Welcome to my blog, if you are looking for reviews of the latest releases then I would suggest taking a look at some of the other excellent blogs mentioned to the right of this blog, for I review an eclectic mix of films from any era and any country and have sadly little time for the latest film news.
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Sunday, 13 March 2011

Quick Ratings/Reviews of The Week

Constantine - 2005 directed by Francis Lawrence

Pretty much everything about this film is unremarkable, it is a most forgettable film with passable performance and decent special effects. Yet the story was ridiculous even bordering on insulting. It's simplistic religious (more specifically, Catholic) themes were extremely annoying and it came off as very preachy at times, such as suicide sends you to Hell etc...
It's entertaining enough at times but the stupid storyline fails it constantly and limits the films ability to entertain.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World - 2010 directed by Edgar Wright
Edgar Wright is a director I admire very much, he is one of the best directors under 40 working right now. I loved his previous films, Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz so I had naturally high hopes for his next project, when I heard that it was to be an adaptation of a graphic novel that I knew next to nothing about and that Pegg and Frost had nothing to do with it, I lowered my expectations and when I heard that it was a film very much designed for the younger generations I lowered my expectations even more for I dislike films made for one specific audience.
But I was amazed when I finally saw it and it remains one of my favourites of last year, it is such a uniquely funny and has such incredible visual design that I recommend it to everyone and I have now seen it 3 times (which is a lot in my case as I rarely watch films more than once).
Highly recommended, fantastic film!

Grown Ups - 2010 directed by Dennis Dugan
I try my best to stay away from these types of comedies, I really do. But sometimes one just happens to watch them and when the situation arises I will watch the film all the way through however bad it is, for after all one must experience both ends of Cinema.
I might be late on this discovery as it is held as pretty common knowledge but this films was absolutely terrible, one of the worst I've ever seen in my life.
It's stupidity astounded me, I didn't know such things were possible and the fact that it made such a large amount of money astounds me even more, but suppose I'm rather naive...

Paul - 2011 directed by Greg Mottola

I do love Simon Pegg and Nick Frost but this film was nowhere near as good, it was too American and mainstream if you see what I mean and lacked all the uniqueness of their previous works.
Also the fact that they were working with a far less talented director than Wright didn't help.
Still it's an enjoyable film, which despite it's shortcomings remains one of the best modern American comedies I've seen, far, far better than the aforementioned film.

Boy A - 2007 directed by John Crowley
This is a rather complex film, designed to confuse ones feelings and make one think. It certainly succeeds, thanks to a good script and excellent performances. The subject matter is very depressing and at times disturbing yet always interesting, yet despite it's dark theme it does not wallow in it's darkness as some films are prone to, instead it offers some moving and pleasant scenes throughout.
Sadly though the directing failed to live up to the quality of the rest of the film, I thought it was trying to hard to achieve something, some kind of intimate quality with it's many close up's and annoying use of blurred focus. Yet this has the effect of making many scenes feel too close, I would have appreciated a bit of a wider scope, it wouldn't have detracted from the script as the script was very good and did not need any "in your face" style to get the viewer involved.
I also thought the ambiguity of the ending was rather unnecessary, I know the film tried to leave much hidden, but I would have wanted a more conclusive end.
Very good film though, see it for Andrew Garfield's performance as well as the excellent Peter Mullan who gets a good amount of screen time here.

8mm - 1999 directed by Joel Schumacher
My expectations weren't very high for this film, but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact "pleasantly" surprised isn't a good way to put it as this is a very disturbing and depressing film.
Nic Cage is great as the lead, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini and Peter Stormare all give very good supporting performances. But the directing really lets it down, it is full of continuity errors and the camera work as a whole is uninspiring. Also the use of music was completely off, the worst soundtrack I've heard in a while, way to overbearing.
But what saves the film (apart from the performances) is the script, a controversial look at "snuff films" and the pornographic business, nothing too explicit is shown, it is more of a Thriller that just happens to take place in these seedy domains. But it is a good thriller, it starts of rather predictably, but the build up towards the end really surprised me, it was quite gripping.
But what really makes the film a good film, in my opinion at least for it got pretty bad reviews, is the fact that it is a film that really brings moral questions into the story despite the action scenes. It is very thought provoking film, one wonders if the main character kills these men, these evil vile men is he not lowering himself to their level, could killing them ever be justified? The main character struggles with this and is visibly haunted by the events portrayed in the film, this is something that is not seen often in films of this type. We see the effect of the horrors on this man, and even though we know what he did was right, we also know that he will never be able to forget what he did and what he saw, even if he did it in a good cause.
As one character says in the film "If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you." This is reminiscent of one of Nietzsche's most famous quotes "And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

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