Saturday, 6 February 2010

From now on I'm gonna write short film reviews - just movies I've picked up (previously seen and unseen).

Donnie Darko: A movie which I wish had focused more on the schizophrenic side of the human psyche or the way teenagers feel rather than just the stupid dark coolness it tries to create (it's obvious teens have sucked this up). Jake Gyllenhaal tries his best with a pointless storyline. 3 Stars

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Has a great message which they know is almost too hard to open up fully. An original film which falls back onto the strength of the performances and the great imagery. 3.5 Stars

Lost in Translation: A great chemistry between Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray, an obvious classic that avoids being cheesy or overly sentimental. Brilliantly funny (although is that everyone's image of Japan?) and a film that truly makes you think. 4 Stars

The Hurt Locker: I thought that directors and writers would be all over the Iraq war like they were over Vietnam and sooner, this being the age we live in? A film that plays the Hollywood game but holds it all together with a documentary feel. 4 Stars

Up: Wow! Finally the first good - no scratch that - great kids movie in a long while. Characters so vivid and realistic you could almost link them to people you know and a subtle storytelling from Pixar. This could be movie of the year. 4 Stars

No Country for Old Men: A strange but brilliantly directed film from the Coen Brothers. Realistic and correctly paced with beautiful cinematography throughout. Actor of the year should go to either Josh Brolin or Javier Bardem. 4 Stars

Avatar: A film that's so hard to judge because the amazing graphics and attention to detail completely outweigh the basic storyline (dancing with wolves) and uninteresting conclusion. I'm sure a lot of people will find this disappointing yet enjoyable and I hate to give it such a grade but it has to be so. 4 Stars

Boogie Nights: A brilliant movie which is so seamless in it's presentation. The direction allows us to actually believe the situations and makes the characters real too. Probably a movie which will go down as a personal favourite for many although they won't know why. 4 Stars

Deathproof: Yet another naively presented movie from the head in his arse i.e. Quentin Tarantino. Following the typical rut Quentin has made for himself he allows no suspense to build whatsoever which is almost a necessity in these kinds of movies. I also which he had focused on only the primary characters as the first group of girls were poor characters who I hated. 2.5 Stars

Pulp Fiction: To align Pulp Fiction, Tarantino's best work, to Deathproof, one of his worst, is an obvious exercise. A movie that actually merits his use of ‘cool’ and a storyline that is executed which such a great subtlety it's easy to mistake it for mediocre. A personal favourite of mine since being a teen, as with most things teens worship, the effects are wearing off fast. Still, it deserves a place in any best-of list. 4 Stars

Raging Bull: Placed 4th on the ‘AFI 100 Greatest Films of all Time’ list this film deserves it based on cinematography alone. A movie that some may misjudge and therefore possibly forget for a few other more culturally known films. This is definitely one of my favourite films and I could argue the merits of the acting, the storyline or even the direction but I'll leave that to film students. The reason why this is so good is that for the first time since I don't know when my father stayed awake for the whole film even though it broke the 12 o'clock mark. I could tell, even though he probably wouldn't have liked to have show it, that he was literally blown away by this movie. For a man who hates technology, that's saying something. 4 Stars

Die Hard: Cheesy, very cheesy, but enjoyable with beer. It's the ultimate action movie and with one of the best villains of all time played by Alan Rickman I can see why it's become such a male favourite (males being animals who lack major thought processes). The major flaws are the pointless talks between Bruce and Reginald (as every man knows) and all the other filler moments which distract from the storyline. It almost feels like a corny Christmas movie (oh wait isn't it set at Christmas?) but with blood and loud noises. If you see it from a storyline point of view and avoid all the cheesy attempts to make this a classic it really does stink, doesn't it? 2 Stars

Michael Clayton: Breathtakingly directed and a storyline so memorable it's the kind of film I wish was revered as a classic but won't be. With an incredible cast who downplay any Hollywood-ness this is something I could watch again and again at appropriate intervals. 4 Stars

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