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, 3 April 2011

Quick Ratings/Reviews of The Week

Dead Man's Shoes - 2004 directed by Shane Meadows
This was an entertaining thought provoking film by the director of the equally excellent This Is England. Clearly Meadows is one of the finest young directors working today, I look forward seeing more of his work.
Dead Man's Shoes got mixed reviews and I can see why for the film is certainly rather challenging. At times it plays out like a classic revenge film, but there are elements that elevate far above others of it's kind, notably the performance of Paddy Considine, who is excellent, and Meadows directional abilities with contrast the beauty of the English countryside with the ugliness of the people in the film.
Of course it is not perfect, there are flaws here and there, but it is definitely one of the best British films of the last decade.

Wag The Dog - 1997 directed by Barry Levinson
An incredibly, almost unbelievably cynical satire about politics and show business, and the relation between the two, in the US. De Niro proves he can do much better comedy than his recent films, and Dustin Hoffman's proves his days of Midnight Cowboy and Straw Dogs fame are not entirely behind him, giving an excellent performance.
This is comedy of the darkest sort, and while it may seem over the top and times, the satire itself is very subtle and amusing more often than not.

The Yakuza Papers part 4: Police Tactics - 1974 directed by Kinji Fukusaku
Still getting through this series. I'm enjoying it more and more as I go on and this part was easily one of the best.

Sukiyaki Western Django - 2007 directed by Takeshi Miike
This was basically a mash up of various Spaghetti Westerns, such For A Few Dollars More, A Fistful of Dollars (actually it's a remake of this film, in a way) and Django (the film from which it gets it's name), mixed together with some aspects drawn from Eastern Cinema, in particular Japanese, such as Yojimbo (from which A Fistful Of Dollars was remade) and various others.
It may sound like a strange mix, but I really enjoyed it.
I'm going to write a review soon enough, so I'll explain why then...

The Osterman Weekend - 1983 directed by Sam Peckinpah
Check out my rather detailed (but also rather long-winded) post dealing with Sam Peckinpah here!

Convoy - 1978 directed by Sam Peckinpah
See above

The Deadly Companions - 1961 directed by Sam Peckinpah
See above

The Doors - 1991 directed by Oliver Stone
I am a massive fan of The Doors and of Oliver Stone so this was a must see for me, I overlooked the mixed reviews and got my hands of it. I was not disappointed, it's one of the best musician biopics I've ever seen, and Val Kilmer gives his best performance and one of the best of the 90's. He also looks a lot like Jim Morrison, it's actually sometimes scary how convincing he is...

Adventureland - 2009 directed by Greg Mottola
I wasn't sure about this one, and would normally not have bothered with it if it wasn't for Fletch's recommendation.But having said that, I'm glad I did watch it as it is a very enjoyable film with a skilful mix of humour and drama. I generally don't like films specifically aimed for teenager's but this one is definitely an exception. It definitely benefits from being set in the 80's and although a few aspects felt rather foreign to me, I still enjoyed watching a film about (and for) my age group that wasn't dumbed down.
Also, it has a great soundtrack.

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