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jem
QUOTE (logger @ Aug 15 2010, 07:22 AM) *
Southland Tales

We watched hat last night. Or half of it. Then we feel asleep and were woken up numerous by the cat the wandered in our house and sat on my lap. It was interesting (the movie).
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (logger @ Aug 15 2010, 03:22 PM) *
Just looking back to see what other people thought of Gamer. Should have known Crutch would be the only one to have the vision to appreciate it as much as I did laugh.gif

And KITH and I had the exact same thought about the editing;


Anyway, I think it's my this year's Southland Tales or Speed Racer.


We certainly did. I think we shared similar thoughts about it in general, particularly Rick Rape. It's a hard one to recommend - too weird for some, too brash and tasteless for others. But there's nothing else quite like it.

Southland Tales, though...Still love it. Just thinking of the nuttiness of the cast list makes my mind boggle with joy.
logger
QUOTE (jem @ Aug 15 2010, 06:33 PM) *
We watched hat last night. Or half of it. Then we feel asleep and were woken up numerous by the cat the wandered in our house and sat on my lap. It was interesting (the movie).

Try and see the Cannes cut/director's cut if you can, it's much better.

QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Aug 15 2010, 07:28 PM) *
But there's nothing else quite like it.

It's like Network meets 4 Chan.
Jon 79
Yesterday:
Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

Today:
Son Of Rambow
mcraigclark
RocknRolla

I missed this completely when it was out. It's fun gangster stuff without being too heavy.

Sostie
Matrix Reloaded
My god, it’s a lot lot worse than I remembered. Label under “fucking awful”

The A-Team
Preposterous, over the top, dumb, loud, but above all entertaining. All the cast members did a better job than I expected. This or The Losers? Can’t decide.
ella
Nacho Libre

I know, I know. But I love it.

"Remember that time, when the crowd was shouting my name and I used my strengths to rip my blouse?"
maian
Shut Up and Sing (2006)

On March 10th 2003 Natalie Maines, the lead singer of The Dixie Chicks, stood on stage at the Shepherds Bush Empire and said that she was ashamed that The President of the United States was from Texas. This expression of an opinion unleashed a torrent of anger and hate at the band which led to people protesting their concerts, destroying their CDs and even sending death threats to Maines. This documentary shows the immediate aftermath of Maines remark, showing the media reaction and, in candid behind-the-scenes footage, the reaction of the band to the reaction, as well as the recording of their 2006 album Taking The Long Way, which directly addressed the tumultuous times that the band had been through.

A very warm and heartfelt documentary that works as both a document of a very specific and crazy moment in America's recent history as seen from the people at the centre of it, it's also a loving portrait of three strong, independent women supporting each other. I'd have liked to have seen more of the former than the latter - as well as an attempt to deal with the misogyny in the country music establishment that frother up when Maines spoke her mind - but both are handled well and the film as a whole is fascinating and, at times, moving.
Hobbes
QUOTE (ella @ Aug 16 2010, 10:04 AM) *
Nacho Libre

I know, I know. But I love it.

"Remember that time, when the crowd was shouting my name and I used my strengths to rip my blouse?"


I love it as well. Absolutely ludicrous, but amazing all the same.

Get that corn outta my face!
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (maian @ Aug 13 2010, 06:20 PM) *
Pusher

Probably one of the best crime films ever made.


I like it but not that much. Mads is just brilliant. And those Serbians are scary muffins. One of the most realistic perhaps but not 'the best'. Winding Refn is fucking shitsors though. Bronson is better IMO.
maian
Bronson I think has a great performance makes an otherwise good movie great. Visually, it's wonderul and there's lots to admire in the way the story is presented, but there isn't much there that makes me care about the character or anything that is going on. I really felt for the characters in Pusher.
Downsy
Having read and enjoyed Bronson's book, I think the film totally missed the mark. Yes, he's psychotic but there's more to his life than a series of naked fight scenes. I think it focussed on the wrong parts of the book.
logger
QUOTE (maian @ Aug 16 2010, 03:01 PM) *
Bronson I think has a great performance makes an otherwise good movie great.

I think a great performance made an otherwise terrible film barely watchable. It was like watching Gay: A Gay Musical and harked back to the old days of channel 4 drama where young middle class filmmakers desperate to be Derek Jarman and trying to make things as socially relevant as possible whilst being terribly politically correct and totally missing the mark altogether. I'm just surprised the miners strike or immigration didn't turn up in Bronson.
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (maian @ Aug 16 2010, 03:01 PM) *
I really felt for the characters in Pusher.


I didn't like any of them. It was a gripping story and you did feel sorry because they were so fucking hopeless. They reminded me of something from Shane Meadows or Ken Loach - it was so real. The bit when Tonnay does that karate kick and knacks his foot is comedy gold. And when he takes the piss out of the girl called Bettina in the nightclub. He made the film for me. I haven't yet seen the second film which focuses more on this character. It's on my Lovefilm list.
maian
I'd say pity was my main reaction to the characters in Pusher, but that's still a greater reaction than I felt for Bronson or any of the other characters in that film. That's the point, to an extent, since it's meant to be an exercise in style and an examination of how he constructs this persona for himself, but that emotional involvement and the palpable sense of desperation the characters felt made Pusher for me.

The second and third are on my LoveFilm list, too. I really want to see a whole film of Mads.
Shack
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Aug 16 2010, 12:02 PM) *
I love it as well. Absolutely ludicrous, but amazing all the same.

Get that corn outta my face!


It's lovable!

Just like School of Rock (I think on yesterday?), which I was drawn into having seen it about 3 times.
melzilla
QUOTE (Shack @ Aug 16 2010, 06:28 PM) *
It's lovable!

Just like School of Rock (I think on yesterday?), which I was drawn into having seen it about 3 times.


I've seen that film far too many times now. It's brills.
logger
Heathers

Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, it's still a great film. Although it has dated so much, it could only have come out of the late 80s, even down to the synthy score. And Christian Slater sucks, but apart from that it's still great. Also, Winona Ryder was really cute back then but I'm not sure the other Heathers would be good looking enough to be the top clique in a modern film.

And now I feel bad because I just found out the first Heather died of a brain tumer nearly ten years ago. sad.gif
bigfatrich
A-Team - good throwaway entertainment. The casting, I thought, worked well.
dandan
QUOTE (logger @ Aug 17 2010, 12:53 AM) *
Christian Slater sucks


too fucking right... at everything and in every film... apart from 'gleaming the cube', of course...
Shack
QUOTE (dandan @ Aug 17 2010, 02:52 PM) *
too fucking right... at everything and in every film... apart from 'gleaming the cube', of course...


What about Broken Arrow?

So bad it's almost palatable.
dandan
nope... it's poopy... not even travolta can save it... still, speaking of poop...


lara croft : tomb raider - i suppose you think i'm a greedy, unscrupulous sell-out who'll do just about anything for money?

lady lara croft (angelina jolie) is tomb raider, who lives in a big house with her butler, hillary (chris barrie), and geek, bryce (noah taylor). her dad (john voight) is dead. the illuminati employ manfred (iain glen) and a shady tomb raider, alex (daniel craig) to find a magic triangle: can lara stop them?

well, jolie with an english accent and craig with an american one; beautiful...

i kinda like junk like this and after discussing how i'd never seen a film with angelina jolie in it, apart from half watching 'gone in 60 seconds; many, many years ago, i decided to watch it. it is rubbish. the narrative is entirely predictable, the set pieces are uninspiring and i really had to struggle to get through the first half hour without switching it off.

angelina jolie is pretty rubbish, but then again she is playing an annoying, precocious character, who you kinda want to fail. she also moves like a turnip rolling across the floor in all the action sequences, which is painful to watch. the only, almost, nice thing i could say is that she has breasts which are kinda perky and computer game like...

crappy...


lara croft tomb raider : the cradle of life - what's pleasure without pain?

chen lo (simon yam) and xien (terrence yin) are tomb raiders, who have stolen an orb, which is actually a special map, showing the way to where life began. unfortunately, the film isn't about them: they stole it from lara croft (angelina jolie) and she wants it back, so she's coming to get it, with her ex-con side-kick, terry (gerard butler), hopefully before the evil jonathan reiss (ciaran hinds) can get it and wreak havoc on the world!!!

well, as much as it was nice to see simon, terrence and a tiny role for richard ng (yay!), i got to see my second angelina jolie film and my first gerard butler one: i shall now endeavour to continue to ignore their work, accordingly.

so, this is shit but, slightly less so than the first film, although i did stop paying any attention when there was about half an hour to go and focussed on stitching up a rug which was falling apart. i think my favourite bit of the film was where jolie and butler landed in what looked like part of the pearl river delta, before they jumped on some motorbikes and ended up riding along the great wall of china - over a thousand miles away - they soon arrive at the camp of the baddies, do their shit and head off, passing a sign which says "shanghai 74 miles" - if it said '740 miles', that would be closer to the truth. what's strange, is that this isn't mentioned in the 'goofs' section on imdb, but the fact that they're in causeway bay, in hong kong, and head up a sky scraper which is actually in central - a whole mile away - is: go figure...

crappy...
Shack
That's a big stint of tomb raiding.
maian
The Fisher King

I know this is stating the obvious, but Terry Gilliam makes some very strange films. I really don't know of anyone else who be so suited to this story of a shock jock (Jeff Bridges) who inadvertently causes a listener to go into a bar and murder seven people (I have to say, the killer being named Edwin does very little to improve the image of my name) and who then finds himself becoming friends with a homeless man (Robin Williams) whose wife was killed in the attack and suffered a complete mental breakdown, leading him to develop an obsession with the Holy Grail.

It's an odd film, but one that plays to Gilliam's strengths. He shoots the seedy underbelly of New York (early '90s New York, no less) and gives them the same crushing darkness that he brought to Brazil, but also gets to indulge his love of magical realism by having Robin Williams being chased by a giant red knight at different points in the film, or staging a waltz in the middle of the lunch time bustle at Grand Central Station. It's also Gilliam's most unabashedly romantic film, and the relationship between Williams and a woman played by Amanda Plummer is sweet and strange.

I really liked this film. I thought all its oddness and competing elements gelled together to form an irresistibly charming whole.
logger
Mother

I'm a big fan of Joon-ho Bong's previous two films so I was really interested in seeing this, although I was also a little bit wary because of a synopsis I had read, which turned out to be pretty wrong in fact, (Spoilered, wrong synopsis just in case you don't want any idea about the films plot - A mother discovers that her son has murdered someone and has to decide whether to tell the police or cover it up), and had made me think it would be really heavy going. I was surprised then to find not only was the plot different but that it was actually as funny as it was. It is also at turns tragic, tense and creepy. Joon-ho is an exceptional director and is not only able to set up scenes that are comparable to Hitchcock, Lynch and even Kubrick but is also able to seamlessly blend them into each other, where a scene can start out funny, then full of suspense, turns to repulsion and then return to comedy creating a strange mix of responses that comes across like a dream. Add this feeling to a plot that is full of twists and turns and the viewer is literally left not knowing what to expect next and while this is one of the films great strengths it is also its main problem as it seems to get a bit lost in the third quarter and things become a little stretched before it tightens up again for a fitting conclusion.

As you'd expect from him, it looks great and you can see the extra money that has gone into this kind of film following the success of The Host. And a lot of praise should go to Hye-ja Kim who gives an absolutely brilliant performance at the center of the film, more than equal to the demands of the story. I don't know how accurate a portrayal of small town Korean life it is, sometimes it feels a little forced but that could just be how things are. It's also a bit uneven at times but there is so much good in there that this is easily covered up and if you want to see a funny, moving examination of the absurdity of despair and devotion then you won't go far wrong here.
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (dandan @ Aug 17 2010, 03:57 PM) *
nope... it's poopy... not even travolta can save it... still, speaking of poop...

crappy...


I like the Elf-like detachment. Funny review.
Raven
QUOTE (dandan @ Aug 17 2010, 02:52 PM) *
too fucking right... at everything and in every film... apart from 'gleaming the cube', of course...


He was okay in Star Trek VI!
Hobbes
He's also good in the West Wing. Mmmm, West Wing.
Serafina_Pekkala
What about Name of the Rose? And 'He Was a Quiet Man"?

dandan
i think my main point was that 'pump up the volume' is one of the worst films ever made...
logger
The Expendables

As a call back to over the top, 80s action movies it's ok but only in a kinda crappy, in joke kind of way. It has its moments, Schwarzenegger and Willis' scene being the main highlight, and it's good to see some old fashioned action it soon gets a bit tired. I think a lot of this falls at Stallone's feet, the stupid story and dumb jokes don't really go far enough to carry the film and the action after a while becomes boring with lots of things blowing up but no real sense of excitement. It sounds stupid to say about this film but compared to the similar Losers or even the A-Team, this seems old and tired.

And a note to the publicity men behind Scott Pilgrim, this is how you market a film.
maian
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Aug 18 2010, 03:11 PM) *
He's also good in the West Wing. Mmmm, West Wing.

I always forget that he had a brief arc on the show. I'm kind of glad they got rid of him. Not because he was bad, but because he was one of those distracting Ainsley Hayes-type characters who never really fit into the main group of the show so wound up only appearing to spur plots along, rather than because they were interesting or compelling.

Plus, anyone who got in the way of Josh and Donna getting together were always wronguns in my book. Except for Joey Lucas, obviously.
dandan
inception - you mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling...

cobb (leonardo caprio) is a thief. a special kind of thief: one who enters the dreams of people whilst they sleep and takes that which is hidden away in their mind. however, saito (ken watanabe) doesn't want to employ cobb to steal something from the mind of robert fischer (cillian murphy), he wants him to plant something there: an inception. the planting of an idea, done in such a way as fischer will think it is his own.

and that, ladies and gentlemen, is pretty much it.

so, after hearing people wanking over this film for a few weeks, i finally made it to a screening, waiting to be puzzled, confused and struggling to keep up with just what was happening. bollocks. the only reason i find to be puzzled or confused, and what i'm struggling to understand, is just how this film has been sold as being so complex and intricate, when it leads you through everything in a methodical step by step fashion? at any point where things threaten to wander a little conceptually off piste, lovely little ellen page - the 'architect', employed to design the dream worlds in which the inception is to take place - asks a question or has the situation explained to her; i was on the verge of cringing when she asked 'whose consciousness are we going in to now?' unless i understood nothing and completely missed the point of the entire film, the only way i can see confusion reigning, is if you decide to go for five minute toilet breaks, every ten minutes for the film's duration.

any way, before i give the impression that i thought it was shit and go on a little rant about christopher nolan being a clever so and so, with his big long films and his fancy ideas, i'll just say that i thought it was really good and a very enjoyable watch.

i suppose, conceptually, one could say it was rather silly, but it executed in such a fantastically watchable fashion, that it really stands up as what blockbuster cinema should be: a good idea (who says good ideas can't be a bit silly?), executed with some style and finesse, engaging, well paced, visually interesting, a touch of humour, some tension, a bit of drama and a fine cast acting well. well done nolan.

also, well done to the cast; di caprio was rather good, mr murphy has those lovely eyes, miss page is a sweetie and watanabe is usually always fun to watch. i also liked joseph gordon-levitt a lot and loved tom hardy, who was just super. oh, and marion cotillard was just a wondrously beautiful as she always is...

what has struck me, since leaving the cinema a couple of hours ago, is that i really didn't notice any of hans zimmer's score at all, which is rather strange considering how intrusive his work on the batman films was. maybe next time...

any hoo... very good, recommended...
Shack
I forgot that Cillian Murphy is Bob Fischer. That made me laugh when I watched it.

Reign Of Fire

Geographically spurious post apocalyptic fayre with not enough dragons in it.

Borrrrrrring.
Rua
QUOTE (dandan @ Aug 18 2010, 10:53 PM) *
...the only reason i find to be puzzled or confused, and what i'm struggling to understand, is just how this film has been sold as being so complex and intricate, when it leads you through everything in a methodical step by step fashion? at any point where things threaten to wander a little conceptually off piste, lovely little ellen page - the 'architect', employed to design the dream worlds in which the inception is to take place - asks a question or has the situation explained to her; i was on the verge of cringing when she asked 'whose consciousness are we going in to now?'


I just saw it last night & had the same thing. Enjoyable romp with fantastic acting performances, but yeah, not what I had been led to believe.

On the other hand I found Zimmer's score to be cleverly executed & enjoyed it as much as any other part of the film.
ipse dixit
If people find Inception confusing, it can only mean that their attention span is so deficient that they're geniunely incapable of following and understanding a narrative. I find this thought depressing.
sweetbutinsane
I actually thought I'd missed something because I didn't find it confusing.
logger
Salt

Take a film like Knight and Day, everything about it sounds horrible but once you see the trailer you can see the thinking behind it. It's a rom-com, action film and has obviously been created to get couples to go and see it rather than see male and female oriented genres separately.

Now take Salt, or The Bourne Regenderfication as I like to call it. This is very much an action thriller with the twist that the hero, super spy is a lady. It makes me wonder if this is a tactic to appeal to a wider audience and would be interested in what women make of Evelyn Salt. The film starts with her getting tortured (it's the very first scene, I've not spoiled anything) and I found her more vulnerable and was more concerned than if a leading man was being tortured in the opening scene. Soon we find out that she is actually the hardest person ever, and Angelina plays her pretty much the way a man would play the role, although with odd touches that range from being a nice touch to just kind of gimmicky, (the way she interacts with the girl she gets to look after her dog whilst in the middle of escaping is good, using a sanitary towel to cover a wound seems a bit silly but would actually make sense in the situation and using her knickers to cover a security camera which is just tacky). Really, this isn't a complex character at all.

Then we come to the plot, as much as the comparisons to Bourne are relevant, the story here is pre-reboot Bond silly and makes no sense whatsoever, so men will stay interested in the action shooting from one set piece to another and women won't have to bother their pretty heads about trying to understand a complicated plot. And again, this could have been a story for a male character but with one big difference. It just wouldn't have been as good.

I don't know what it is but amongst the stupid story, the over the top action set pieces borrowed from other films and not executed quite as well and the whole incredibly earnest and yet at the same time quite silly feel to the film all seem to work and this is all down to the hero being a woman. I just don't think I would have cared if it was a man. I'm not sure if this is down to it being Angelina, who may need to put some weight on but I would still try to break my dick off in her given the chance, bad wig or not, who brings some emotional depth where there is very little. Or the rest of the cast (Liev Schreiber, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Daniel Olbrychski, August Diehl in particular), who are going through the motions but bring a touch of class. Or maybe it's just the whole silly, dumb, fun that the film is. And it's always great watching a woman kick the shit out of everyone.

This is quite clearly intended as the start of a franchise and I genuinely hope it is. It's not the best film you'll ever see, it possibly won't even be the best film you see this week, but there is just something likable about Salt. I only hope that they make the needed improvements in the sequel.
Hobbes
QUOTE (maian @ Aug 18 2010, 07:25 PM) *
I always forget that he had a brief arc on the show. I'm kind of glad they got rid of him. Not because he was bad, but because he was one of those distracting Ainsley Hayes-type characters who never really fit into the main group of the show so wound up only appearing to spur plots along, rather than because they were interesting or compelling.


Never bad-mouth Ainsley Hayes in my presence. She is lovely and has a seriously hot Southern accent, thus I find her impossible to criticise and will fight on her behalf. Enough to make a good dog break its leash, as Seaborn would say.

Even if she is in one of those shit CSI spin-off shows now, she'll always be a gutsy Republican lawyer to me.

/West Wing nerdism.
Kick in the Head
Black Dynamite - like a Blaxploitation OSS 117, pitch-perfect parody with a brilliant central performance from Michael Jai White as the eponymous bad-ass who kicks serious ass. Wonderful music, cracking dialogue and lots of smack getting laid down. There are lulls in the jokes, when it just lets the flavour its trying to recreate speak for itself. But there are at least five or six genuine guffaws (which I think passes the Kermode comedy quotient), and enough rhyming couplets of sassitude to last a little long while.
maian
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Aug 19 2010, 11:30 PM) *
Never bad-mouth Ainsley Hayes in my presence. She is lovely and has a seriously hot Southern accent, thus I find her impossible to criticise and will fight on her behalf. Enough to make a good dog break its leash, as Seaborn would say.

Even if she is in one of those shit CSI spin-off shows now, she'll always be a gutsy Republican lawyer to me.

/West Wing nerdism.

I don't think she's bad - she's up there with Fitz as one of my favourite supporting characters - but she was one of those characters who Sorkin would introduce only to sideline them for most of their time on the show. She was brought into the show as this major new figure in the administration, but then they'd go weeks without her appearing and eventually she just kind of disappeared. It's just really strange seeing the show make such a big deal about her only to ignore her.

Anyway, it's not like she's Mandy or anything.
Sostie
QUOTE (ipse dixit @ Aug 19 2010, 05:16 PM) *
If people find Inception confusing, it can only mean that their attention span is so deficient that they're geniunely incapable of following and understanding a narrative. I find this thought depressing.


I'm sorry but I don't understa....oooh look. A puppy.
Shack
QUOTE (Sostie @ Aug 20 2010, 09:16 AM) *
I'm sorry but I don't understa....oooh look. A puppy.


That's not a puppy, it's a... mmmmmmmm sausages.
logger
Piranha 3D

I can't really put it better than this,
QUOTE
Piranha 3D is not for everyone. But if you're thinking about seeing a film called Piranha 3D, chances are you'll be delighted with it. Watch this sick filth now.


My only real question about it would be whether they should have gone with the 3D or not. It's not the best quality, nor is it the worst (the trailer for the 3D Resident Evil film could be, the trailer made it look unwatchable) but there are times were it becomes very blurry and there are moments of double vision. Funnily enough, there never seems to be any problems with the 3D when it's depicting female flesh, which always looks stunning. But lets not forget what kind of film this is, the crappy 3D does add to the whole experience of a b-movie, plus there are gags that rely on it and it never becomes too distracting.

The cast is pretty good, Eilsabeth Shue is still awesome, the doucher main kid is ok, as is his cute love interest, Jerry O'Connell is as obnoxious and annoying as his character is supposed to be and there are pretty cool cameos from Richard Dreyfuss (the music he was listening to made me chuckle), Eli Roth and Christopher Lloyd basically channeling Doc Brown on crack. On the other hand, Ving Rhames doesn't have much to do and Adam Scott seems a bit of an odd choice and never really gets a chance to show his fine comedy chops. The person who could do best out of the whole thing though could be Kelly Brook. She doesn't have much more to do than show off her awesome bod, but she does have presence and a very likable and accessible quality. I don't think she'll win any Oscars but she could have a bit of a career as a scream queen.

Sheer, unadulterated exploitation full of nudity, gore (although not as gory as I thought it would be judging by some early reviews), 3D and all out silliness that was entertaining enough to make me not regret spending more than on other films (almost double what I paid for Inception). Roger Corman would be proud.
logger
Adventureland

Just as everybody else has seemed to say, this really wasn't what I was expecting. Possibly the most honest and genuine depiction of teenage/young adult life since Dazed and Confused. Warm and funny without pretension (well, almost), with realistic characters interacting in a realistic way. Even though it's not that deep or anything it was just refreshing after so many manic pixie dream girls or so many Apatow nerds getting hot chicks for no other reason than that's what the audience wants/expects, here we actually see why the girls would like Eisenberg. Even K-Stew comes across well, although I would still like to slap the tourettes out of her, and it's just so nice to see well written roles for young women.

I also get the feeling that this was what Zach Braff thought he was doing with Garden State. He wishes. This is a gazillion times better than that and it pains me to even mention them in the same breath, but they do cover some of the same ground except one is very good and the other is very bad. Hell, I bet John Hughes wishes he made something this good.
maian
I love Adventureland. I wasn't that surprised by it, though, since I a) hadn't seen the trailer and so couldn't be misled and b) had heard a lot about it from people I knew in the U.S.

Waitress (2007)

It's a great credit to the warmth, energy and love of life that bursts out of Adrienne Shelley's final film that I didn't find myself thinking about her tragic death all the way through (though one line said in relation to her character, Dawn, did strike me as very sad in retrospect). Keri Russell is radiant as a Jenna, a waitress trying to escape her boorish husband (Jeremy Sisto), first by entering a pie-baking contest, which is permanently derailed when she discovers that she is pregnant, then through her relationship with her doctor (Nathan Fillion). At the same time, she talks to her friends at work - played by Cheryl Hines and Shelley - and they all try to muddle through as best they can.

There were times when it threatened to become an Indie-by-numbers quirk fest - the first time Jenna started to imagine making a new pie to suit her mood I found it quaint, but a bit annoying as the film went on - but Shelley always snaps the film back by focusing on the small town desperation that Jenna is trying to escape through those flights of fancy. It's almost as if she's forcing the story to focus, so the digressions and the embellishments just add flavour to the story, without completely overwhelming it.

It also helped that Keri Russell is a terrific actress who can play Jenna as both the hopeful optimist who thinks that salvation is just a couple of dollars away, and as the steely-eyed depressive who views her unborn child as an albatross around her neck that will keep her tied to her awful husband for all of her life if she can't get out now. Played by a lesser actress, the two sides of her character could have felt jarringly incongruous, but she shows us that they come from the same place - the desire to be free.

Really funny, moving and real, even in its moments of fairytale realisation (such as the classical music and rapidly spinning camera that are employed whenever Russell and Fillion kiss). It's not a perfect film, but it's indicative of a strong, distinct voice that was beginning to flourish, and was silenced too soon.

Edit: I did find the casting of Andy Griffith quite odd, since the film did seem to be mocking the sort of humble small town values that he spend much of his career quietly celebrating, but I suppose the fact that the film is at least partly about the way in which we save ourselves through our friendships is in keeping with the tone of much of his work. He also probably really relished the chance to be a real (fake) bastard.

Spellbound (1945)

Alfred Hitchcock psychological (or psychiatry-based) thriller starring an impossibly gorgeous Ingrid Bergman and a frightfully young Gregory Peck as a doctor at a mental hospital and the new chief who she falls in love with, respectively. It quickly becomes apparent that Peck isn't all he seems to be, and Bergman tries to help him figure out who he really is, and whether he has been involved in a crime, using psychiatry.

The Salavador Dali-designed dream sequence has justly been singled out as the most striking part of this film. It's a glorious piece of free association that recalls the eeriness of Un Chien Andalou (complete with a giant paper eye being cut in half) but with a considerably higher budget. It's woven into the plot of the film quite well, with the strange, disconnected images forming clues to the larger mystery, but just as a single squence it's really great and, in its disorientingly straightforward approach to the wooziness of dreams, seems to predict the work of David Lynch a year before he would be born. Maybe he was conceived after his parents watched a screening of Spellbound. It'd explain an awful lot.

The rest of the film is good but doesn't really distinguish itself from the other films Hitch was doing at the time. It's no Rebecca, Notorious or Shadow of a Doubt. However, it's good fun, moves fast and the two leads are engaging and managed to keep me invested even as I found the outdated view of psychology really distracting.

The Illusionist (2010)

I'm going to write a proper review for BOP, but for the moment I'll say that it wasn't what I was expecting, I loved it, and I found it to beautiful and melancholic and in a way which borders on the profound.
logger
I love Waitress.

Doctor Zhivago

Lawrence of Arabia for girls. I mean this only in the most complimentary way of course, where Arabia reduces the epic to the existential, this reduces it to the personal. No wonder my mum loved it.

I have a question for people more familiar with it, when Rod Steiger rapes Julie Christie the screen goes black and it jumps to straight after. Obviously this is a fifty year old film so it wouldn't have been gratuitous but it seemed a little butchered for somebody like David Lean and I wondered if it had been cut for tv as it was being shown in the afternoon.
sleeping_pirate
Up

I knew I would love this, and it didn't disappoint. Fantastic storyline, great characters, and some truly heartbreaking moments. Loved it.
Ade
The Damned United

Cloughin' excellent. That Michael Sheen's a chuffin' chameleon, in't 'e? Great supporting cast too. While I enjoy the occasional sports themed flick, I've never been one for those of a soccer bias for some reason, but the excellent performances alone keep this thoroughly engaging throughout. Well worth a punt.
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (logger @ Aug 18 2010, 11:44 AM) *
Mother

I'm a big fan of Joon-ho Bong's previous two films so I was really interested in seeing this, although I was also a little bit wary because of a synopsis I had read, which turned out to be pretty wrong in fact, (Spoilered, wrong synopsis just in case you don't want any idea about the films plot - A mother discovers that her son has murdered someone and has to decide whether to tell the police or cover it up), and had made me think it would be really heavy going. I was surprised then to find not only was the plot different but that it was actually as funny as it was. It is also at turns tragic, tense and creepy. Joon-ho is an exceptional director and is not only able to set up scenes that are comparable to Hitchcock, Lynch and even Kubrick but is also able to seamlessly blend them into each other, where a scene can start out funny, then full of suspense, turns to repulsion and then return to comedy creating a strange mix of responses that comes across like a dream. Add this feeling to a plot that is full of twists and turns and the viewer is literally left not knowing what to expect next and while this is one of the films great strengths it is also its main problem as it seems to get a bit lost in the third quarter and things become a little stretched before it tightens up again for a fitting conclusion.

As you'd expect from him, it looks great and you can see the extra money that has gone into this kind of film following the success of The Host. And a lot of praise should go to Hye-ja Kim who gives an absolutely brilliant performance at the center of the film, more than equal to the demands of the story. I don't know how accurate a portrayal of small town Korean life it is, sometimes it feels a little forced but that could just be how things are. It's also a bit uneven at times but there is so much good in there that this is easily covered up and if you want to see a funny, moving examination of the absurdity of despair and devotion then you won't go far wrong here.



There are a lot of new films out this week, but I too would highly recommend Mother. Superb.

Air Doll - what sounds like the set-up for a goofy Hollywood sex comedy (inflatable doll comes to life) is in fact in the hands of director Hirokazu Koreeda (director of Nobody Knows and Still Walking) one of the most moving and strangely beautiful films I have seen in a long time, and certainly one of the best to come out of Japan in a while. "Sex Toy Story" may be a glib throwaway summation at first, but it certainly mirrors some of that franchise's melancholy, and themes of abandonment and neglect, with elements of Pinocchio and Amelie as well. At times funny, at times unsettling, at times poignant, Air Doll is buoyed by an exquisite central performance from Korean actress Bae Doona (The Host, Linda Linda Linda, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance), with wonderful music from one of my favourite Japanese musicians, World's End Girlfriend. Ultimately, it's a 21st century fairytale about the loneliness of modern society, the objectification of women, and the nature of humanity.
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