Saturday, 6 October 2012

September Watch List

1. Elfie Hopkins
So, Elfie Hopkins was the subject of a post a while back, it was the flavour of the month, cannibals, which for me is most grim. The story of Elfie, small country town girl and wannabe detective. Intrigued by the new neighbours and the disappearance of a few residents Elfie is on, then off, then on the case again with the help of her sidekick/friend/love interest Dylan. There is a lot more going on in this film that you think. All the characters have backgrounds that are hinted at then never explored. Its frustrating. The film itself isn't brilliant, but I just love its low value. This sort of ensemble would probably do better as a one off TV series. 3/5

2. Killing Bono
No idea if this story is true or not, but in places its quite amusing. But overall, I was really bored. When a film is basically about the downfall of something or someone even when they didn't really have much anyway, is just annoying and depressing. The actors are great but as I said I was just bored. I might have to give this film another chance but it was borderline cliche and predictable. 2/5

3. Made in Dagenham
Based on true events, this story of a group of woman wanting equal pay was exactly what it said on the tin. It was heartwarming and uplifting and almost made me cry. The women fought for justice and eventually got what they deserved even though they had to wait a few more years. It's hard to believe that woman were paid only a third of what a man earnt. Mixed in places with real footage and interviews with the real women involved added a nice documentary type touch that was needed. A great film. 3/5

4. Anna Karenina
I never knew the story of Anna Karenina and even I guessed her fate a mile off I thought this film was amazing. Set almost completely inside and around a theatre apart from a few scenes in a remote house surrounded by fields. The director, Joe Wright used the space brilliantly, using the wings of the stage as the streets outside and transforming the theatre into a racing course. Truly inspired. Apart from the exquisite visuals such as the set and costumes, the acting was good too. Keira Knightly was really heartbreaking as the title role and I actually didn't hate Aaron Johnson too much in the film. I have never seen a film like this, the way it was presented that is. Amazing. But one thing, the ending, like most of Wright's films, the ending was blunt. 4/5

5. The Gay Divorcee
A classic Fred and Ginger film. The first one I saw all the way through actually. Not only is the story quite amusing with lots of misunderstandings and misdirection, but there also some great songs and dance scenes. 'Night and Day' and 'The Continental' (that goes on for a good 15 minutes). The studios said Fred Astaire was no actor, no singer but that man could dance. Kind of true but I think he can sing and act ok. He does an amazing tap dance right at the start of the film just before he accidentally rips Ginger Rogers' dress (really amusing bit). One of the best films they did in my opinion. 4/5

6. Dredd
The future is bleak and violent in this second adaptation of Judge Dredd or is it another attempt at bringing the famous character from the 2000AD comics to the big screen as Sylvester Stallone really ruined it in the 90's. But this film was impressive. I was put off at first by the 3D add on but looking past that, the film tells a good story, unfortunately it bares some resemblance to The Raid, both have stories revolving around tower blocks. The tower block in Dredd is more like a Mega Block housing 50,000 people and is run by the criminal Ma-Ma Clan who are circulating a new drug that slows down time for the user. Its very violent which I enjoyed very much and most importantly Judge Dredd was also menacing and doesn't take his helmet off. Worth seeing. 4/5

7. Lawless
Almost missed seeing this epic film. I am not exaggerating when I say this film was so good it hurts. It had me on the edge of my seat for most of it and I'm not sure why. The story of three brothers who have make a living selling moonshine during prohibition and who then cause a huge fuss when the incredibly creepy and disgusting Rakes (played to perfection by Guy Pearce) starts making things difficult. Humourous in parts which is needed when the film is quite dark and harsh to its characters. Shia LaBeouf has redeemed himself in my eyes after all that Transformers crap and he is back to actually acting and taking good roles. Tom Hardy is superb, his grunting and love of cardigans provides some humourous moments, one in particular when he is told that his Jessica Chastain tells him that she dragged him to the hospital when she found him with his throat cut in a pool of his own blood and simply says 'I thought I walked'. Fantastic acting and a based on truth story to match, thats what I meant. 5/5

8. Bel Ami
There seems to a revival of costume dramas where a young man is at the centre and loads of women surround him. Robert Pattinson is that man in this film. To makes his way through Paris having just returned penniless from the army where he meets an old army chum who gives him a job and from there is meets lots of women who he seduces, has affairs with, marries then seduces again all on his way to secure a fortune, even if he is unhappy through most of it. Based on a book which I'm sure had plenty more in it, but this time I am not bothered. I didn't like any of the characters, I thought they were all selfish and couldn't make up their minds what they were doing or wanted. 2/5

9. Looper

Saving the best til last. People have been torn of this masterpiece. Excellent reviews and then the audience had either loved it or disliked it. The problem with most of the quibbles going round is that the film was not what was adveristed basically. They wanted a fast action filled gun fest or something. Well this is not the films fault, that is the marketers fault, gearing you up for something that wasn't coming. The film is amazing, the concept brilliant, I love the director and know his work well so understand how this works. I would say, yes could have been scene or two shorter and more characters development for a few of the other minor characters would have been good, BUT this film is brilliant. My favourite genre, well subject that I have written about, genre twisting!!! Its not a typical straight forward sci-fi film nor an action film, its better. The actors were awesome, my favourite scene is when the two selves meet at a diner, loved it. Expect another post on this matter soon. 5/5

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