Saturday, 1 March 2008

The Flixster Reviews #1

Troy
ARGGHHHH! SO many issues. Just to clarify: -
1. Menelaus does NOT get killed in Troy; 2. Agamemnon does NOT get killed by weedy Paris. Oh dear Lord, NO! Was so annoyed by that. Doesn't anyone care for the Oresteia in Hollywood? Make THAT into a film instead!; 3. Paris and Helen do NOT go running off into the sunset together. Paris dies. And Helen marries his BROTHER. Jeez. But, however factally erronous and corny, I do love this film, just purely because it's Greeky. And Rose is in it. Plus they do mention Aeneas at the end (randomly so) which was very pleasing. Why don't they make a film of the Aeneid as well? Hollywood are so blind sometimes: they waste all their time with remakes and comic books.




1408
Oh, this was disappointing. It started off so well, and the tension was becoming overpowering... and it was terrifying in 1408 for about 20 minutes. Then it snowed or something, and became shit.




Closer
Yes it is unbelievable, but this is the brutality and the messiness of relationships, and I LOVE it. It's also the film that cemented by Natalie love, after watching it within weeks of Garden State.






Matchpoint
Oooh this is a very good film. Once you get over the "what the hell! why are they doing this?!" part and understand how it all works, it's excellent. Really want to see it again. One of Woody's most underrated films.





Poltergeist
I've never managed to see this all the way through, because there's this one hushed scene where the priest is talking about death and I just cannot watch it, it freaks me out so much (bearing in mind I made it all the way through The Exorcist!). But certainly a classic despite the odd ropey bit of 80s CGI.






The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
I was dragged to see this after sulking a little bit. But was very pleased to discover that it was not a classic western, and was actually interesting and engaging! Casey Affleck was very very good, and such a shame he didn't manage to pick up the Oscar (losing out to Javier Bardem for No Country For Old Men in a tough year). One gripe: too long. Films that stutter to an end bug me like no end!




Ghost World
Good, but flawed. Thora Birch's character was melodramatic, self centred and unsympathetic, so I couldn't care less what happened to her, which isn't helpful. She didn't change at all as a character either, and that's what really made this film hard to get to grips with. I really liked the little touches and the smaller characters, such as the art teacher, and the dad. A solid indie flick, but forced in places - or maybe I just watched it at the wrong time, after seeing so many other films of this genre?





Amelie
I love this film SO much! I watched it twice in a week when I first saw it, and that almost never happens with me! Never has a modern film been so funny, magical and inspiring. Quirky as hell, it's ace! (And just look at that adorable face)




The Last Unicorn 
This is one of my favourite childhood films! So unique, with an outstanding voice cast that you're not really aware of when you're ten years old, and what made it stand out for me - it's so, so sad. Think Hans Christian Anderson before Disney made it cuddly. Beautiful soundtrack too - a gem that will hopefully find a new audience in its 30th birthday celebrations in 2012.





Eyes Wide Shut
This is such an unncecessarily hated film: lauded as Kubrick's worst, but it depends what kind of fan you are. I couldn't chew my way through 2001 but this had me enthralled. Okay, Tom Cruise is in it (and still remains the only Cruise film I have ever seen!), but this film has a really interesting, taboo subject and has a real creepy feel about it as well. I really like it. So go watch it again, people!




The Man in the Moon
Another one of my childhood favourites: I watched it once and it stuck with me forever. Wonderful and heart breaking! Also Reese Witherspoon's first ever film - and look where she is now!





 Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Oh Natalie, Natalie, Natalie. I suppose you had to do a kids film at some point (couldn't you have been in Stardust?). It wasn't as god damn awful as I thought it was going to be. It certainly started that way though, with some RRRREALLY cringe worthy scenes that just weren't funny. But then it kind of picked up in parts, and overall saved some kind of face. It was awkward - that was the problem. An adult story within a childlike story, spoken with childish words. And a huge focus on death in a children's film? It was all a bit seat-wriggling. However, there were some genius bits, like when Natalie pretends Mr Magorium is insane ("he thinks he owns a magical toy store..." "I do! You work there!"). But it was nice enough, and of course, when inanimate objects come to life, that's just right up my street, so I loved the nervous slinky. Natalie sparkles!





 The Polar Express
Jeeeez, what a waste of my time this was. The young boy reminded me so much of Dewey from Malcolm in the Middle (i.e. screechily annoying). Urghh, a cliched message strung out over a bored plot with creepy dead eyed children. Happy Christmas!



Watership Down
People often stare at me increduously when I tell them I'm scared of rabbits. "But they're so cuddly..." Oh yeah? DOES THIS PICTURE LOOK CUDDLY TO YOU? DOES IT? This is the film that's responsible for the fear (it's mainly the teeth) - I watched it at a far too impressionabale age and it's scarred me for life! Contender fr darkest 'children's' film ever?





The History Boys
This was fairly rubbish - too faithful to the staged production and so felt very stiff, which incidentally played at the West Yorkshire Playhouse a couple of years ago and was terrific. But here, I didn't really care for any of the characters and the message was all a bit cliched. Plus James Corden. Bleurgh.






The Golden Compass
I don't understand the bad reviews! Maybe it's because I'm not a pissed off book fan. As a complete newcomer to this world, I can safely say that I understood completely what was going on - a lot of the characters were underused, but I got a feel for what they all wanted and besides there are still two more films to go! The animation was fantastic, and thumbs up to Nicole Kidman and DBR. Daniel Craig bit rubbish. SO loving all the fantasy movies around at the moment! Keep 'em coming!



Edward Scissorhands
I'd forgotten how much of a fairytale this is, and also how brilliant! Still remains Tim Burton and Johnny Depp's best after all these years, and one of those must keep watching films if you ever catch it on TV.




The Prestige
What a clever film this was - and not properly acknowledged either! I like it when a good film comes together, heh heh. Brilliant acting all round, and keeps your brain working all the way through to the end with its many delightful twists. Almost Nolan's best.





No Country For Old Men
If you want to know what tension is, and how a psychopath works, then this is definitely the film to go and see. Confusing, but you never have real time to think about it because of what is happening on the screen. Now I'm scared Javier Bardem might come after me... I'm never spending the night in a cheap US motel, EVER!




Open Water
This is a horrible, bleak film to watch - especially if you're in a relationship. In the end the horror really isn't about the sharks at all, it's about the sweeping sense of helplessness and desperation. Brrrr, unhappy film! Rating only low because it makes me thoroughly depressed just thinking about it.





Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Superb, brilliant film, which is kind of a bizarre hybrid of an Oliver Twist musical and a slasher film. Depp and Bonham-Carter are excellent in the lead roles, Depp is very Bowie-esque! Definitely a must see - providing you have the stomach for all the gore!




Cloverfield
Hmmm - mixed bag really. Bad acting, terrible script which should have relied more on improv and there were soooo many "YOU JUST WOULDN'T DO THAT!" moments! But, being a monster movie for the post 9/11 generation, there were times when it was spot on, and the special effects are brilliant. It should be taken for what it is, because there really isn't a big point to it. And Lord knows what the sequel is going to be about.





Juno
Absolutely lovely, endearing - such a me film. All the characters were fleshed out to their eccentric best, the dialogue was nice and snappy and I felt welled up for hours after watching it. Absolutely brilliant.



Silent Hill
This was exactly like watching a full length computer game, but with none of the fun or chance! Not scary or cohesive either... a bit of a waste considering the spookiness of its console origins. Buuuut, I must admit I do have a bit of a soft spot for this, and will more than likely be in for the sequel.





My Blueberry Nights
Pretty but disappointing. This was the first Wong film I've seen, and apart from the gorgeous colours I'm not sure if I liked it - some of the angles he filmed from were disatracting and obstrusive. I'd like to see her face, please! Norah Jones was verrrry bland, but didn't trouble too much except for the cafe scenes with Jude Law who was rubbish. The first half an hour was pretty flat to watch with terrible dialogue running down the couple of good ideas. The film picks up when she finally escapes Law and goes off to "find herself" and meet better actors. David Strathain is tragically good, and Natalie is amazing! The best bit was when she ordered some eggs from Jones and when asked how she liked them, she said "well hell, why don't you go on and crack 'em over my head and watch 'em drip down ma face?" hehe. But the film does leave you with something, even if it's just vivid colours and that fuzzy loved feeling. I still hate blueberry pie, though.