our film reviews: from armchair viewing to the festival front row

20 December 2006

[Reel-Comments] Happy Christmas from me, and Happy Christmas from him!

technorati tag:


11 December 2006

[Reel-Reviews] Dear Wendy (4 stars)

This is not a critique of America and the country’s relationship with guns. Both von Trier and Vinterberg have said so, so it must be true, right? And obviously, nothing that either of them has said previously has ever had a spin on it for controversy’s sake, or their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks. No, no, no, of course not. So this is not a film about American gun culture, right?

As Jamie “Billy Elliot” Bell’s excellent Dick Dandelion says: “The regulations are, that the most important thing for a Dandy [one of the gang] is never to show off his partner [gun], whatever the provocation. We carry them as moral supports. And that's the most important thing. They may be carried, but never brandished. That would be the worst thing of all. [contiunes as voice-over narrative] Not one of us were in doubt about the most important thing of all. The reason why our partners could only be fired in the darkness of the old mine and could never be exposed to full light and thereby be woken up. Because once awoken nothing could stop them from following their true nature and killing. And it was so forbidden to say that word, that we called it "loving" instead. And "loving" could never ever happen because that would be the end of it all."

IMDB listing and technorati tag:

[Reel-Reviews] Oldboy (5 stars)

I’m honestly still working out what this film was about, who did what to whom and why. And we watched it more than a week ago!! Fabulous script, great ideas and well executed – but it will mess with your head. It's easy to see how it won the year Tarrantino charied the Cannes jury! A film about revenge, vengeance, family, redemption, remberance and forgetting.

Go watch – unless you’re offended by death, swearing, sex, violence, eating animals, etc, etc. On second thoughts, don’t. And if you do, remember, I certainly didn’t recommend it! ;-)

IMDB listing and technorati tag:

[Reel-Reviews] How the Grinch Stole Christmas (3 stars)

We first saw this film on Christmas Eve, just the two of us in the printworks, and loved every minute of its seasonally-appropriate silliness. We re-watched this on Saturday whilst wrapping presents and writing cards, with a glass of mulled wine. Ahhh… lovely!

Normally I’d run a mile from a kids film directed by Ron Howard and starring Jim Carrey, but for once, Jim does himself and it justice. It’s filled with good one liners (“Blast this Christmas music. It's joyful and triumphant.”), silly visual gags and a moral ending about Christmas not being about the presents!

IMDB listing and technorati tag:

[Reel-Reviews] The Sum of All Fears (2 stars)

This is one of those slightly silly terrorist/ nuclear bomb films that Hollywood loves to make. Ben Affleck as the rooky - check.
Morgan Freeman as his knowing boss – check.
A best-selling thriller adaptation – check.
Good cameo turns by familiar faces (in this case James Cromwell and Philip Baker Hall) to keep you guessing what else they’ve been in – check.

Although this might be an odd thing to say, the redeeming feature is that at least the bomb goes off – it does NOT for once fall to Affleck and co. to cut the blue (or is it red?) wire with seconds to go. But overall, it’s nothing more than an average blockbuster thriller/ action fare, suitable for a mindless Saturday night.

IMDB listing and technorati tag: