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maian
I'd say yes, even though I love Keith David so much that I don't want it to be so.
logger
Why does the Thing attack people when a single cell is enough to infect somebody?

Trick 'r Treat

Enjoyable horror very reminiscent of Joe Dante in that it's funnier than it is scary and is aimed more at kids than adults even if it is a little dark and creepy. The stories may be a little slight and could have done with a little more meat on them, it's still full of nice moments and pays off most of the time. And you have to admire somebody who can pay homage to Raimi and Carpenter in the exact same moment.
logger
Splice

Cronenberg lite. Definitely better in the sillier, more fun second half.
maian
Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

I haven't seen it since I saw it in the cinema, despite owning it on DVD for some time, and it held up very well. It reminded me a great deal of All The President's Men, not just because they both take place in the world of journalists striking a blow against corruption and tyranny, but because they both kind of fizzle out at the end due to the scope of their stories. I still feel that the sub-plot involving Robert Downey, Jr. and Patricia Clarkson, whilst good, was only included to get it up to feature length, rather than being just a really long short film.

Sugar (2008)

The second film from Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (now credited as co-director, having been just a co-screenwriter on Half Nelson) follows the journey of Miguel "Sugar" Santos (Algenis Perez Soto) a young baseball player in the Dominican Republic who gets chosen to go for Spring Training in the U.S., then gets a place on a minor league team in Iowa. After suffering an injury, he starts to question whether or not his single-minded pursuit of baseball is worth it.

As with Half Nelson, Fleck and Boden take an overly familiar type of film, strip it of the sheen and hone in on the emotional underpinnings of the story which, whilst still full of cliches found in most sports movies, plays them in a more understated way that gets at themes including obsession, the quest for meaning and exploitation of immigrants, but without any sense of pretension or turning the film into a worthy issue-of-the-week film. Really moving and engrossing.

Little Caesar (1932)

Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?

Not as vibrant as Scarface, White Heat of The Public Enemy, but at least I now know where that line comes from. Also, it's a short, sharp dose of gangsterism full of intrigue but lacking any nuance or subtlety, which doesn't stop it being quite fun.
Shack
Trading Places

And so it seems that I haven't actually watched it all the way through before.

Terrifically entertaining, funny and possibly the sexiest lady ever committed to film. She even gets away with it chewing gum, which I hate. God bless you Jamie Lee Curtis.

Although if anyone can explain how the trading bit worked at the end, I'd be delighted. It's something to do with selling when high and buying when low, but it wasn't clear.
sleeping_pirate
Seen lots of good films for the first time in the last few weeks:

The Notebook
I hate films that make me cry on the plane. Very sweet story and Ryan Gosling is teh sex.

Sherlock Holmes
Fantastic film, and I even liked Jude Law in it.

Pay It Forward
This was actually surprisingly good. Starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and creepy little Haley Joel Osment.

The Painted Veil
Another really good film, very sad and beautifully shot.
Jimmay
So looking at reviews online I wasn't supposed to enjoy GI JOE: Rise of Cobra, but I though it was great. People need to lighten up.
Sostie
QUOTE (Jimmay @ Nov 1 2010, 09:24 AM) *
So looking at reviews online I wasn't supposed to enjoy GI JOE: Rise of Cobra, but I though it was great. People need to lighten up.


I watched it again at the weekend. It peaks to early with the (fantastic) Paris chase. I hate climaxes (in films) set underwater.

Sienna Miller & Rachel Nichols were both good to watch again as well
Jimmay
QUOTE (Sostie @ Nov 1 2010, 10:27 AM) *
I watched it again at the weekend. It peaks to early with the (fantastic) Paris chase. I hate climaxes (in films) set underwater.

Sienna Miller & Rachel Nichols were both good to watch again as well


The Paris chase scene was one of the best I have seen in years but I agree with the problems of underwater sequences. Everything moves too slowly which looks crap, and if it doesn't move too slowly, like in this film, then it looks wrong. I also had issues with an underwater base being connected to the Arctic Ice Shelf by a series of elevators and rocket launch tubes when said ice shelf is constantly moving but to be honest, if you worry about the science of this fim then it's really not the right film for you.

Also love Josph Gordon-Levitt chewing up the scenery and a more toned down Marlon Wayans than I've seen in other films was a genuinely pleasant surprise.
Sostie
QUOTE (Shack @ Oct 31 2010, 10:01 PM) *
Trading Places
Although if anyone can explain how the trading bit worked at the end, I'd be delighted. It's something to do with selling when high and buying when low, but it wasn't clear.


The simple way I saw it was Valentine & Winthorpe sold high and bought low when the knew the outcome of the report, The Dukes buying high and (trying) to sell when the prices drops. More detailed explanaition her

http://www.dangerouslogic.com/trading_places.html

It's, for me, the only real fault with the film - whilst the climax works, and you get the gist of what's happening, it isn't so simple when you y=take time to think about it.
maian
Control (2007)

Very good, but I did wonder what someone who didn't know the Joy Division story would think of it, because for the most part it was pretty superficial and didn't really engage with Ian Curtis' (Sam Riley) mental decline. I think I read more depth into it, being a fan of Joy Division and having read Touching From A Distance, than might actually have been there.

Then, I went to a friend's house and we watch scray films for Halloween!

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Silly fun.

The Mist (2007)

Not so silly fun. I watched it with four people who had no idea what it was about, or that there was something notable about the ending, and it was fun watching a horror film where people said "That's horrible!" at regular intervals.
widowspider
Robin Hood (the Russell Crowe one)

Not amazing, but enjoyable and a lot better than I was expecting. Some fun set pieces, Matthew McFadyen was criminally underused as the Sheriff of Nottingham and Cate Blanchett was fab. Crowe didn't annoy me as much as I thought he might but his accent was properly wandering all over the place.
sweetbutinsane
My Girl

I will never get tired of this film.
Atara
Burke and Hare It was alright. Some accents okay, some not so much, some of the film okay, some not so much. great cast though, and if I am honest I'll forgive it most of it's shortcomings for that alone
Hobbes
Trading Places is one of my favourite films ever made. So glad you enjoyed it Shack.
melzilla
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Nov 1 2010, 09:21 PM) *
Trading Places is one of my favourite films ever made. So glad you enjoyed it Shack.


Hear hear! In my top 3 'must watch at Christmas' films.
Shack
QUOTE (melzilla @ Nov 2 2010, 12:19 AM) *
Hear hear! In my top 3 'must watch at Christmas' films.


I had even forgotten that it's essentially a Christmas film. Silly me.

Thanks for the explanation Sostie. I agree with you though, it was the only point in the film where they could have down with sitting us down and explaining the plan (to Eddie Murphy) so that we understood it a bit better as well.
empathy-with-beast
Heartless

Satan is responsible for urban decay and will trade a wish with you if you contribute to said decay. Man with birthmark makes said deal to get rid of birth mark but it doesn't turn out like you expect (duh, its satan).

Mark Kermode liked it, I thought it was really shit. The glib reference to hoodies boat has long since sailed but this doesn't stop this film flinging itslef into the harbour after it. The ending is a suprise that you guess and the most annoying of all horror movie supirses at that. A nice idea, and a great cameo from Eddie Marsden that should have been central to the entire film.
sweetbutinsane
RED

It was a bit predictable (okay, very predictable), but good fun nonetheless. Malkovich was hilarious.
logger
Mad Max 2

Still awesome.
Jon 79
Empire Records.
For a mid 90's film it seemed very 80s. Mildly entertaining, but I think I'd have enjoyed it more if I'd seen it 10 or 15 years ago.
At least then I might not have noticed all the movies it stole from: Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, Airheads, Waynes World, Clerks...
widowspider
Awww, I love Empire Records. Probably because I did watch it in the mid-90s so it really spoke to my teenage self.
Jon 79
QUOTE (widowspider @ Nov 5 2010, 02:35 AM) *
Awww, I love Empire Records. Probably because I did watch it in the mid-90s so it really spoke to my teenage self.


I dare you to watch it now. And enjoy it.
It seemed like they tried to cram as many angst issues in there as possible without actually having a storyline... (apart from someone stealing their boss' money)
Ade
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Nov 1 2010, 10:21 PM) *
Trading Places is one of my favourite films ever made. So glad you enjoyed it Shack.

Man, I loved Trading Places to bits too; I used to watch it prolifically in the 80s, but I haven't seen it in years. I'm glad to see its resurgence here. Easily one of Aykroyd and/or Murphy's finest ever moments. I think I just might track down a copy for myself soon.

"One Dollar? Fine. If that's the way they want it, noooo problem."
Julie
QUOTE (Jon 79 @ Nov 4 2010, 07:54 PM) *
I dare you to watch it now. And enjoy it.
It seemed like they tried to cram as many angst issues in there as possible without actually having a storyline... (apart from someone stealing their boss' money)


I've watched it many times since the '90s and it's a favourite of mine. Not least of which because I worked in a record store in the late '90s. It may be entirely nostalgic, but I love that movie!

Shock me, shock me, shock me with that devious behaviour!
widowspider
QUOTE (Jon 79 @ Nov 4 2010, 11:54 PM) *
I dare you to watch it now. And enjoy it.
It seemed like they tried to cram as many angst issues in there as possible without actually having a storyline... (apart from someone stealing their boss' money)

I've seen it fairly recently and I still loved it, exactly because it reminds me of my angsty teenage years in the 90s. The music! The clothes! I wish my part-time job had been half as cool.
Hobbes
QUOTE (Ade @ Nov 5 2010, 12:29 AM) *
Man, I loved Trading Places to bits too; I used to watch it prolifically in the 80s, but I haven't seen it in years. I'm glad to see its resurgence here. Easily one of Aykroyd and/or Murphy's finest ever moments. I think I just might track down a copy for myself soon.

"One Dollar? Fine. If that's the way they want it, noooo problem."


I have so many favourite moments from that film. Aykroyd eating salmon through a Santa beard on the bus is one of the most brilliant tragi-comic scenes on film. However, without question my favourite bit is when they settle on the plan in the mansion and Denholm Elliott walks in and says, with a stirring, heroic look n his face:

"Egg nog?"

Incredible.
Shack
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Nov 5 2010, 11:00 PM) *
I have so many favourite moments from that film. Aykroyd eating salmon through a Santa beard on the bus is one of the most brilliant tragi-comic scenes on film. However, without question my favourite bit is when they settle on the plan in the mansion and Denholm Elliott walks in and says, with a stirring, heroic look n his face:

"Egg nog?"

Incredible.


It made me hanker for a butler.

Next week - Coming To America.
logger
I had a 90s morning.

Scream

I love Scream.

The Matrix

Really suffers following Scream.
ella
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow part 1.

It's fairly awesome.
sweetbutinsane
^ Lucky!
Rua
Jackass 3D

Yup it was what you would expect and mostly very funny, but, there were moments when Knoxville was on screen that all I could think was, leave that old man alone.

Times up boys. By the way, you were hilarious.
monkeyman
Inception
Very good. Great visuals and concepts. Looking forward to the special features and a second viewing
Llama
QUOTE (ella @ Nov 7 2010, 09:43 PM) *
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow part 1.

It's fairly awesome.

Jealous!
Sostie
QUOTE (Hobbes @ Nov 5 2010, 11:00 PM) *
I have so many favourite moments from that film. Aykroyd eating salmon through a Santa beard on the bus is one of the most brilliant tragi-comic scenes on film. However, without question my favourite bit is when they settle on the plan in the mansion and Denholm Elliott walks in and says, with a stirring, heroic look n his face:

"Egg nog?"

Incredible.


You have named two of my favourite 5 Trading Places moments. The Top 5 is...

1. "Egg Nog"
2. "Fuck off" The greatest in movie history
3. Santa/Salmon/Beard interface
4. JLC Tits
5. The terrible disguises/accents on the train "Lionel! Lionel Joseph!"


KNIGHT & DAY
It has an entertaining little over the top chase sequence in the first part which is quite good but otherwise all a bit average. I'm not a Tom Cruise hater, I think on screen he makes a good lead, and he' okay in this. Overall you can see a lot of money has been thrown at the screen, but in view of this a less underwhelming film would have been expected.
The film also features a running gag where Cameron Diaz is drugged, sees a few snippets of semi-concious action, and wakes up away from the danger she was in when she got drugged. Running gag or a lazy way of propelling the plot?

Re-watched a couple of films

WATCHMEN
As an adaptation, if anyone expected anything better, they will spend their cinema going life being disappointed. Even better on second viewing

ZOMBIELAND
Jolly good fun
Ade
QUOTE (Sostie @ Nov 8 2010, 10:08 AM) *
You have named two of my favourite 5 Trading Places moments. The Top 5 is...

1. "Egg Nog"
2. "Fuck off" The greatest in movie history
3. Santa/Salmon/Beard interface
4. JLC Tits
5. The terrible disguises/accents on the train "Lionel! Lionel Joseph!"

Damn it, I've had to go and done bought the DVD now. Merry New Year!
logger
Matrix 2 & 3

I genuinely don't get the hate for the sequels.
Shack
QUOTE (Ade @ Nov 8 2010, 11:29 AM) *
Damn it, I've had to go and done bought the DVD now. Merry New Year!


The power of one man watching a DVD the other week goes full circle.
Hobbes
QUOTE (Rua @ Nov 8 2010, 12:04 AM) *
Jackass 3D


I thought that was pretty much incredible. Everything I wanted from that film, I got in spades. Knoxville is just a really likeable guy, I reckon.

QUOTE (Sostie @ Nov 8 2010, 10:08 AM) *
5. The terrible disguises/accents on the train "Lionel! Lionel Joseph!"


Ha! That slipped my mind, it's so fantastically bad. I love how when they get ushered out of the carriage by Mr. Vernon (I can't remember the actor's name, but he is and forever shall be Mr. Vernon to me) and the true ridiculousness of Aykroyd's blackface becomes clear.

I'm going to watch that film again soon. My love for it only increases with each viewing.
Zoe
Exam (2009)

Interesting low-budget SF (The Apprentice meets The Cube). It's an intriguing idea mixed with a riddle.

Should have ended five minutes earlier.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009)

Another interesting low budget film, shot on essentially one set with a disappointing ending.

They'd make a good double bill.

Llama
QUOTE (Zoe @ Nov 8 2010, 11:18 PM) *
Should have ended five minutes earlier.

I quite enjoyed 'Exam'. What happened in the last five minutes? I can't remember.
Zoe
Magic bullet
logger
Speed Racer

Probably the best children's film about corporate corruption in motor racing.
Zoe
Humpday (2009)

A really great little film, with a terrible title. I don't want to tell you what it's about, because I feel like it might put you off. What it is, is a fascinating and funny film about male pride, ego and friendship. It's beautifully observed and performed and just a great piece of work.

Recommended
maian
QUOTE (Zoe @ Nov 9 2010, 11:37 PM) *
Humpday (2009)

A really great little film, with a terrible title. I don't want to tell you what it's about, because I feel like it might put you off. What it is, is a fascinating and funny film about male pride, ego and friendship. It's beautifully observed and performed and just a great piece of work.

Recommended


I agree with all of this but especially the part I've highlighted. We screened it last year and I don't think I've had as many awkward and odd conversations with customers in my entire time at The Showroom as I had trying to explain to people what it was about and why it was worth seeing.
maian
Mr. Arkadin (1955)

Film noir in which Guy Van Stratten (Robert Arden), a former smuggler, falls in love with the daughter of the wealthy but sinister businessman Mr. Arkadin. (Orson Welles, whose fiercesome beard and intimidating stature makes him look like Neptune) Arkadin hires Van Stratten to investigate Arkadin's past, which he claims to have no memory of before 1927. As Van Stratten starts to uncover the secrets of how Arkadin made his millions, Arkadin starts to worry that his daughter will in turn find out, and sets about eliminating anyone who might know the truth.

Despite an intriguing premise and some of Welles' usual striking imagery, the film is just an awful mess. Or at least, the version that I saw is. Like almost every film he made after Citizen Kane, Mr. Arkadin was taken out of Welles' hands after the film was shot and was re-cut without his imput, and the resulting film features editing choices so inept that they border on the avant-garde. Scenes are quite clearly shortened so that chunks of dialogue have been removed but without even attempting to make the remaining scraps of speech make any sense. Scenes transition awkwardly, which whoever assembled the film tries to hide using a bored voiceover from Arden that barely holds the plot together and gradually disappears completely. And the globe-trotting plot is so jumbled that I didn't realise that one scene was meant to be in Germany and the next was in Mexico. It reminded me of the terrible version of the film-within-a-film "Girls and Suitcases" that appears towards the end of Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces: you can tell that there is something really good but that the execution had been botched so horribly.

However, at the centre of the film is a great performance by Welles, who plays Arkadin as a conflicted but all too self-aware monster, a man who admits to being "ashamed of something [he] doesn't remember." He's the sort of man who can feel genuine remorse when he discovers that someone he had killed needn't have died because they would never have betrayed him, yet is also keenly aware of the fact that someone like him is only capable of death.

I really want to track down a copy of the Criterion version now, which apparently reconstructs much of the original version. Despite its flaws, there is enough in the film to make it at least interesting.


Hausu (House) (1977)

If you want to see something that confirms all the bizarre ideas that people have about Japan, you should watch Hausu. The plot, for what it's worth, concerns seven schoolgirls named Angel, Fantasy, Mac, Prof, Sweetie, Kung-Fu and Melody who all decide to visit Angel's aunt in her big, creepy house in the middle of nowhere. Once they get there, crazy shit happens.

I really am at a loss to describe what the film is about, so I'll just show you the trailer. The film is basically just that. It's really hilarious and weird and genuinely disturbing in places. I wouldn't be surprised if Sam Raimi was a fan, since at least one image from the film crops up in Drag Me To Hell. I really recommend it, but I'm not entirely certain why.
logger
Enter The Void

Visually spectacular depiction of an interesting concept but you can't help feel it's a little let down by some cornballedness (particularly the 'flashback' sequence, but also some half arsed Freud, a lot of emotional exposition in the dialogue and none of it is helped by so many of the characters being such deuchers). That said, I really did enjoy it and feel the pros outweigh the cons. Some people will absolutely hate it, some will probably feel a bit cheated but I think if you just let the whole experience flow over you it will be enjoyable and effecting but maybe not as much as Gasper Noe intended.

I liked the glowing genitals.

Not for epileptics.
maian
I agree completely. It is a very shallow film in terms of its philosophies, characters and plot, but the actual experience of watching it is really unqiue and made it one of the more memorable films in recent memories for me. I'm not sure I'd watch it again, and even then I'd only watch it in a cinema since it is designed to be seen on a big screen.
logger
I watched a bit of a ropey version, even then it was pretty spectacular, but I'd love to see it on a big screen. I have to say I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
dandan
russian lessons - pipeline...

i've edited and added to the film maker's english statement about the film...

the film's two directors, olga konskaya and andrei nekrasov, travelled to the opposite sides of the frontline during the russian-georgian in august 2008. they made their way through each territory, meeting in the centre, as the russians finally withdraw; having gathered evidence along the way of what was really happening and what wasn't being told. the footage they arrive back in st petersburg with shows overwhelming evidence of russian aggression, a media smokescreen and the naivety of the georgians.

as the filmmakers begin the process of film-editing, they reveal some pretty nasty truths about the war and the lack of international reaction to it. more shockingly the film puts the recent war in context of the post-soviet history which has managed to keep its darkest secrets away from the international public's attention despite dozens of relevant un resolutions. at the same time as milosevic was earning the reputation of the biggest evil of the post-communist world, russia was sponsoring and conducting the campaign of terror and ethnic cleansing against the georgian population of integral parts of georgia, with cruelty exceeding that of the war in former yugoslavia.

yep, this was a pretty intense and upsetting way to end a sunday of film watching. a fantastically interesting, yet brutally shocking film. i really hope that a lot of people get to see this and ask questions about why western europe seemed to ignore this, although the answer of 'don't bite the hand that provides you with gas' is probably all that you'll get...


kawasaki's rose... - you married a cow...

pavel (martin huba) a notable psychiatrist is about to receive a prestigious reward, reserved for those who stood up to the former regime in czechoslovakia. his son in law, who is working for a tv production company who are making a profile of him to air before the award ceremony, discovers that he was in fact a collaborator...

an okay film, solidly average, filled with characters who it is very, very difficult to like or have any kind of sympathy for. the most interesting thing about it is the wandering narrative of the first third of the film, which goes one way and then another, before settling down into something altogether less interesting.

okay.


all boys - bowling pins...

a potentially fascination look at the czech boys who work in the gay porn industry which sprang up there in the late nineties. with interviews with distributors, one of the main producer / directors - dan komar; who bought a flat where he lived with many of his performers - the performers themselves and a couple of family members.

the film was an absolute mess. but, it did reveal enough to make the whole czech boys scene look really, really shady: most of the boys are straight, use viagra or penile injections (wtf!!!), fuck bareback, use lots of drugs, drop out of the scene, become beggars, alcoholics, prostitutes and so on and so fourth...

a real wasted opportunity to make a great, if tragic, documentary...


mutant girl squad - ass chainsaw!

as the bloke who introduced this said; "the title tells you everything you need to know about the film" - he was right, now if only he'd stopped there...

the film tells the story of rin (yumi sugimoto) who, on her sixteenth birthday discovers that she is actually a mutant. when the government kill her parents, she joins with kisaragi (tak sakaguchi) and his mutant girl squad in an attempt to liberate the mutants from human oppression...

a by the numbers, japanese gore fest in the mould of 'the machine girl', 'tokyo gore police' and every other film in this current japanese splatter phase. still, a fun, funny, inventive and thoroughly entertaining watch...

good stuff...


the temptation of st tony - tales from the golden age...

i could write something, but the dante quote which begins the film and a one sentence synopsis from the website do a far better job than i could...

"midway upon the journey of our life
i found myself within a forest dark
for the straightforward pathway had been lost"
-dante, 'divine comedy'

"the most stupendous and bone chilling tragedy about the agony and decline of one middle-level manager"

the film is an epic, hilarious, frightening, hypnotising, beautiful, allegorical piece. i think it will probably be my favourite film of the year.

filmed with beautiful a black and white aesthetic, with incredible sound design, masterful direction and superb performances. i was blown away by this. i notice that it has been entered as estonia's submission for the best foreign language oscar. my fingers are crossed, because that will guarantee a cinematic and dvd release...

amazing.


how i ended this summer - achem calling fairy...

pavel (grigoriy dobrygin) and sergei (sergei puskepalis) are meteorologists, based on a small artic island, isolated from the world, the exist to supply updated readings to their superiors at regulated intervals. sergei has been doing this work for years, whereas pavel is only on the island for a few months and a little tension exists as a result. when sergei takes off for a couple of days, a message comes through to pavel that sergei's wife and child have been killed. when sergei returns, pavel finds it hard to break this news to sergei and then finds that the longer he leaves it, the more tense the atmosphere becomes...

bah... a film that is very watchable, mainly because of the location, cinematography and the performances. unfortunately, the crucial narrative twists are handled in a way that came across as weak, even if the reactions to them were strong. does that make sense? basically, there is a good atmospheric quality to the film making, but these little blips at the wrong moments greatly weaken what could've been a much stronger piece...

a wasted opportunity...


kosmos - i am lovesick...

battal (sermet yesil) arrives in a snowy, rural village on the edge of turkey, seemingly bringing a boy who had fallen in to an icy river back to life. and so, dubbed a dervish, he enters the town, wandering, confounding, whooping, pursuing neptun (turku turan). but, who is this man and what is he doing in this town?

from the director of 'times and winds', comes this, a literary, allegorical tale of religion, magic, divinity, mystery, fable and people: i cannot claim to have fully grasped every facet it explored or, indeed, why it went along the paths it did, but it was an amazing experience to watch it unfold before me. reha erdem has created something which i found absolutely intriguing and captivating to watch; it is beautifully filmed and performed. i think 'd quite like to watch it again soon...

very good.


a town called panic - we should've just got him a hat...

cowboy, indian and horse live together. when cowboy and indian make a slight mistake ordering the materials to make horse a birthday present, they unwittingly trigger off a series of events which will take them on quite an adventure...

a surreal, insanely hyperactive, rather hilarious slice of stop motion animation. very, very silly, almost endlessly inventive and an awful lot of fun to watch.

very good.


son of babylon - my hobby is smoking...

northern iraq, two weeks after the fall of saddaam. a boy (yasser talib) and his grandmother (shazda hussein) are setting out on a journey; she has heard that her son, who has been missing since the first iraq war, may have now been liberated from the prison where she thinks he was being held. and so, a son and a mother make their way on a journey of hundreds of miles across a war torn nation...

filmed entirely in iraq, the film is a huge logistical achievement for starters, that it is as engaging and interesting as well, is further praise. what starts off as an almost light-hearted and gently comedic film, becomes darker, more serious and more tragic as the pair journey from the rural north, through baghdad to babylon and encounter people in similar situations as them en route.

the film is filmed rather beautifully and the performance of yasser talib is quite stunning...

good stuff.


to walk beside you - it smells putrid...

a teacher and a student flee a small town and head to tokyo to elope. she claims to have the money to support them and wants him to keep studying to be a lawyer. she actually goes out and acts a a tout for a karaoke club during the day, whilst he befriends an orphan who mistakes him for a baseball star...

an odd, but interesting and amusing tale. an entertaining watch, but not something to heap great praise on.

good stuff...


the king's speech - i wouldn't know...

the story of king george vi, aka bertie (colin firth), and his struggle to overcome an almost crippling stammer as he makes his hasty and unconventional rise to the throne...

essentially, the story of the relationship between bertie and lionel logue (geoffrey rush); a man based on harley street who was sought out by queen elizabeth, aka the queen mother (helena bonham carter), after conventional methods failed. the opening film of the leeds international film festival and a real treat. essentially an intimate character piece, playing out over the edward (guy pearce) and mrs simpson (eve best) affair and the inevitable chugging towards world war two.

firth and rush make a great pair on screen and the film comes across like a play: one can easily imagine strings of thesps being keen to take on these two roles and cut their acting chops on stage. any hoo, they do a cracking job and the friendship, the drama and humour of the two characters shines through in a very satisfying and enjoyable fashion. oh, and helena bonham carter makes a surprisingly excellent queen mum. bless 'er...

cracking stuff, expect the oscar talk to heat up...


citizen ruth - i slept in a few dumpsters, maybe i slept on some babies...

ruth (laura dern) is a habitual solvent abuser, who has ended up in court yet again. when it is discovered that she is pregnant, the judge (david graf) suggests that she might be better off if she terminates the pregnancy and if she doesn't then she could well end up in prison. when the distraught ruth is discovered in prison by a band of pro-lfers, led by gail (mary kay place), it isn't long before her case is seized upon and she finds herself being an unwilling champion for pro-life, despite the fact that she wants to terminate. things get a little more complex, when ruth finds herself being... err... rescued (?) by a bunch of pro-choicers, led by diane (swoosie kurtz). it isn't long before ruth begins to realise that she is just being used by both sides...

i decided to get this as i really like alexander payne's other films and thought i'd give it a whirl. it is a pretty enjoyable film, although nowhere near as good as 'election', 'about schmidt' or 'sideways', which he would follow it up with. laura dern is ace and she comes across as the only real and rounded character in the piece, whilst the pro-choice and lifers are pretty much just caricatures. in some ways this works well for the film, but i think it would've been a little stronger if it'd just been toned down slightly. still, an interesting debut, you can certainly tell it is alexander payne and burt reynold crops up with a fantastic wig / dye-job.

okay...
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