Sunday, April 29, 2007

Clerks II

Ahh, Kevin Smith, one of the movie industry's great conundums.

He's revered by many many people, does Q&A's all over the place (was tempted to go to the London one myself), he shot to stardom with the really rather good indie-slacker-fest that was Clerks, B&W, dialoge that equates to being the Tarantino of the comedy world and yet something eludes him... another good film, preferably without Jay & Silent Bob.

Dogma was ok, everything else sucks balls.

So he comes back with Clerks 2, back to what he knows best, a film to give closure on that chapter of his life, to reflect about being in his 30's.... or a desperate attempt to rekindle what success he had before???

Probably a bit of everything and unfortunatly for the most part, Clerks 2 is utter toss, when you consider turning a film off, that ain't good.

The store burnt down, so they now work in a burger bar and "hilarity" ensues... parts i remember (literally just watched it) that made me chuckle...

1. Lord Of The Vom
2. Work based relationship (know how that feels)
3. ....

that's all I can remember.

Something that struck me.. Rosairo Dawson is ridiculously natural throughout most of it and although they probably fit the characters a little better than they should, both Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson are pretty good throughout, just the film isn't.

It's all about the swearing, all about how crude and offensive can I be... oh how big and clever is that Kevin??

Then as it's dragging towards the end, once it's grated past the "donkey show" and it enters it's final act...wait a minute...what's this????

This is good, a little poor on pacing, could do with getting chopped a bit, but listen to it, it has meaning, it has substance, emotion... KEVIN SMITH CAN ACTUALLY WRITE!!!!

Then why the hell doesn't he do it more often?!?!?

Clerks II - 5/10

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

I died watching this. I properly asphyxiated, lost all control over my bowels and thoroughly enjoyed myself all the while.

Dodgeball is one of the funniest films I've seen for ages, pure stupid, mostly slapstick, humor.

Justin Long is brilliant, Stephen Root occasionally slips into Milton, Ben Stiller is "FrEAky Naughtay"

I can't express how funny this film is, that and it's late and my word skills are shite at the mo.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story - 9/10


This was intreaguing from the moment I heard about it, a Noir thriller set in a high school, with the kid out of 3rd Rock from The Sun.

See, intreaguing huh? (I'm sure I'm spelling that wrong)

This is one that I'm gonna have to let sink in for a bit, then watch it again, then let it sink in and so-on. It's a good film, clearly indie, no-budget, well acted in proper Film Noir style, the dialoge and story is (as the writer/director says) almost straight out of a Dashiell Hammett novel.

All in all it's an enjoyable ride, quiet, little hard to follow in places and doesn't have a great high finish, but it's well put together and engaging, to be honest, i don't know what to say about it, because it hasn't really sunk in and I've been mulling it over for at least a week!!!

Want something a little different, watch this.

Brick - 8/10

Friday, April 20, 2007

300 (IMAX: DMR)

My second, IMAX feature film experience (the first being Poseidon), third trip to the BFI IMAX in Waterloo overall.

300 in IMAX. Just think about that for a moment. You've seen the trailers, glorious sepia toned CD, big oily men (!?), a lot of speed ramped violence... 20 meters high! (ish after letterboxing)

300 is all about violence, the Spartan's are warriors (apart from the odd pussy politicians, some skanky-put-you-off-your-popcorn monks and some unfeasibly attractive women), and king Leonidis (Gerard Butler) in true Braveheart fashion leads 300 of them off to fend off the advancing Persian army led by the (I'm not really into Gay bondage, honest) Xerxes, who I've just this second discoved is Paulo in Lost!?!? I saw his name (Rodrigo Santoro) in the credits and wondered who he played.

Now I didn't go into this expecting Gladiator, or much else apart from some top-notch comic book action, and that's exactly what I got, cheers. As far as a Frank Miller adap goes, I haven't read anything of his except Batman: Year One, so I can't give an honest comparison. I hated Sin City (film) though and felt this was infinitly better.

In true Connery fashion, Butler's Greek accent is decidedly Scottish ("Madness? THIS IS GLASGOW!"), but it doesn't matter, once you get over noticing it when he speaks (you don't notice it in the wide mouth shouty bits so much), who cares.

My qualms are minor.. 300, they keep referring to 300, but there's two issues with this, The Captain refers to having assembled 300 men, plus captain and Leonidis, that makes 302, not as catchy I know. Also I'm sure the odd couple get killed off, which would then reduce the number, but possibly does round it off to the 300??

And the other thing with the accents... Pleistarchos (I think it's him), the deformed Spartan, I think runs a local shop... for local people... which was a bit off putting at times and a tad dissapointing when Steve Pemberton didn't appear in the credits.

Overall I've got a lot of time for Zack Snyder, I enjoyed the Dawn Of The Dead remake and I enjoyed this. Bring on Watchmen.

300 - 8/10

The Prestige

C'mon Nolan!!

Let's be honest here, Christopher Nolan is a bloody good film maker, let's look at the back catalogue..

Doodlebug (short, not seen it)
Following (Still haven't seen this, but it's supposed to be amazing.)
Memento (CHEERS!)
Insomnia (His low point so far, but still better than a lot of films)
Batman Begins (CHEERS!)
The Prestige (See below)
The Dark Knight (2008 - BRING IT ON!)

You get my point.

Anyway, The Prestige is the third act of a magic trick, if you've seen any of the trailers you'll know it's The Pledge, The Turn, The Prestige.

And that's what this film is all about, the third act, the great reveal, primarily surrounding two rival magicians' attempts to out do each other. The aforementioned magicians being Bordon (Bale) and Angier (Jackman).

Hugh Jackman, as always is extremely watchable, the man oozes entertainment (watch the special features to hear is native Aussie accent... weird!), he plays Robert Angier, who appears to be from a more well-to-do background, better spoken, better posture, a more upper class kinda guy.

Christian Bale, plays Alfred Borden, the working class foil to Jackman's Angier. I pitch Bale's accent somewhere between American Psycho and Reign Of Fire, sometime slipping into the pure 'London Gruffness' of his RoF voice.

I'll be honest, I'm losing faith in Bale, I've yet to see Harsh Times, but the guy's seeming more 1.5D as he goes on.

Anyway, the film is brillaintly put together, the plot winding it's way through in a similar fashion to Memento, with different times running parrallel and despite many a dodgy accent (Yes you Mr Bowie!), we got to the end feeling well done by and pretty impressed.

Scarlett Johansson who gets a pretty big billing, doesn't seem to be as much as I thought she would be, which is a bit of a shame, but then she's also got a hint of the Dick Van Dyke school of accents going on.

The Prestige - 8/10

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ghost Rider

This latest Marvel adap has been slagged off left, right and centre. For starters it's got Nicholas Cage in the lead role, not something you'd expect in a superhero movie (yes I know he was considered for Superman..still no), it's written and directed by the same guy who did Daredevil, which was ok, but certainly not the best superhero movie ever made, and despite it's success at the US box office, there was a certain amount of trepidation in setting out to watch this one.

It's not that bad, it's no Spider-Man or Batman Begins, but it's slightly better than Daredevil and overall pretty entertaining.

Think "The Lone Ranger" meets "Constantine" and you're pretty much there, it's all about riding and the devil and obviously the devil's insubordinate minions.

It's all a bit silly really, Johnny Blaze (Y'all) with his flaming head and Eva Mendes swooning for him, but still, pretty entertaining and it's got Goodwin in it.

Ghost Rider - 7/10


um... er... BLEURGH!!!

Please no-one else give Kurt Wimmer ANY money for ANYTHING! Equilibrium wasn't that bad, this is just horrible!

Ultraviolet - 1/10*

* for having Milla Jovovich in it and the "Are you mental?" line

Thursday, April 12, 2007


A little disjointed (no pun intented), but technically quite impressive, some of the camera work seems way ahead of it's time, bear in mind this is 1932!

Clearly the technical aspects of this overwhelmed the scrubby plot, with some quite deep subtext floating thoughout, but it's a pretty easy one to follow, depsite the terrible editing.

"Freak" falls for "Dame", "Dame" trys to con "Freak", other "Freaks" not that chuffed about that.

It's one of those films that's on the list of "everyone should see", and I think with good reason, similar to Romero's Night Of The Living Dead, it pushed the envelope for it's time, as does this, the use of real people with real disorders, clearly for shock value, but most can actually act rather well too!

Basically, surprisingly good, and I believe public domain, thus freely available online.

Freaks - 8/10

Monday, April 09, 2007

Office Space

I've been waiting like, AGES to see this. I kept hearing about it, mainly online and from Americans, but I kept hearing about it nonetheless.

HMV have got it for £6 at the mo and I nearly bought it the other day, however I didn't and fortunately it was on BBC2 last night!!

I was laughing virtually from the get-go, especially when Milton was introduced (as he's the funniest thing in the film!.. I didn't quite get the T-shirts before.) however it does tend to lose steam as it goes on. As soon as they're out of the office and not doing work stuff, it gets a little dull and you can be forgiven for looking away every now and again, however it does have sufficient laughs to keep you mostly entertained for and hour and a bit and I may fork out that £6 for it yet, but if I'm lucky Fopp will have it for 5 ;)

Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler...

Office Space - 7/10

Visitor Q (Bijitâ Q)

yeahhh. um...

Took a while to sink in this one, I finally got round to watching it the other day and, well, as with all the other Miike Takashi films I've seen, it completely fried me.

The spec Miike was given for this film was it must be shot on video and it must be about love.

...and then he did his thing.

Essentially about a dysfunctional family (very dysfunctional), a shamed reporter, a beaten mother, a prostitute daughter and a bullied son, their lives are completely (to quote Fresh Prince) flip-turned upside down, when the mysterious Visitor comes to stay at their home.

Despite going through a checklist of taboos, there was nothing that made me flinch and turn away, possibly because of the extremely odd and somewhat comedic context, although others may not be as comfortable.

I've never been one to pick up on metaphors or get a lot of the messages within the subtext of films, but i can kinda see where this one's going by the end, in it's own warped and twisted way anyway. It's a film that everyone should see, as with most Takashi films, at least once.

Visitor Q (Bijitâ Q) - 8/10