Monday, October 3, 2011

The Week In Movies 26/9/11 - 2/10/11

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?


  1. My thoughts exactly re: How I Ended This Summer!

  2. I wouldn't have expected much from any film starring 50 Cent after Get Rich or Die Tryin'. If he couldn't even technically play himself well in that, he was bound to have trouble playing anyone else.

    Tokyo Drifter is tremendous. Branded To Kill makes a lot more sense somehow after you see the earlier film.

  3. Some great viewing; I am envious of your love for Asian film, a genre which is so large and daunting that I have trouble with it. I love Kurosawa, but I've had trouble finding the right place to continue with what I hope to be an eventful delve into the cinema of the continent. However, I refuse to let that stop me and I am determined to find and see TOKYO DRIFTER.

  4. Horrible Bosses was a surprisingly decent comedy. There were many things there that I could identify with!! Bateman is always good value as he plays these deapd pan tpye roles superbly.



    I really want to see How I ended this Summer, looks fascintating!!

    Thanks for doing a cracking job over at my gaff my friend

  6. How I ended this Summer sounds intriguing, it's the one I'd watch if I had to choose only one of these. Horrible Bosses sounds good, too.

  7. wow I take some time to reply to comments and 7 come along at once!

    @ANDY - apologies Andy, I would've mentioned your review but I felt certain that you hadn't enjoyed it.

    @JAMES - I don't watch 50 Cent movies as a rule but this one seemed like it had some potential to be mindless entertainment for late night/lazy viewing. It couldn't even do that right. I'm really quite hopeful that I can see BRANDED TO KILL this week.

    @TYLER - I have many recommendations, I can't remember if you had planned on seeing 3-Iron after my review but both KIM Ki-DUK who directed that and Tokyo Drifter's SEIJUN SUZUKI are worthy contenders for a first start post Kurosawa if you want something a little less Takeshi Miike.

    @BRENT - I was definitely expecting it to be terrible, so I was very happy to find it wasn't. Tell me, was it Charlie that you could identify with? Is your hot female boss offering sexual favours to you? I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you buddy.

    @SL - Of course I missed you! I always look forward to your comments. I hope you get around to seeing HOW I ENDED THIS SUMMER, as BT says in the review it won some big awards, including at last years London Film Festival.

    @METTE - I'm not sure, with your Bollywood background I might suggest A TATTOOED LIFE as the one to watch. Either way, between the three you're guaranteed a good night.

    @BT - You're welcome, thanks for stopping by despite the current lack of content. Much appreciated.

  8. I loved Horrible Bosses. I didn't what to expect when I went to see it and was very pleasantly surprised by it. The main trio have really great chemistry which carried the movie from some of its spottier parts.

  9. Hahahahaha!! NO unfortunately not!! I'm more in the identifying with Bateman's character class!

  10. @CASTOR - Absolutely, do we all secretly wish we had friendships like that or do movies just assume we do?

    @BRENT - you poor man, hopefully your boss shoots someone and gets replaced by a hot nympho pretty soon.