Friday, December 30, 2011

Movie Edition 2011.

You know the drill.

Into the Wild - ****
The kid was surprisingly whiny. And everything was so depressing. But it was good. Loving the Eddie Vedder soundtrack too. Definitely sort of appealling to the same crowd that Theroux or Kerouac novels do. But yeah, it definitely wasn't the standard hipster indie film I was expecting.

The Proposition - ****
Not bad for a western. Very Nick Cave, especially John Hurt's character, and the entire, graphic ending. Loving the soundtrack as well, though I might be a bit biased. It's a familiar sort of story, but it's just an interesting take on it by setting it in colonial Australia. Did not like David Wenham's overacting. Check it out.

Primer - ***
Very slow pace, but they rush everything. You're on the back foot the whole time. To be honest, I liked it for this, but everything was left open and unexplained at the end, and not in a good way.

Gangs of New York - ***
My disc kept skipping, so maybe it'd be better if I hadn't lost half an hour's worth of dialogue. Still a little slow, after one hell of an opening scene, but the ending was awesome.

Garage Days - ***1/2
It's funny how fast this has dated. When this came out, Australian music was all about bands like Spiderbait, Jebediah, the Superjesus, Frenzal Rhomb, and You Am I. Powderfinger had only just released Odyssey Number 5, they were still sort of a grungey garage band. I wish things were still like this. Anyway, not a bad story, not sure if Pia Miranda is hot or not, and the tripping out sequences was hilarious. Also amusing was the amount of importance placed on Homebake, which didn't run this year.

The Illusionist - ****
It's like they took this film, and just dipped it in sepia. Everyone had a silly accent too. But the ending made it worth it. I still think the Prestige was better, but this one had an insane tweeest.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus - ***
Very hot redhead. Confusing plot. Johnny Depp was in Captain Jack mode, as usual. Not sure what on earth Tom Waits was doing. Visually though, very cool, and you can definitely see the Monty Python influence.

Mary and Max - ****1/2
Much like The Road, it's just depressing thing on top of depressing thing. There's a wry sense of humour to it all, like in Harvey Krumpet, but it's still ridiculously sad. Just when you think things can't get any worse for these people, it does. Which is kind of amusing.

Four Lions - ****
This sort of film needs to be made more. It's not sympathetic to terrorism, but it does make fun of it. And it is stupidly funny. The ending, and the bits in the credits, are hilarious. Still suffers from being a little predictable, but oh well.

12 Monkeys - ***1/2
A little predictable, you can see how it all ends towards the very beginning if you pay attention. Was not impressed with Brad Pitt's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest impression. It was definitely a Terry Gilliam film as well, there were parts in the "future" which seemed a little Pythonesque, and it was also easy to see the progression from this to Fear and Loathing. Still, not a bad dystopian film.

Event Horizon - ****
This one was a lot of fun, genuine body horror, kinda rare to see these days. Also liked the overt Chaos references. Little cheesy towards the start, but still. Not a bad film at all.

When You're Strange: A Film About The Doors - ***1/2
We missed the start, disappointingly, but the rest was pretty good. Killer soundtrack, funnily enough. Johnny Depp narrating as well. Did like all the concert footage, not so much Jim Morrison posing at the camera on a rock or swimming or driving around, but oh well. Worth checking out if you like The Doors, obviously.

Sunshine - ***1/2
Took a couple of shots to get through this, but it really isn't bad. Pretty standard Danny Boyle playing around with the camera, especially when he gets to the end, but it ends up being just a shinier version of Event Horizon at the end.

Gattaca - ****
Lots of piss. Like, for a heavy science fiction film about morality and crap, there's a lot of piss. Piss in bags, piss in catheters, pissing in cups, pissing in wheelchairs... piss everywhere. Other than that, very interesting film, I guess I'm a little late to the party.

Clerks - ****1/2
Hilarious. I gotta hit the rest of Kevin Smith's earlier films now. Very stupid film, and you can tell it was made on less than a shoestring, but still awesome.

Not Quite Hollywood - ****
Yeah, I thought this was a documentary about the Australian film industry with Quentin Tarantino, it's actually a porno. Not even kidding. It's interesting, but it really is mainly a porno. Not what I was expecting at all. I had no idea Australia had these sort of films getting released back in the day, no way in hell they'd come out now. Pretty funny though, especially the insane stuntman who did an 80ft dive while on fire.

Equilibrium - **1/2
Kinda disappointed by this one, it seemed to take its cues a little too much from the Matrix and 1984. And the awesome fighting scenes didn't really kick in til the very ending. Still, kept twisting around, and the awesome fighting scenes were awesome. Especially when a dude's face got cut off.

Natural Born Killers - ****
"I know. Let's satirize serial killers and the media. But instead of doing it funny, let's do it extra violent. And instead of filming it conventionally, let's make every angle skewed and flick between black and white and colour, and cartoons!" STOP DOING THIS. The creepy montages were cool, and the big prison riot at the end. It was difficult to take seriously.

Rebel Without a Cause - ***
It's meant to be this big thing, but to be honest if it got released today it'd go right next to Machete, Hobo With A Shotgun, Planet Terror, and Black Dynamite. Basically just a vehicle for James Dean to look cool. There was a lot more blood, death, and gay undertones than I was expecting for a film from the fifties. Still, it wasn't awful, not a bad ride.

Rango - ****1/2
Yes. Loved the Dr Gonzo and Raoul Duke cameos. The dogfight with the bats (...in bat country) was the best I've seen in years. The way they just included bits of all these other films says a lot about what people look for in a film these days (that's the media student in me fighting to get out), but it was enjoyable. Character design was awesomely messed up, though I'm not sure why girl-lizard had hair... Good film.

Jackass 3D - *****
I'm a sucker for this sort of crap, as you know. I can't imagine what actually seeing this in 3D would be like. Highlights included the midget fight, the volcano, and the swimming pool trebuchet (with extra wheelbarrow).

Public Enemies - ***
Good to finally watch this whole thing. It's good, but it does get repetitive and seems to go for longer than it should. Some of the dialogue is jarringly cheesy too. Redeemed by it's action sequences. I'm a sucker for Tommy guns, I think.

Eraserhead - ****
Slow as hell, noisy as hell, but who cares, it'll freak you the hell out. Kinda not as much creepy as I was hoping, but what we got was still very WTF. And gorey too, which was cool. As Oscar said coming out of the cinema though, it's more of an experience, and yeah, I dunno if I'd see it again. Still very cool though.

X Men First Class - ****
If only it didn't have cheesy dialogue. It had a lot of promise to actually say something about discrimination, but it didn't, instead it just threw cliches around. Other than that, awesome film. Good action, very funny, good soundtrack. As good as the (first half of) the first one.

Human Traffic - ****1/2
I'd like it more if I liked the music, but oh well. It surprised me, to be honest, ended up being a feel good drug film. Which makes a nice change to the Requiem/Trainspotting type of films. Would fit in well with Dazed and Confused instead, I reckon. Trainspotting's definitely a big influence, but yeah, happier ending.

Easy Rider - **1/2
I get the feeling that if I was high it'd be better. It just seemed too slow, especially the long, arty landscape shots. The ending was good, though the trip sequence felt like a music video. Meh, I can see why it's considered a classic, but that doesn't mean the whole thing is enjoyable.

Sanctum - ***
Definite sense of claustrophobia throughout the whole thing, which is good, but my god the actors and dialogue suck. Worth a watch either way.

127 Hours - ***
This, on the other hand, had a good actor, similar sense of tension (cept you kinda know what he does at the end, but my god the shoehorned in message sucked and let the whole thing down. I dunno. I'm always a little iffy about Danny Boyle films that aren't Trainspotting, his last three (this, Sunshine, and Slumdog Millionaire) all have similar editing things which annoy me... maybe he needs a new director of photography.

The Social Network - ****
Fincher. Good. Definitely made you think Zuckerberg was a dick. Ironic seeing Justin Timberlake as the creator of Napster. But yeah, managed to make a film about lawyers and computer geeks into something pretty entertaining. Looking forward to Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.

The Adjustment Bureau - ***1/2
Enjoyable, I guess. Little too mysterious for it's own good. Lot of heavy philosophical crap skimmed over (I know this because we had to study the whole free will thing). Not sure about the hats. Meh.

Dr Strangelove or, How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb - ****1/2
Pretty funny for a Kubrick film. Actually fairly fast paced, though there's still some filler. I believe I may have to check out some more Peter Sellers movies, any other film geeks in the house with recommendations?

Tron Legacy - **
Giant Daft Punk music video co-starring David Bowie. It'd be good if you could mute the dialogue, I suppose. Also cgi The Dude looked creepy as all hell.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 - ***
Big and flashy, but disappointing. There's bits that just don't seem to fit, and they left too much out. Still, the beginning is fast, but then, that should leave more room for scenes from the book, not meh additions or needless slow motion bits. Oh well.

Thank You For Smoking - ****
Got this off Baz, awesome film, cept Harvey Dent looks waaay too much like Jaime Lannister. Very, very amusing, moves pretty quickly, and the ending's pretty good too. I enjoyed how he got poisoned as well.

Greenberg - **1/2
Reminded me of Ghost World, in that it's about a whole lot of awkward people who don't really end up doing much over the film. Not bad, but not amazing either.

Blessed - ***
Cheesy and mildly predictable, but definitely a downer film. That was some crazy Blixa Bargeld screaming at the end as well. Could tell Christos Tsolkias has a hand in writing it during one scene involving a Greek dude and exploitation. Still, not a bad film.

Source Code - ****
Just when you think it's a crappy ending it suddenly makes you think. Enjoyable film, lots of twists, much like Duncan Jones' previous film Moon. Definitely worth seeing at least once. Some plotholes that you acn't really think too much about but still.

Captain America - **1/2
Meh. Had the whole popcorn action flick part down, but it almost played the propanganda thing a bit too seriously, it needed more... satire? Dunno. Wasn't as good as Iron Man. Not that interested in Thor, and the Avengers looks meh.

He Died With A Felafel In His Hand - ****1/2
Brilliant, just brilliant. Any film that opens with Golden Brown, plays Buy Me A Pony over the title, and makes a big thing about The Mercy Seat (squee) is gold, and the best part was the rest of the film delivered too. Very distinctly Australian (lol at Sydney), some of the characters were (particularly) relatable, and it was funny. Ending wasn't amazing though, and I'm not sure it needed a tacked on love sidestory.

The Boat That Rocked - ****
Saccharine, killer soundtrack. A little too light hearted and far too many montages of people listening to the radio, but the cast was solid, and I'll admit I liked the vignette sort of style. Worth seeing if you're into good music and cheesy endings (and the IT Crowd/Coupling/Bill Nighy).

Hurm, seems like less films than usual. Oh well.

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