Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The End

OK, so the urge to tell the world what I think of every film I see has passed, to be more accurate it probably passed about 8 months ago, but I can be stubborn about these things. At some point in the near future these posts will be integrated into my main weblog and then this page and its associated feeds will disappear.


PS you should definately go and see Eastern Promises, best film this year I'd say.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Entertaining enough (I managed to stay awake through it this time) but nothing outstanding. Some nice visual touches (the pastiches of classic Fantastic Four covers pressed all the right geek buttons) but I think this is my least favourite of Del Torro's films. Blade 2 is a better comic book film. And the other are just plain better.


Monday, October 01, 2007

Million Dolar Baby

Really really didn't deserve to win Oscars. A really mediocre film, the first half is competent sports movie then tat ends and there's a whole other film that thinks it's dealing with difficult moral questions but is about as black and white as it gets. In fact throughout the film eschews any subtleties or shades of grey. That's not to say it's terrible, Clint Eastwood is clearly a solid director, solid and unadventurous a kind of meat and two veg safe pair of hands that the studios love c.f. Ron Howard. And Hilary Swank earns her money, but the whole affair is so tiresomely worthy in a very Hollywood way.

I've noticed recently I've been saying Hollywood as if that's a bad thing, Hollywood is obviously where the vast majority of my favourite films get made, or at least get funded and it annoys me when people look down on American films as somehow inherently inferior to e.g. French cinema (esp. as French cinema is so often so bad). So youknow, just saying when I say Hollywood it's not a total diss in fact it's normally that Hollywood films can be more average than other films. Probably because there's so many of them so they kind of define the average. Anyway, enough.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Goodbye Lenin

Better late than never... I really liked this. The nostalgia for east Berlin is kind of odd but it's mostly a kind of nostalgia for a kind of consumer innocence and a simpler life rather than any kind of political thing. Anyway, it was too long ago for me to remember much more than that vague impression.As I say I really enjoyed it.


Thursday, September 06, 2007


Based on HP Lovecraft's 'Herbert West Reanimator' the director sensibly plays fast and loose with the rather dull source material. Jeffrey Comb's Herbert West is the highlight undoubted highlight a foretaste of his show stealing roll in The Frighteners.

Stuart Gordon has a new Re-Animator film coming out next year and I'm quite looking forward to it. I has West reprising the central roll and also has William H Macy as the US president, well sounds good to me anyway.

A few things struck me. 1. The film is by many measures terrible 2. the special effects are really good 3. They were much more sparing with music in the 80s 4. The title sequence is cool 4. For a film which attempts to breach the accepted standards of good taste on a regular basis (severed head cunnilingus?) it's remarkably coy about using the F word.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Knocked Up

Not as good as some reviews have suggested, but far better than the title suggest. A superior romcom that perfectly walks the line between the rom and com.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

American Splendor

Not sure the quirks really work 100%, but well done for trying.


Friday, August 17, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

Paul Greengrass and his shaky camerawork return for the final (yeah right) installment of the Bourne series. Better than the second film, maybe equally as good as the first. More wintery Northern European settings, more fighing, more running etc.

There's a cool bit set in Waterloo station which involves Paddy Constantine.

The Bourne films are easily the best action franchise of the last 5-10 years.

One of the things I really like about the Bourne films is how spare they are, you never see Jason on a plane or really any other type of transport unless he's running away or doing some other action stuff. It's like early William Gibson books, jumping from one scene to the next London, Madrid, Tangiers, the connective tissue stripped right back.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ocean's Eleven

Just really average, thoughtless, bland hollywood fare.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tales form Earthsea

On one level this is a perfectly passable piece of anime. Unfortunately it's got the Earthsea license and so I'm watching it and comparing it to some of my favourite books. On the one hand this engenders a hell of a lot of goodwill, on the other there's a lot to live up to. The films main problem is, as Le Guin herself has said

Much of it was ... incoherent. This may be because I kept trying to find and follow the story of my books while watching an entirely different story, confusingly enacted by people with the same names as in my story, but with entirely different temperaments, histories, and destinies.

The film just doesn't fit anywhere in the Earthsea chronology or the world that I know. The 'Big Bad' is deeply unimaginative, I mean it's basically Mumm-ra, and where the books have a coherent and deeply thought out reality the film is largely composed of fantasy cliches. There is also a dreadful scene where Tehanu sings a really bad song.

There are some good points: The scenes of the archipelago extending into the distance are beautiful and the film's deliberate and even pace is true to the books particularly when the soundtrack isn't overwhelmed by the vaguely celtic LOTR-esq score. I find myself really wanting to like this film but it's just disappointing. I think this is how big Star Wars fans must have felt after watching the prequels.

Ursula Le Guin's response to the film