Thursday, 27 May 2010

Wrestling Is Fake?!?!?!

Is it better to say BAFTA winning or Oscar nominated?
Of course I'm talking about Mickey Rourke's performance as Randy 'The Ram' in The Wrestler.

And that's what we're talking about today. The Wrestler. A remarkable film... really.. it is.

A Wrestler who suffers a serious knock back, a heart attack, and his life, portrayed on the big screen with real heart. Rourke is magnificent. When you see a fully grown man who is a wrestler for a living break down into tears... It gets to you. Evan Rachel Wood also puts in a stunning performance as Stephanie, Randy's daughter. I think I mildly fell in love with her.

The Ayatollah's new 'Shout-in-the-face' hit Randy hard.

The story line is very simple but effective. It shows the glamour of wrestling but also the sad empty world it could leave you with. Its easy to sink into and easy to follow. So the less intellegent of us can also enjoy it. BUT it says wrestling is all planned! This may be a shock for those less intellegent i mentioned... Wrestling is fake.. Sorry.

Really Really Really worth a watch. Something for everyone, romance, comedy, emotion, fighting, being sick on the floor, blood. Yup it's all there.

Best bit? Randy's improvisation and using a metal, false leg as a weapon in a fight. Genuis.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Till Death Do Us Departed

This is my 20th post. Should I do something special? Nah.

The Departed. Starring two of my favourite actors and directed by one of my favourite directors; it's gotta be good.

Jack Nicholson is my favourite actor of all time and even at 70 he still rocks this film. Playing Irish mafia boss Frank Costello, he shows that he hasn't lost his triple Oscar wining talent. I can't imagine anyone else playing this part especially considering his part was heavily improvised, (which made some classic moments.. Throwing coke on prostitutes... Wearing a strap-on to the cinema.) He is a weirdo. Leonardo DiCaprio was also amazing starring as a police rat in Costello's mafia. A lack of a real identity drives him mad but he keeps with his job. A man with a identity complex pulled from side to side and portrayed amazingly.

You're doing WHAT at the moment?

Matt Damon is another rat but he's inside the police working for Costello.. Confusing? He's also suburb and highly underrated. He struggles between keeping his secret and keeping his girlfriend happy while trying to find out who the rat in the mafia is. Mark Wahlberg was incredible and really deserved his Oscar nod the angry cop who runs the ship, hates Damon's character and loves his job. Also worth a mention are Vera Farmiga and Alec Baldwin in smaller but equally amazing parts.

In case you haven't guessed, every actor was magnificent. As was the direction. Martin Scorsese is one of the best directors of all time and he continued that reputation with 'his first film with a plot.' Don't even get me started on the soundtrack. It was so brilliantly used. The sudden cuts, the choice of songs... It's all so good. The camera work is stunning. Everything is just awesome.

"What drink should I have with my breakfast? Wine? Coffee? OJ? Tea?"

The action keeps you on the very edge of your seat and the emotional moments/ breakdowns are emotional. The plot is complex yet understandable. The acting and direction are amazing. It's just an amazing film. Watch it.

Best bit? The nail biting finale. All the way to the last second.

Friday, 21 May 2010

The Good The Bad And The Okay Looking.

Poor old Eli Wallach... Being classed as 'The Ugly.' He's not that bad... Could be worse.
The Good The Bad And The Ugly. 9.0 on IMBD... Number 25 on Empire's top 500... One of the best films ever?? It is very good. I'm just stuck on how good.... Lets review it first.
FYI (For your information.) Blondie is The Good, Tuco is The Ugly and Angel Eyes is The Bad

The plot is brilliant. Blondie (Clint Eastwood) and Tuco (Wallach) have a little (illeagal) buisness going but when Blondie leaves Tuco in the desert, revenge is called for. When the pair stumble across a wagon full of dead soldiers they discover there is $200,000 buried somewhere. The twist? Blondie and Tuco hear different halves of the secret. Neither of them can get their hands on the money alone. Through out twist and turns, Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) discovers Tuco's half of the secret and the race is on.

Tuco was a bit tied up with the race for the money.
Eastwood is the coolest man from the 60's simply from this film. (Paul Newman comes a close second.) Wallach was Oscar worthy and Van Cleef was... Great. These guys really put their lives into this film. I mean it! Eastwood and Wallach could have died! Imagine it! The last 40 years without Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby or any other Clint Eastwood film! You see, during an explosion, Eastwood is taking cover in some sand bags with Wallach and some wreckage slammed inches away from his head. Wallach on the other hand, was almost decapitated by a train while lying along side the rails. (These are parts of the film but the threats were real.)

"Looking hot today Eastwood"

The cinematography was excellent. The soundtrack is iconic. Sure the film is only just shy of three hours but still is shorter than The Godfather Part II. The drama doesn't stop and due to the sassy one liners from Tuco and simple coolness of Blondie every second is watchable. The pair are enjoyable to watch and Van Cleef is a brilliant villain. The rough nature of the west is thrilling and exciting.

Overall this film is brilliant. This review has helped me make a decision on the rating. If you have three free hours, watch this. You won't regret it.

Best Bit? The last half an hour. Pure brilliance.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Dial M To Drag The Right One In

It seemed far too much effort to write three separate reviews so here's three in one.

First, Dial M For Murder. Another brilliant turn from director Alfred Hitchcock. Set almost entirely in the space of a single apartment, just like Hitchcock's own 'Rear Window,' this film focuses more on the characters due to the simplistic nature of the setting.

The premise? The perfect murder is planned out but doesn't play out right. Following this is confusion and deceit. Someone knows the truth but how can they cover it up? A genius plot with amazing characters. The acting is suberb and the directing is almost unmatchable. So worth a watch. Not Hitchcock's best but still very good.

Best Bit? The very very end... No spoilers here ;)

Yes that was a short review; have another.

Drag Me To Hell. Argh a modern horror! But wait! It's actually okay? Good even? It's definately creepy and un-nerving.... But it's also quite hilarious. Oh, and disgusting. Take it 100% seriously... you'll either be scared or disappointed... Take it as a horror-com. and you'll be happier. But I said previously that horrors are a good chance to show acting chops, Alison Lohman and Justin Long really show what they can do. Going from casual couple to crazed and and panicked slowly over the film.

Often funny and scary and constently disgusting. Worth a watch even if just for Alison Lohman.

Best Bit? Alison Lohman digging up a body. She's angry, soaking wet and bloody hot.

And now my important review.

Let The Right One In

A film starring child actors that is stunning in every sense. It truly is beautiful and touching. Twilight? Bah! Vampires can be beautiful and scary. This film manages both unlike *Shudder* Twilight.

A 'young' vampire, Eli, befriends Oskar, a twelve year old boy who struggles with bullying, split parents and a lack of friends. A tale of friendship, hardship and trust portrayed brilliantly by two 13 year olds . Never work with children or animals they say... Forget that! Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson will be Oscar winners in no time if they keep performing like this! They were stunning. I cannot describe enough how amazing they were!

Knife crime was really on the rise

Director, Tomas Alfredson, knows what he wants. Every camera shot is beautiful and perfectly angled. The minimal score is used to maximum effect. Every scene brings what it can to the film in a unique way. I can only describe it as beautiful...

There is so much I want to say but I can't think of how to word it apart from beautiful, and I don't want to get too repetitive. It's also genuinly chilling and creepy. You will connect with the characters and be on the edge of your seat.

A definite must see. Whether you're a fan of forigen language or not (It's Swedish.) Also Empire said it was the best film of 2009. Gotta be a good sign.

Best bit? It's a spoiler.... Fire in a hospital is involved.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Dail P For Phone Booth

First let me get this out of the way. OMG COLIN FARRELL!!!! OMGOMGOMG <3
Okay that's done. Phone Booth today. Unfortunately this film hasn't always been well received! I think this is an utter shame as it is very good. Though the important critics (Empire, Elbert) gave it good reviews and it has stocked up 7.2 stars on IMBD, along come the trolls *evil look.* You know the people that don't understand the suspension of disbelief and pick holes in those little bits. Even though everything in this film is perfectly possible, be it very very unlikely at times, these trolls still complain that, 'there's no way they could've seen that coming or planned for that in advance.' The film is about a creepy genius on a phone! He's smarter than you, deal with it.

Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker and Kiefer Sutherland's voice star in this awesome thriller. Stu (Farrell) is a cock, a publicist and trapped. After popping to the phone booth for his daily call to his young lady friend, Pam, the phone rings. On the other end of the call is a psycho with a gun and he's watching every little move Stu makes. Stu is trapped. If he hangs up, BANG! If he leaves the phone booth, BANG! What does the caller want? For Stu to admit his mistakes, to tell his wife, Kelly, the truth... Or does he? After a fight with prostitutes and a pimp, the police come and believe Stu is the 'bad guy.'

Understandably, there was a queue for Colin's love booth.

Colin Farrell is, without a doubt, one of my favourite actors. Sure he's in bad films now and then but come on! Have you seen 'In Bruges?' No? Go see it. This film also brings out his acting ability. His descent from a cockish asshole into a selfless, repentant blubbering heap is slow and phenomenal. Remember I criticised Last House On The Left because the character's decent into madness was too sudden? This is the opposite. Whitaker is also great though he doesn't really have a lot to do.. But we'll forgive that because of his role in Last King Of Scotland. Kiefer Sutherland is brilliant! His voice is smooth, calm and dripping with murderous venom. His laugh is truly psychotic and his orders are precise and controlling. 24? Pfffttt kids play for him. This is where he shines.

But alas! What's this? Joel Schumacher directed? The same person who directed Batman + Robin? But that film was awful? But this film isn't awful. Schumacher shows that he is a good director here with brilliant camera angles, amazing vision and wonderful direction. 12 days this film took to film! 12! That's amazing! But he did have a great cast so whatcha expect? Supposedly Colin Farrell got a round of applause at doing his long, emotional speech in one take. Oh and the extras didn't have scripts! Their reactions were genuine. No wonder the film was so good and had a realistic sense.

Leon didn't like Colin stealing his buisness

This film is totally worth a watch. It's only 80 minutes and is really worth it. And you can watch it again; that's the beauty of it. It's not one of those films you say, 'okay I've seen it. Never again." It leaves you wondering and you go back to watch it again.

Best Bit? "You're bringing back memories of my horrid childhood Stu, stop it! I'm just kidding. I had a great childhood." Classic

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Real Hustler

While this film was very good I don't really have a lot to say about it. It's The Hustler, in case you don't get my totally cryptic titles.

Paul Newman.... Well he is magnificent... It's the only way to describe him; his acting, his charm and most importantly his eyes! The sparkle beautifully, even in black and white. Being the 60's it doesn't have the incredible camera effects that take my breath away but for the time, the cinematography was wonderful. The minimal soundtrack also is excellently used.

Newman couldn't keep his stick away from Gleason's balls

And, I may be wrong, Paul Newman (Fast Eddie) must've learnt to play pool as well as his character does.. I can't see how they'd do half the shots if he didn't. The same goes for Jakie Gleason (Minnesota Fats,) who was also brilliant. It's definately on my must see list. And for you people that disregard black and white because you're too modern, watch this film. And then Psycho. And then Schindler's List. I could go on for hours. But my point is you forget there is no colour within minutes.

"One of these days Newman.. POW! Right to the pocket"
Overall this film is awesome. It's 194th on IMDB's top 250 and somewhere in Empire Magazine's top 500. If that doesn't prove it's a good'un then you clearly are a fan of Meet The Spartans and Disaster Movie.

Well thats all from me today :)

Best Bit? The 40 or so hour game of pool between Gleason and Newman. Brilliant.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Take A Right.. And It's The Last House On The Left.

Despite the title sounding like a set of directions The Last House On The Left has a slight hope. Yes it's a remake which makes every fan in the film world cringe with pain BUT it is a Wes Craven film originally. So it has promise as long as the screenwriters control the urge to dumb it down and make it more graphic to appeal to gore junkies. Well this is half and half... The rape scene near the beginning is a hell of a lot tamer. There's no forced lesbian action or peeing... which is good for most.. But hey, I'm not here to judge... Cept films..

The Events Of This Film, Rape And Murder, Occur Because These Kids Smoked Pot.
Don't Do Drugs Kids

As the film progresses though there is a lot more violence... All of the characters died in different ways to the original but its not that big an issue. The issue I have with this film is everything else. Horror films can be a brilliant chance to express acting skills (John Cuzack, 1408) but then I'm not sure if this a horror... It's certainly is some form of thriller... But anyway it was a brilliant chance for the cast (mainly Tony Goldwyn (John Collingwood) and Monica Potter (Emma Collingwood)) to prove their acting talent... To shift from good Samaritans to vengeful murderers. A slow realisation maybe? Then a plot? Then a loss of human morals? 'Nah skip that' is what the director said. When the Collingwoods realise who their guests are they go crazy. This leads to the assumption that they were already mentally unstable before their daughter was raped... yeah... obvious right?

I think that was really my biggest issue with the film... It focused too much on the plot and action and lost the crucial character details that make a film excellent. It also had one of those reaaaaalllyyy generic soundtracks/score that consisted simply of 'creepy' music.. very disappointing. You can create horror and/or tension through soundtrack without rubbish noises that do nothing but build up catharsis.. badly. Check any Alfred Hitchcock horror/ thriller or 28 Days Later. That's how a score/ soundtrack should be used. Speaking of 28 Days Later, the film that has my favourite cinematography EVER, The Last House On The Left could learn from it. The camera shots weren't bad but they could've been better.

The middle of nowhere had a really bad hoodie culture.

I can't say I enjoyed this film, but then again I can't say I hated it. Detail is one of my favourite things in films and this movie lacked the detail in character depth. The only one who nailed it was young Spencer Treat Clark (Justin.) His character swayed from casual druggie to determined fighter with clear daddy issues. He makes this film half a star better than it would've been otherwise. (That's right I'm using half stars now!)

For a remake it's not actually that bad; compared to the other shit that is produced nowadays. And it may actually be worth a watch, if only to judge it for yourself.

Best Bit? When one of the baddies gets his hands stuck in a food disposal unit... Ouch!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Could I Review A More Appropriate Film?

No.. No I couldn't but! Before I start I want to take this opportunity to say that, despite two complaints, my St Trinians review is right.

I watched Election today. No not the General Election, thats tomorrow. No I watched Election; a delightful satirical comedy staring Reese Witherspoon and Ferris Bueller... I mean Matthew Broderick. My hopes were high as this film is in Empire's 500 greatest of all time, number 389. Not a bad start really and the film doesn't fail its expectations.

"Your Heroic Pose Is Excellent Tracy"

Reese Witherspoon was awesome and she is rapidly moving up my favourite actresses list. Her turn as the nerdy, controlling, power hungry, high school girl, Tracy Flick, is a joy to watch. We see her go from smart and annoying to a desperate school girl who feels success is the only thing that awaits her. Ripping down posters and making sure nothing stands in her way she seems unstoppable until Mr McAllister (Broderick) steps in and convinces others to run against Tracy.

He convinces that guy from American Pie... You know.. Oz... he's in the first two...(Chris Klien) to run against Tracy. This encourages his lesbian sister to also run to get revenge on her ex and her brothers current girlfriend.

All the cast are wonderful and the film is great fun. If you want a light film to fill a couple of hours, give this a shot. I really dont feel like this film needs much more reviewing.. But it wins a reconmendation from me.

Best Bit? The very beggining when we're introduced to the characters. Very funny.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Batman 3!

Unless you live in a hole or are my friend Saskia (Dont worry she refuses to read my blog after I reviewed St Trinians) you will have seen Batman Begins or The Dark Knight.

Well good news!!!!
The third installement has been set a release date! 12th June 2012. Now for a Batman fan like me this is amazing news. Also it means that soon there will be discussions about cast! Like I said early on in my blogs days I stated I would LOVE David Tennant to be the Riddler. Lets keep our fingers crossed but for the mean time enjoy this little idea I whipped together in ten minutes.

Wanna Go To An All Girl School?

A friend of mine didn't know any of the films I was reviewing and asked if I would review one she did. So here we go.
St Trinians.

Now when reviewing 'Whip It' I said everything that shouldn't work did. This is the oppisite. Everything that shouldn't work didn't.

Firstly the plot was completely ridiculous, though admitidly it was meant to be, and I found myself unable to comprehend what was going on. A plot can be ridiculous but still work just fine. Such films like Being John Malkovich but this one didn't. It never came to life because it refused to be real and ridiculous.

This may of course be down to the acting. I'll start with the good point; Russell Brand was pretty good and funny. Now the rest but before I complain too much i would like to point out that the bad acting maybe because directors Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson have no idea about teen stereotypes. The emos are goths, the chavs are chavy for one scene then become normal and the geeks are popular! Now thats just silly right? Our protagonist, Annabelle (played by Talulah Riley) actually has some acting chops but they're only shown a little and I blame the directors for holding her back and giving her character a huuuuuuuggee change of heart so quickly, not a gradual build up to an alliance with the others.

Look at me. I'm an emo... Wait... Am I?

Now addmitedly there was just a sheer lack of brilliance in this film but it wasn't a disaster. Its a silly film that young kids will enjoy and their parents will enjoy if they watched the original St Trinians from the 60's... Bringing back memories and full of in-jokes. They also won't understand the mess up with the stereotypes because its after their time.

But this film just didn't grasp me. It wasn't funny, nor was it thoughtful or clever. It was just a bit silly and another unneeded reboot of a classic franchise. If you wanna kill a couple of hours but don't want to think too much, watch Anchorman or Little Miss Sunshine... Something fun and good.

Best Bit? The Hockey Game.. Bout the only funny bit.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Texas... The Place Where Old People Can't Go.

It's certainly not a country for old men that Texas. The film says so. What film? Seriously you haven't got it yet? No Country For Old Men, one of my favourite films to date. I'm watching it while I type this.

But why is it one of my favourites? Why did it win best picture? Well I'll tell you. Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones and some brothers Coen. Yup the Coen brothers hit a homerun yet again. Fargo, The Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading (Okay that came after No Country For Old Men but shhh)Yup these guys know what they're doing. And after having a Coen brothers film session, I now notice the little details that make their films unique. The indepth background characters, the camera shots and the plots.

"What do you mean I'm to old to be here?"

Well Javier Bardem is my next point of interest. He won Best Supporting Actor for this film so you'd think he was pretty good. He is. But who or what is the character he is portraying? Drug pusher? Serial killer? Just full out psychopath? I don't know but it doesn't matter. He does it amazingly. Armed with some gas canister thing that can shoot a hole through a mans head he eptimises scary. Yeah this isn't a horror but I promise you, if you met Bardem's Anton Chigurh in the street, you would run like hell; just as much as any horror star.

Josh Brolin now. The calm, relaxed protagonist of this film despite the fact he's being chased by a crazed killer with a silenced shotgun and gas canister. He also produces awesomeness with his quick quirky lines and sawn off shotgun. "I want tent poles." "Well you'll have to get a tent." "I'll have a tent then" "what kind?" "kind with the most poles." Tehehehehehehe makes me laugh. Plus he is a genius. I would never be able to avoid murderous men for as long as he does (though he does have a wicked awesome shotgun battle when they do meet"

The soundtrack... wait... what soundtrack? The lack of emotional score actually creates more emotion, more exitment, more tension.

"Say hello to my little friend."

Overall the film is amazing... So many good sequences and scenes, So many good lines, So much AWESOMENESS. Try watching it without going "My God this film is epic." You can't. Simple truth.

Best bit? The Shotgun shootout in the street. One of my favourite scenes ever.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Timecrimes OR Los Cronocrimenes

You may well have guessed that this film isn't an English language film. That's okay right? We don't mind some subtitles, do we? No. Because one cannot claim to love films without first accepting films in all of its forms and varieties.

Anyhoo. Do you like Time travel? Paradoxes? Naked Women? Crazed bandage wearing freaks? Then boy do I have a film for you! In English it's called Timecrimes though its real name is Los Cronocrimenes, directed by Spanish director, Nacho Vigalondo (His first feature film may I add.) I was first attracted to this film when they showed this picture in Empire Magazine:

Only a real man can pull off pink...

I love crazy, psychotic characters and when I saw those bandages I knew he'd be a good'un. And so I read the article but alas it wasn't that informative.... But HMV had the answer; there it was in the foreign films section for only £3. How could I refuse? I couldn't is the answer. And it didn't disappoint.
The plot is awesome. It feels like one should think more but really you just have to sit back and watch the events occur. It's mind bending nevertheless; How does the loop start? Did any paradoxes occur? Did Hector affect the timeline at all? The simple answers to all these questions is... It doesn't matter. IMDB message boards will answer them correctly but the simple truth is you don't need to know.

Next, the acting. I very much enjoyed Karra Elejalde's change from a mildly grumpy middle aged man to a dark, sinister character as he battles himself for his life. (You'll get it if you watch the film) He travels back in time a couple of hours and has to preserve the timeline and ensure that he (Hector 1) proceeds to carry out Hector 2's actions. Confusing? Nah. Watch it... it'll make sense.

"Damn I knew I should've brought my telescope"

Overall the film is an enjoyable waste of 90 minutes or so. There are some excellent camera shots, an awesome score, some OMG NO WAY moments and some funny times. Also look out for a crew member trying to get out of camera shot at around 4 minutes when Hector picks up the phone.

Best Bit? Another Tricky one but I'm gonna go with The first chase in the woods with the bandaged guy. (See second picture for exact moment.)