Film Friday #156

Gravity

While on a mission orbiting the earth, medical engineer Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and astronaut, Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) are thrown free of their ship by debris from a missile test, leaving them adrift in space. Now they must make their way back to a space station before the next wave of debris hits or face certain death. The storyline for Gravity is relatively simple and with only two characters that we ever see (there are some other voices), it’s pretty stripped down. This is not a bad thing though. Visually it is absolutely breathtaking. If you have ever had any interest in space (as a child, our annual primary school outing to the Planetarium was the highlight of my year), seeing its epic vastness  as well as the view of the Earth and the sunrise are worth the admission (and 3D supplement) alone. Add to that a career-defining performance from a seemingly ageless, Bullock and some genuinely heart-stopping action and you’re onto a winner. Director, Alfonso Cuarón does an amazing job of balancing the seeming endlessness of space with the ironic claustrophobia of being trapped in one small space after the other where Ryan can actually breathe. In many places I found myself terrified in a way that I rarely have been while watching a horror movie. 4.5/5

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Space… where no one can hear you fart

Thor: The Dark World

Thor part 2 picks up not long after The Avengers with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) out bringing the nine realms into order, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) locked up for being a very naughty boy and poor old Jane (Natalie Portman) moping around the earth wondering what has happened to her hunky lover. At the same time the dark elves, who everyone thought was dead, have reawakened and are on a mission to bring the universe back to darkness. Got it? Okay, so on one of her scientific rambles, Jane and her much cooler friend, Darcy (Kat Dennings) discover what seems like a portal between the Earth and somewhere else, Jane ends up in it and is “infected” by the creepy red stuff that the bad elves, lead by Malekith (Christopher Ecclestone) are going to use to kick the crap out of Asgard so they can take over. Loads of shit goes down and eventually the only person who can possibly help Thor prevent the end of the universe is of course Loki… but can he be trusted? This film has some issues mostly around plot holes, a complete lack of chemistry between Hemsworth and Portman and an utter and total disregard for the London Underground system! There is no tube station in Greenwich!!! And you certainly can’t get to Greenwich or anywhere near it on the tube from Charing Cross… which obviously wasn’t actually Charing Cross because there were green and yellow lines on the platform!!!! But I digress. Thor: The Dark World is a lot of fun and also a lot better than Thor and that’s probably all you need to know. Also you can briefly see the pub where Mr Osbiston and I had our wedding reception, which is pretty cool. 3.5/ 5

Hey, who wants to get hammered after the battle?

Hey, who wants to get hammered after the battle?

25th Hour

With only one day left before he must report for a seven year jail term, New York drug dealer, Monty Brogan (Edward Norton) examines his life along with the possibility that it might have been his girlfriend, Naturelle (Rosario Dawson) who set him up. Norton does a great job of playing a man knocked down on the cusp of getting his life sorted out, forced to account for his past. At the same time, we are shown the lives of his two best friends, Frank (Barry Pepper), a ruthless unethical Wall Street Trader and Jacob (Philip Seymour Hoffman) a teacher lusting after one of his students (Anna Paquin) as a way of asking the question, “Has Monty really committed the worst crimes or is he just the one that’s arbitrarily on the wrong side of the law?” It’s very obvious throughout that this is a Spike Lee film, from Monty’s tirade about everything he hates about New York, to the brief story timeline and the richness of the characters he creates and the moral questions we must ask ourselves while watching.  3.5/5

Look, all I'm saying is that your diet might go a bit better if you stopped eating jars of lard

Look, all I’m saying is that your diet might go a bit better if you stopped eating jars of lard

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

An aging documentary maker called Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) sets off to seek revenge on the  shark that killed his partner with a crew that includes his ex wife (Anjelica Huston), a pregnant journalist (Cate Blanchett (that he quite fancies but suspects is a lesbian) and a man who might be his son (Owen Wilson). As with all Wes Anderson films though this if not really about the (bonkers) story that involves pirate kidnaps, professional rivalries and everyone wearing weird little uniforms but more about the interactions between the characters. Central to all of this is Zissou’s monumental ego and awe inspiring selfishness and the effect that potentially being a father will have on him. It’s also interesting watching his magnetic effect on the people around him, represented through the uniforms. As he wins over more of his skeptics they all start to wear his little uniforms. The Life Aquatic is unsurprisingly quirky, weird and bizarre and packed with symbolism.. It also features a lot of Bowie tracks, reimagined in Portuguese. If you like Wes Anderson, you will love it. If you don’t, you won’t. If like me, you think Moonrise Kingdom was great but really all just a little too silly most of the time, it’s probably not going to change your opinion much. 3/5

You've definitely been stealing my shoes

You’ve definitely been stealing my shoes

12 Comments

  1. theipc

    Space – where no one can hear you fart.

    Excellent.

    1. Abbi

      Thanks! Captioning the pictures is my favourite part 🙂

  2. Love this post! I have to see Gravity!

    I have a new video up on my blog now, I hope you like it! 😉
    Diana
    http://www.ManhattanImageandStyle.com
    New Video: 7 Ways to Layer Your Clothes Like A New Yorker

    1. Abbi

      It’s really, really good. Going to check out your video right now. It’s getting so cold here now. I definitely need to do some layering!

  3. Great review. I felt the same way with Gravity. I couldn’t sit still because I was so nervous for her. It might sound funny, but I would love a sequel… called Wilderness! 😀

    1. Abbi

      Thanks! You make a very good point that her landing wasn’t the end of her journey at all. She was in the middle of nowhere in her underwear. I think Wilderness sounds like a great idea!

      1. Let’s do this Abbi! 😀

  4. Bowie songs in Portuguese? Lol. Interesting but I’d probably still skip it as I just don’t “get” Wes Anderson films. Not seen 25th Hour but may watch it as long as it doesn’t include a full frontal of Rosario Dawson. Totally agree with your reviews on the other two! 🙂 Thor isn’t exactly “good” but it’s a lot of fun. And Gravity was pretty damn amazing. The thought of being in one of those suits & not being able to breathe was stressing me out more than anything. And Bullock was great (and looks amazing! Bitch. Lol).

    1. Abbi

      I sometimes wish I got Wes Anderson more because I think there is something I am just not quite seeing. Fortunately Rosario’s beaver never shows up in 25th Hour so you should be safe 😉 I absolutely agree with you on the suit thing. I was getting a bit claustrophobic just watching it. Apparently the secret to Sandy B’s amazing bod is salsa dancing…

  5. Great to see you loved Gravity as well. Thor was barely OK, but still better than the first one. So cool that you can see the pub! I remember 25th Hour being pretty good but that’s about all I can recall. And haven’t seen Steve Zissou but I’m a fan of Anderson (most of the time).

    1. Abbi

      I really enjoyed Gravity. It’s just such a feast for the eyes. I managed to get a bit caught up in this Thor (despite the transport failings) but the first one was just silly. As Wes Anderson films go I actually think Zissou is one of the better ones. I think you’d enjoy it.

      1. I’ll check it out. Loved Tenenbaums, so if it’s anything like that one, I’ll enjoy it.

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