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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Monday, 25 April 2011

Quick Ratings/Reviews of The Week

 12 films seen this week, only one of them was a rewatch. Not bad viewing, if I may say so myself...

 Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas - 1998 directed by Terry Gilliam
This is one of the few Terry Gilliam films I had not seen previously, I don't know why I had never got around to it exactly, maybe because of the mixed reviews or because of the fact that I don't consider Johnny Depp to be a very good actor.
But I was very pleasantly surprised, this was such a fun film, wildly entertaining and very different from what I was expecting. I realise now that I should have had faith in Gilliam, who is one of my favourites, and watched this earlier, as it's a great film.
I might even read the book now..

Six String Samurai - 1998 directed by Lance Mungia
A wildly entertaining film that could have been much better if it had left out the overly sentimental scenes, made the violence a bit more bloody and chosen a more talented child actor.
Recommended to me by Bonjour Tristesse, I probably never would have watched it otherwise as it's a very obscure little film. But it was very entertaining in a silly kind of way and it's problems weren't really that bothersome so I had a good time watching it and would recommend it, even if it's far from being a great film.

I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK - 2006 directed by Park Chan Wook
Although I was disappointed by Oldboy, I decided to give Park Chan Wook's films another go, and I'm glad I did for otherwise I may have missed this brilliant film. 
A strange mix of romance, comedy and drama all taking place in a mental asylum. It was expertly directed and the performances were excellent. The idea's behind it were incredibly original and I was gripped from beginning to end. Highly recommended!

Barfly - 1987 directed by Barbet Schroeder
This film was expertly acted, Mickey Rourke gives what just might be his finest performance of his entire career and Faye Dunaway is extraordinary and playing very much against type.
This was my first taste of Schroeder's work and I'm impressed, it's far from being a spectacular film but it is great in it's own way.
I particularly liked the fact that it managed to deal with such a bleak and depressing subject in a manner that made it enjoyable to watch without causing any of it to be less meaningful.

Mr Klein - 1976 directed by Joseph Lasey
Not exactly the masterpiece I was expecting, but still a very good film.
Alain Delon gives a very good performance, not his best as some claim but still a very good one, definitely better than in Le Samurai or Le Cercle Rouge.
The film was a bit slow, but it had some very interesting aspects and dealt with a subject few films have dared to. It isn't really a War film, nor is it a Holocaust film even if it has elements of both, it is primarily a Mystery film, a story of mistaken identity and the ensuing confusion. But it comes with additional tragedy due to the times in which it takes place.

The Song Remains The Same - 1976 directed by Peter Clifton, Joe Massot
A must see for all Led Zeppelin fans. This is basically a concert film, the concert being the one in Madison Square Garden. Naturally they all give a wonderful performance that is actually quite mesmerising. But interspersed throughout are short vignettes that show the band members doing weird things, for example Robert Plant fights off enemies with a sword etc... This were a bit cheesy but amusing nonetheless.
Some scenes I felt were completely unnecessary though, such as the scenes of the various events that take place around the concert, people trying to sneak in and other such things. So that and the fact that they left out some songs I would have really liked to see included, most notably Kashmir, stops me from giving this a better rating.
But it's worth watchign to see Led Zep performing, in fact it's worth watching just to see Jimmy Page's solo in Dazed and Confused and John Bonham's solo in Moby Dick.

Panique Au Village - 2009 directed by Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar
A brilliant film, the best I saw all week. One of the most inventive animations I've ever seen, with some hilarious voice work. I would particularly recommend it to those that speak French and are familiar with the everyday phrases used and the general attitudes, all of which play a large part in making this film so hilarious.
Anyway, I really recommend this one, there is never one boring moment and the plot is completely crazy and full of surprises. If you see only one film of those mentioned here, make it this one!

Scream 2 - 1997 directed by Wes Craven
I didn't really notice much decline from the first Scream, it knew it was a sequel and acted accordingly.
I don't have much else to say about this one really, it was decent, entertaining but nothing amazing. Possibly a bit to American for me and I didn't really get some elements, but I liked it just as much as the first one overall.
It was pretty ridiculous at times, but no more than I expected.

Con Air - 1997 directed by Simon West
 If I hadn't watched Panique Au Village, Con Air would take the spot for most hilarious film seen this week. Unfortunately for the film this hilarity was not intentional,it was just ridiculously bad. I find it quite revelatory to watch these blockbusters every now and then. It gives me an idea of what people enjoy and what makes money, and despite my snobbery I still found elements to enjoy such as Malkovich's performance, some of Nic Cage's lines ("Put the bunny back in the box!") and Buscemi who was at his creepiest.
Still an atrociously bad film that kept me watching out of curiosity more than anything else.

The Way Back - 2010 directed by Peter Weir
This is Weir's first film since Master and Commander, which happens to be one of my favourites, so I was looking forward to it. It's release was a bit disappointing though, it just came and went without causing much of a fuss, received pretty average reviews and generally performed in an unimpressive fashion. So it gradually slipped my mind until I came across it recently, watched it and was impressed. I had not expected something so good.The scenic shots were incredible and the story was touching, with some unexpected occurrences that surprised me. Also the performances were strangely good, I had never expected to be convinced by Colin Farrel in the role of a Russian criminal and yet I was.

Face/Off - 1997 directed by John Woo
I had seen this one previously but I liked it less this time. Nic Cage was great, Travolta was at his best, the action scenes were overblown and hilariously over the top yet very entertaining, the story was actually most interesting but not very well handled. It could have been great, but it was sentimental and melodramatic.

Scream 3 - 2000 directed by Wes Craven
Not much to add here, I liked thsi oen just as much as the other two, although for different reasons of course.
I will definitely be seeing the 4 now. I predict that I'll be giving it a 7/10...
These are actually one of the rare horror films I watch, apart from the classics and the Evil Dead that is. I generally dislike the genre but enjoyed these films, maybe I should reconsider my stance on the Horror genre...

Well this past week has been a very prolific.
I might be decreasing my viewing a bit this week, although I've got a few big art house style films to watch, like Short Cuts and Synecdoche, New York.
If you have any suggestions don't hesitate to comment, and feel equally free to post your thoughts on any of the films mentioned above!

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