Showing posts with label Movies. Show all posts

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Dream a little dream of me

Posted on Saturday, 17 July 2010

Last night I had a lovely meal out and then saw Inception with Rike and some friends.
I've really enjoyed all of Christopher Nolan's previous films and I think he does an excellent job of creating surprising and compelling stories.
I'm not really going to say anything about the plot, other than to advise you avoid reading anything about it until you've seen it - not because there's anything particularly secret, but because it's nice to not have any preconceptions about what might happen.
For me, the best films have me leaving the cinema totally caught up in their world, my mind reeling with the possibilities of what they have explored. Inception achieved this, and I want to see it again, although preferably at home on Bluray so I can hear every word of dialogue properly - a surprising shortcoming of one of London's flagship cinemas.

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Revolver

Posted on Wednesday, 28 September 2005

Mr Madonna, sorry, Guy Ritchie, is back with another film. This time it stars Jason Stratham and is generally about unpleasant londoner types; So no change there for Ritchie.
He has an impressive pedigree - Lock Stock is a very very good gangster film and Snatch was a worthy followup, but Revolver is largely nonsense unfortunately.
It has a pretty clever idea and some snappy dialogue, but it also has a lot of meaningless rambling and a very strange central message - other reviewers have suggested this is the influence of Madonna's crazy Kabbalah beliefs, which sounds entirely plausible to me.
So basically don't bother wasting your money, watch Lock Stock or Snatch again :)

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Alfie

Posted on Monday, 1 November 2004

If you are a Michael Caine fan, or like brit movies, or just generally like good old movies (or were young when it was released), you've probably seen the original Alfie, tale of a Jack The Lad character who cares only for himself and slowly becomes aware of the hurt this causes those around him.
Of course, the original is now too old to make any proper bank, so it's time to take a good idea and apply a thick layer of shiny mediocrity and remake it; and so they have, with Jude Law as a modern Alfie.
Law has the charm to pull off the kind of character Alfie is supposed to be, but I felt the film generally was quite hollow. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but it didn't feel like it offered very much in the latter stages of the film - Alfie is learning the errors of his ways, but I just didn't care very much.
Also, the wardrobe people need firing, Alfie didn't have a single suit that was actually big enough for him. Your arms shouldn't bulge out wider than the shoulder pads!

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Team America

Posted on Tuesday, 26 October 2004

Ok ok, so I slightly downloaded a copy of Team America: World Police. Sue me, I'm gonna go pay my dorrah when it comes out in several MONTHS time and buy the DVD ;)
It is extremely childish and stupid, but it was also hilarious. I can see a lot of people aren't going to like it though and quite a few will probably be offended by it.
The puppets have amazing heads, they're really astonishingly good. The bodies are shit, but it looks like they did that deliberately to make the puppets fight/run really stupidly.
Their charaterisation of Kim Jong Il is absolutely fantastic and I found myself laughing at almost everything he said; Some of the Team America characters were quite annoying though, so it wasn't perfect by any means.
As my flatmate pointed out, they didn't do enough work on the satire really. I'd still recommend it if you're a Trey and Matt fan.

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Hellboy: Directors Cut

Posted on Monday, 18 October 2004

Hellboy is another release in the recent spate of comic inspired movies riding the dollar wave of Spiderman and X-Men. Unlike some of them, it's actually a pretty good film.
It's pretty standard stuff in terms of a comic action movie, but the performances set the film apart from its peers. Ron Perlman is very amusing as the stone-fisted Ted Danson lookalike "Hellboy", John Hurt is convincing as the doddery Professor (classic comic stuff, a father-like figure who provides moral guidance and then dies somehow) and Karl Roden is sinister as Rasputin.
The effects are quite nicely done - some of the transitions from real people to CGI people are a bit obvious, but these things are still remarkably hard to do right when you are looking at them at DVD or higher resolution (case in point, Matrix Reloaded's effects looked seamless at the cinema, a bit noticeable on DVD and they are just plain obvious on the HDTV version - there's simply so much detail that no computer algorithms currently available can trick your brain into believing it is reality). I guess the sound was ok, but none of the soundtrack sticks in my mind, so it can't have been great ;)
If you like action movies and don't mind them going for humour/style over substance, you might like this.

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Hero

Posted on Friday, 24 September 2004

Movie poster. Hero is a tale of assassins and a lone officer of the law, set hundreds of years ago in China. Jet Li plays the title role, Nameless, a local law official who has defeated several assassins bound to kill the King. He relates his tale in an audience with the King, with interesting consequences.
I can't really say anything else without giving the film away, but the plot is pretty good. What really shines about this film though is the visuals; It's definitely an art flick more than anything else. Colour is used very dramatically to convey a varying sense of reality, which is actually quite crucial to understanding what's happening. You may notice what I'm talking about towards the end.
The action is superb too, with scenes ranging from swordplay on water (a very Crouching Tiger scene) to an archery assault the likes of which you can't even imagine, it's definitely varied and interesting, though it does lean predominantly towards sword fighting. You do have to suspend a lot of disbelief because physics has been utterly sacrificed in the name of visual effect. Also largely done away with is continuity of motion between shots, also it seems in the name of making it look prettier and this felt quite jarring at times.
Overall I can't recommend this film enough - if you liked Crouching Tiger you'll definitely like Hero, and if you didn't then this might have enough frenetic action to keep you interested :-)

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Ghost in the shell 2: Innocence

Posted on Thursday, 23 September 2004

Movie poster. I'm going to start with the easy stuff. The soundtrack is excellent, the animation is superb, the 3D rendering is exquisite, the cinematography is great...technically this is a superb film. It does fall squarely into the category of extremely strange Japanese anime though. The original movie was also pretty strange, but it was possible to follow the plot and it made sense; The sequel, however, is an impenetrable fortress of strangeness on the first watch. I probably need to see it a couple more times so I can get the visuals and subtitles all taken in, especially since something was wrong with the subtitles we saw, with the odd phrase being repeated - at times it seemed like one person was having a conversation with themselves in two voices because only one mouth was moving. I'm not quite sure how much of it was the android characters not needing to move their mouths and how much of it was dodgy Internet subtitles ;-)
I'll get this on DVD as soon as they will let me, and update this with a second impression.
Update: Yeah, so the film is way way way better with decent subs, albeit fan subs (which was no bad thing, they included a few translation notes that were very useful, like explanations of opaque Japanese proverbs). Excellent film, if you like anime at all you should see it.

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Infernal Affairs

Movie poster. Sam is an organised crime boss and he has a plan. Inspector Wong is the police officer in charge of beating organised crime, and thus Sam, and he has a plan too.
They both want to win and they both know what the other is up to, and that is infiltrating their organisations with moles, so for an hour and a half you're wondering who's going to get found out and if they are actually a good or bad guy. This tension carries right up to the end and indeed beyond it (hurray for films that don't provide ultimate finality).
While there's very little actual action in this film, the suspense, script and acting will keep you engrossed to the end and maybe into the pre&sequels :-)