Tag Archives: A – Z of film project

Film study… week 29

Greenberg
Source: Borrowed from a colleague

Neurotic failed musician Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) borrows his brother’s house in LA with the intention of doing nothing and reconnecting with some old friends. It’s not long before he finds that he has no longer has anything in common with  his friends but that he has unavoidable chemistry with his brother’s doormat personal assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig). This film is well-made, well-acted and well-written and probably has the best performance from Rhys Ifans (as Greenberg’s “best friend”) that I’ve seen yet but I can’t say I enjoyed it. It was so cringe-inducing awkward and Greenberg so unlikeable that I was relieved when it came to its abrupt end.

I don't care how what you do, I'm not doing Blue Steel!

Buried

Source: Tesco DVD Rental

If you’re going to make a film shot entirely in a coffin with one actor, it has to be a cracker and this is. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds), a US truck driver working in Iraq, is kidnapped and finds himself buried underground with nothing but a mobile phone and a lighter facing limited time to figure out where he is and how to get out. The pace is blistering and just when you think they can’t possibly do anything more with the meagre set something explosive happens. Keeps you guessing to the very end.

Paul's luxury cabin on EasyCruise was not quite what he'd expected

Doctor Who: The Movie

Source: Borrowed from Paul’s family

Paul convinced me that I should watch this with him since he had never seen it. I now wish I had never seen it. The seventh doctor (Sylvester McCoy) is en route to return the body of The Master to Gallifrey when the Tardis goes off-course crashing to earth in San Francisco,1999. A failed operation causes him to regenerate into Paul McGann and attempt to chase down The Master who is not dead… just possessing the body of Eric Roberts. So bad it physically hurt. Apparently this was made when the BBC stopped commissioning Doctor Who in an attempt to get the Americans to buy it. Not hard to see why they decided not to!

I'll be back!

RED

Source: Tesco DVD Rental

An ex-CIA agent regarded Retired and Extremely Dangerous (Bruce Willis) discovers that he’s now on the CIA’s hit list and has endangered a woman (Mary Louise Parker) on whom he has a telephone crush. Not willing to go quietly into the night, he kidnaps his prospective girlfriend for her own safety and rounds up his old cronies including Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, playing an agent who has had LSD tested on him and Helen Mirren playing a glam ex-Mi6 agent; and mounts a defence. As this was adapted from a comic it manages to be both hilarious and action-packed and John Malkovich steals every scene he’s in. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

The Hollowod legends fancy dress extravaganza was not going according to plan

Film Study… Week 27

Old Boy

Source: Paul’s DVD Collection
Oh Dae-Su (Min-sik Choi) is kidnapped and imprisoned, seemingly for no apparent reason. When he is suddenly released after fifteen years he is released and given fifteen days to work out who was behind his incarceration only to discover that it was only the beginning of his torture. Korean cinema tends to be brutal and impressively fucked up even by my standards and this does not disappoint. This is a masterpiece!

Oh Dae-Su apprached DIY with a level of focus rarely seen by the staff in Halfords

Harry Brown
Source: Paul’s DVD Collection

Michael Caine plays Harry Brown, a pensioner and former serviceman turned vigilante who decides to take back the council estate he lives on from the feral local youths who have murdered his best friend. If this were an American film Harry would have been an action hero despite his advancing years but this film manages to work within his limitations, giving him both a heart and a dark side. The local gang is potentially a little overblown but still a good watch.

So what you're trying to say is that that is just a gun in your pocket and you're not actually happy to see me at all?

Daybreakers
Source: Tesco DVD Rental

In a break from the traditional movie vampire scenario, in this film most of the world has been vampified and humans who have been refused to submit are considered enemies of the state and hunted to be farmed for their blood. With the extinction of the human race a real possibility and blood supplies running low, a leading vampire haematologist (Ethan Hawke) is kidnapped by Willem Defoe’s band of resisters who claim they have a cure. This could have been so good and it started well but it left me wishing I’d just watched Blade again instead.

Martha had forgotten to take her evening primrose oil that morning and PMS was not looking pretty

Commando
Source: Paul’s DVD Collection

I’m not sure what the best part of this 80’s army number is? Whether it’s the blistering dialogue, the breathtaking kidnap-love story, the weird relationship between Arnie and his screen daughter (a very young Alyssa Milano), the cracking plot or even the fact that the character’s name is Johnny Matrix? I wish I could cross over to so bad it’s good territory but all I kept thinking is, one day this man is probably going to be the president of the USA and then I felt scared…

Despite Arnie's failure to master the challenging technique of eating soft serve ice-cream successfully, he still went on to be the bestest Governator ever!

Film Study – Week 26

W.
Source: Tesco DVD Rental

This biopic about former US President George W. Bush Jnr (Josh Brolin) follows his life from his wild college days through to his two terms as the “leader of the free world”. In this outing he is portrayed as being stuck in his father’s shadow, constantly seeking approval with his good attentions manipulated by unscrupulous advisors. It was hardly riveting but still an interesting look at one of the most controversial leaders in US history.

Colin wasn't sure about Dubya's newly appointed congressmen but on the other hand at least they were more attractive than Condoleeza Rice

Skyline
Source: SFX Weekender

Aliens land on earth and suck humans into a glowing blue light when not swallow their brains into their giant face vaginas. The first two minutes were oh-so promising but when your intense invasion drama has a room full of hardened sci-fi fans in hysterics… something might have gone wrong. With cringe worthy dialogue, diabolical acting and plot holes so big you could drive a tank through them, this definitely lands in the so bad it’s bloody brilliant pile.

Eventually Jarrod had to admit that maybe he had spent too much time in front of the X-box

Monsters
Source: SFX Weekender

Six years after an alien invasion, half of Mexico is closed off as an infected quarantine zone. When photographer, Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) is charged with shepherding his boss’ daughter, Sam (Whitney Able) home from Mexico, a series of misadventures forces them to place their hands in the lives of the locals and travel through the infected zone. More about the chemistry between the leads and the concept of the USA closing itself off from the “threat” down south than the aliens, this film really works the atmosphere angle. Definitely worth a watch.

Kaulder sincerely hoped that the picture on the cantina wall was not intended to depict the cooking method of the "squid special"

Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Source: SFX Weekender

Geeky rocker, Scott (Michael Cera) falls for enigmatic, uber-cool indie queen, Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and then discovers that he will have to fight her seven evil exes in order to be with her. Not being a gamer or a comic aficionado I spent the first half an hour thinking this is silly! before I totally fell for it. The supporting cast is excellent and the idea of representing dealing with someone’s baggage as a series of battles is inspired. Love, love, love!

The members of the Witby First Presbyterian Church had expected the Angel Of Death to be a little more imposing

Film Study… it’s back with week 22

After some soul searching and the acquisition of my new netbook, I have decided to bring back the weekly film blog. For those who can’t remember a year back I used to do a weekly round-up of four or more films that I had watched in the previous week from the external hard drive Fabio gave me. More info here. It was one of the most popular features I have ever done on this blog but when my old laptop, Frank, died, the featured died with him after week 21.

Now that Mr Osbiston is in part married to his new Xbox, I need to find something to amuse myself with so I don’t keep standing mournfully behind him whining as he shoots radioactive Nazis.  This time I will not be limiting it to the A – Z list from the external hard drive but also including the DVDs we get off Tesco film and anything we see at the cinema or on TV.

So I bring you, from the last week…

FILM STUDY WEEK 22!!!

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Source: Tesco DVD Rental
When disgraced journalist Mikael Blomqvist (Michael Nyqvist) is hired by aging corporate mogul, Henrik Vanger (Peter Haber) to find out what happened to his niece who disappeared 40 years ago, he doesn’t expect to find anything new. But it’s not long before, Mikael is caught up in a tangle of family secrets lies and betrayal. Mikael is reluctantly aided by Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), a mysterious, ass-kicking Goth hacker with a massive dragon tattoo who can’t stay away from the case no matter how hard she tries. I haven’t read the books. Bad, I know but I heard good things about the films so I decided to buy into the hype and boy was it worth it. This film goes at 100 miles an hour with no-holds barred.

What do you mean I don't fit the profile for a community support officer?

I’m Not Scared

Source: Borrowed from a colleague
Ten year-old  dreamer, Michele, lives an idyllic but simple life in the Southern Italian countryside, playing with his friends, adored by his mother and hero-worshipping his truck-driver father but when he finds a boy chained up in a secret hole in a field, everything he holds sacred is plunged into threat. What makes this film so gripping is that the reactions of the children are so real and Michele’s motives both pure and petty are played out against his slow loss of innocence as he comes to the realisation that the adults he loves cannot be trusted.

It was a long way to China but Pedro was going to get there one way or another

Up In The Air

Source: Borrowed from a colleague
Travelling across the USA, firing people for a living, Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) is the king of the loyalty programme, focusing on racking up air miles and getting rid of baggage like family, friends and love. A chance meeting with Alex Goran (Vera Farmiga) a beautiful frequent traveller looking for no-strings fun provides the icing on the cake. But his “perfect life” is plunged into chaos when a young upstart called Natalie (Anna Kendrick) joins the company proposing a revolutionary new business plan that involves no travelling.  Forced to take Natalie on what could be his last trip, Ryan might just find his heart if he doesn’t go crazy first, but is it too late? Dark, funny and frustrating. Loved it.

She knew she had left the last rolo somewhere? But where, dammit? Where?

Film study… week 21

Kinsey
A biopic about biologist, Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson), who became fascinated with the field of sexual research, leading to the publication of one of the first works in which science addresses sexual behaviour as well as the Kinsey sexuality scale. Kinsey’s obsession with the scientific side of sex as well as his exploration of his own sexual appetites is fascinating. Worth checking out.

I told you we should spring for the extra large condoms, dear!

La Battaglia Di Algerie
A study of the decade leading up to Algieria’s independence from France in 1962 with a focus on the Muslim leaders of the revolution during occupation. What makes this film really interesting is the absolute matter-of-fact way that it presents something that would have been turned into some kind of hero-epic if Hollywood ever got its hands on it. It makes everything seem very real and tangible. Very thought provoking.

Mom, how many times to I have to tell you, you don't have to bring your gun to the supermarket!

La Haine
A young Parisian man lies in hospital after an act of police brutality in the French equivalent of a council estate, while his friends (lead by a very Young Vincent Cassel) stalk the streets having found the missing gun of a cop the night before. Dark, gritty and intense. Hubert Koundé completely steals the show as a tough boxer, wrestling with his own conscience.

Is this the face that inspired Shrek?

Ladri Di Biciclette
When a desperate man finally finds a job in post-war Rome, that requires him to have a bicycle, his wife pawns their sheets for him to get it. His hope of dragging his family out of poverty is crushed, when a day into the job, the bicycle is stolen and he takes to the streets with his young son, Bruno, to try and find it. It sounds so simple, but this film is absolutely stunning. The little boy who plans Bruno is incredible.

Don't tell your mom, but today I think we should take the bicycle and ride dirty!

Film study… week 18

Hot Fuzz
When top cop, Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), starts to outshine his colleagues, they conspire to get him transferred to a small town. Things are not as sleepy as they appear to be and Angel soon starts to suspect that there is a conspiracy afoot. This film is supposed to be hilarious but really it’s no Shaun Of The Dead and by the last half hour, I had completely lost interest. It also does nothing to dispel the myth that everyone who lives in the country is mental.

Angel expecting picking up birds in the country might be a bit different but this was ridiculous

Angel expected picking up birds in the country might be a bit different but this was ridiculous

I Think I Love My Wife
Richard Cooper (Chris Rock) has the “perfect life”. He is a successful investment banker and has a beautiful wife and too adorable children. But he’s bored senseless. When an old crush reappears in his life, she manages to turn everything upside down. This is one of the top five worst films I have ever seen. The “musical ending” was so ridiculous and cringeworthy that I briefly considered throwing Frank across the room. Seriously… I wanted to shoot myself. Avoid at all costs.

Huh?

What do you mean I'm a horrible misogynist, look at the amazing outfit I've put you in!

Idiocracy
Joe Bauer (Luke Wilson) is frozen in a military experiment and wakes up in a future where “survival of the fittest” has become “survival of those who can breed the most”. The world is now so dumbed down that the very average Joe is easily the smartest man alive. We’re talking a world where “Ow, My Balls” is the top rated show, the president of the USA is a wrestler, the national newspaper is called “Hot naked chicks and stuff” and Starbucks serves coffee… and handjobs. So really not that different from now. Despite numerous plot holes, I absolutely loved his. Seriously, laugh-out-loud-even-if-you’re-watching-it-alone funny.

Total Wipeout USA... the next generation

Total Wipeout USA... the next generation

Mou Gaan Dou (Infernal Affairs)
This Hong Kong cop drama is sited as the inspiration for The Departed and the homage paid is clear from the start. Two young police cadets end up in undercover operations of a very different nature. Lau Kin-Ming is a mole for Triad crime lord Sam, working his way up in the police force, while Chen Wing Yan is un undercover cop working as part of Sam’s gang and informing the police. When Lau is put in charge of internal affairs to find out who the mole is in the police department, the situation soon starts to spiral out of control. Although some parts of the story are underdeveloped, this is a corker and I can understand why Scorsese wanted to have a crack at it.

They got Jack Nicholson to play me in the Western version. His cheeks were not chubby enough. I do NOT approve

They got Jack Nicholson to play me in the Western version. His cheeks were not chubby enough. I do NOT approve

Film study… week 17

High Fidelity
After his girlfriend leaves him, neurotic, self-obsessed record store owner, Rob (John Cusack) analyses his past relationships and break-ups, mostly completely missing the point. Cusack is in absolutely top-form in this angsty comedy and just about manages to escape being upstaged by his geeky sidekicks, played by Jack Black and Todd Louiso. (On that topic where the hell is John Cusack these days, I miss him!) Awesome!

What do you mean my shirt looks like I found it in a dumpster?

What do you mean my shirt looks like I found it in a dumpster?

Hocus Pocus
Teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) moves to Salem, gets his shoes stolen and feels sorry for himself. Then in an attempt to impress the school hottie he manages to bring three child-eating witches, played by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, back from the dead on Halloween. There’s a chance I might have enjoyed this at the time it first came out in 1993, when I was 12… you know if there was nothing as intellectually challenging as The Teletubbies on.

The years hadn't been kind to Charlotte or Miranda but at least Carrie was wearing something slightly less outrageous than usual

The years hadn't been kind to Charlotte or Miranda but at least Carrie was wearing something slightly less outrageous than usual

Hollywoodland
It’s 50’s Hollywood and TV’s Superman, George Reeves (Ben Affleck) has supposedly committed suicide. While we watch sleazy detective, Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) investigate the suspicious circumstances around Reeves’ death, the events of his life play out concurrently. I absolutely loved this. Ben Affleck turns out an uncharacteristically good performance and for some unknown reason I find Adrien Brody ridiculously sexy… I think I’m the only one though.

I'm so hot, there's smoke coming out of my phone

I'm so hot, there's smoke coming out of my phone

Honey
Ok, I’ll admit it, my one concession to cheese is the dance movie genre and so I’ve seen rather a lot of these formulaic little “gems”. In this one, barlady and dance teacher, Honey Daniels (Jessica Alba) is spotted by a talent scout and is soon not only starring in music videos but choreographic them. Unfortunately her slimy mentor, director Michael Ellis (David Moscow) wants to get her into bed and when Honey refuses her career and her plans to build an inner-city dance studio go down the toilet. (Picture lines like, “I really needed that money… not for me, for the KIDS!”)  What will Honey do? The film attempts to portray Honey as some kind of dancing saint, while oiling her up and putting her in skimpy outfits… hmmm and there are more unnecessary subplots than you can shake a stick at… also Alba is completely out-acted by Lil’ Romeo and Zachary Williams who play the kids.

Honey: He gave me his number, should I have sex with him? Gina: Do it for the kids!

Honey: He gave me his number, should I have sex with him? Gina: Do it for the kids!

Film study… week 16

Death Proof
One half of the Grindhouse double feature, this split story follows a scarred (and deranged) stuntman who stalks beautiful women with the aim of killing them with his “death proof” car. That’s about the whole actual storyline of this vehicle for really random dialogue. Only Tarantino can get away with this. I loved it.

Look, it's a simple question... have you or have you not been riding dirty?

Look, it's a simple question... have you or have you not been riding dirty?

Planet Terror
On the other side of the Grindhouse scale is Robert Rodiriguez’s Planet Terror where a biological weapon is released turning people into brain-eating zombies and then the survivors fight back. I get the impression that Rodriguez has some kind of bizarre fantasy involving a woman with a machine gun leg and this was just an excuse to get, then girlfriend, Rose McGowan to agree to it. This film was just a bit too over the top for me and way too revolting.

Shot through the heart and you're to blame, darling you give love a bad name

Shot through the heart and you're to blame, darling you give love a bad name

Havoc
I’m trying to figure out why on earth Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt agreed to be in this. Unless she had a desperate desire to get her tits out and he really always wanted to carry a pimp cane. A couple of bored rich girl wiggers, become obsessed with a group of Hispanic East LA gangsters. They start hanging out with them… shit goes wrong. This could have been great but they completely pussied out on integrity of the story, the characters were so awful that you half-hoped the gang would murder them and the ending was incomprehensible. If you want a teen-shock drama watch Kids or Thirteen. If you do want to see Anne Hathaway’s tits though this is the perfect opportunity.

Hey, do you think if they make a British sequel called Chavoc, they'll let us be in it?

Hey, do you think if they make a British version called Chavoc, they'll let us be in it?

Heat
I know this is supposed to be like the best cop thriller everrrr and it has Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jon Voight, Val Kilmer, Ashley Judd and Natalie Portman in it but about 2 hours in I got bored stopped caring which side of the law won. Then again, I just don’t really enjoy this genre of film at all. If you do like action-packed, psychological, cop movies with really manly characters brandishing their guns and considering their duty, this is definitely for you.

So level with me... is this a date or are we just friends?

So level with me... is this a date or are we just friends?

Film study… week 15

This week’s films are a combination of the endless list on my hard drive and some DVD’s brought home for watching by Barb and Hilt.

Good Night And Good Luck
Maybe I’m thick but I really had no idea what was going on in this one. Something about a senator in the 50’s unfairly accusing people of being communists being exposed by a TV presenter. It appeared not to have a beginning, a middle or an end. I was bored senseless.

"Once apon a time there was a man. He was born, he lived and he died. The End." Still more exciting than this film.

"Once upon a time there was a man. He was born, he lived and he died. The End." Still more exciting than this film.

Hotaru No Haka (Graveyard Of The Fireflies)
This heartrending anime film tells the story of Seita who is forced to take care of his young sister Satsuko after losing both his parents during the Second World War. This really shows the civilian cost of war and is very hard to watch but worth the emotional upheaval.

You see, that's what happens when you buy brollies at Primark!

You see, that's what happens when you buy brollies at Primark!

Tonari No Totoro (My Neighbour Totoro)
On the other end of the anime spectrum with have this glorious family adventure. Sisters Mei and Satsuki move to the countryside to be closer to their sick mother and discover that the woods near their house are filled with spirits, including a giant rabbit-like troll called Totoro. Seriously Disney has NOTHING on Miyazaki. If I ever have kids they’re only watching anime. Mei has got to be the cutest animated character ever. If you don’t want a catbus after this you have no soul… oh and by the way make sure you watch the Japanese version with subtitles, so much of the charm is in the little girls’ delivery of their lines.

You know that feeling, like there's a giant cat with an umbrella between you?

You know that feeling, like there's a giant rabbit with an umbrella between you?

I Love You, Man

In this unusual take on a “romantic” comedy, newly engaged Peter (Paul Rudd) realises he has no one to ask to be his best man. When he meets Sydney (Jason Segel) it seems like fake but the course of true bromance never did run smooth and Peter’s cringeworthy social faux pas mixed with Sydney’s gob smacking honesty make for a film that’s amusing, if not quite difficult to watch.

When I said play that funky music, white boy, I didn't mean it literally

When I said play that funky music, white boy, I didn't mean it literally

Crank: High Voltage
I liked the first Crank film even though it was action dross but the sequel is almost beyond words. If you put four fourteen year old boys in a room with enough speed, acid and PlayStation games to last a month and told them to write a film, this would pretty much be it. Halfway through I wanted to kill myself. I can’t imagine what on earth possessed even someone as unsophisticated as Jason Statham to accept this role. Avoid like the plague.

Your credibility went that way...

Your credibility went that way...

Film study… week 13

Final Destination 2
As ridiculous horror movies go, this one actually has quite a good sense of humour and if you like really gross out and clever “kills” you’ll like this. The plot is something about cheating death and it trying to get back all the people who were supposed to have died… I think.

Joe couldn't diguise his horror at the fact that Whitney Houston at brought out a new album!

Joe couldn't disguise his horror at the fact that Whitney Houston at brought out a new album!


Flags Of Our Fathers

During the Second World War, the American forces were taking serious losses in Iwo Jima. A photo was taken of six men putting up a flag on Mount Suribachi. The photo captured the hearts of the nation and three of the surviving flag raisers were shipped back to the states and peddled around on a PR tour. The film looks at the effect of “hero” status on these soldiers. After some of the amazing European war movies I’ve seen recently, this Hollywood shlock did nothing for me.

Rene suddenly remembered where he had left that pencil

Rene suddenly remembered where he had left that pencil

Full Metal Jacket
Kubrick’s look at the dehumanisation of war through the eyes of a marine journalist during the Vietnam war is engrossing and thought-provoking. Matthew Modine plays Private Joker who is torn between the marine indoctrination to “kill, kill, kill” and his own desire for peace, while surrounded by men who have no idea why they’re actually there. Brilliant! Also Vincent D’Onofrio is one scary motherfucker.

The outbreak of crabs in the barracks left no one untouched

The outbreak of crabs in the barracks left no one untouched

Funny Money
When a wax fruit factory supervisor (Chevy Chase) obsessed with routine, picks up the wrong briefcase, he discovers that there is $5m in it. He wants to run away to Barcelona with his wife (Penelope Ann Miller) but he becomes more and more entangled in lies as a series of bizarre events gets not only the police but also his friends, the Romanian mafia, his boss, a sex obsessed art gallery owner and a stand-up comic cab driver involved. Don’t waste your time.

See, now we can pay for my sex change!

See, now we can pay for my sex change!

Film study… week 12

Evening
On her deathbed, a woman (Vanessa Redgrave) remembers her loves and losses from when she was Clare Danes while her troubled daughters (Natasha Richardson and Toni Colette) bicker around her. As a romantical films go, this one isn’t bad although a lot of the story seems to be underdeveloped. It’s like someone has taken an epic novel and condensed it to highlights. Also the conclusion of the film that there is no such thing as a mistake is a bit questionable.

Ok, who put superglue in the brandy?

Ok, who put superglue in the brandy?

Elizabeth –The Golden Age
This film isn’t bad. It just isn’t good either. Queen Elizabeth (Cate Blanchett) stomps about, ordering everyone around and being a moody cow and then wonders why Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen) is shagging her best mate and her own cousin wants her dead. Oh and there’s the Spanish Inquisition… which nobody expected…

I wonder if anyone will notice that I've farted

I wonder if anyone will notice that I've farted

Family Guy: Blue Harvest
Ok, it’s not a film, it’s a special episode but I didn’t realise that until I’d watched most of it. I’ve only watched one or two episodes of Family Guy but I’m sure this reimagined version of Star Wars would have been a lot funnier if I was a fan. It was still pretty amusing though. Funny thing is no matter how much the glaring plot problems in Star Wars get pointed out by spoofs, it’s still like the best film series ever.

It's a the millenium cheese slicer!

It's a the millenium cheese slicer!

Fast Times At Ridgemont High
This is a typical teen movie following a bunch of high school students through a year at Ridgemont High. I’m not sure why but even though the subject matter is virtually the same, in the 80’s the teen movies were so much better. This one is particularly worth watching for Sean Penn’s turn as stoner surfer, Jeff Spicoli. Oh and it happens to be a Cameron Crowe.

Uh, dude, has, uh, anyone seen my bagel?

Uh, dude, has, uh, anyone seen my bagel?

Film study… week 11

Dog Day Afternoon
Based on a true story, this is a case of the truth being stranger than fiction. Al Pacino plays bisexual, John “Sonny” Wortzik, who holds up a Brooklyn Bank to help pay for his gay “wife” Leon’s gender reassignment surgery. Everything goes horribly wrong but Sonny becomes something of a hero of the people for his defiance against the police. This is Pacino at his absolute best. Definite must see.

What do you mean I was supposed to load the gun?

What do you mean I was supposed to load the gun?

Dr Strangelove Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Atomic Bomb
Stanley Kubrik’s only comedy, this dark satire is set during the cold war, where the USA and Russia are set in a stalemate nuclear arms race. A deranged general, obsessed with bodily fluids, attempts to force the USA to engage in actual war and sets off a series of events that will trigger a nuclear holocaust. Although Dr Strangelove (Peter Sellars) is really only a bit part, it steals the entire film. This would be worth watching for the US President’s phone conversation with the Russian Premier’s alone.

Was your daddy a terrorist? Cos baby, you da bomb!

Was your daddy a terrorist? Cos baby, you da bomb!

Dungeons And Dragons
OMG what a load of old shit! Empress Savina (Thora Birch) wants the people of Izmer (sounds like a birth control pill) to be equal whether mage or not but evil Profion (Jeremy Irons, who must have been seriously broke to agree to this) has other ideas and sends a bloke wearing blue lipstick to find some magic dragon stick (which looks like it came out of a lucky packet) so he can take over. When two thieves break into the magic school (cos that’s a good idea?) they get sucked into the quest to stop him. Predictable, badly acted and with plot holes you could drive a bus through, avoid at all costs.

I'm only going to ask you one more time... did you borrow my blue lipstick to go to a cyber rave?

I'm only going to ask you one more time... did you borrow my blue lipstick to go to a cyber rave?

Ed Wood
Tim Burton’s biopic of cross-dressing 50’s B-movie director-flop, Ed Wood (Johnny Depp) is a tragicomedy of the highest order. Wood is hopeless but absolutely convinced of his abilities despite a series of disasters. What is most touching though is his relationship with horror movie star, Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau). After a random encounter with Lugosi, who is now destitute and a drug addict, Wood’s attempts to resurrect his career are painful to watch. The fact that the film is done in 50’s B-movie style, just adds to the atmosphere. Excellent.

You put your left arm in, you put your left arm out...

You put your left arm in, you put your left arm out...

Film study… week 10

Cry Baby
Wade Walker (Johnny Depp), known as Cry Baby for his ability to shed a single tear on command is a “drape”, who has fallen for a beautiful “square” called Allison (Amy Locane) in this satire of a 50’s musical. When Cry Baby lures Allison to a drape party and all hell breaks loose, Cry Baby ends up imprisoned unfairly and it’s up to his misfit gang to save him. This film is absolutely bizarre and absolutely brilliant. Plus it also stars Ricki Lake, Traci Lords and Iggy Pop. Has to be seen!

Traci Lords... where did it all go wrong?

Ridin' dirty circa 1953


Daredevil

Ben Affleck plays a blind superhero who has developed super-senses to compensate for his abilities. He’s a pro-bono defence lawyer with an unsatisfying personal life by day and some kind of tortured, morally uncertain gargoyle by night fighting The Kingpin. He inexplicably falls in love with a woman called Electric Nachos (now wife, Jennifer Garner) and then Colin Farrell turns up and kills a bunch of people using acupuncture and peanuts. This film is hilarious. It wasn’t supposed to be.

Enough with the foreplay! Show me your cane!

Enough with the foreplay! Show me your cane!


Das Boot

This three and a half hour long German WWII epic follows a U-Boar crew as they descend into the Atlantic to battle British destroyers. Less focused on the actual battle and more intent on depicting the filth, claustrophobia and confusion of the crew while highlighting the utter futility of the war, the film is definitely worth giving up such a large chunk of time for. Harrowing and powerful.

When he started hallucinating about submarines, Johann realised it was time to lay off the crack

When he started hallucinating about submarines, Johann realised it was time to lay off the crack


Day Zero

A hypothetical imagining of what might happen if the US government were to reintroduce the draft. Three lifelong friends, a geeky and neurotic novelist (Elijah Wood), a successful married control-freak lawyer (Chris Klein) and a tough-guy cab driver (inexplicable hottie Jon Bernthal) are all called up. With mixed feelings about the war, they all react differently. It was a great day but horrendously executed. The script is crap and the characters very poorly developed. Shame on you, Elijah! From Everything Is Illuminated to this drivel!

If I was a hobbit they'd never make me go to Iraq!

If I was a hobbit they'd never make me go to Iraq!

Film study… week 9

Charlotte’s Web
When Fern (Dakota Fanning) saves, runt Wilbur, she has no idea that he’s going to end up to be “some pig”. Eventually too big to live in the house with her, he is banished to her uncle’s barn, where the learns he’ll be up for the slaughter come Christmas until resident spider, Charlotte (voiced by Julia Roberts) comes up with a plan to save him. It’s a full-on emotional blackmail family film but if you don’t think the pig is cute, you have no soul.

Yes, Pig, I am the cutest child in the world. That's why I'm in everything but just wait till I discover coke and sex...

Yes, Pig, I am the cutest child in the world. That's why I'm in everything but just wait till I discover coke and sex...

Collateral
A cab driver (Jamie Foxx) picks up a fare (Tom Cruise), only to find out that he’s a contract killer making his rounds for the night. He holds the cab driver hostage and they get into a series of interesting scrapes. Not really my bag, baby but Cruise does a pretty good job of playing a sociopath… hmm…

I know I've only got a zone 2 travel card but these fare enforcement methods are getting out of control!

I know I've only got a zone 2 travel card but these fare enforcement methods are getting out of control!

Idi I Smotri (Come And See)
This Belarusian World War II drama is one of the most intense and relentlessly dark and harrowing films I have ever seen. It follows the story of child soldier Florya (Aleksei Kravchenko) as he joins the Byelorussian resistance fighting German invasion. Kravchenko is incredible and his portrayal of Florya’s loss of innocence is note perfect. Probably the best and most disturbing war movie you will ever see.

Um, you've left your cow behind...

Um, you've left your cow behind...

Crank
I hate action movies but this cartoonish, completely OTT Jason Statham special was actually really fun. An LA hitman is ‘assassinated” when a rival injects him with some “Chinese shit” that inhibits his adrenal glands. In order to stay alive he must keep his adrenaline pumping, sending him on a violent rampage of revenge, sex and drugs. It’s absolutely ridiculous but there are worse ways to spend 87 minutes.

Now that's what I call ridin' dirty!

Now that's what I call ridin' dirty!

Film study… week 7

Blade Runner
In the year 2019, the world is full of flying cars and synthetic human replicants with a four-year lifespan work the off world planets. When four replicants escape, hijack a space ship and head back to Earth to find their maker, veteran “Blade Runner”, Deckard (Harrison Ford) must track them down and eliminate them but when he meets Rachael (Sean Young) a replicant who believes she is human, he begins to question himself. With special effects way beyond its years, this one’s a sci-fi classic.

Has anyone seen the legs of my Barbie? The spell definitely calls for legs...

Has anyone seen the rest of my Barbie? The spell definitely calls for legs...

Breach
Cocky FBI agent-wannabe Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillipe) is given an assignment to spy on his new boss Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper) who is suspected of selling US secrets to Russia. Hanssen quickly becomes over-involved in O’Neill’s life, causing trouble in his marriage and making him question what he really wants from life. I don’t normally like political, spy type movies but power-struggle between the characters is engrossing, and hey. Ryan Philippe’s hot!

You ass looks fine in those pants, ok? Now will you please get back in the car!

Your ass looks fine in those pants, ok? Now will you please get back in the car!

Breakfast At Tiffany’s
When Paul Varjak (George Peppard) moves into a new apartment block and meets the delightful Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn), his entire life is turned upside down. Holly lives a whirlwind socialite life of charming people to get what she needs and Paul is a struggling writer, kept by his older, married lover, both are attempting to avoid reality. Holly is absolutely useless but it’s impossible not to fall in love with her and Audrey Hepburn is so luminous that you could stare at her all day. Stunning!

And I said, "what about Breakfast At Tiffany's?" She said, "I think I remember the film and if I recall I think we both kinda liked it."

And I said, "what about Breakfast At Tiffany's?" She said, "I think I remember the film and if I recall I think we both kinda liked it."

Brother Bear
When selfish Kenai, seeks revenge on the bear that killed his older brother, he himself is turned into a bear by his older brother’s spirit. Told by the tribe’s shamen to seek help where the sky talks to the earth, he is unhappy to find the only guide at his disposal is a talkative bear cub, Koda,  that has been separated from his mother. Obviously through spending time with Koda, Kenai learns the value of his totem, love. What can I say, I don’t do Disney and this one was particularly unfunny. Bleh.

Dude, if you fart right now, I'm giving you to the moose!

Dude, if you fart right now, I'm giving you to the moose!

Film study… week 6

Before Sunset
Following on nine years after the iconic Before Sunrise,  in which Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delphy) spend a fateful night in Vienna, they are reunited in Paris at a signing of the book that Jesse has written about that night. With only a few hours to spare before Jesse must catch a flight back to New York and his wife and son, they explore the city together. Their lives may have changed, but is the chemistry still there. This film consists only of Jesse and Celine talking to each other but the intensity created by this simplicity is gorgeous.

If you would just move up a little bit, I'd also be able to see

If you would just move up a little bit, I'd also be able to see

Before The Devil Knows You’re Death
Two brothers, even more morally bereft than the Prime Minister in Torchwood, decide to solve their money problems by robbing their parents’ jewellery store. Hank (Ethan Hawke) is a feckless slacker, while Andy (Philp Seymour Hoffman) is uber successful but hiding a serious drug addiction. When things go horribly wrong, family secrets surface left right and centre, leading to a impressively dark conclusion. Hoffman, is as always, AWESOME. Don’t watch this if you’re feeling bleak about humanity or if you don’t like watching fat people have sex.

I know Uma left you but just drink your pint and get over yourself!

I know Uma left you but just drink your pint and get over yourself!

Beowulf
The Danes are being terrorised by monster, Grendel, so hero Beowulf (Ray Winstone… looking nothing like Ray Winstone) swans in from Geatland, pops him off and takes his kit off constantly… but who knows why? In the meantime Grendel’s demonic mother (a nippleless, Angelina Jolie), shags everyone who’ll let her. The storyline is preposterous but the animation is amazing and Beowulf has a dman fine body for a cartoon.

Needless to say, the beast was stunned, whip-crack went his whoopy tail and the beast was done

All of a sudden, there shined a shiny demon in the middle. of the road. And he said: "Play the best song in the world, or I'll eat your souls"

Big Nothing
In this little indie gem, con-artist “Gus”(Simon Pegg) convinces straight-laced out of work dad, Charlie (David Schwimmer), to take part in a foolproof blackmailing scheme. With enough disasters and double-crosses to make tour head spin, it’s comedy of the blackest variety. Loved it!

Gus: Put your hands up for Detroit, I love this city. Charlie: Meh...

Gus: Put your hands up for Detroit, I'm not really sure if I love this city.