Five one-paragraph movie reviews!
Alright! Let's do this!
So, I've been in London for the past week. That may or may not be worthy of a post at some point, but at the moment I'll just add in a couple of mini-reviews of the movies I was able to watch on my Air New Zealand flight back from London. I was able to watch these (and read The Amber Spyglass, which is a great book), because the flight lasted fourteen goddamned hours (we had to detour around Iceland).

The Hurt Locker (3/7 full-colour collie head silhouettes)

The interesting thing about this movie is the very clear picture you get of the academy, trying to decide what to do with the Oscars. It's like, "shit. Well, the bits of the narrative don't really have anything to do with one another, the story has been told about six thousand times and adds nothing new to that oeuvre, and there's a weird subplot about a kid with a bomb implanted in him, but... fuck, we can't give Cameron best picture for Titanic AND Avatar; what would people think? So...". Hurt Locker is basically like if movies could be Auto-Tuned. Were there seriously no good films that came out last year? It's not a bad movie, but... Christ. Nothing special here. Watch if there's nothing better on.

The Messenger (5/7 full-colour collie head silhouettes)

Better than The Hurt Locker. Woody Harrelson is pretty good in it, and it's much less... mawkish than you'd expect, given the subject matter — Ben Foster is a damaged Iraqi war hero asked to serve out his time in casualty notification. The focus is on Foster and Harrelson as they come to terms with their job and their own respective histories. It doesn't tread any newer ground than The Hurt Locker, but it at least does so with some more likable characters and, like, a plot and stuff. And Steve Buscemi. Watch.

Invictus (6/7 full-colour collie head silhouettes)

Clint Eastwood does not, as a general rule, make bad movies. The interesting thing about Invictus, beyond how similar Morgan Freeman and Nelson Mandela actually kind of look, is how subtle the storytelling is. This is not bombastic. It's not whatever the hell that damned Michael Caine + Pele movie was. It's quiet, and subdued. The main characters, Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman, don't really undergo any particular character development. They're set in stone, but rather than being a hindrance, this actually lets us ground ourselves as we watch the real meat of the story, the secondary characters, develop around them. It was a lot better than I thought it was going to be, a confident, inspiring piece of storytelling. Watch.

The Exam (1/7 full-colour collie head silhouettes)

This profoundly stupid attempt at a student film may inspire comparisons to Cube, which aren't entirely undeserved. The basic plot: eight people interview for the ultimate job. Their final exam, they're told, consists of only one question, and there is only one right answer. The tester leaves the room, and they discover that their pages are completely blank. What is the question? What is the answer? I don't think it wraps itself up particularly well; the movie is full of silliness that doesn't really actually go anywhere (they reckon that the message might reveal itself under a different light, so they knock out the lights in the room, which causes ultraviolet emergency lights to come on, then they knock those out, causing red lighting to come on, then they think that maybe it's like a darkroom and the sprinkler will actually spray developing fluid (!) so they start a fire, then somebody incidentally says "lights out" which causes the lights to turn out, and when they say "lights on" suddenly there's white lighting again, even though they'd shattered all the lightbulbs) and the movie itself doesn't actually lead up to the conclusion, except in the literal sense that the frames are sequential in the film stock. Don't watch.

Boy (5/7 full-colour collie head silhouettes)

I'm not sure what the proposal for this looked like. "It's kind of like Napoleon Dynamite meets Big Fish meets Little Miss Sunshine or something"? It's the story of a New Zealand kid ("Boy," actually "Alamein") living on a farm while his father goes off and has adventures. The reality is that his father was a prisoner, and returns from prison to be less than what Boy had imagined. There's also a goat, for some reason, and Boy's younger brother may or may not be telekinetic. It's... hard to explain. It's quirky, and slightly — gently — bittersweet, but a touching, warm look at a kid whose loves are his father, a goat, and Michael Jackson. Watch.

La Chevre!
12.05.2010 - 7h59
Comrade Alex
12.05.2010 - 9h21
La Chevre!
13.05.2010 - 3h48

You can use this form to add a comment to this page!

Name:

Website:

Comment:

You will be identified by the name you provide. Once posted, comments may not be edited. For markup, use 'bulletin board' code: [i][/i] for italic, [b][/b] for bold, [ind][/ind] to indent, [url=][/url] for URLs, and [quote=Author|Date][/quote] for quotes (you can leave the date blank but you need the pipe). HTML is not allowed. Neither is including your website :)