Friday, 20 July 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

I imagine that wrapping up a trilogy is one of the hardest things to do in filmmaking. It seemed impossible for TDKR to surpass the incredible expectations left by The Dark Knight, but it absolutely delivers. The Dark Knight Rises is phenomenal. The spectacle has been increased exponentially since TDK, often times bordering on a little too much but ultimately pulling it off. Many have said it’s ambitiousness is it’s downfall, but think it absolutely worked. There are a few minor plot holes and perhaps some spectacle overshadowed potential character development, but the trade off for a bigger scale and breathtaking action payed off in bucket loads. All movies have a certain degree of plot holes and shortcomings, but the idea is to mask them so they’re not made to matter. The Dark Knight Rises is full of astounding imagery, powerful scenes and solid direction. It’s almost hard to believe what you’re seeing at times, in a positive way. Bane is everything he’d been built up to be. The scene where the two first encounter each other 1 on 1 is as gripping and powerful as it gets. But the less I say, the better. It’s something to be experienced yourself.

9.7/10. No movie is perfect, but this is close. Due to it’s sheer scale, it’s incredibly hard to surmise, the only thing I can tell you is to go see it. A new addition to my all time favourites. I absolutely recommend seeing it at IMAX if you can, it’s an experience of a lifetime.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

In this dire time of sequels, prequels and reboots, another spider-man ‘re-imagining’ only a few years after the last ones isn’t something I gave a warm welcome to. To my shock, it was better than I’d expected. It was engaging, and visually well made. But then again, so were the last ones. That said, it has a severe lack of style, being very traditionally shot and edited. Unfortunately, TASM lacked a deeper care for the Spider-Man series. It feels like a cash grab, even as you’re watching the film. It’s a pretty well-made cash grab, but it still suffers from plenty of script issues that might have been avoided had whoever wrote it really been a dedicated fan rather than posing as one. Riddled with nonsensical stuff, almost every character and action in the film serves only to conveniently further the plot. All the characters fit in a little too well, and the villain instantaneously transforms from humanitarian to reptilian Hitler at the drop of a hat. The new ‘gritty’ and more realistic tone of the film clashes with the second half of the movie when the villain is introduced. Chasing down a giant lizard just doesn’t fit with the first half’s vibe.
7/10. It’s not a bad movie, it’s a fun ride that I enjoyed a lot. It’s just totally unnecessary and is seriously held back by script issues, lack of style, character development and sense.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Get the Gringo (2012)

I didn’t really expect much from Get the Gringo, but it definitely surprised me, that’s for sure. Get the Gringo is a well made, and satisfying action drama that keeps you interested the whole experience. I have to say I liked Mel despite his unbecoming reputation as of late, he pushes past this to create his typically hardened-but-humorous, likable character. What really prevents the movie from being better is a more a depthy plot, in that regard it was a bit like Drive in a Mexican Prison (though not as well executed, where Drive didn’t need the extra depth, GTG suffered from not having it.)

7/10 - All in all, I would definitely recommend Get the Gringo. It’s a small scale movie, and it definitely has its flaws, but a likable lead, good performances and an interesting (but simple) enough premise drive this well crafted film to the finish line. It won’t be winning any awards, but it’s still a good watch.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

God Bless America (2012)

As a huge fan of Bobcat’s last film (World’s Greatest Dad), I had very high hopes for God Bless America. Touting a message under the thin veil of an ultra-dark satire, GBA devastatingly fails to deliver on what was a clever and interesting premise. Foregoing subtlety and instead hitting it’s audience over the head, GBA is crammed full of overlong rants that would have had a greater impact if left to the end, by which it’s steam had pretty much fizzled out. They say actions are worth a thousand words, and after what feels like thousands of words, we’re left with relatively few actions. Film is the art of showing instead of telling, something Bobcat seems to have forgotten. It feels like he wrote the entire movie in an off-day and just wanted to vent. Apart from it’s excessive use of ranting, GBA also felt disjointed and unpolished as far as storytelling goes, the characters feeling second wheel to their rants. As much admiration as I have for what it tried to do, I was ultimately left disappointed. Instead of a clever, brutally dark satire, we got a film that spends far too much time ranting and spelling everything out for the audience, treating them like they’re the stupid idiot morons it reviles so much. Then again, maybe that’s the point.

5/10, disjointed storytelling and a message consumed by self righteousness and excessive ranting prevent God Bless America from being the witty satire it wanted to be (or could have been). Would recommend if you’re bored.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

I expected The Cabin in the Woods to do its own spin on the tired ‘teen slasher’ genre, but I didn’t expect it to do it quite so well. Coming in to the movie expecting something on the level of Dale and Tucker vs Evil (which I very much enjoyed), what I got was a much more refined and thrilling vision. Playing on all the old horror clich├ęs we love to hate, TCITW has just the right amount of meta humour without going too over the top with it. Its clever premise keeps taking even further unexpected developments, pushing forward and giving you that much more, after most movies would have already wrapped up. But rather than it feeling overlong, you really appreciate all the extra story and going where most movie’s wouldn’t bother. If you’re an avid horror fan, the many nods to movies that defined the genre won’t go unnoticed, and are extremely welcome. TCITW easily secures a spot as one of the year’s best. It would almost be a guilty pleasure, if it wasn’t so clever too. The great admiration of horror really shines though and will be sure to please all those who feel the same way.

8.5/10, it’s smart, it’s gory, and it turns an overused formula into something incredibly unique and memorable. Something I think will go down as one of my all-time favourites, right alongside the Evil Dead franchise.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Mientras duermes (Sleep Tight) (2011)

Not something I’d wager was very popular or successful; this Spanish flick was a great piece of cinema thriller/horror that I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of. Following the story of an apartment building clerk who seeks happiness in some very dark places, the movie does an excellent job at portraying his vice without a lot of judgement, though still painting him as a very troubled and sinister character (but one we still care about), reminiscent of a much tamer American Psycho with a more average joe Bateman. Mientras Duermes lives up to its thriller genre with some incredibly intense moments, with stellar and believable performances all-round. The end of the film was icing on the cake for me, it’s protagonist as methodical and precise as the films script. It’s not a big movie and it’s very much a story driven character film, but it’s a great one at that. Most people won’t give a shit about it, but if you’re into these kinds of movies it’s well worth a watch.

7.5/10 - Mientras duermes is an intense, enjoyable and well crafted little thriller that portrays it’s creepy antihero with finesse, dealing with his troublesome hobbies from his own skewed perspective.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Project X (2012)

This movie was fucking horrifically bad. Not so much the way it was crafted, but its content. Props where props are due, it was well made, and watchable - for what it was. But the props ends there. It sports some of the most lurid and classless footage ever compiled into a feature film, and it's proud of it. I wonder at what point during the filming of this movie did any of the parties involved consider this a legitimate film venture. Featuring relentless sexism, homophobia, a contender for ‘worst script of all time’, and a general lack of cognitive thought , this is hands down one of the most morally reprehensible and just plain stupid films I’ve seen to date. And not even remotely in a good way. I’d take Salo over this any day.

2/10. It gets a two because I wasn’t bored. Though it made me wish I was. Avoid this movie, it’s trash of the lowest common denominator in every sense of the word. This is truly a feat of shittiness.