Saturday, 27 April 2013

April: Hit, Miss or Maybe

It's been a good month for HITs. 

1. Soldiers of Fortune

From the trailer and the cast list I thought this film would be a dream come true. I was very wrong. The plot was paper thin so I assumed it would be a good bad film. The cast, Sean Bean AND Dominic Monghan in the same film!! Amazing luck. The story is slighting complicated, following a disgraced solider, Christain Slater, who is then hired to run a boot camp for 5 millionaires who are paying for the experience of being a solider in live combat but in no real danger. The money they have paid goes towards fighting a revolution on this island. It wasn't exactly clear what was going on there. The script is terrible, the millionaires were cast perfectly but very stereotypical so it was hard to enjoy even that part. Everything else about this film was awful. The film tries to be something bigger but it was obviously restricted in budget and talent (some cast members excluded). I can see why it was a straight to DVD film. MISS

2. Slumdog Millionaire

Finally saw this Oscar winner. I waited because the hype annoyed me. Petty, I know. The film was brilliant, I don't see why some people hate it but can't see why such fuss was made about it. Danny Boyle is a fantastic director and that should definitely be celebrated. For the ten other people who haven't seen it yet, the story is about Jamal and his journey from being an orphaned slumdog to winning Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The story spans years and is told in flashback. Jamal is arrested for allegedly cheating on the show after he wins one million rupees. He explains how he knows the answers and his life story and his long search for his love, Latika. It's a great story, based on the novel, 'Q&A' by Vikas Swarup and the direction is brilliant. It was great film but I don't understand the hype. HIT

3. A Late Quartet

Never has a film made me cry as much since Where The Wild Things Are. When I say cry, I mean well up and a tear falls. That's a lot for me. And all my tears belong to the master, Christopher Walken. That guy deserves an award dammit. The poster basically says it all. When I came out of the cinema my parents said they'd never seen me so moved. This is true. The story is about a quartet, The Fugue, a famous group of musicians who are approaching they're 25th anniversary and with the announcement that Peter (Christopher Walken) is suffering from illness and might be able to play anymore, the other three members unleash secrets, lies, betrayal which could break them up for good. There are basically 5 people in this film, the Quartet and then two of the members' daughter. Each cast member has their own story to tell and no one is ahead of the other, they are equal, and that is actually one of the themes in the film. The music is amazing, the cast are mesmerizing and I cannot recommend this film more. HIT

4. The Place Beyond the Pines

Spanning 15 years, the is split into three parts, three stories that intertwine. Set in Schenectady, New York. In the first part, Handsome Luke (Ryan Gosling) is motorcycle stuntman who travels around with a carnival. Its been a year since he was in town and sees his last fling (Eva Mendes). She had his child and now he wants to provide form them. He leaves the carnival and starts robbing banks. The second part follows Avery (Bradley Cooper) an ambitious cop who wants to move up in the ranks and tries to bring down corruption in the station. The third part is about AJ (Emory Cohen) and Jason (Dane DeHaan) meet at school and become unlikely friends no knowing the connection their fathers' have. The soundtrack sets this story of fathers and sons so well mixed with the long shots of a noraml average town while holding onto secrets of the past. The mirrored moments that a particular father and son share, 15 years apart is heart felt, even though the characters are questionable. The cast were brilliant and it was good to see Bradley Cooper playing against type, as well as seeing more of Dane DeHaan. The English meaning of Schenectady is loosely derived from the Mohawk word 'the place beyond the pines'. HIT

5. Pitch Perfect

Described as the grown up Glee, its not, its better! It all about the a capella! Set in a nondescript College, moody music obsessed Beca moves in to hall. Her father seeing she doesn't want to be there but wants her to have an education makes a deal, join a group and make friends and he will let her go to LA to pursue a music producer career. So she joins an all female a capella group, the Barden Belles. They compete in competitions against their rivals the Treblemakers and sing some awesome sings. We all know that Rebel Wilson steals the show as Fat Amy but its the group that make the film amazing. Its funny and everyone can sing which is an extra bonus, thank god. The added commentary from Elizabeth Banks and John Micheal Higgins is just the hilarious cherry on the a capella cake. I hear rumours of a follow up which is excellent news. Sequels are usually uncalled for but in this case, I want more!! HIT

6. Seven Psychopaths

I wish I had written this. I am a big fan of In Bruges and an even bigger fan of Martin McDonagh. I laughed until I couldn't breath at his play, The Lieutenant of Inishmore. The story is so twisted brilliantly delivered I was smiling for (most of) the entire film. Some scenes were laugh out loud but the characters (I really love character pieces) were so well written. Everything knitted together. What starts off as a film about a drunk Irish screenwriter trying to finish his script, Seven Psychopaths, turns into a dognapping gone wrong, turned revenge feud, turned desperate shootout. Marty (based loosely on Martin McDonagh himself when trying to finish In Bruges) is an alcoholic in denial trying to finish his latest screenplay. His friend Billy Bickle, actor and dognapper on the side, tries to help with ideas for psychopaths. Meanwhile, crime boss Charlie Costello is angry, his beloved dog has been kidnapped. Billy and Hans, his business partner, have kidnapped the dog, Bonny. From there, everything goes crazy and wrong, partly in a good way. The seven psychopaths of the story are not the characters on the poster, well not all of them, but they are the characters that Marty has included in his screenplay. Each character has a background and plot line, very detailed, very good. Like Marty when he meets one who answered an advert, he is on the edge of his seat, as was I when I watch this film. HIT

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