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maian
The guy with the ponytail seems surprisingly unfazed seeing that he appears to have been shot through the heart.

Four Little Girls (1997)

Spike Lee's documentary about an incident in 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama. On a regular Sunday afternoon, a bomb planted in the basement of a church detonated, killing the four young girls who were getting changed for the services at the time. Using archive footage and photos, but most importantly the testimony of friends and family of the girls, as well as prominent figures in the Civil Rights movement, Lee passionately tells the terrible and tragic story, starting with background about the community in Birmingham, the girls and their lives, the day of the bombing itself, and the fall out and quest for justice.

It's a horrifying story of reprensible violence, but Lee tells it in a way which does not let the emotions over-ride the story, letting the facts - and the people - speak for themselves rather than putting words in their mouths. He finds the humanity amidst the horror, and in doing so delivers a very powerful film that, whilst deeply sad, has a bruised and battered hope at its heart.
Zoe
Catfish (2010)

OK, so it inspired debate and the two people I watched it with had completely differing opinions on it.

Surprisingly I'm torn, which is odd as I expected to be more cynical. There's a couple of key points which lead me heavily one way, and then the other.

It's interesting and even absorbing in places and we could all agree the guys making the film are complete douchebags.

Does anyone think Andrew Jarecki really thought 'Capturing the Friedmans' was going to be a documentary about clowns?
logger
QUOTE (Zoe @ Dec 22 2010, 09:46 AM) *
Does anyone think Andrew Jarecki really thought 'Capturing the Friedmans' was going to be a documentary about clowns?

I wish it had been.
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Dec 21 2010, 08:36 PM) *


That looks hilarious. And it has Ridge from The Bold and The Beautiful.

Only in the 80s - the hair is bigger than the norks.
PrincessKate
Scrooged, and I still cried at the end.
Bill Murray playing seventeen year old Bill Murray, though...
jem
Tangled!

So much fun!
Not quite on par with Despicable Me or The Sword in the Stone, but it was good.
maian
Pineapple Express (2008)

I watched it hungover so I probably wasn't in quite the right frame of mind for it. It was good, I thought that David Gordon Green took to directing action with an aplomb that I wouldn't have expected, based on his previous films. I thought that Seth Rogen and James Franco had some really terrific chemistry, and their increasingly paranoid reactions to the gang war plot that they stumbled into was one of the funniest things in the film - aside from Ed Begley, Jr. shouting "I will fuck you both in the street" - but I also found it a little too ramshackle. They clearly improvised a lot, and the film feels more like a collection of out-takes thrown together rather than a story. Pretty funny out-takes, but it's a hit and miss approach that, for me, was more miss than hit. Danny McBride was the only actor who hit the mark every time. Then again, I did start violently throwing up at one point when my meagre lunch decided it didn't get on with my stomach, so the experience probably soured me on a film that I'd like more if I didn't feel so wretched.


It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

The scene in the graveyard never fails to bring a tear ro my eye.
logger
Black Swan

It starts out looking like it could have been a good idea, using the themes of Swan Lake to look at the traditionally female cliches such as the duality of the virgin and the whore, jealousy, lust, obsession and just all round bitchiness (they wouldn't be cliches if there wasn't any truth to them), but the film lacks the grace and subtlety to pull it off and feels more like a 70s psycho-horror crossed with an exploitation flick rather than the grandeur of the ballet it's going for. And then it gets really silly.

That said, Aronofsky hasn't become a bad director over night. It looks fantastic and there are still great moments, the club scene being a particular favourite of mine. It's also full of Wrestler-esque looks at the behind the scenes world of ballet with people who I presume are from there. I can't fault the performances, Portman does what's required of her in a role that's hard to like but I can't help feel it would have been better with a real dancer who we can see more of than just their torso upwards. And even though the much talked about lesbian scene has been really over hyped and is hardly shocking, I am now totally in love with Mila Kunis who oozes personality and looks gorgeous.

In all, it was disappointing and felt like it would have been better if they'd cut out all the silliness, cast a dancer in the lead and maybe had a woman direct it.
Atara
Tron Legacy was good fun.

Michael Sheen was ridiculous, as was his bulge. Soundtrack was fantastic. I fancy Clu.
sweetbutinsane
Juno

I don't like Juno herself, but the film is good.
Rebus
Silent Night, Deadly Night

Thought we'd go for something a bit different to kick off out Christmas movie-viewing bonanza. The premise, of a child so traumatised by seeing his parents murdered by a man dressed as Santa Claus and the later treatment he suffers at the hands of a Mother Superior, which all induce a deadly fear of almost all things Christmassy could have turned out a good film but it's all handled so haphazardly that it becomes an unintentional comedy for the most part.

There are relatively good death scenes, some marginally passable acting, but there is also some really terrible dialogue, such as about ten minutes of "Punish!" as he axes a poor bugger to death. Still, I enjoyed it for its schlock value, and I think I might move on to Black Christmas.
logger
The original Black Christmas is a good film and is genuinely creepy. I'd avoid the remake.
maian
QUOTE (maian @ Dec 23 2010, 08:36 PM) *
Pineapple Express (2008)

I watched it hungover so I probably wasn't in quite the right frame of mind for it. It was good, I thought that David Gordon Green took to directing action with an aplomb that I wouldn't have expected, based on his previous films. I thought that Seth Rogen and James Franco had some really terrific chemistry, and their increasingly paranoid reactions to the gang war plot that they stumbled into was one of the funniest things in the film - aside from Ed Begley, Jr. shouting "I will fuck you both in the street" - but I also found it a little too ramshackle. They clearly improvised a lot, and the film feels more like a collection of out-takes thrown together rather than a story. Pretty funny out-takes, but it's a hit and miss approach that, for me, was more miss than hit. Danny McBride was the only actor who hit the mark every time. Then again, I did start violently throwing up at one point when my meagre lunch decided it didn't get on with my stomach, so the experience probably soured me on a film that I'd like more if I didn't feel so wretched.


Watched it again, this time with a clearer head and calmer stomach, and I enjoyed it a lot. I still think it's a little too-ramshackle for its own good, the subplot involving Rogen and his girlfriend (Amber Heard) could be completely removed from the movie without causing any problems, but that same quality is what allows the film to go off on little tangents without it majorly upsetting the story. I also really, really loved the relationship between Kevin Corrigan and Craig Robinson's characters, and how unhinged Gary Cole is willing to be.
logger
QUOTE (maian @ Dec 24 2010, 01:05 AM) *
I still think it's a little too-ramshackle for its own good, the subplot involving Rogen and his girlfriend (Amber Heard) could be completely removed from the movie without causing any problems,

He was right about her becoming a lesbian, though.
maian
Bad Santa (2003)

I had somehow never seen this before. Solidly hilarious throughout thanks to a gleefully misnathropic turn from Billy Bob Thornton which was matched by the equally bleak and arch tone. Where else would the big emotional moment when the main character decides to turn his life around and not kill himself revolve around going to beat up a bunch of kids? The boxing ring scene had me in stitches.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

I think I undervalued this the first time around but I still think that Anderson would have been better served if he either tried to make it for one audience, either adults or children, rather than trying to cover both, because I think that children miss out a lot when the gags are so squarely aimed at their parents.
sweetbutinsane
Beauty and the Beast

How I've missed this film! I remembered it so well, except I think they've added a song where the castle gets cleaned, just before the Beast has his bath.

I looked at the back of the leaflet inside the box and was over the moon to see that Bambi and The Lion King are both getting released in 2011.
melzilla
Tron: Legacy

If you ignore the laughable script and weak plot, the visuals and soundtrack are teh aces. However, young Jeff Bridges' face is off-putting and creepy.
Worth a watch, though.
UnderSpaced
QUOTE (sweetbutinsane @ Dec 26 2010, 07:58 AM) *
Beauty and the Beast

How I've missed this film! I remembered it so well, except I think they've added a song where the castle gets cleaned, just before the Beast has his bath.

I looked at the back of the leaflet inside the box and was over the moon to see that Bambi and The Lion King are both getting released in 2011.

I watched that with my niece the other day since I've never seen it all the way through.
Jessopjessopjessop
love actually.

had never seen this. joanna page... lordy, what a surprise.
logger
Exit Through the Gift Shop

Fun. I never knew that Banksy was really Stephen Merchant.
maian
Robo-Stephen Merchant.
maian
Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Buster Keaton plays a projectionist who wants to be a detective. When his efforts to solve the mystery of who stole a watch belonging to the girl of his dreams' father leads to him being accused on the crime and being forbidden to see her again, he returns to his work in order to put a film on. He promptly falls asleep, and his dream-self enters the film he was projecting - a romantic drama named "Hearts and Pearls" - and transforms it into a detective story in which he is the star.

Sherlock Jr. displays the two distinct halves of Buster Keaton's persona; the fiendishly clever film-maker who always pushed the boundaries of the nascent medium, and the sublimely silly gag-smith who would throw anything at the screen in order to get a laugh. The film would score high on the cleverness scale for its surprisingly meta storyline, but the way in which Keaton puts the idea across is equally smart. He had a remarkably strong grasp of the way in which an edit, timed just right, could be a joke in itself.

When The Projectionist first tries to enter the film, he walks on screen just as the scene shifts from his rival and his love arguing to a shot of the door of the house. Unable to get in, Keaton turns around and tries to think, only for the scene to change to a garden which does not contain the step that he was just standing on, so he falls down. Then the scene changes and he is on a cliff-face, then surrounded by lions, then on a beach, and so on and so forth. The techniques he uses to carry out this sequence are not particularly sophisticated, but the thinking behind them is astonishingly sophisticated.

Of course, Keaton was a comedian foremost, and there's plenty of brilliantly realised silliness on display. At one point, Sherlock takes a round bag containing a costume against the window of a house in which some criminals are plotting. When his confrontation with them goes awry, he leaps through the window, through the bag, and emerges dressed as an old woman and walks past his pursuers. It's a funny gag that becomes great when you realise that it is being done in one shot, and that the planning involved is pretty astonishing.

Smart, surreal and brilliantly funny. It's readily available online and is only 45 minutes long, so anyone wanting to check it out can easily do so.
PrincessKate
Today I watched Dirty Dancing for the first time ever, and it was every bit as good as a billion women the world over would have you think. An absolutely perfect girly film.
maian
Festen (1998)

A family gathers for their patriarch (Henning Moritzen)'s sixtieth birthday. There's a little underlying tension as people who haven't seen each other for a while start to air their grievances and cover well-trodden ground, but things are generally jovial and pleasant. That is, until Christian (Ulrich Thomsen) stands up to make a toast and accuses his father of sexually abusing him and his twin sister, who died prior to the events of the film. A battle of wills slowly unfurls as Christian tries to convince the gathered family members that what he is saying is the truth, whilst his father, brother (Thomas Bo Larsen) and sister (Paprika Steen) try to keep things under control.

Although Open Hearts is still my favourite Dogme film, Festen is probably a better example of what can be achieved when film-makers place limits upon themselves, the try to overcome them in order to tell a story. (It's also probably much purer in its adherence to the rules of the Dogme 95 Manifesto, since Open Hearts breaks a handful of the rules.) Even though the aesthetic of the film pretty harsh and, at times, ugly owing to it being shot handheld and on video, director Thomas Vinterberg and his incredible ensemble cast show what you can do when you tell a good story well. The film builds and builds, making good use of its raw intimacy to make it seem as if we're actually at the most painfully awkward family gathering ever, and it adds a palpable sense of dread to proceedings as we wait to see just how things are going to play out.

An exhilariting, queasy experience. Brilliant.
GundamGuy_UK
Tron: Legacy - Loved it. It felt just like the original, whilst being very different at the same time. Lots of nice little references, and it looked and sounded incredible. I just wish it was in black and white with rotoscoping and voxels.
Serafina_Pekkala
Bronson

I am amazed that Tom Hardy did not win more awards for this. A remarkable oversight. I like this film - although I do agree the characters are all distant and verging on caricatures. In terms of atmopshere - it's spot on. You only have to see Mike Leigh's High Hopes to know that Britain in the 80s did look that crappy. Although now, I notice Nicolas Winding Refn uses various motifs over and over again - red on black graphics, Kubrick direction style (the wide angle frames - this movie is especially endebted to The Shining and Clockwork Orange IMO) and characters speaking to camera with no background. Not sure if doing the same thing film after film is that good - but it is Hardy makes this movie. He is ffffffffaaaaaking brilliant - you CAAAAAAANTS. I alsoI forgot Super Hans was in it. The gheyyest crim since Camp Freddie. An interesting movie about a crazy person.
Jon 79
Today I finally saw The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
A brilliant film visually. Shame it will always be tainted with Ledger's death. Makes me wonder how much of the story had been tweaked from the original screenplay. Probably the most Gilliamy film since Munchausen.


QUOTE (GundamGuy_UK @ Dec 29 2010, 09:58 AM) *
Tron: Legacy - Loved it. It felt just like the original, whilst being very different at the same time. Lots of nice little references, and it looked and sounded incredible. I just wish it was in black and white with rotoscoping and voxels.

They should do a retro version of the film, to include on a blu-ray disc. How easy would it be for them to simplify the graphics.
sweetbutinsane
Bridge to Terabithia

I have it on DVD but it was on BBC One this morning and my mam was watching it so I ended up watching it too. My mam loved it (a miracle, considering she's not the type of person who likes watching films and is very difficult to please). She's just bullied my oldest brother into borrowing the DVD off me to watch with his fiancée. happy.gif
Starscream`s Ghost
The Polar Express

Dreadful. Like a non-stop Christmas Coca-Cola ad, on continuous loop.
widowspider
The Kids Are All Right

A film that looks at one family who connect with the sperm donor of their two kids (lesbian parents) and the emotional complications that follow. I was surprised that it was as funny as it was - I thought it would be more 'worthy' but it was actually a wry look at unconventional families. Annette Bening and Julianne Moore had great chemistry as a long-married couple, and Mark Ruffalo was just self-centred enough to be a little obnoxious without ever becoming unsympathetic. Really enjoyed it.

Kabluey

Really strange but sweet indie film about a woman (Lisa Kudrow) whose husband was called up by the National Guard to serve in Iraq, and then kept there for nearly two years. Struggling to cope, her inept brother-in-law comes to live with her and her two sons (who are out of control) to try and help her. He then gets a job dressing up as a big blue character handing out fliers by the side of the road, and has a journey of self-discovery as a result.

It's hard to describe what the film is exactly about, but it is touching and funny and I recommend looking it up.
GundamGuy_UK
QUOTE (Jon 79 @ Dec 30 2010, 11:54 AM) *
They should do a retro version of the film, to include on a blu-ray disc. How easy would it be for them to simplify the graphics.


Well, the movie explains why things look so different (because it's not set in the same Grid as the first movie), so they don't have to change it really. Maybe every computer system has its own Grid, with different rules and looks.
logger
Mrs Henderson Presents

I admire any film that gets naked women shown on tea-time telly.
PrincessKate
Watched The Sound of Music - still want to marry Captain Von Trapp. He's a sarcy bitch.
maian
The King's Speech

The last film I watched in 2010 and it was a pretty good one. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are fabulous as George VI (Bertie to his family) and Lionel Logue, his speech therapist, respectively, and they have a great, uneasy chemistry that works perfectly for a story about a man of tremendous privilege having to learn to trust and respect someone he would never have met if he didn't stammer. There's also a lot of interesting stuff in there about the transition from a world where all kings had to do was look royal and not fall of their horses to one where they have to give radio addresses to their subjects, touching on the idea of the modern world overtaking the monarchy and showing why Bertie becoming king would be problematic. It's also wickedly funny, with Firth, Rush and Helena Bonham Carter (as Bertie's wife, Elizabeth) getting lots of dryly witty dialogue.

Despite the support of Carter, as well as Guy Pearce, Michael Gambon and Timothy Spall, the film is really a two-hander between Firth and Rush, which is both the strength and weakness of the film. Their scenes together brim with energy, but any time that the two are apart the film loses a lot of its pizazz. Not so much in the scenes about Firth's relationship with his domineering father (Gambon) or flamboyant and foppish older brother (Pearce), but all the stuff about Rush's home life slows the film down and only really serves as an opportunity to elucidate what he is feeling at that moment. These points are few and far between, and you're guaranteed another funny, barbed scene between Firth and Rush to balance things out, but whilst you're in them, those scenes drag.

It's a fairly conventional take on an unconventional story, fans of emotive music and dramatic close-ups will be sated, but it's also really engrossing and, for a prestige picture, hugely entertaining. Definitely worth checking out.

It also features the little girl from Outnumbered as Princess Margaret, which is one of those instances where a really minor piece of casting took me out of the film every time she was on screen.
mcraigclark
I saw Black Swan and True Grit this week. Both of them were great, but I think Black Swan requires at least two viewings. The young girl in True Grit is amazing.
Baz
QUOTE (sweetbutinsane @ Dec 30 2010, 07:17 PM) *
Bridge to Terabithia

I have it on DVD but it was on BBC One this morning and my mam was watching it so I ended up watching it too. My mam loved it (a miracle, considering she's not the type of person who likes watching films and is very difficult to please). She's just bullied my oldest brother into borrowing the DVD off me to watch with his fiancée. happy.gif


This film makes me cry, too sad at the end.
sweetbutinsane
Problem Child
I hadn't seen this for years. I had forgotten just how bizarre it is! I did remember the birthday party bit and Smiley Pies though. happy.gif

Iron Man
Pretty darn good.
Raven
I do like Iron Man, excellent stuff! Hadn't seen the after-credits bit before.

I know it's not supposed to be as good, but I really must see Iron Man 2 at some point.
logger
Restrepo

The war in Afghanistan really is one of the most rubbish wars ever.
Jon 79
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest
A satisfying ending to the trilogy. As good as Played With Fire, but still not nearly as good as Dragon Tattoo.
Perhaps could've done with a little more tension and/or action.
7/10.
sweetbutinsane
QUOTE (Raven @ Jan 2 2011, 10:57 PM) *
I do like Iron Man, excellent stuff! Hadn't seen the after-credits bit before.

I know it's not supposed to be as good, but I really must see Iron Man 2 at some point.


I only wish I hadn't been eating my dinner when Pepper was sticking her hand in Tony's chest. Ick.

Yeah, I want to see the second one now too, but I'm not willing to pay upwards of £10 for it so I guess I'll have to wait a while for the price to drop.

Enchanted

The whole cartoon fairytale meets reality thing was an interesting idea and there were many funny moments, but some of the characters annoyed me a little.
Hobbes
Iron Man 2 is schlock of the highest possible order, and the film is a total mess for 90% of its duration. Vaguely enjoyable 6/10 gubbins with cool effects and Downey Jr being his likeable self, but it's not a patch on the first one which is one of the better comic adaptations I've seen.
Julie
YES! Hudson Hawk is on! I love this film, even if Bruce Willis doesn't.
maian
I enjoyed Iron Man 2 more than Iron Man but then again I wasn't all that fussed with the first one so it didn't have a huge amount to live up to.

The first film of 2011 for me was...

The Way Back

Peter Weir's film about a group of prisoners escaping from a Soviet gulag in 1940 is one of those rare films that I wish was longer, rather than shorter. Not because it's an amazing piece of work that I didn't want to end, but because I could see that there was a genuinely great film but Weir insistence on ending every scene just a little too soon kept it from becoming that film. There's a merciless feel to the film, a sense that Weir has cut every scene down to the absolute bare bones so that the audience gets the information they need but nothing else, but when you have a story that spans 4000 miles and sees this ragtag group of survivors struggling against the elements and their own fear of reprisal it needs those extra few minutes to develop the characters and make their struggle mean something. But it so often struggles for breath that it's practically asthmatic.

It's much too subdued for its own good, too. It's almost as if Weir was so afraid of sensationalising the more spectacular elements of the story that he went completely the other direction and underplays everything. He doesn't give the characters those little moments of triumph and joy, such as when they stagger through a desert and come across a well, that could add weight to the privations of the rest of their journey, and he also doesn't make the most of scenes when they come close to being discovered. The relentless drive of the film, rather than being exhilarating, kills whatever suspense he could have built.

For all of that, though, it is an impressive piece of work. Weir is incapable of making a film that looks bad, and the gorgeous landscapes certainly give the story due scope, and his cast is great across the board, even when, as in the case of Colin Farrell, they are lumbered with dodgy Russian accents. Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris and Saoirse Ronan make the film, for me, with the first and last demonstrating why they are amongst the most promising actors of their generation, whilst the second continues to be one of the most eminently watchable and charismatic supporting actors out there.

Definitely worth seeing, but it's frustrating because of what it could have been, rather than interesting because of what it is.
maian
The Vanishing (1988)

Apart from a score that now sounds horribly cheap and tinny (though it surely must have at the time, too) George Sluizer's film about the obsessive lengths that a man (Gene Bervoets) will go to in order to discover how and why his love (Johanna ter Steege) disappeared is still a remarkably tense and deeply disturbing film about, to steal a phrase from Kermode, the banality of evil. The last five minutes, for me, are amongst the most terrifying I've ever seen in a film since they prey on a particular fear of mine, which I won't reveal because that'd spoil the film. Anyway, it's a great film with a particularly brilliant performance by Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu (who apparently passed away only a week ago) as Saskia's kidnapper (note: this is not a spoiler since you know who he is before the adbuction even happens), a man who maintains a calm outward demeanour that adds an extra horror to the deeds he carries out. Genuinely chilling.
Zoe
I watched 'The English Patient' for the first time in years yesterday, and I'd forgotten just how sexy it is.

The film is drenched in sex - even Lewis is a bit sexy in it. It's hot and sticky and full of repressed desire, as well as full on rutting, romance, lust and plenty of saucy visual metaphors. Plums! Bombs! Turbans!

When Ralph Fiennes puts his thumb in KST's mouth I had to stick my head in a bucket of water (there's quite a lot of that in the film too).

Of, course this may just be me... I think it's supposed to be sad or something.
dandan
one piece film: strong world - reindeer | bazooka | anime | pirate | straw hat

the tenth film based on eiichiro oda's pirate manga, 'one piece', and the first one which he has personally supervised the production of and attached his name as director.

the film tells the story of the crew of the 'thousand sunny' being taken by the evil pirate shiki and being scattered across a string of floating islands. it's quite a spectacle, a lot of fun to watch and just very entertaining indeed.

again, another series i may have to investigate further...

good stuff.


gintama : the movie - shin'yaku benizakura hen...

as one who isn't familiar with the 'gintama' manga or anime series, the film probably only suffered very slightly with what i imagine were a couple of in-jokes and not knowing the characters as much as a japanese audience would've done. still, thee wee plenty of other references to other anime which i was happy to have got. the film seems to focus on three characters who live in a shop and their investigating of the murder of a friend, with a sword that is scarily powerful...

basically, a lot of fun to watch, some very funny moments, some very nice set-pieces and the promise of more to come. and, the way they play with the opening and ending of the film was very good. i may have to investigate the other manifestations 'gintama', even if there appears to be a never ending series of anime...

good stuff...


the art of negative thinking - i ♥ your mom

geirr (fridtjov saheim) is confined to a wheelchair after an accident and he now spends his time smoking pot, drinking, listening to music and watching films. pretty much wallowing in self-pity. as a result, his marriage to ingvild (kirsti eline torhaug) is suffering, to say the least. and, it is ingvild, in an attempt to rescue their relationship, who invites round a local support group. little does the smiley happy group realise what they have let themselves in for...

now, this isn't a good film: it is, undeniably, very funny indeed. a nice slice of darkly comic norwegian fun: the plot itself is immaterial, it merely serves to bring together a group of characters and pushes them into situations which allows for humour.

okay.


vital signs - life... or lack thereof...

simone (marie-helene bellavance) returns to her home town, having been in away studying. her mother has just passed away in a palliative care ward and, as well as finding herself dabbling with her ex, boris (francis ducharme), she begins to spend more and more time as a volunteer, working with others on the ward where her mother and others spend their last days...

not a happy film or a film that i remember having any heavy handed points to make, just an exploration of simone's time spent, being drawn into the world of the dying. still, a very watchable and interesting film, with a great central performance from bellavance. i also think i shall have to investigate sophie deraspe's (writer, director and cinematographer) other film, and look out for what she does next as i like her style.

good stuff.
dandan
evangelion: 2.0 you can (not) advance - what no neon genesis?

a group of teenagers act a little bit emo. an angel appears near the city. one or two evangelion units are piloted by said teenagers. they fight the angel, but all seems lost. "wow, i didn't realise an evangelion could do that!!!" an evangelion does something and the angel gets killed.

repeat.

there you go, the narrative from both the first and the second films.

still, it's quite good fun, if you want to watch giant robots fighting weird giant beings in a city.

a bit of fun, but not that great...


the secret of kells - you can't find out everything from books, you know...

obsessed with thoughts of vikings attacking their small town, the abbot cellach has built a huge wall surrounding it: a wall and a task which he expects his nephew, brendan, to engage with and complete. brendan is, however, more interested in working on manuscripts than walls and, when aiden of iona arrives with the already legendary 'book of iona', brendan is lost to the work of ink and paper. still, testing times lie ahead and the vikings will come, but brendan has berries to collect, ink to make and a new friend in the form of the wood nymp, aisling...

a sweet, beautiful looking animation, with a story and characters i found i had very little time to care for. still, it is really nicely designed and is a very pretty watch, even if it's mixture of fantasy, celtic and christian hokum is tiresome.

okay... ish.


high on hope - half naked girls in acid house sex party...

h-h-h-hardcore uproar...

a really nice little film about the hardcore uproar warehouse parties which took place in the late 1980's and early '90's in blackburn and the surrounding areas. a small group tell how they, some empty warehouses, a sound system, some *ahem* chemicals and, of course, acid house changed lives and kick started a shift in club culture, youth culture and, well, culture in general...

great fun to watch and listen to, some moments of hilarity and a couple of scary ones too. well worth tracking down...


facing the wall - when the revolution goes...

a documentary about people who attempted to cross into west berlin from east germany and suffered the consequences of failing. apart from some minor details, pretty much everyone involved has a very similar tale to tell and, if you've heard such stories before, there isn't really anything new added. i guess it was a relatively diverting eighty minutes, but not as interesting as chatting to my friend who was given permission to leave the east, along with her mother, when she was a little girl.

okay.


mardock scramble - the first compression...

the first part of the anime, adapted from tow ubakata's 'mardock scramble' manga, directed by susumu kudo.

balot, a teenage prostitute, wakes in the laboratory of dr easter; a man who is working a little off the radar. balot was murdered by shell; a powerful and influential gambler, but she has been brought back to life, albeit as a cyborg, by easter. now, with the help of oeufcocque; a genetically enhanced, yellow, super mouse, balot is to set about bringing shell and his associates to justice.

less silly than it sounds. in fact, a lot less silly. not silly, at all...

this was a really stunning bit of anime: it looks and sounds fantastic, is beautifully designed and has a great atmosphere to it. the plot begins to grow and unravel then, just at the moment where the tension is ratcheted up, it ends. bah... a very swift sixty minutes and the first of three parts. i have pre-ordered the manga, as i want to see where this goes and don't want to wait for two more parts to be produced, although i will certainly watch them when they do...

really good.
logger
True Grit

I agree with all the reviews that say it's a solid film but not the epic that was expected from the Coens. That said, even going in with muted expectations I have to say I was a little disappointed. It does lack what made the original film so special and that is an iconic central performance, at least in the Cogburn role. This film does have a brilliant turn by Hailee Steinfeld, whose Matty Ross is a little more central but not quite by as much as some people would have you believe, and whilst it is good enough to make her a strong contender for an Oscar you can't really call it iconic.

It is enjoyable, it looks great, has terrific performances throughout, especially Steinfeld who is the best thing about the film, and has a brisk and witty script but I think the thing that surprises the most is just how slight it feels.


The Fighter

A lot better than the trailer made it look. Sure, it's cliched but O. Russell gives the film a lot of heart and humour which makes its limitations forgivable. Walberg is as solid as ever, it's good to see Amy Adams playing something non-prissy for a change, and Bale gives one of his best performances but is a little let down by the tragicomic aspects of his character being a bit forced.

In all I'd say both films are enjoyable, solid films without being anything exceptional. In my personal opinion I'd have to say I enjoyed The Fighter a little bit more.
dandan
the social network - you don't get to make 500 million omelettes without breaking some eggs...

mark zuckerberg (jesse eisenberg) was a pretty obnoxious computer geek, who was making more progress up the aspergers scale than climbing any social ladders, until he was noticed for making a website which allowed harvard students to rate female undergraduates against each other. this got him into trouble, but brought him to the attention of a couple of other students, who wanted him to build a website which would blah blah blah... who cares... really, who cares?

it would be easy for me to say that i've always thought fincher was a hack who couldn't direct a good film if he was given a script by aaron sorkin and... oh... he was, was he?

any how, i couldn't give a shit about how zuckerberg did or didn't rip-off / fuck over people in order to create facebook, especially when fincher uses two cross-table legal discussions to advance the narrative in the clumsiest, most trite fashion one can imagine. or, should i be blaming sorkin for that? i don't want to do that though, as the dialogue he wrote, which is subsequently delivered by jesse eisenberg (or, 'young zombieland', as i know him affectionately...) is the only reason to watch the film.

yup, watching young zombieland be quick tongued, yet obnoxious prick, is quite a delight. sorkin has some really cracking dialogue and eisenberg's delivery and performance is utterly captivating and magnificent. everything else in the film, apart from a reasonable turn by timberlake, is of absolutely no consequence and could easily be ignored.

i'd even go as far to say i liked this, just because of eisenberg.


scott pilgrim vs. the world - hyperbole...

scott pigrim (micheal cera) plays bass in some band with his mates, he's kinda dating a high school girl, knives chau (ellen wong), but soon finds himself falling for ramona flowers (mary elizabeth winstead). any how, this falling results in challenges from ramona's seven evil exes, whom scott must defeat in order to win her heart...

i really had no desire to watch this, but i caved in as it was december and everything is available for download, if there's even the remote chance it could be in line for some kind of oscar nomination. to be honest, i kinda wish i hadn't bothered. as much as i enjoyed 'spaced', with each return, mr wright's light appears to be diminishing, which is rather sad. i tried to pay attention, but it wasn't too long before i found myself picking up a sudoku book and giving that half of my attention.

anyway, it kinda just rubbed me up the wrong way a little and, although cera was fine, schwartzman was present and there were a couple of good laughs early on, this is a very forgettable film and one which i shall devote no more time to.

okay, i guess...


redline - vroom...

directed by takeshi koike, based on a story by katsuhito ishii, 'redline' tells the story of a group of racers who, despite living in a technologically advanced future, choose to race auto-mobiles. the scene is set, as jp sets out to win the yellow line race, attempting to avoid sabotage, race fixing, the violent tactics of machine head and not forgetting the inhabitants of the cyborg planet who have not given them permission to race. oh, and he actually wouldn't mind succumbing to the charms of sonoshee...

i'll admit that my expectations were reasonably high for this and that i did feel a little let down by it. the film itself is only a wheel-spin away from being a pretty standard underdog racing movie, but there's some nice touches which just manage to elevate it a little. whilst never blowing you away visually, the film does look good and there's some nice character design, the soundtrack is pretty full on, but fun with it and there is excitement to be had. still, given the involvement of katsushito ishii, maybe i expected too much.

pretty good, maybe i need to watch it again though...
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