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, 5 June 2011

End Of The Week Post

Films seen this week:

Rango - 2011 directed by Gore Verbinski
I had high expectations for this, but I was surprised to find that this is easily the best animation I've seen since Toy Story 3.
I loved the references to some of my favourite films, I liked the voice acting a lot and even liked the fact that all the characters were animals. Usually that kind of thing annoys me but here I enjoyed seeing all the different species of the desert each perfectly suited for the character.
It had it's faults, such as a few overly sentimental scenes, but on the whole it's simply a fantastic animation that was not as childish as I at first expected.

A Perfect World - 1993 directed by Clint Eastwood
I've shared my thoughts on this previously in my tribute post to Clint Eastwood, check it out!

Layer Cake - 2004 directed by Matthew Vaughn
This was like a Guy Ritchie film, but so much better in practically every way. I like watchign British Gangster films, I can identify with them more than with the US ones so this one definitely pleased me a lot.
I'm not a fan of Daniel Craig, I thing the man has little charisma, but he was not bad here, thankfully thought the supporting cast was fantastic and did a great job (notice a young Tom Hardy in a small role).
The plot was a bit to tortuous for it's own good, and seemed to lose it's aim at times, but it came together at the end and I enjoyed the final result.
It succeeded in getting the black humour right, which is something Guy Ritchie has never really achieved and manages to make a very thrilling and energetic film, with few actual fights.

Jackass 1 - 2002 directed by Jeff Tremaine
Yes, I did it. I watched all three Jackass films in a row.
I could say I found them fascinating, how can these men willing submit themselves to such bodily injury, they must have an impressive will power and self control. Is it fame or money that they inflict such injuries upon themselves ? Are they incredibly sadistic and masochistic ? Or do they just have a very twisted idea of fun ?

I can't say I thought of all this while watching the films, I just laughed, cringed and enjoyed it, probably because I have a sick sense of humour. But even so, I couldn't help but notice how poorly it was executed. It could have been far better had it been more competently made.

 Jackass 2 - 2006 directed by Jeff Tremaine
Pretty much the same as the first, nothing to add here really. The stunts and gags are extremely hit as miss as always, when they hit they are hilarious, but when they miss they are incredibly stupid. In fact, they are always stupid, but sometimes they are funny.

Jackass 3D - 2010 directed by Jeff Tremaine
Ah! Now this one was a definite improvement on it's predecessor's, a higher proportion of the gags worked, they were more extreme and above all it was far more well made.

These films are seriously stupid, there is no other word to describe them. But if you like seeing stupid guys throw themselves from heights, wallow in excrement, and occasionally come up with something more creative, then you might enjoy it.

Sexy Beast - 2000 directed by Jonathan Glazer
This one took me by surprise. I was expecting something in the same vein as Layer Cake, but instead what  I got was a gripping and intense film with little actual violence. Only two characters die in the whole film, it is less about the violence and more about the tension, verbal sparring, psychological manipulation.
Definitely a very different kind of gangster film, that although it is still rooted firmly in it's sub genre, has far more artistic leanings and wittier dialogue than one may at first expect.
Plus, Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley and Ian McShane are all terrific.

Indigenes - 2006 directed by Rachid Bouchareb

Despite a few minor flaws, Indigenes is the best film I saw this week by far.
Although it was a considerable success at many award ceremonies, including Cannes, not much is heard of this film these days. This is a terrible shame as it is clearly one of the best WW2 films of recent years and easily the best film about it's particular subject. A subject I found especially interesting as I live in France, and over the course of the many years I've lived here have had the time to notice the divide between North Africans and French that remains even now.
This is the subject of the film, a controversial subject for sure as it is a problem that is still unresolved. During WW2, many North Africans fought and died for France, which they considered their motherland. Yet they were never granted equal rights and the right to stand next to the "true" Frenchmen despite the ferocity with which they fought. Now they are all but forgotten, left out of history books and rarely discussed, especially here in France. But the truth is that they helped France in it's hour of need and got absolutely nothing in return except death. Their pensions remain unpaid to this very day.
So if you are interested in learning a small but important part of this forgotten history, I'd highly recommend this film.

A Fish Called Wanda & The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Both as brilliant as I remembered. I enjoyed RHPS even more this time around.

 Some thoughts:

  • Well, Jack L film reviews is now on Facebook. Don't forget to "like" it if you happen to be on Fb as well!
  • The news that Di Caprio might be appearing in QT's upcoming film is very exciting. It would be an interesting paring for sure, and although I doubt Di Caprio would win his Oscar with such a role, I'd love to see him accept. Especially if it means him playing a villain, it would be a refreshing change from the usual roles he takes.
  • X Men First Class seems to be doing extremely well. I am still rather indifferent towards it, but I'll probably end up seeing it someday. As I've said before, I'm not a big superhero fan, but I'm willing to give this one a try and it seems quite entertaining...
  • This week, it was announced that Amy Adams had joined the cast of Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, as I'm sure you know I'm greatly looking forward to this film, and after seeing Doubt I have no doubts about Amy Adam's acting abilities so she's a great addition to the already intriguing cast made up of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. 
  • Also the titles of the two upcoming Hobbit films were announced this week, they are to be The Unexpected Journey (to be released next year) and There And Back Again (to be released in 2013). Despite the fact that I'm a massive Tolkien fan, I find these changes to be quite interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing how Jackson handles this story and if his added material works in well with Tolkien's already established universe. Furthermore, Orlando Bloom will be making an appearance as Legolas in the Hobbit films, I have to say this was disappointing news as I've always thought of his as the weakest actor in the LOTR films. But hopefully his role will serve a purpose and will be brief.
  • And finally, I'm kind of late on this one, but I've noticed the constant news about the casting of an upcoming film called Hunger Games, it's apparently based on a series of books. But I've never heard of them before.  So if you have read the books, please state your thoughts on them below and whether or not you think the film adaptations will be good. It seem to me like their gathering way to many stars for the films though, and films like that often end in disaster.

Time for a few links: 

Bonour Tristesse reviews Route Irish, a film I've been wanting to see for ages!

Groggy reviews a favourite of mine, the original All Quiet On The Western Front.

Sam reviews Oldboy, and I can definitely agree with some of his sentiments on this particular film.

Stevee lists the Ten films she's looking forward to watching in what remains of 2011.

Francisco AKA The Film Connoisseur reviews Ghost in The Shell, and has convinced me to give the film a try. I'll probably be watchign it shortly.

Cherokee took part in the very successful 15 Questions Meme, her answers are very interesting.
In fact the meme was so successful that I might as well share a couple of others answers that I liked, M. Hufstader's and Michael Parent's.

Kevyn reviews Woody Allen's latest and lists his 20 favourite films of the prolific director.

Alex Delarge reviews Taxi Driver.

themoviesnob reviews Close Encounters With The Third Kind

And finally, I must link to the awesome site, Man, I Love Films. In the short time since it was launched, they have already gathered together an impressive writing team!

Well, that's it for this week!
Coming up next week will be a couple of reviews, maybe a post on the Herzog/Kinski collaborations and possibly a couple of posts taking part in various blogothons!

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