Thursday, 29 November 2012

November Watch List

If you have those old blue and red 3D glasses, put them on . . . . . .  . . . . . . NOW!

This is the awesome cover of the current Little White Lies issue, this bi-month, it is The Master Issue.

1. The Master

To some this film is known as 'the Scientology' (and I was just spell checked to make sure it had a capital S), to others its the sixth film from Paul Thomas Anderson and to critics and film fan everywhere it is a highly acclaimed masterpiece. For me, its the return of Joaquin Phoenix on the screen, not as a crazy hobo beard character. Although that documentary was hilarious. This film is not about L.Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Although there are comparisons this film is about Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman)who is the charismatic leader/author of The Cause. After Naval veteran Freddie (Joaquin) wonders onto the leader's boat, he becomes enthralled by the man and his following, but their relationship ultimately unravels. People have been split over this film, mostly because of the build up. It wasn't as in your face as some campaigns, the film sort of crept up on us. It's an amazing film and the cast are incredible. Most of the applause will go to Hoffman but I think, not bias opinion, Joaquin Phoenix deserves praise for his portrayal as broken, animalistic, lost Freddie. I think I need to see it again just to take it all in but as I saw the film screened in 70mm I'm not sure a second view would measure up to how amazing it looked. It felt like it was actually from the 50's. A masterpiece. 5/5

2. Rust and Bone

If I could just play the trailer in this section, it would sum up the beauty and brilliance of this film. Based on a collection of short stories of the same name by Craig Davidson. In short its the story about an unemployed single father and ex-boxer/kick boxer who falls in love with a woman who trains killer whales. In truth they start to fall in love til very late on in the story. Stephanie, the whale trainer has a terrible accident that completely ruins her life. When I saw the trailer I thought she only damages her legs but the scene where she wakes up to see her lower parts of her legs missing is unbelievable horrific. Its after this accident that they begin to connect. The scenes under water are amazing, but the scene that touched me the most is when Stephanie is standing in front the whale tank and she starts the routine she used to do and whale responds and it still remembers her. Although Marion Cotillard's name is everywhere on this film and she really is great in the film, I see this as Matthias Schoennaerts' story. His character has been left with his son by the mother, who you find out later was using her son as a drug mule. After being taken in by his sister, he takes various jobs to keep afloat but he soon starts to take part in illegal street fighting. The fights are brutal but aren't seen as terrible because Stephanie approves, even helps out with sorting the bets. The film is amazing and I can definitely see some awards on the horizon or its criminal. Then again, Drive was the best film of last year and snubbed completely. 5/5

3. Spaceballs

I love an old spoof as much as the next person but really Mel Brooks, do you really have to have THAT many Jewish jokes in the film? Apart from that, the film was good and I did laugh out loud, especially at Rick Moranis as a sort of piss take of Darth Vader. The fact it was a spoof of a collection of sci-fi films was enjoyable. I particularly loved John Hurt's cameo in the diner scene, brilliant. The story was basic, the best way to make a comedy, Princess Vespa is rescued after she runs away from an arranged marriage. Lone Starr (a very young looking Bill Pullman) and his buddy Barf (a hald man/dog John Candy) rescue her and her android friend and an adventure ensues. They meet a disturbing yoda type wise creature (Mel Brooks) who teaches them about 'the schwartz' (annoying) and there is a satisfying ending. Not my favourite, nothing beats Dracula: Dead and Loving It, but a pretty good film. 3/5

4. Gambit

I love how the lion is on the poster yet only seconds in the film. Gambit is the long awaited film written by the Coen Brother but not directed by them. Shame. Gambit is a remake of the 1966 version which the producer, Mike Lobell saw at its premiere in London. After several revisions, cast changes, script changes, the Coen Brothers script triumphed. The story is about art curator Harry Deane who works for the god awful Lord Shabandar. To exact revenge on him, he devises a scheme involving his friend the Major who paints copies of famous artworks and rodeo queen, PJ Puznowski. The film feels set up to be this great caper but in fact its very subtle the whole way through, that is, until we see a lion as the 'security' of an art gallery. The cast is good, the script is better. When watching the film, I did laugh out loud several times but I couldn't help but wish the Coen Brothers had directed it. It would have be so much better, more Coenesque, maybe more violent and possibly not a 12A. Saying this, the scenes at the Savoy were pitch perfect, Colin Firth is brilliant as Harry Deane as he changes from room to room not wearing trousers. See it just for that scene, or best wait for DVD. 3/5

1 comment:

  1. This is the first postive review iv read about gambit, as I'm sure you've seen, the critics are slating it. Really want to see the master and Argo but its gone now :( x