Another week over, another month in fact, everyone's been writing their monthly roundups, there's been a lot of movies seen around the blogosphere and I feel like I'm a bit light on number of movies seen, comparatively. I will say this though, I've been very lucky, most of the films I've seen have been very good. I've been recommending TOKYO DRIFTER and WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION but that ignores the fact that I also saw RED STATE and ATTACK THE BLOCK. Tough call. I recommend seeing all 4 of them if you haven't already.
This weeks film from the Noir-a-Thon is the Graham Greene/Fritz Lang movie Ministry of Fear, as always that review will be posted on Tuesday.
We're big fans of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia in this house so seeing Charlie in the very funny Horrible Bosses was a nice treat. The three TV actors make for a believable group of friends and the three big name movie stars play terribly cliched characters and are possibly guilty of overacting. The humour of the movie is often telegraphed so you see it coming from a mile away but that doesn't actually stop it from being funny. If you read Scott's review over at FRC you may have seen him compare it to The Hangover, it may not be as funny but it's possibly more believable than The Hangover which counts for something when it comes to humour.
After writing my recent 7 Movies To Help You Cope With Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Withdrawal Symptoms article I discovered that there were two sequels to my favourite of them, The Ipcress File. The first of which is Funeral In Berlin. It's nowhere near as good as the first one, suffering from a bad choice of director who decided to try to pitch the film as a James Bond clone and a slightly more ludicrous plot than the original. Michael Caine was not as obtuse as in Ipcress File, so a lot of the humour was missing, but as Harry Palmer he is excellent. Ken Russell directed the third part, Billion Dollar Brain, and I hope to watch it next week.
The week ended with two fine examples of non English language cinema. Seijun Suzuki who directed last weeks favourite, Tokyo Drifter, was responsible for the better of the two, A Tattooed Life. He took an ordinary yakuza story set in the early twentieth century and turned it in to something wonderful with the kind of cinematography that can leave you breathless and add meaning to the simplest of scenes. There is a rather spectacular final act which will have you wanting to rewatch it on a regular basis and the influence on Quentin Tarantino is once again apparent. If last week I was a fan of Suzuki this week I am enamoured.
As I mentioned last week I've been wanting to see How I Ended This Summer since last summer's outdoor cinema season and this weekend I managed to grab it from the DVD store at last. It wasn't the movie I expected it to be but it was quite wonderful to look at. The premise of a psychological thriller based around a veteran weather observer and a young protege at a Russian monitoring station near the Arctic Circle is strong, the visuals are the movie equivalent of a Land Rover Discovery 4WD and the acting is very strong. I found the characters and their interactions intriguing but the final act failed to take full advantage of the preceding 90 minutes and in my opinion was the difference between it being a great film and simply a good one. Check out the review from Bonjour Tristesse for more information.
The blahblahblahgay turnoff of the week is the quite awful 50 Cent film Set Up. Co-starring Ryan Phillipe and Bruce Willis, I thought I'd give this heist/revenge thriller a chance to entertain me but it was quite simply appalling after 30 seconds. I gave it more time than I should've because I was hoping the appearance of Bruce Willis might pick things up but alas it wasn't to be. As with a lot of bad movies the major problem with this was the script but you can add some terrible acting to that.
Leave some blah below. Did anyone get a chance to see Tokyo Drifter yet? Anyone got an opinion on the Harry Palmer trilogy? Anyone see anything worth talking about? Or for that matter did anybody finish Set Up?