I've been meaning to post this for ages and it's just been getting longer and longer. So don't bother reading this if your not interested, I'm mainly doing it so as to keep track of all the films I watched anyway...
X Men First Class - 2011 directed by Matthew Vaughn
course due to my dislike for superhero films in general, I was not
expecting to love this film. But the all around high praise it received
did lead me to expect a certain level of quality. Unfortunately I found
the film to be most disappointing.
Matthew Vaughn is a talented
director, and all the cast have done some great work previously, but for
me this film just failed completely. The praise it receives completely
Attack The Block - 2011 directed by Joe Cornish
Attack The Block is a terrific Horror/Comedy, even if it did lean more towards the Horror side than I originally expected.
what I admired most about it is that it showed yet another side to
British cinema, a very cool side as opposed to the work of directors
like Mike Leigh, and genuinely cool and enjoyable as oppose to the
fabricated and false coolness of Guy Ritchie's work.
I suppose it
can be likened to the work of Edgar Wright, a director I greatly
admire, so that would explain why I liked it so much. As the praise for
it has been pretty much overwhelming, I would highly recommend this
The Tree Of Life - 2011 directed by Terence Malick
In my opinion Malick just
aimed far too high with this one and didn't achieve his lofty goals.
The footage was splendid, the music was superb, the performances were
great (especially Brad Pitt's) but the film just didn't work as a whole.
Malick put it together in a way that is unnecessarily convoluted, and
transformed what could have been a great story, into a mess.
Drive - 2011 directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
reminded me a classic Hollywood film, from the late 60's early 70's,
such as Bullitt or Dirty Harry, but made from an entirely European
perspective. Ryan Gosling didn't impress me much, and the pop music was
annoying at times, but all around it's one of the very best films of the
Hunger - 2008 directed by Steve Mcqueen
Hunger, directed by
artist Steve McQueen, is a 2008 film that on the surface is about the
hunger strikes organised by activist Bobby Sands in the Maze prison of
Northern Ireland. But such a description only covers a tiny portion of
this films scope, it is not about Bobby Sands, nor is it about the
Troubles in Northern Ireland, nor is it a typical prison film. If
anything it is an experimental film, a work of art rather than a
narrative driven piece, that flits from character to character as the
films goes along, it is a piece driven by atmosphere more than anything
It is a film that relies enormously on it's visual aspects,
and these are sublime, for a first time director, McQueen shows an
enormous amount of skill, creating several unforgettable images and
managing to create a film that is at first glance about nothing in
particular, and upon further examination, a wonderfully thought
provoking film. Needless to say, I am greatly looking forward to Steve
up to this film, Shame released this year and starring Michael
Fassbender (winner of this year's Golden Lion for Best Actor) who
portrayal of Bobby Sands in this film was devastating and
his finest work I've seen so far.
Sympathy For Lady Vengeance - 2005 directed by Park Chan Wook
it started of very well, but gradually went down hill and ended up with
a most dissatisfying ending, which only came about after a handful of
So pretty much the same problem I had with Oldboy.
Viva Maria - 1965 directed by Louis Malle
He is such an inventive, amusing,
and skilful director that I never tire of watching his films, and while
Viva Maria is no masterpiece, especially compared to his other films
like Le Feu Follet, it still provided me with more entertainment than
any other film I watched recently.
Perhaps part of my high rating
stems from my liking of the films two stars, Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne
Moreau. Really a very fun film, with some clever camera tricks from
Louis Malle and charming performances from it's stars, I'd highly
The Colour Of Pomegranates - 1968 directed by Sergei Parajanov
Women On The Verge of Nervous Breakdown - 1988 directed by Pedro Almodovar.
Waltz With Bashir - 2008 directed by Ari Folman.
one was a real pleasant surprise, of course I was expecting something
good, but the sheer level of it's greatness came as a bit of a shock.
entire approach towards the films subject was very unexpected and
personal, as it was all based around real events and experiences related
by men who had experienced the war at first hand. Truly one of the
greatest films of it's kind.
Talk To Her - 2002 directed by Pedro Almodovar
certainly of a far more serious nature than the previous one I watched,
but I liked it nonetheless, in fact I thought it was even better.
Almodovar is rising fast on my list of favourite directors, and I can't wait to watch All About My Mother next.
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover - 1989 directed by Peter Greenway
The Guard - 2011 directed by John Michael McDonagh
what I got was a decidedly average film, that was made in an uninspiring
fashion, contained only a handful of laughs, and failed to put to use
all the various elements in introduces over the course of the film. Some
aspects were so overdone that I was annoyed to see them used in this
film, such as the philosophical gangsters.
But on the whole it isn't an awful film, it just completely failed to live up to my expectations.
Perrier's Bounty - 2009 directed by Ian Fitzgibbon
seemed to me like an attempt at an Irish Guy Ritchie film, and as I'm
not a fan of Ricthie's films, this film just didn't work for me.
was mainly marred by a ridiculous script, which was as sure of it's own
hilarity as it was contrived and at times just plain idiotic.
a film I'd recommend, even thought I did enjoy it quite a bit, but this
was almost entirely due to the cast, which included Cillian Murphy, Jim
Broadbent, Brendan Gleeson and Liam Cunningham.
Drowning By Numbers - 1988 directed by Peter Greenaway
Another stroke of complete genius from one of my new favourite directors.
The Belly Of An Architect - 1987 directed by Peter Greenaway
The Draughstman's Contract - 1982 directed by Peter Greenaway.
A Zed And Two Noughts (Z00) -1986 directed by Peter Greenaway
The Baby Of Macon - 1993 directed by Peter Greenaway
This film however is the most divisive of Greenaway's career, as well as being the most hard to obtain.
may be my least favourite of his so far, but I will admit that there is
something great about this film, it's just hard to say exactly what.
really didn't understand all of it though, and feel it deserves another
viewing, where I will be able to look past the more controversial
aspects of it and find the deeper meaning.
I'll probably end up writing a lengthy Greenaway centred post when I see a few more of his films.
The Butcher Boy - 1997 directed by Neil Jordan
An Irish masterpiece.
hard to put into words exactly what makes this one so great, but it's a
tale of the descent into madness of a young boy growing up in Ireland
and his family disintegrates around him. It is presented in a darkly
humorous way, even thought some of the content is rather disturbing.
Jordan touches on an abundance of themes here while remaining strongly
Irish, it is possibly his most underrated film. The main performance by
Eamonn Owens is incredible, better than many adults performances I've
seen, and the film never uses it darkly comic tone. The supporting cast
are of course excellent and full of familiar faces and the directing is
full of interesting flourishes, some grander than other.
Ultimately it's one of the finest Irish films you'll ever see, so I'd highly recommend it.
Confessions of A Dangerous Mind - 2002 directed by George Clooney
a big fan of Charlie Kaufman and was interested on seeing Clooney's
work behind the camera, so I'm glad I eventually got around to this
film. However as great as the script, Clooney's directing, and Sam
Rockwell's performance are, it never really breaks into great film
territory, instead saying in a rather familiar area and bringing to mind
many other films like it.
It's a shame because it had the
potential to be something really great, but ultimately it just felt a
bit to safe and toned down.
However there is plenty to say in it's favour and I'd still strongly recommend it.
The Way - 2011 directed by Emilio Estevez
film was another disappointment. Martin Sheen is a favourite of mine
and the story, as well as the whole real life father-son thing between
Sheen and Estevez, intrigued me.
However this has the be the
single most cliched and stereotyped film of all those mentioned on the
list. The film is well made, and the performances are all good (with the
exception of the Scot pretending to be an Irishman, what the hell was
The story was just too diluted, too cliched to be anything
more than a slight passing entertainment. It seems a shame to miss such
an opportunity as this, but the intense stereotyping of Europeans in
this film really was laughable. The characters were also rather unlike
able and the whole film just felt vastly disappointing, especially
considering the wonderful reviews it received.
Midnight In Paris - 2011 directed by Woody Allen
the presence of Owen Wilson and Marion Cotillard, two actors I don't
care for much, and the obviously highly romanticised view of Paris did
make me doubt whether I'd like the film.
though, Owen Wilson has never been better or should I say less
unlikeable and Marion Cotillard was fine enough, of course Paris was
romanticised enormously, which is something I usually dislike, but I was
willing to look past that due to the charming story (that is
something I'm sure everyone has dreamt about at some point in their
Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse - 1991 directed by Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, Eleanor Coppola
This documentary about the making of the film is simply one of the best of it's kind. Essential viewing for both fans of the film, and aspiring directors.
Apocalypse Now - 1979 directed by Francis Ford Coppola
I liked it a lot more this time around. I'm currently working on a rather lengthy analysis of it, so I won't say anymore here.
Apocalypse Now Redux - 2001 directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Slightly inferior to the original cut in my opinion, but Redux is still a great film in it's own right.
Submarine - 2011 directed by Richard Ayoade
After the intense atmosphere of Apocalypse Now (over 5 hours of it in fact) I felt like watching something a bit more whimsical. Submarine was certainly a good choice as it's a fine little indie romantic comedy. The performances were good but the film ultimately suffered from it's stylistic excesses. Still and interesting work that does manage to put a well worn storyline to good use.
Lost In La Mancha - 2002 directed by Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe
After being very impressed with the making of documentary about Apocalypse Now, I decided to check out another similar film.
Lost In la Mancha is about Terry Gilliam's failed attempt to bring the wonderful Don Quixote to screen.
It's a very entertaining look at the production, which runs up against pretty much every problem one could imagine, and yet it is tinged with sadness throughout.
Gilliam ultimately never completed the film and the subject matter remains unfilmed to date.
Revanche - 2008 directed by Gotz Spielmann
I'd heard great things about this Austrian Oscar nominee, but I have to admit I thought it was rather disappointing.
The style of filmmaking reminded me very much of Michael Haneke's work, and I while I appreciated the originality of the storyline, I still though it was rather contrived at times.
On the whole this is one of those films that didn't really have any major flaws, but just didn't make much of an impact on me.
All About My Mother - 1999 directed by Pedro Almodovar
This is the most tragic work I've seen from Almodovar so far, but it was not without it's humour as well as an underlying message of hope and redemption. And this is what I liked so much about it, many films deal with tragic and disturbing material, yet only very few of them handle it in such a delicate and respectful manner as this one does.
Very hihgly recommended!
Teorema - 1968 directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
The first Pasolini film I've seen so far, I'll admit I was not eager to explore his work, mainly because of the reputation he has acquired due to his controversial film Salo: 120 Days of Sodom.
However I liked this film. It didn't fully work in my opinion, but it was still quite unlike anything I'd ever seen before, and I appreciate that in a film.
Taken on the surface value, the film is ludicrously bland, however it's the important symbolic and spiritual meaning that make the film of interest. Recommended to those interested in European Art films, if not you may not care for it much.
Route Irish - 2010 directed by Ken Loach
But I'm glad I finally got around to watching it, even if the tepid reaction from some had me uncertain about what to expect. I liked it a lot though, in fact I'd say it's the best film about the war in Iraq that I've seen so far, even if it deals with the subject in an indirect manner. It's a film that builds much momentum before reaching an explosive and tragic climax that I won't forget for some time.
As always Loach has worked his own strong political views into the film, which will be off putting for many people, but I tend to agree with his opinions so I didn't find this too problematic, even if he was heavy handed at times.
That's all the backlog taken care of, now hopefully I'lle be able to post more regularly and read some of your posts as well!