Friday, June 10, 2011

The Week in Movies 6/6/11 - 12/6/11

So this is my first attempt at this rundown of what i've been watching over the past week. I've seen it used by other bloggers and initially I didn't think it was the kind of post I wanted to write here at blahblahblahgay but then I thought of all the films that I watch that are never going to make it to a full review but I could still have some fun chatting about and so I talked myself in to it.

This week saw me continue on from last Sundays viewing of Independence Day by rewatching some other great Will Smith performances. I'm a big fan. And Leah had never seen Enemy of the State. It was OK, not his best movie by a long way but an enjoyable watch, the supporting cast is jam packed with those bubbling under stars of the late 90's - Jack Black, Jamie Kennedy, Seth Green, Jake Busey (whatever happened to him?) Scott Caan, Barry Pepper and Jason Lee. The similarities between Gene Hackman in this film and Gene Hackman in Coppola's The Conversation are quite marked, to the point where it feels somewhat like a sequel and this is probably Tony Scott's second best film of the 90's after True Romance.

Michael Bay, I hate him, his films are awful to the point of being unwatchable from my film watching point of view but there's something about Bad Boys that makes it infinitely enjoyable and ripe for repeat viewings. Will Smith is excellent in it, as i mentioned in my Angelina Jolie post last week he was still only doing TV when he made this. He is so good that he pretty much built his career off of this performance. Even Martin Lawrence is watchable, not to mention enjoyable, they're a perfect double team as far as cops go. And Bay is still feeling his way into movie making, his technique is toned down compared to his later offerings, the camera for example moves much less so you are less likely to have a seizure during an action scene.

The Simon Pegg and Nick Frost film Paul was very much on my have to see list and when the opportunity finally presented itself I didn't hesitate but was left quietly disappointed. Sure it was fun but at times it felt like one giant in-joke or filmic reference and I usually love that kind of thing! There's no real plot, no real scenes, it's just one long chase scene with some jokes thrown in. I'm sad to say it but it looks like the winning part of the formula was Edgar Wright and Greg 'Adventureland' Mottola was not an adequate replacement.

The Joe Wright directed revenge film Hanna was a total letdown, premise = good fun, application = blah. Joe Wrights direction was directionless, like he had watched too many Bourne clones and quite a few scenes were actually laughable, to quote the multiplex slut "he unashamedly throws the kitchen sink at it." I must pose a question on behalf of Leah "why do people think that having a bunch of guys attacking the hero one at a time is acceptable in movies? how can anyone make that scene work in a post matrix world?" and i agree with her wholeheartedly. I have to or i dont get my dinner. at this point to direct a fight scene in an action movie you've either got to surpass that which is almost impossible or you've got to pare it back and do it really well and really simple. this film did neither. my other major faults in what could have been a quite enjoyable movie were the accents of the two australian stars, neither of them could decide which accent to settle on and as such were all over the place. oh and the sound editing. annoying. very.

The Canadian indie flick Good Neighbours finally got watched here at casa del blah thanks to a day in bed due to a morning migraine, this one is probably less well known by movie viewers and if it had been just a touch more enjoyable it would've got a full review from me. However it didn't inspire me enough, it had something lacking. With an all star Canadian cast of Xavier Dolan (Heartbeats) Scott Speedman (Barneys Version) and Apatow favourite Jay Baruchel (Sorcerers Apprentice?) and an interesting premise I was quietly looking forward to checking this out "In the dead of winter, a serial killer is on the loose in the small Montreal neighborhood of Notre Dame de Grace. The tenants of an old apartment house must figure out who they can trust and who they can't" it's funny and matter of fact with it's violence, there are a few gross moments to enjoy but I was left with a general sense of meh during a few periods where not much happens. If you've got a coupe of hours check it out, but then why would you when there's hundreds of amazing movies out there to watch? It's a mystery. Why do we feel like watching the movies we feel like watching instead of seeing those important films?

Special mention should go to cult apocalypse thriller Miracle Mile which is without doubt the strangest movie i've watched in quite some time. Anthony Edwards had hair, it's that old. Basic premise is that he falls in love with Mare Winningham and then finds out a nuclear war is happening and they have 70 minutes til the end of the world. What follows is a close to real time experience as the news spreads panic. Calling to mind a mixture of Repo Man and classic post a-bomb noirs a la Henry Hathaway it is enjoyable in a what?! kind of way. my personal favourite moment was the alien bounty hunter from the x-files turning up as a gay weight lifting helicopter pilot. yeah, i did just say that.

films we didn't finish this week: gone in sixty seconds (changed our mind about rewatching after 25 minutes,) sneakers (wasn't that interesting after 30 minutes,) henry's crime (oh my god keanu is looking old, this movie felt wrong from the start,) Natural City (Korean Sci-fi that looks more like a computer game cut sequence than a movie and moved about as slowly too) and Training Day (didn't watch it when all the hype was going and switched off because it was only interesting when Denzel was talking)

Some of you may ask why I switch films off, but the answer is simple: I keep wanting to watch something better. Half way through Trining Day for example all I could think was how much more fun it would be if I was watching L.A. Confidential and so why bother finishing Training Day at that point?


  1. I liked Hanna, and saw it as a 21st century fairytale. Maybe the train station fight scene was a bit ridiculous, but it still was a very well choreographed single tracking shot.

    I agree about the accents though, I've read some people try to explain Cate's changing accents as part of her character, but I don't buy that excuse.

    As for the soundtrack, its not music I choose to listen to on its own, but I thought it fit well with the frantic nature of the film.

  2. the story for hanna (the main one at least) was fine, it's what made me want to see the film but the execution left a lot to be desired.

    i too tried explaining cate blanchett's accent away but it became pretty obvious that she was just not very good at keeping to one accent. i equate this british director directing 2 australians to american directors trying to make sean bean put on a british accent that isn't a sheffield one. you just don't realise that it's bad because you dont know any better.

    it wasn;t the choice of the chemical brothers to provide the music that irritated me; some of it was pretty obvious and sometimes the levels just felt a bit off, disguising dialogue at times also.

  3. Halfway through watching Hanna I wished I was watching Inspector Rex. Why was that fight scene in a train station? Why was the train station empty? Why did they all come at him one at a time? How did he beat them all? Who really cares if it was a well-choreographed single tracking shot when I'm asking all these questions?

  4. True, I think once you find yourself asking those questions for any film, it's already lost to you at that point.

  5. I really enjoyed "Paul" and "Hanna"

    As for "Bad Boys" ... eh

  6. leah & BT - i think you both hit the nail on the head, this is the reason i don't finish a lot of movies. and is the reason i generally watch films at home. leaving the cinema can get expensive.

    duke - paul was enjoyable enough, i just wouldnt rewatch it or recommend it. as for bad boys, i put it down to being my ET, i am a product of 90's cinema. i both love it and hate it.

  7. Paul was SOOOO bad, I can't even bring myself to review it. suxxors!!

    I was so looking forward to it. But the film had none of the charm of hot fuzz, or Shaun. far too American for my taste!


  8. custard - we've been discussing this mixture of opinions on paul tonight, perhaps it is the english in us that make us expect more? or look for something a little less american in our simon pegg comedies?

  9. Miracle Mile is one of the most depressing movies I've ever seen. It was much more effective when it was originally released because the threat of nuclear armageddon was much more a worry then than it is now. To see it play out on the screen was not a happy experience, to say the least.

  10. chip - did you see miracle mile at the cinema? that must be pretty awesome despite the depressing nature of the piece. although i did quite enjoy the "love" that developed if you can call it that between the two leads.