope this isn't the start of a trend.
logger
QUOTE (curtinparloe @ Mar 21 2009, 11:59 PM) *
One thing I noticed in both films was a certain awkwardness in the editing, like a shot's being held for extra time to make it funnier, and it just comes across as distracting. I hope this isn't the start of a trend.

Are they not leaving a gap for laughter that was more noticeable because you weren't laughing?
curtinparloe
Could be, but it's like leaving a gap for hearty laughter at something which someone really "going with it" would only spare a chuckle at.



Incidentally, I've just remembered that Super Hans is in Bronson. That made me laugh like a drain.
mcraigclark
Been feeling like poo all day, so naturally I watched some DVDs, Ghostbusters and The Fall being the most noteworthy.

Ghostbusters is always a mood-lifter, and even though I saw The Fall recently, a re-watch was worth the time. It really is a beautifully done film, and a perfect complement to feeling fever-y.
sweetbutinsane
A Little Princess

Such a lovely film.
Shack
The Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen

Why had I never watched this before?

Delightful adventure with all good senses of wackyness and a super hot Uma Thurman (hoo-er).
maian
Going My Way (1944)

The Church of St. Dominic's is in trouble; the landlord is planning to foreclose, the youths of the area are often in trouble with the police, and Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Foitzgerald), the elderly priest in charge of the parish, can't seem to do anything about it. Enter Father Chuck O'Malley (Bing Crosby), a young, progressive priest with a talent for music, who sets about trying to fix St. Dominic's problems, even if it means coming into conflict with Father Fitzgibbon.

As a Best Picture winner of old, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Going My Way. It was billed as a musical, yet there wasn't a single song for a good 45 minutes of the film. Likewise, it was billed as a comedy, yet it has some real moments of poignancy to it. The biggest unknown for me was Crosby himself. I knew in advance that he won his Oscar for his role as Father O'Malley, and I assumed that it was more an instance of the Academy rewarding someone they liked than of someone giving a great performance. I was surprised, nay, shocked, to discover that Crosby's performance was, far than being just 'okay but worthy', was actually quite wonderful. He's really subtle, for the time, and he tones down his charming persona, which occasionally strikes me as smug in films like High Society, to give a calm, measured performance, creating a man who is funny, charming and suave, but who is also clearly dedicated to his work and tries to do what is best for those around him.

I'm becoming quite a fan of the work of Leo McCarey; he seemed to have a real grasp of what makes people tick and could deliver the best of people in his films, often to very touching effect. There are at least two moments in Going My Way, which is for all intents and purposes a light-heartened comedy, of real emotional depth. The scene in which Fathers O'Malley and Fitzbibbon share a drink and talk about their families had the perfect balance of humour and melancholy; the performances, the use of a music box and the quiet sound of rain outside creates a mood of nostalgia and time lost. It's a fantastic scene which more or less guarantees that I'll revisit the film many times.

The final scene was also very sweet without being saccharine.

...

No, I didn't cry watching it. Who said I did? I just had something in my eye...
GundamGuy_UK
QUOTE (Starscream`s Ghost @ Mar 21 2009, 10:30 PM) *
Kung Fu Hustle

It's not often that I think that a movie is amazing. But this was. I'd love to see it in a theatre someday, I can imagine it being a completely different experience.


I did, and it is.
melzilla
QUOTE (maian @ Mar 22 2009, 09:27 PM) *
Going My Way (1944)
The Church of St. Dominic's is in trouble; the landlord is planning to foreclose, the youths of the area are often in trouble with the police, and Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Foitzgerald), the elderly priest in charge of the parish, can't seem to do anything about it. Enter Father Chuck O'Malley (Bing Crosby), a young, progressive priest with a talent for music, who sets about trying to fix St. Dominic's problems, even if it means coming into conflict with Father Fitzgibbon.


Swap the men for women and you've got Sister Act 2: Back in the habit!
maian
QUOTE (melzilla @ Mar 22 2009, 10:00 PM) *
Swap the men for women and you've got Sister Act 2: Back in the habit!


Coincidentally, I woke up this morning and finally figured out how that title was a pun.
Zoe
Role Models (2008)

Much better than I expected.

Burn after Reading (2008)

It was OK, not heavy on plot, but great performances. I liked it about as much as 'No Country for Old Men'.
Jimmay
Disturbia

Having not seen Rear Window but assuming I know how the plot goes from the endless parodies in every single TV show ever, I'm guessing this is a far less subtle version of it. I may be wrong though so I have Sky+ Rear Window to find out for myself. Anyway, it's a good fun film with some nice tension and some nice creepy baddiness in it. However, it is a bit jarring how at the end of the film none of the characters involved in uncovering a horrific murderer in a house full of corpses while trying to be murdered themselves seem to have any ill effects from the experience.

Doom

I saw this at the cinema when it first came out and thoroughly enjoyed it as a film to watch with the lads over a few beers. I've had it on DVD for ages and finally watched in on Saturday when Sarah and I wanted to completely switch off. It was as good as I remember it and the The Rock really should do more films like it as he's really really good at it. I particularly love the whole first person perspective sequence which is all very silly and the subtle (and not so subtle) call backs to all of the old computer games.
Jessopjessopjessop
QUOTE (Jimmay @ Mar 23 2009, 02:17 PM) *
I may be wrong though so I have Sky+ Rear Window to find out for myself

It's my favourite Hitchcock, and it's brilliant!
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (Jimmay @ Mar 23 2009, 02:17 PM) *
Disturbia

Having not seen Rear Window but assuming I know how the plot goes from the endless parodies in every single TV show ever, I'm guessing this is a far less subtle version of it. I may be wrong though so I have Sky+ Rear Window to find out for myself. Anyway, it's a good fun film with some nice tension and some nice creepy baddiness in it. However, it is a bit jarring how at the end of the film none of the characters involved in uncovering a horrific murderer in a house full of corpses while trying to be murdered themselves seem to have any ill effects from the experience.

Doom

I saw this at the cinema when it first came out and thoroughly enjoyed it as a film to watch with the lads over a few beers. I've had it on DVD for ages and finally watched in on Saturday when Sarah and I wanted to completely switch off. It was as good as I remember it and the The Rock really should do more films like it as he's really really good at it. I particularly love the whole first person perspective sequence which is all very silly and the subtle (and not so subtle) call backs to all of the old computer games.


I had Rear Window recorded on video and watched it a few years ago but the tape cut out just as Raymond Burr gets to Jimmy Stewart's door. I only just watched the end for the first time last month! I do agree that Disturbia is fun, whether you've seen Rear Window or not. I do sort of agree with your view on the ending though. And I agree on Doom. I'd argue it was the best computer game movie since Mortal Kombat, but not that the competition is remarkable in any regard.
sleeping_pirate
QUOTE (sweetbutinsane @ Mar 22 2009, 01:52 PM) *
A Little Princess

Such a lovely film.
I used to love that when I was little.
logger
Spider-Man 2

Would make a great triple bill with Batman: The Movie and Watchmen.
Zoe
'Jesus Camp'

Couldn't get on with it. I've seen too many documentaries like this, it had nothing new to say. I think we all know Evangelical Christians are nutters.

They should just stop making documentaries now, King of Kong has won.
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (Zoe @ Mar 24 2009, 11:32 AM) *
'Jesus Camp'

Couldn't get on with it. I've seen too many documentaries like this, it had nothing new to say. I think we all know Evangelical Christians are nutters.

They should just stop making documentaries now, King of Kong has won.


I'd agree if it weren't for Anvil. Now we've had that, they can stop.
maian
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Mar 24 2009, 11:44 AM) *
I'd agree if it weren't for Anvil. Now we've had that, they can stop.


Those two do mark a pretty good end point. Then again, if the guys who made Lost In La Mancha want to make a third film about how mental Terry Gilliam is, then I'd be happy to give them an amnesty.

Oh, and Errol Morris.
Zoe
The high score has been set and I will protect it with my life.

I am Billy Mitchell. There shall be no pretenders to the best documentary crown.
melzilla
Speaking of documentaries, I watched Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man on More4 tonight.

It's an intriguing and sobering film which documents the bizarre life, and subsequent untimely death, of self-proclaimed 'protector' of Grizzly bears, Tim Treadwell, mostly through the many hours of footage he filmed alone in the wild with the bears he loved. Alongside contributions from his family and friends (some of which I felt were a little forced or 'scripted', even) the footage shot by Tim himself really gave a startling, sad and disturbing insight into a deeply troubled man with an addictive and misanthropic personality, rejecting civilisation and finding refuge in a fantasy world amongst some of the most dangerous animals on Earth. Although Tim's work to help, teach about, and study these animals for no money whatsoever seemed initially rather noble and selfless, the documentary reveals that his reasons were a lot more complex, and how it was Treadwell's deluded attitude and psychological problems which finally led to his (and his girlfriend's) terrible and inevitable death at the hands of the creatures he loved so much. Quite tragic.
Shack
Wanted

Stupid but whole heaps of fun.

The sort of film 2000+ Nicholas Cage would be in, only he wasn't.
dandan
watchmen - i hear he'd been working for the government...

hmmm, synopsis...

in the 1930s and '40s, a group of masked vigilantes, known as the minutemen, came to be. in the 195os and '60s, they were succeeded by the watchmen, a new generation of costumed superheroes. it is now 1985, america won the vietnam war (thanks to the assistance of members of the watchmen) and nixon is in his fifth term, although the cold war is getting heated and the doomsday clock is frighteningly close to midnight. outlawed since the mid-1970s, only three of the watchmen remain active: dr manhattan (billy crudup) and the comedian (jeffrey dean morgan) remain in government employ, whilst rorschach (jackie earle haley) works outside the law...

when the comedian is murdered, rorschach begins to investigate, suspecting that, at the very least, there is a mask killer out there...

so, 'watchmen' is a, pretty much, universally lauded piece of fiction, amongst comic book fans, and was one of the first to enjoy a limited exposure in popular consciousness, when graphic novels enjoyed being in vogue. it is also, despite alan moore's protestations, a work that seems to be crying out to be put on the screen as you read it. still, it has always been a worry that someone would adapt it and make a right pig's ear of doing so. for close to two decades, a string of directors have been attached to direct, scripts have been written and casting rumours have come and gone. however, when zack snyder was given the opportunity to take the project on, he, as a fan who shared the worries of other fans, jumped on it. his rationale was something along the lines of; "if i made it, i had a chance to not screw it up. if i did screw it up, at least it was me who screwed it up. but if i let them take the script they showed me to someone else to screw up, it would have been my fault. so i had to make it." (stolen from wil wheaton's rather good blog...

and, what can i say; it was as good an adaptation as one could possibly hope for. snyder, as close as is reasonably possible, nailed it. hey, i think i even preferred his handling of the ending; even if it comes after the point in the original (and this adaptation) at which my interest peaks in the narrative...

the cast were rather good, although i kept thinking that if they're making a chevy chase biopic in the near future, then patrick wilson (dan dreiberg / nite owl II) should definitely get the gig.

good stuff...



lady snowblood - blizzard from the netherworld

so, continuing the 'kill bill' cultural exchange, we rewatched the first 'shurayukihime' film...

born and raised to be an instrument of vengeance, yuki kashima (meiko kaji) sets out on a quest to kill those responsible for killing her father and raping her mother...

so, elements of the plot, narrative structure and devices, camera angles, dialogue and music are all borrowed / stolen / paid homage to (delete as applicable) by mr tarantino. as someone who saw the original and loved it, well before they saw 'kill bill : part one', i still prefer this film and thoroughly enjoyed giving it another watch.

meiko kaji is super-cool and the film is just great to watch; sure, there's a couple of clunks along the way, but they are easily forgiven.

good stuff...
Outatime
Went to see Flame & Citron last night. I'd thoroughly recommend it although I don't know how much of a release it's got as it's only showing for a week at my local cinema. It's the story of two Danish resistance fighters during the German occupation. Working as a partnership within a larger group Flame and Citron follow orders to kill Danish informers, the one target they want to get is the head of the Gestapo in Copenhagen but the order never comes. Based on a true story the amount of double crossing and double and triple agents picks up as the film goes on leading to the conclusion of Flame and Citron's story. I found it to be a really compelling film to watch, I left with a reasonable understand of the situation and the motivations of the people involved - much more so than Il Divo which I went to see at the weekend.
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (Outatime @ Mar 26 2009, 08:54 AM) *
Flame & Citron


This looks really good and I would love to see it. Although I have to say, Flammen & Citronen is a far better sounding title. The English language title is what a 12 year old would call ahem 'ghey'.

And Thure Lindhardt is a weirdly attractive looking fella.
Atara
My parents went to see Watchmen last night and both really loved it, I am proud of them.

Watched Quantum of Solace on Blu-ray the other day. It is so pretty. I love Daniel Craig as Bond, he is just so damn good.
Sostie
QUOTE (Shack @ Mar 25 2009, 04:48 PM) *
Wanted

Stupid but whole heaps of fun.


Watched this again over the weekend. Stupid dumb fun indeed.

THE INGLORIOUS BASTARDS
Inglorious Bastards is a men on a mission WWII movie starring Bo Svenson (who back in 1978 looked like one of the Grumbleweeds), the legend that is Fred Williamson and the great Ian Bannen (it seems not that great with accents though - he is dubbed with an American one).

Director Enzo G. Castellari goes a bit Peckinpah in places with the slo-mo, and inserts some rather pointless, though mercifully short, "war is hell"/"why can't we all just get along" moments, but I suppose it's to be expected seeing that this was made following the success of Cross Of Iron in the cinemas - why mess with what already works? Just make it cheaper and a little different. Also see his "follow-ups" to Mad Max, The New Barbarians, and Escape From New York, Bronx Warriors - both flawed, cheap and highly entertaining.

I remember first seeing this at a young age during the video boom. The only elements that seemed to remain etched in my memory were the opening credits, naked Nazi babes with machine guns (I remember that scene being a lot longer) and a climax involving a train set being blown up. But there are so many other great moments - GI's shooting machine guns the way you did as a kid playing war, spraying lead left to right and back again; the quickest whirlwind romance in cinema history; some obvious matte paintings and even (I think) cardboard cut-out tanks; and the immortal line "That's just great. That's just Jesus H Great"!

I like Castellari. He makes flawed movies twice as entertaining as some films with 20 times the budget. He's not the greatest director in the world, but he is ambitious and never bores the viewer. He's the Italian Charles Band.

Schlock of the highest order.
PrincessKate
Went round to Rosie's for dinner last night and inbetween knitting and toad in the hole, we watched Monster Club(1980), one of Vincent Price's last roles on film (I think).
Anthology Horror film, kind of Hammer-esque in tone I think, and very tongue in cheek it was hugely enjoyable, although the genesis/family tree of Monsters bit at the beginning was just weird and appeared to be an excuse to get Vincent Price enunciating some peculiar words.
logger
Fright Night

I'd never seen it before. It was alright but I was surprised by how slow it was. It can't just be down to how old it was, American Werewolf and Evil Dead 2 came out in the five years before this. The Roddy McDowall part must have been written with Vincent Price in mind and is the type of thing he would have loved. I'm sure he must have been offered it only to turn it down either because he was too busy, money reasons or the script wasn't good enough, Mr Price would have needed better dialogue and a lot more of it. Still, it was ok and owed a lot more to Nosferatu than a lot of other vampire films of the same era.
maian
QUOTE (Outatime @ Mar 26 2009, 08:54 AM) *
Went to see Flame & Citron last night. I'd thoroughly recommend it although I don't know how much of a release it's got as it's only showing for a week at my local cinema.


We had it at my work for two weeks and that was it. I kept meaning to see it but at the end of my shifts I just felt too drained to watch two plus hours of double-crossing Danes. Will definitely look out for it on DVD since it got very positive responses from the customers.
melzilla
QUOTE (dandan @ Mar 25 2009, 04:54 PM) *
lady snowblood - blizzard from the netherworld

so, continuing the 'kill bill' cultural exchange, we rewatched the first 'shurayukihime' film...

born and raised to be an instrument of vengeance, yuki kashima (meiko kaji) sets out on a quest to kill those responsible for killing her father and raping her mother...

so, elements of the plot, narrative structure and devices, camera angles, dialogue and music are all borrowed / stolen / paid homage to (delete as applicable) by mr tarantino. as someone who saw the original and loved it, well before they saw 'kill bill : part one', i still prefer this film and thoroughly enjoyed giving it another watch.

meiko kaji is super-cool and the film is just great to watch; sure, there's a couple of clunks along the way, but they are easily forgiven.

good stuff...


I used to love this film; not seen it for years. You have inspired me to dig it out, Sir.
maian
Entre les murs (The Class) (2008)

Or, Fuck You, Mr Chips.

Palm d'Or winner from last year about a school year in the lives of a inner city Parisian school and their teacher, François (François Bégaudeau, who not only stars but wrote the book upon which the film was based, which was in turn based on his own experiences as a schoolteacher.) Filmed with an eye for realism, the film uses documentary techniques and employs a cast that consists pretty much entirely of non-actors. This gives it a reality that is often missing from movies about teaching, as each of the students has a real and believable relationship with every other student and, in turn, with François. The performances all round are terrific because the students don't mug for the camera but neither do they underplay, they strike just the right level for a group of rowdy, largely under-achieving class of teenagers.

Bégaudeau is also great as the teacher. Since there is already so much of himself in the character, you get the sense that he is reliving actual events from his life and his performance benefits hugely as a result; he can play a teacher really well because he was a teacher. He also shows a willingness to show himself in a very bad light at times, often seeming to be indifferent to some characters and overly complimentary to others. I'm not sure if that is merely my interpretation, but there is certainly a bullishness to him that suggests that by this point in his life he has lost a lot of the idealism that drove him into the profession and is now more concerned with getting through the year.

The filmmakers have made some interesting choices in framing the story. The most obvious of which is that they keep all the action within the walls of the school, with the exception of the very start when we see François enter it. At no point do we follow François home at the end of a day, and, apart from a parents' evening in which François gets to interact with the families of his students, we get no sense of their home lives. It's perhaps a bit distancing since we don't ever really know the characters but, at the same time, it makes their conflicts all the more interesting since we have to fathom what is driving them for ourselves. The lack of context for outbursts could make the students seem like brats or they could make them seem like people having a bad day for an unknown reason, it's a matter of perception.

The film suffers a little in its plotting since it has to cover 9 months and, as such, often jumps forward weeks and months at a time. This isn't that noticeable a lot of the time since the film is more about specific incidents and being a comment on the experience of being a teacher in a modern school, but does make for moments when conflicts go from being red hot to completely resolved in a matter of seconds. The loose narrative structure does also mean that the film moves in fits and starts, so whilst some sections breeze by and are really fascinating, others just kind of mosey along at a languid canter.

All in all, despite its flaws, its a great film that aims to recreate the feeling of a classroom and does it superbly.

Better Things (2008)

Very arty film about the lives of a number of people living in a rural community. A young man has just lost his girlfriend to heroin; his best friend is spending a few days with his girlfriend who has moved out of the town and now only visits him fleetingly; an old couple are reunited after an unexplained separation; a girl who can't leave her house is stuck with her aged grandmother; a couple who have split up visit recriminations upon each other.

I've read a few negative reviews of this but I was really taken with it, much moreso than I was expecting. This is probably solely down to the fact that I spent much of my life in a town like the one depicted in this (the film is not explicitly set in any town, so there is a sense that it could be in any small, rural town in Britain) and I could see a lot of truth in the kinds of characters that populate the film, even if the affectations present in the performances and the specifics of the story did not ring true to me.

It's a very dour and downbeat film in which no one is happy at all for the entire running time, even when two people are having sex its depicted as a mournful act overshadowed by their inevitable separation. It's very autumnal, both in its setting and its themes, since all the characters seem to be entering a dark time in their lives after a period of summer. Some of the characters may make it through to spring, metaphorically speaking, but the film is more concerned with how these people react when faced with such darkness and cloying desperation.

Duane Hopkin's direction is really very solid and he brings an artistic aesthetic to the film that suits its themes very neatly. Every shot in the film has a point to make, albeit one that is usually overstated, and he handles the different plot strands with a degree of technical ability that would not suggest that this is his first attempt at a feature film.

It's quite pretensious and I think that I like it more for my own personal experiences than anything else, but I still liked it a lot more than I expected to.

Now, I really need to watch something light and fluffy.
mcraigclark
Quantum of Solace

I hadn't had a chance to see this until now. It's good, and a nice departure from the gadget-laden Bond films of the past. It's funny to think that people were so up in arms about Daniel Craig becoming Bond a couple of years ago; he seems a perfect fit.
maian
Il Divo - La straordinaria vita di Giulio Andreotti (Il Divo - The Extraordinary Life of Giulio Andreotti)

Giulio Andreotti (Toni Servillo) should be on top of the world; he's been elected Prime Minister of Italy for the seventh time, he is in a position of unrivaled power and looks like he will be able to make a run for the presidency. However, he's also overshadowed by accusations of corruption within his government, possible links to the Mafia and over 200 murders which he may or may not have been directly involved with.

Il Divo is not a political biopic. This is something that needs to be stated up front since that was what I was expected and was somewhat blindsided by the enigmatic nature of the film. On the other hand, the mere fact that I was blindsided by the film probably explains why I fell in love with it; it completely side stepped my expectations and delivered up something so much more vibrant and intoxicating than what I was expecting. So forget what I just said; it is a biopic.

Except it isn't. Il Divo is not a film that aims to detail the long and eventful life of Andreotti; it stays more or less in one period, the 1990s, it doesn't reveal any great details about Andreotti's life and it doesn't try to contextualise his life within the wider events in Italian politics. In fact, it doesn't really make any concessions to anyone who isn't knowledgeable about Italian politics. There is a glossary provided right at the start of the film that explains who a lot of the important groups are, but the rest of the time it speeds along and expects you to keep up, providing information either in drips or in torrents, to the extent that my head started to spin when, at one point, a character tries to relay just a handful of Andreotti's alleged crimes and criminal dealings. It's a dense and complex film that, I am freely prepared to admit, I found difficult to follow at times thanks to the sheer amount of information that I had to process.

So:

1. I didn't really know all that much going in.
2. The film didn't explain much of Italian politics, a subject on which I know precisely nothing, to me.
3. The film did not explain to me who exactly Andreotti was, except in the broadest possible terms.

Why then did I like it so much? Because, whilst it is not a film that tries to explain what Andreotti is in terms of the wider context of Italian politics, it is a film that tries to explain who he is, psychologically. Writer-director Paolo Sorrentino concerns himself with the man and his motivations, rather than with facts and figures. He portrays a murky, claustrophobic world of alpha male spin doctors, corrupt priests and Mafia entanglements that could give rise to a man like Andreotti who, if you believe some accounts, was responsible for hundreds of assassinations and failed assassinations during his time in office.

Central to this idea is Toni Servillo as Andreotti, who is just mindblowing. Everything about his performance is pitch perfect for the story and themes of the film. His every gesture, the deadened way in which he delivers the majority of his lines, even the way in which he slouches when he walks speaks volumes about the character. Here is a man whose every deed is etched on his face, whose evil acts (though they may be in service of good) seep through his pores and spread over his face. Whether or not you believe that he did the things that he is accused of doing, you can tell that he feels some considerable guilt over something in his past, and the fascination of the film lies in trying to figure out what it was, or if there is any guilt there in the first place.

Sorrentino's direction throughout is fluid, slick and punchy. Not a single scene drags and not a single character seems out of place or expositionary. He so completely immerses the audience in this world that you very quickly lose any sense of what is right and what is wrong, at times sympathising with Andreotti, and at other times condemning him.

This last point is crucial to my liking of the film, good though the style and the acting are, since the ambiguity of Andreotti and the non-partisan nature of the film leave plenty for the audience to mull over. Sorrentino provides us with both Andreotti's view of events and with the view of his accusers, seemingly favouring one but ultimately leaving enough doubt so that it is up to each audience member to determine whether or not he is a monster or a man who did terrible things in service of a greater good. In my case, I thought that he was a charming and intelligent monster who seemed to believe wholly in his cause. To paraphrase the film itself, he's either a cunning criminal or the most persecuted man in the history of Italy, and the fun lies in determining which is which.
UnderSpaced
[REC]

Awesome movie.
sweetbutinsane
Interview With The Vampire

Strange, strange film. I liked it more than Queen of the Damned, but to be honest, I was just glad there were no sparkling vampires in it.

Open Water 2: Adrift

Whoever thought this was a good idea for a film is a fool. Yawn.
Atara
Queen of the Damned is possibly one of the worst films I have ever seen.
logger
Rambo

I'd forgotten how bad the CG effects were in this. At least the white woman didn't get raped.


Diary of the Dead

Pretty much the same as I remembered. I like the general idea behind it, it's one of the few zombie films of recent years with any social commentary, but George should have let somebody else make this, things are just so off.
curtinparloe
Duplicity
Clive Owen in a rare smiling role, alongside Julia Roberts, who can't get away with being good-looking instead of acting any more (could she ever?). Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti tear up the screen most satisfyingly, but the film isn't as clever as it thinks it is.

Monsters V Aliens
Quite entertaining, but very flimsy. Seth Rogen (as BOB) and Stephen Colbert (as the President) have the best lines. Full of 3D gags which are annoying in 2D. some great in-jokes, and a couple of really clunky ones.
sweetbutinsane
The Addams Family

Love it.
Hobbes
Juno

Watched it last night for the first time, I really liked it. A very charming movie is the only way I can think to describe it, good doses of humour and drama both of which are handled very well by the awesome cast (CJ Craig and J. Jonah Jameson = best parental duo of all time). Full of warm and fuzzy things, but not cloying or overly sappy, it's a winner all told.

He's the cheese in my macaroni.

D'awwwwww.
maian
Local Hero (1983)

In the same way that I've never been that enamoured of John Hughes' teenage films but really, really love Trains, Planes and Automobiles, I'm not a huge fan of Gregory's Girl but absolutely adored Local Hero. Every note in it is hit perfectly, from the gentle humour to the underplayed performances, and it's a cosy film that drifts along at its own pace.
curtinparloe
Traitor
Pretty good, an unexpectedly thoughtful take on the subject from Hollywood. Don Cheadle is excellent.
Jimmay
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

It was on so we watched it and it was a very good "person being evil but no one knows its her and then she goes mental" thriller. Had a few inappropriate laughs in it as well with the pervy doctor reminding me of Peter Griffin's rectal exam in Family Guy and the fact that this is the only film since Ghostbusters with Ernie Hudson in it (edit: that I've seen) which is probably due to him going "full retard." Made me chuckle anyway.
Ade
Ernie Hudson's great in that.
mcraigclark
Kabluey

It's a disjointed and dark sort-of comedy about a guy who comes to stay with his sister-in-law and his two nephews while his brother is deployed. Uncle Salman is a loveable loser who takes a job handing out flyers while dressed as a giant blue corporate logo. It's surreal enough to get you through the weak story, but I'm not sure I liked it.
monkeyman
QUOTE (Jimmay @ Mar 30 2009, 10:14 AM) *
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

It was on so we watched it and it was a very good "person being evil but no one knows its her and then she goes mental" thriller. Had a few inappropriate laughs in it as well with the pervy doctor reminding me of Peter Griffin's rectal exam in Family Guy and the fact that this is the only film since Ghostbusters with Ernie Hudson in it (edit: that I've seen) which is probably due to him going "full retard." Made me chuckle anyway.

He was in "The Crow" as well. What film did he go full retard in? I can't think what it was and my internet is being slowslow today.
Sostie
Død snø (Dead Snow)
A group of young Norwegian medical students spend the Easter Holidays in a lodge in the mountains, only to discover, as you do, that the mountain is plagued by Nazi zombies. A pretty well made atmospheric little horror/comedy which owes quite a bit to Evil Dead II. Despite a couple of irritating characters (mainly a film geek), this turned out to be a great little horror film with enough original moments of gore and humour to raise it above a lot of horror fodder out there.

The Children
It's coming up to New Year's Eve and two sisters and their families get together to celebrate in a big house in the country. The children start getting ill, and then murdurous. More creepy than scary this reminded me of Brit horrors of the 70's, and it doesn't shy away from either gore or one of cinema's taboos, the oncreen murder of children. Some of the "modern parents" are a bit irritating and you're quite happy when they get theirs. Nice performance from Hollyoaks' Hannah Tointon.
The director Tom Shankland previously made the rather good serial killer flick W Delta Z - another Brit genre director to keep an eye on I think.

Los Cronocrímenes (Timecrimes)
A little Spanish film about a man who accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time a few hours. Of course this causes problems (what does he do while his "other" him is out there?). Reminds me of something else (including a short story idea I had many years go) but I can't quite put my finger on what...maybe Primer. A great piece of sci-fi with some dark humour, and a plot that seems to tie up at the end, until you sit down and start thinking about it and then your brain begins to hurt a little.
Jimmay
QUOTE (monkeyman @ Mar 30 2009, 11:07 AM) *
He was in "The Crow" as well. What film did he go full retard in? I can't think what it was and my internet is being slowslow today.


Errr...The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. That was kind of my point.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2014 Invision Power Services, Inc.