Why Did They Even Bother?
Antonio Banderas painted orange and playing an Arabian? What were they thinking?Yatterman (2009) directed by the occasionally brilliant and always barmy Takashi Miike this is a bizarre superhero movie that I just could not enjoy except in a "what the eff?!" kind of way.
Bizarre fetishistic live action superhero manga, Takashi Miike strikes again with a film that didn't seem suited to a western audience. Or at least not this western audience.Who's That Girl? (1987) is a Madonna movie, I can hear you asking already "what the hell did you expect?" the answer is probably a complex one but essentially something vaguely fun that I could sort of ignore for a while. Directed by James Foley who woud go on to direct Glengarry Glen Ross so you can't say there wasn't a quality director in there somewhere but
This movie is so dumb it hurts to watch.The Lorax (2012) is not a Dreamworks Animation (which is what I thought it was) and wasn't even created by the same people who made Horton Hears A Who but what it is is
dumb and pretty much assumes the audience is dumb from the start, there's something really unsettling about the level that this movie is pitched at.
It Passes The Time
Nic Cage spends half of this movie in slow motion I swear.Dial M For Murder (1954) the Hitchcock version, part of the noir-athon. It was a pretty decent movie but I'm not going to suddenly change in to a massive fan of Hitchcock based on watching it.
Good cheesy action packed fun that has one ending too many and could have done with about 20 minutes being cut from it.
Undeniably theatrical. The constant exposition is a little tedious but its still worth some of the praise heaped on it.Welcome To Collinwood (2002) on my first viewing of this back in 2002 I dismissed it as stupid and turned it off. At some point I must have rewatched it from to start to finish yet completely forgotten that it had happened so I recorded it on Foxtel. Based on an Italian Oscar nominated farce from the 50s this has some very strong comedic performances, notably from Patricia Clarkson and Sam Rockwell.
Interesting story from my time working at Blockbuster, when this was a new realease we had an entire bay face out of this film, the marketing people decided to use the quote "HILLARIOUS!" from The Sun or wherever as it's main selling point in font so big and so red we had several customers ask us for "that new film, Hillarious"
An enjoyable light piece of film making, perfect for a lazy evening.Touchez Pas Au Grisbi (1959) is another from our noir-a-thon this time directed by Jacques Becker and featuring a welcome return to my screen for Jean Gabin who is perfect as the aged crook who can't retire just yet thanks to some of those dastardly crosses and double-crosses that litter this genre of film.
An excellent forerunner to the work of Melville that left me more interested in reading the book that it was adapted from than what actually happened in the movie.Vengeance (2009) is a very cool and beautifully filmed Triad movie from Johnnie To and starring French icon Johnny Hallyday that nearly made the 'something great' list.
Equal parts stylised violence, triad politics and existential noir this is a special piece of cinema. Johnny Hallyday is superb as the quiet, older lone wolf type, an updated version of Alain Delon's iconic creation Jef Costello.Seance On A Wet Afternoon (1964) is another film that almost made the 'something great' list, it's a strangely compelling movie that could only have been made in the sixties, reminiscent of Don't Look Now in a lot of ways.
Starring Richard Pinkie Father Christmas John Hammond Attenborough in a fantasticlly understated performance opposite the frighteningly subtle craziness of Kim Stanley this movie builds to an ending that you can't look away from.You'll already have seen my excellent review of High Hopes this week but incredibly it wasn't the only entry in this next section, in what turned out to be 10 days of watching very high quality films.
Great stuff and a forgotten gem.
Sometimes They Make Something Great
Almost every modern movie owes something to this seminal piece of American independent cinema. In every shot and every action you're bound to find something that's been stolen, borrowed, adapted, butchered, evolved, copied in another movie made since.Eastern Promises (2007) as David Cronenberg releases what sounds to be yet another dud lets remind ourselves just how great his London based Russian gangster movie was.
That aside it's just plain enjoyable as a film.
Cronenberg has created a powerful piece of cinema that feels as real as fictional cinema can get and without resorting to shaking the camera constantly. A combination of fantastic script, superb performances (especially from Viggo in what is almost certainly the best of his career) and strong direction serves up my favourite movie about London.The Graduate (1967) is one of the finest pieces of American cinema I've ever witnessed. Seen this several times myself but Leah had always dismissed it. Boy was she in for a surprise.
So many moments that leave your jaw dropped at the audacity and talent of Mike Nichols. And pure enjoyment in terms of story and performace too.Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself (2003) is the film Lone Scherfig made after her Dogme95 film Italian For Beginners and before An Education made her a Hollywood player. It's a strangely charming and sweet comic drama about death. And love. Additionally it claimed the spot as the best movie bookshop that I can think of, sadly making my recent post already out of date.
Clearly made on a low budget but done very well. Added bonus: this is the movie that introduced me to Shirley Henderson and I guess I've been infatuated with her ever since.Love Is Colder Than Death (1969) was my first experience of the talented German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder and almost certainly not my last. On the surface it is a story about a hitman but underneath it's so much more plus pure unadulterated style to boot.
For the entirity of these 88 minutes my mouth couldn't stay shut, his visuals are uniformly beautiful works of art. If I took a screenshot randomly every ten seconds I could quite easily put on a popular gallery exhibition of incredible photography.As always I long for your comments, anybody seen more than the one out of fifteen Eric had last week?
Visuals aside this was also a fantastic dissection of the gangster genre, incredibly refreshing to a viewer in this age of gangbanging thugs who never saw it coming and endless Michael Bay sequels.