The Film Review Corner

Extraneous communication, genuflection, adulation, dissection and admiration should make its way in here.

Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:51 am

Monsters: there's a couple of things about this film that throw you. First off, the beginning isn't really. Second, it's marketed as an alien invasion film and it's not, really - it's a bloody love story set against a tragic background.

The filming style is Cloverfield-without-the-hand-cams (and, thankfully, without the half-hour long intro), with some beautiful nods -sunlight on syrupy water, sweaty jungles- toward Apocalypse Now (which gets referenced side-long). The acting/casting is pretty much perfect, employing people who are, to me, total unknowns. The FX are excellent bedroom-produced efforts (though the aliens do -and this is acknowledged- resemble giant octopuses with rigid legs for on-land stability). There are a couple of haunting scenes (alien bellows in the jungle, evening at 'the wall'), one rather beautiful one (the aliens greeting each other and the consequent character interaction). The action is real-life jumbled and hectic.

The structure is Cloverfield, too, in the respect that it is basically showing you a few moments of somebody's life without regard for narrative beginning and end (the film gives a feeling of neither - in fact, it's more like an endless loop) - take it it or leave it.

Monsters is, actually, a rather lovely Science Fiction film. But it could be argued whether it's not mis-titled and mis-marketed as alien invasion. I watched it last night and am still thinking about it now. A good sign.
Last edited by Chun the Unavoidable on Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby greywulf » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:16 pm

I've rented Monsters to watch tomorrow! I'm looking foeward to it, though I think from your comments it's going to be another review that starts with a word about marketing issues.

I watched Rio (in 2D) today with my family, and my review is HERE
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Jelboy » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:11 am

Not sure if this is the correct place to post this trailer (outside of the warhammer area of the forum being a foreign country to me) - but I stumbled on this trailer and liked it. Kind of a Warhammer 40k feel to the movie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmlo6MyhDXw
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Squiggle » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:14 pm

I have watched a few films recently.

Alice in Wonderland The recent one with Jonny Depp. I thought this was pretty ace, actually. Obviously, being based on a book, it doesnt suffer from having no plot. I thought it definitely benefited from Tim Burton having the gonads to make it as completely insane and barmy as it deserves to be. I really enjoyed it, and I'd highly recommend it. 8/10

Bullitt All I knew about this was what I'd heard about the legendary car chase. And the chase was legendary. The rest of the film was solid cop action, but nothing to write home about. 7/10 but mainly for the ten minute chase scene.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Pipitán » Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:14 am

Squiggle wrote:Alice in Wonderland The recent one with Jonny Depp. I thought this was pretty ace, actually. Obviously, being based on a book, it doesnt suffer from having no plot. I thought it definitely benefited from Tim Burton having the gonads to make it as completely insane and barmy as it deserves to be. I really enjoyed it, and I'd highly recommend it. 8/10


Although I enjoyed it in places and the visuals were very Burton-esq and nice, I had real issues with this film, mainly concerning the plot. To me, it felt like the problem was was that there was one, that is, a plot. And it was a run-of-the-mill clished Hollywood hero comes of age, fights dragon, saves kingdom, thing. And I didn't like it. I think it would have been much more faithful to the source material if there had been no plot - or rather, it had been something completely nonsensical and utterly mad with no predictable story beats, etc. Now, I have no idea if this is true in any way, but it felt to me like Burton really wanted to properly adapt Alice in Wonderland and come up with his own wacky version of it (there were definitely moments which were awesome), but that the studio bigwigs had decided that it wouldn't be commercially safe enough unless they changed it to have a standard regular adventure plotline (and of course they were right - I think it ended up grossing over a billion). So yeah, I just felt let down by it because I didn't feel that Burton did have the gonads to make it as completely insane and barmy as it deserves to be.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:39 am

I'm with you, Pip - the inclusion of the Jabberwocky as an actual plot element, plus the epic Make-it-like-LotR-'cause-that's-the-only-Fantasy-filmgoers-understand battle sequence at the end, did not for the genuine article Alice picture make.

But (Johnny Depp)/it did look gorgeous. ;)

Jelboy: that certainly looks the part.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Squiggle » Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:56 pm

Another film.

Kickass enjoyable but not the ground breaking movie I thought it might be. I liked thebefforts at realistically portraying the plight of the wannabe superhero was good but I have to be honest i found the part where the twelve year old girl gets smashed through a table actually quite upsetting.I know it was just a film but this is still to be a pretty disturbing image and it rather overshadowed the rest of the film.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Remerez » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:25 pm

Squiggle wrote:Another film.

Kickass enjoyable but not the ground breaking movie I thought it might be.

A film in a similar vain - that I found far superior - is Defendor, starring Woody Harelson as the titular hero. It takes the realism aspect of Kick-Ass and removes some of the more fantastical, over-the-top elements, focussing more on the type of person who would take up the mantle of a masked crusader.

Whether or not it was always intended to be this way, Harelson lends a childlike quality to proceedings - lending heavily towards conclusions that the protagonist is mentally/emotionally underdeveloped, if not outright mentally handicapped to whatever degree, without expressly stating such - that, whilst at times difficult to watch (the callousness of certain character interactions being slightly galling), leads to an engaging if somewhat depressing exploration of one man's desire to right the wrongs he sees surrounding him whatever the cost. That this is done on an almost completely altruistic level only serves to enhance the tragedy.

At least, that's how I remember it.

At the other end of the spectrum you've got Mystery Men which was an entertaining, yet ultimately shallow, romp. There may have been deeper themes explored and thoughts expressed, but I don't remember them.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby greywulf » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:57 am

Today I watched Fast 5
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Ghurlag » Mon Apr 25, 2011 2:01 am

Films I remember which people have mentioned:

Monsters

First of all, I must agree with Chun that it totally was not an alien invasion film. The 'monsters' seem almost incidental to the whole thing - aside from being the source of some peril and a plot device, they barely feature in the story. They could easily be replaced with another set of dangers. There's little action in the film - it is indeed a love story. As I think of it, there are indeed some pretty shots in the film, but I wouldn't say they were worth watching it for in themselves. I found the film made for a somewhat placid, relaxing watch. I was eerily calm afterwards. The circular nature of the thing may have leant to that.

Hellboy I/II

I was sort-of-happy with the first of these films (though more than a part of me wanted it to end... in a darker manner, say), and I must mention that I found the fight scenes and visuals very impressive, and the sense of atmosphere was very good.

The second film, however, I was overwhelmed by. It built on the aspects I had enjoyed from the first film, but added something more. I often cheer on the bad guy in films, but i felt particularly moved by the elven prince's case. He had both an honourable motivation (the slow death of his people in the shadows), a will to act (rather than the passive approach of his father), a damn fine plan and, yes, he was an unparallelled warrior, which was handled very well. The scene with the Ent (okay, it wasn't called that, but you'll all know what I mean) was touching, and the ending (whilst i see how it couldn't end otherwise) was one of the few times I've actually felt sorry (rather than merely frustrated) that a villian's plan hasn't come to fruition. The message that he brought - that Hellboy was being used - was well played in (if a touch heavily), but with a solid conclusion.

Er, there were others, but I forget. I think I want to watch Hellboy again now.

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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby greywulf » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:01 am

I think the "Monsters" title is about perception.

Spoiler: You, and the two leads, are told/shown that the creatures, which are completely harmless unless provoked, are Monsters by the US government. We are shown at the start with the firefight, but our perception of it is changed by the ending sequence. Their perception is changed by that and and also what they experience. There is also the theory ammongst my friends that the Monsters are us, or specifically the US government/army , for exploiting an obviously harmless race to give them a reason to finally wall of their border with Mexico..



My review of Monsters is here
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby greywulf » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:26 pm

My review of Thor is now up on my blog!
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Squiggle » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:50 am

Sherlock Holmes (The Guy Ritchie version)

I absolutely adore this film. I finally picked it up on DVD, and I have watched it two or three times in the past few days. It got mixed reviews when it came out, and the negative ones tended to focus on the fact that it is not an adaptation of Conan Doyle's fiction that stays massively true to the source material.

Which, having read a few of the Sherlock Holmes stories in my youth, I'd tend to agree with.

I'd argue, though, that Ritchie replaces with with a truly sumptuous cinematic experience, in a quite beautifully realised take on Victorian London. Downey and Law make a great pair, ably supported by Rachel McAdams and Mark Strong. It might not have the most subtle plot, but it is quite gloriously entertaining.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby zAngle » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:13 pm

Sherlock Holmes - amazing.

Southland tales - I highly recommend it for anyone looking to fry their brain in a unique mind twisting bizarre story of doom.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Xisor » Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:51 pm

zAngle wrote:Sherlock Holmes - amazing.

Southland tales - I highly recommend it for anyone looking to fry their brain in a unique mind twisting bizarre story of doom.


I have to utterly concur. SH was simply tremendous fun and the Southland Tales is something...something else. I don't think I've seen such a peculiarly compelling film. Bat-poo crazy, but compelling. And delightfully hilarious. The wee exorcist woman croaking "Quantum teleportation" as if that somehow explains the whole damn thing.

I think, like Tron: Legacy, it benefits from having an odd musicians-operated soundtrack. Moby for Southland Tales, Daft Punk for T:L, makes quite a difference!

Also, blimey, but the Rock in Southland Tales is pure excellence too. I'll have to watch the film again, loved it to bits.

Incidentally, it my GF at the time was a huge Donnie Darko fan*, I discovered our local cinema was showing it for the film studies students at the Uni. Managed to get some tickets and got to see it 'on the big screen', rather excellent. :D

* She noticed the eye at the end was reminiscent of Frank's in DD.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby The Hillock » Tue May 03, 2011 10:40 am

'lo all. Wrath's recent film choice has shown marked improvement in quality (with the occasional dip, it must be said).

Moon - well, that's bloody brilliant isn't it? For the first time in ages I'm actually annoyed I knew the plot twists going into the film (I usually do, but it never normally annoys me). Camera, sound, acting, directing - all bloomin' top notch. Wrath like muchly.

Fast and Furious 5 - (for you yanks, it's not called Fast Five over here, it has the full title) You know what, this franchise has developed and grown from tacky rubbish to tacky rubbish that actually gets critical praise from most quarters, but in doing that it has lost some of it's appeal to its original fanbase. Where was the street racing? Where were the ridiculous ice installs? There wasn't even a musical montage of a car build. It's a better movie, for sure, but I do find myself going back to the first one and grinning.

Sherlock Holmes (rewatch) - Coincidentally I've rewatched this recently as well. I have to be honest, in my opinion it's an average film which happens to feature Robert Downey Junior, who rescues it from mediocrity and makes it enjoyable. Without him it would be nothing. But as it does have him, it's great!

Wanted (rewatch) - Yeah, the film quality drops back to my usual level here, but I really like Wanted. Angelina Jolie being fit? Check. Smashing someone round the face with a keyboard? Check. As long as you leave your brain at the door it's fun.

Haven't watched Southland Tales recently but I love literally everything about it. It's on my 'you must watch this if we are to be acquaintances' list.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Sig » Thu May 05, 2011 5:42 am

Just saw Paul. A hilariously fun ride to watch. All the sci-fi references and the idea that an alien visitor to our planet might just be interested in enjoying himself are well played. If you are a Star Wars nerd or a fan of Steven Spielburg's, go see it. So many good lines... The conversion of a religious person wasn't particularly convincing or respectful, but hey it's a comedy.
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby Green River » Thu May 05, 2011 6:37 am

Respectful?..

Anyway, I just wanted to give a shout out for film documentraries; they get very little attention (here too) and are often much better than the paltry fare that periodically gets spewed out of Hollywood's sluice gates (and sorry Sig but I'm including 'Paul' in that too; Pegg & Frost should've stuck to their guns imo). They can be more shocking, more frightening, more interesting and gripping, and real too. I've recently watched a few on 4od (originally aired on television in the UK on More4) such as 'We Live in Public' (awesome), 'Nuclear/Into Eternity' (also awesome) and 'Dancing With the Devil' (compellingly shocking).

If I had the time, I would've loved to see 'First Movie' and 'The Cave' recently, if anybody has seen those I'd much appreciate a verdict.

Up the documentaries!
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sat May 07, 2011 3:26 pm

Just came back from watching Thor (in 3D no less and a much better experience than the stupid Narnia movie).

In one word, it is gobsmackingly-amazingly-stu-f******-pendously-gloriously OSSUM.

Loved the movie. I liked how there was no backstory needed for any of the characters, especially for the gods (who aren't really gods are they? :lol: ).

Natalie Portman's acting was brilliant as usual. She's come a long way from Star Wars and after Black Swan this is another great performance from her. She rocked it as usual.

Chris Hemsworth was also fitting for the role, if a little too beardy for my taste. But his acting was almost on par with Natalie Portman. I just wish that there had been a little more time devoted to showing how Thor learns to let go of his pride and vanity. It was all a little too rushed IMO. But otherwise great.

Loved the cameos with Samuel Jackson and the SHIELD guy. And given what someone said earlier about Hawkeye, was definitely waiting for something to happen there and wasn't disappointed! I am not a comic book guy and am definitely not up to date with all the characters and all but was the big guy who tussles with Thor in the crater another sort of superhero? Or is he just some really buff agent?

Anthony Hopkins did his part great as well. The tired, old king with squabbling children and the weight of nine worlds on his shoulders.

However, the Norse side of things was a little disconnected for me. Definitely not what I was expecting it all to be. It came across more SF than I was comfortable with. Was a slight letdown for me there.

Lastly, what was with the Asian Norse god/character? And I know the movie is about Thor but why were the other gods so sidekick-ish?

Loved the bonus clip in the end though with Dr. Selvig and Jackson's character.

On to the Avengers!
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Re: Film Review Corner

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Sat May 07, 2011 8:52 pm

So what all other superhero movies are coming out by the end of 2012?

So far I know of Captain America, Green Lantern, Avengers, X-Men First Class. Any others?
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