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.
Enjoy my blog and don't hesitate to comment, I will answer without delay!

Monday, 13 June 2011

End Of The Week Post

This is a pretty enormous post as I've watched quite a lot this week, some great films, some not so good...

Rushmore - 1998 directed by Wes Anderson
 There is something I find really off putting about Anderson's films. It's hard to say exactly what but as much as I like the directing, music performances and the rest, I still find the films to be vaguely annoying and obnoxious.
Still, Rushmore was good. I really enjoyed the sound track, made up of some of my favourite artists such as The Who, John Lennon and many more.
Olivia Williams was particularly great, possibly the best performance in the film. I really should see more of her work.


Dune - 1984 directed by David Lynch
This was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Sure it has aged badly, is extremely repetitive and has some special effects worse than those on Star Wars which was actually released many years before this film. But it's certainly enjoyable, if very lengthy.
I can't see why it's got such a bad reputation, it's far from being a terrible film and I think it is nowhere near Lynch's worst, that would be Inland Empire, an awful film.

Deep Red - 1975 directed by Dario Argento

This was the scariest film I'd seen for a while. The first Argento I've seen and I have to admit while I'm not much of a Horror fan, his stylish directing and unconventional use of music really impressed me.

David Hemmings was good, and kind of made up for his bad performance in the terrible Blow Up.

 Harry Brown - 2010 directed by Daniel Barber
I wonder why this film didn't get more praise, it's certainly one of the finest films to come out of the UK last year.
Michael Caine is of course brilliant in the lead role, it was refreshing to see him in a great role again, instead of sleepwalking through Batman or Inception.
The film itself had it's flaws, such as the incredibly over bearing music which was by far the worst use of music I'd heard in quite a while, and Mortimer, while she was good in her role, was not very convincing at all as a police officer.
I watched this mainly to see Michael Caine, but ended up watching one of the best portrayals of England to have been put to film in recent years. Highly recommended despite it's flaws.

The White Sun of The Desert - 1970 directed by Vladimir Motyl
Read my review here
A great but very overlooked film. 

Mary and Max - 2009 directed by Adam Elliot
I'd been recommended this one many times by several bloggers whose opinions I trust.

Thus I'm not surprised to say, it's a brilliant film.With marvellous animation, a touching story and some great voice work there is little about this film that isn't great.
It's a depressing story, and I doubt I'll be watching it again anytime soon. But it was a story that had never really been put to film in such a way before, and that's what makes it more than just a well made animation, and makes it brilliant.

Hanna - 2011 directed by Joe Wright
In a year with few good action films, Hanna was very welcome.
It's a solid action film, with fine performances especially from Saoirse Ronan (Cate Blanchett had a pretty ridiculous accent though) a very interesting and diverse setting and some great action sequences that mixed well with the more dramatic sequences.
However several elements let it down, such as the whole "anomalous" plot line (if you've seen the film you'll know what I mean), I felt this didn't work at all well with the rest of the film and could have easily been left out. It was basically a tacked on explanation as to why Hanna is so kick ass.
And she is kick ass, as is the always underused Eric Bana who gives a good supporting performance. I'd recommend this one, it's not amazing, but it's better than most recent films.

The Thing From Another World - 1951 directed by Christian Nyby
This was only to be expected I suppose, it's a 50's Science Fiction B-movie through and through.
For my thoughts on this and the remake (below) read this!

The Thing - 1982 directed by John Carpenter
A masterpiece of it's genre, Carpenter is a terribly underrated film maker.

L'Assassin Habite Au... 21 - 1942 directed by Henri Georges Clouzot
I watched these 3 Clouzot films in preparation for a post, not a post for my blog though. More will be explained later...
This one is a pretty straighforward mystery film. However Clouzot was a genius, and therefore infuses this straightforward film with something that makes it quite remakarkable.
For example, the shot seen from the killers point of view may seem common place these days, but this is one of the earliest examples of such a shot I've seen.
Many other brilliant touches are scattered throughout this film and it is filled with faces that will be familiar to any Clouzot fan.
This had a surprisingly happy ending for a Clouzot film that is. I'd recommend it to pretty much anyone interesting in early French Cinema.

 La Verite - 1960 directed by Henri Georges Clouzot
This was the first film I've ever seen with the famous Brigitte Bardot in. I know she's a sex symbol and all, but I'd never expected to see her give such a great performance. Seriously I'd recommend this film only for her performance. But of course there are many other interestign things about it.

The tone was closer to what I had become used to with Clouzot's films, that is to say, dark and fatalist.
I thought the story was very much ahead of it's time, and still have many aspects that will be of interest to today's youth, but of course they would never watch such an old film.
The film itself does deal with the youth though, and I found thsi all the more interesting.Clouzot continues to surprise me.

 La Prisonniere - 1968 directed by Henri Georges Clouzot
I had thought La Verite was a bit of a departure for Clouzot, but this film is just something else!

 I really don't know what to say about it. It's disturbing, visually brilliant, fantastically acted, with a gripping atmosphere. But I found it to be pretty incomprehensible and confusing. I think it's definitely a brilliant film, but one that I did not entirely grasp. perhaps a later viewing, when I'm older, will reveal other aspects.
I did find the whole voyeuristic theme very interesting, and similar in a way to a favourite of mine, Peeping Tom.

Some thoughts:

  • Well, I seem to have become stuck at about 117 followers, this is kind of frustrating, as a good blog is an ever growing blog in my opinion. I don't like this stagnancy. I have tried reviewing some recent films, blockbuster reviews of The Expendables and Sherlock Holmes, and they were certainly successful. But I've been thinking I need a more drastic change, a new template. 
  • I've browsed through many ready made templates and have found a few of interest to me, but have balked at the idea of having to install them. I'm not very confident when it comes to HTML modifications and such but I'm determined to change the look of my blog. In fact if you have any recommendations please let me know. I'm thinking of something pretty "vintage looking" (I think that's the term)... 
  • Anyway, I'll continue my searches and probably make some changes soon enough, so don't be shocked if one day the blog has completely changed.
  • I'm also thinking of writing a bit about music, not enough to warrant creating a whole new blog for it, but still I think film and music go hand in hand really so would like to write about a few of my favourite pieces. I'm still undecided on exactly how to go about it, so any suggestions would be helpful.

Time for some links:

Joel Burman was disappointed with X Men First Class, here are his reasons why.

Liam discusses the recent ban placed upon the Human Centipede 2, meaning it will be unavailable in the UK.

CS @Big Thoughts From a Small Mind is joined by another writer, JBT, who's first post takes a look at friendship on the big screen.

Custard announces his World Cinema Icon Tour, read here to find out the details. I'll be participating!

Nikhat has a series of posts about Quentin Tarantino's films, they are a great tribute to a director I have a real soft spot for.

Stevee reviews Bronson, a film I thought was quite brilliant, but she doesn't exactly agree with me.

James @Cinema Sights has posted a most interesting article about slow films and their effect on audiences.

Jesse reviews Ghost Dog; The Way of The Samurai, a personal favourite of mine.

What are your thoughts on the films mentioned above? Did you watch any you'd recommend this week? Don't hesitate to comment!

Coming next is a post on the Herzgo/Kinski films that I've been working on for a while now, a couple of reviews and probably some special features of some sort. 
However, my life is undergoing some major changes at the moment (for the better thankfully) so I doubt I'll be blogging as much as I'm used to now...

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