Just going to quickly round up some of the films I've watched recently....
Alfie, (2004) - 6/10.
Jude Law takes over from Michael Caine as the titular womaniser and New
York takes over from London. I actually enjoyed this film a good bit,
Law is charismatic and the locations are as attractive as the parade of
beautiful women that fall fro Alfie. Obviously Alfie learns some life
lessons, but I liked how he doesn't completely recant his sins.
Zatoichi, (2003) - 8/10.
Takeshi Kitano breathes new life into the classic Japanese Pulp saga of
the blind swordsman, Zatoichi. Personally I haven't seen any of the 20
or so Zatoichi films, but I do know that I enjoyed the heck out of this
re-make. Kitano stars, writes and directs in what is basically a
retreading of any number of samurai/western films you want to mention.
Kitano though fills the film with gloriously bloody fights (although not
gory, all we see are blood splatters) and adds a new twist by melding
the soundtrack and on screen choreography. It's hard to describe, but it
comes to a head in what can only be described as a big dance number for
the finale featuring the entire cast. Kitano is one of Japan's finest
filmmakers and Zatoichi doesn't disappoint.
The Blob, (1958) - 4/10.
A meteor releases a glutinous mass that consumes everything it touches.
Steve McQueen and a bunch of teens fight back. I thought this was pretty
bad to be honest, I far prefer the remake from a few years back. The
acting is god awful, even from McQueen. The film opens with a completely
out of place (but still catchy) pop song, what was that about? Nothing
much even happens, there is way too much talking and far too much of the
teens trying to convince everybody that the Blob exists. Could be good
I <3 Huckabees, (2004) - 7/10.
Four people turn to existential detectives when they feel they need
answers in their lives that they cannot get through regular means. This
film was billed as an existential comedy when it was released. I didn't
know what that meant then and I still don't know even after watching it.
What I do know is that I enjoyed the film, even if I didn't completely
follow what was going on. For a start it's full of good performances
from the likes of Jason Schwartzman, Mark Whalberg, Jude Law, Naomi
Watts and Dustin Hoffman. The music is great and helps the slightly off
kilter atmosphere. This is a weird one to be sure, but if you like Wes
Anderson flicks then this should be up your alley.
The Brothers Grimm, (2005) - 7/10.
Heath Ledger and Matt Damon play the titular brothers in this Terry
Gilliam directed flick about the a a group of guys that go from village
to village pretending to solve their supernatural problems. When they
come across a genuine with though things get complicated. This is a
great looking film, lots of brooding towers, dark forests and the like.
Some great make-up and CGI work here as well, Terry Gilliam has made the
mostly of what I suspect was a smallish budget. This is Gilliam through
and through as it's actually quite macabre at points, not one for the
small kids I would say. It may also be a smidgen too long, but the two
leads are likable enough to ensure I didn't get too restless.
Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, (2005) - 9/10.
The three time Oscar winning pair are back for their first full length
feature. It sees them ass humane pest controllers charged with finding
the mysterious Were-Rabbit before the annual giant vegetable
competition. What a charming, marvelous film. How anyone could not have
a smile on their face all the way through this and love it to bits is
beyond me. I'm looking at you Richard Roeper. Funny, smart and light
years ahead of any number of CGI efforts to grace our screens over the
last few years. I'm looking at you Shark Tale. The use of Stop Motion
animation means the film took 5 years to make, but every bit of work is
up there on the screen to be admired. Gromit is a work of comedy genius,
without a mouth, all of his acting is physical and it's just perfect, so
much emotion from just eyes and expressions. Run, don't trot to the
cinema to see what is surely a shoe-in for the Animated Feature category
"In '87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I
think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to be Square", a song so
catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they
should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the
importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band
itself. Hey Paul! TRY GETTING A RESERVATION AT DORSIA NOW YOU F***ING
STUPID BASTARD! YOU, F***ING BASTARD!"
Christian Bale as Patric Bateman in American Psycho, (2000).
Movie of the week - Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Tune of the week - Bloc Party / Two More Years.
Game of the Week - Far Cry: Instincts (Xbox).