The Adventures of Tintin - 2011 directed by Steven Spielberg
It has certainly proved to be extremely divisive, with most hardcore fans of the source material hating it. I however thought it was the best possible adaptation that could have come from the comics. It had a fantastic group of people behind it and they succeeded admirably.
It was far more similar to the books than I had expected which was very pleasing, but I felt that it did occasionally take it's action scenes to unnecessary levels, in particular the "crane fight" scene, which was very over the top. But apart from that, and Captain Haddock's accent which got slightly irritating after a while, the film was a complete success in my opinion.
The Fall - 2006 directed by Tarsem Singh
The Fall was not a great success when it was first released, getting mixed reviews and grossing little, but it has since become something of a cult film and even proclaimed a masterpiece by some enthusiastic fans.
Despite the critics general indifference towards it, I as looking forward to The Fall, but ultimately I was disappointed and would agree with the critics consensus.
There are some fantastic visuals on display, and the fact that they were all shot on location makes the film even more stunning, but everything else about the film is decidedly average, from the performances to the story, which fails to get any kind of point across and instead feels like a jumble of ideas that never comes together in a meaningful way, so many minor details are introduced and then forgotten about that it quickly becomes frustrating. Not a great film, or even a particularly good one, but I would still recommend giving it a watch.
Cave Of Forgotten Dreams - 2011 directed by Werner Herzog
I still regret not being able to see this documentary on the big screen in 3D, but I'm glad I saw it at all.
Herzog has proved time and again that he is a master documentarian and he excels himself yet again with this doc about the Chauvet caves in France that contain the oldest paintings known to man.
Herzogs captures some extraordinary images and scores them with some beautiful music, making the documentary a most enjoyable experience, but he also delves into the history of the paintings through interviews with specialists and the meanings and symbolism of the paintings through his brilliant musings. It may not be one of his best documentaries but it is still an unusual and interesting piece that I would hihgly recommend. And now I can barely wait to see his latest doc, Into The Abyss.
Team American: World Police - 2004 directed by Trey Parker, Matt Stone
This is my second viewing of this film and I was just as amused as the first time.
Team America is an entirely unique big budget puppet production that subverts as many Hollywood cliches as possible, while criticising both Left Wing politics and Right Wing politics, and delivering some exceptionally revolting humour in the process.
This is a film from the creators of South Park, and like that show is designed to be as provocative as possible while still retaining a wittiness that is lacking from many shows of a similar nature.
Team America is simply one of the most hilarious films of the decade, it isn't perfect (I feel it drags a bit towards the middle) but is unlike anything else I've ever seen.
Five Easy Pieces - 1970 directed by Bob Rafelson
I wasn't sure what to expect from this film. It stars Jack Nicholson in his first lead role, which was reason enough for me to see the film.
But I can't say I was very impressed on the whole, it is considered quite a classic but I just failed to see it's greatness.
The first part of the film was exceedingly hard to get into, and while the film did get better towards the end, and the conclusion in particular was quite touching, it never really got it's message across in a very meaningful way.
Which I thought was a shame as the message it holds is one that more and more people can identify with these days, myself included. That of being caught between several lifestyles, unable to fit in with any of them, feeling like an outsider where ever one goes. Some scenes conveyed this very well, but they were enveloped in many tedious and uneventful scenes that made the film fall rather flat in my opinion.
American Beauty - 1999 directed by Sam Mendes
Considered by most to be nothing less than a masterpiece, and by some to be one of the best films ever made, I was uncertain if American Beauty was going to live up to my expectations.
But American Beauty is such a peculiar film that it both lived up to my expectations in some respects, exceeded them in other respects and failed to meet the in others.
But all in all I enjoyed it, it is a good film, perhaps even a great one. I will admit that I did not love it as much as many people seem to, but maybe that is because of my failure to identify with the film as much as Americans would.
I also had a handful of minor problems with the film, and did not care for the ending much, so it's not a film that is going to become one of my favourites, but I am nonetheless relived to say that I liked it.
Tropa De Elite 2: The Enemy Within - 2011 directed by José Padliha
I enjoyed the previous film, Tropa De Elite, but I did think it's moral and social standpoint was controversial, I agreed with some aspects of it and disagreed with others. But on the whole, the accusations levelled against it, of fascism and of glamourising a fascistic unit, definitely had some ground.
The sequel improves on this, adding a much more thought out story, and taking a very different standpoint to the original film, the sequels vision is far broader than the originals and it touches on far more important themes, yet it still retains much of the the thrilling action.
It is a rare sequel that improves on the original in many ways and acts a very good film in it's own right.
This week just flew by without a single post from me, which is disappointing. I'll try and post at least one review this week, and hopefully more.
I'm also gradually getting back into reading your blogs, which is good. Anyway, thanks to everyone for commenting on my recent posts, even though I haven't been around for a while.
The reason I watched considerably fewer films this week is because I've begun watching the acclaimed TV series Breaking Bad, I've seen the entirety of season 1 already and enjoyed it. This kind of thing is quite a departure fro me as I'm very unfamiiar with TV in general, but I'm glad to be catching up on a few of the best series of the past few years.
Are there any others you'd recommend?
Time for some links:
The Film Connoisseur reviews one of the year's best films, Drive.
The Movie Snob writes a little overview on Laura Dern, arguing that we need to see more of her on screen these days, which is something I can definitely agree with.
Anomalous Material posted a review of Brett Ratner's latest film, Tower Heist, which I can't say I'm particularly interested in, but the review is still an entertaining read.
Big Thoughts From a Small Mind dedicated a post to the often overlooked but seemingly omnipresent supporting actor, Luis Guzman.
Man, I Love Films has a review of a film I am rather looking forward to, the cumbersomely titled Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Andy Buckle reviews another film I am greatly anticipated, We Need To Talk About Kevin.
Stevee writes about Favourite films and the various arguments that can arise from them.
Bonour Tristesse reviews Chabrol's Les Cousins.
Limette lists her favourite Horror films.